8. Academic integrity

Higher education and society both benefit when a college promotes and enforces standards of integrity that provide a foundation for a vibrant academic life, promotes progress in science and arts, and prepares students for responsible citizenship and professional conduct. The International Centre for Academic Integrity defines academic integrity as a commitment to the fundamental values of honesty, trust, fairness, respect, and responsibility. Georgian College endorses these values and is committed to translating them into action. Since they affect the credibility of academic work by students at the college and the credentials held by alumni of the college, breaches of ethics and integrity will not be tolerated.

In addition to the areas of academic misconduct outlined in this regulation, offences involving civil or criminal law involving academic work or materials are subject to penalties under this regulation. Students should also be aware that other types of misconduct may be dealt with under other procedures, such as the Student Code of Conduct procedure, the Information Technology Acceptable Use procedure, the Ontario Human Rights Code, or the Criminal Code of Canada.

8.1 Student academic responsibilities

Students are responsible for conducting themselves in a manner that brings credit to themselves and the college community, as outlined in the regulations that follow.

8.1.1 Attendance

Faculty determine the requirements for success in students’ courses. Students are responsible for attending classes (whether in person or virtually), not only for course content, but also for information related to the progress of the course. Individual programs and courses may have specific attendance requirements as outlined within the program and/or course outlines.

Tests, examinations, assignments, clinical and field placements must be written/submitted/attended on the date and time specified (Section 10: Tests and examinations). Requests for absence must be made prior to the test/examination/assignment/clinical/field placement date. Reasons for absence, if documented, allow faculty to make alternate arrangements for assignments and tests or allow consideration of an incomplete contract if necessary. (Section 4.3.4: Incomplete grade designation).

8.1.3 Student conduct

The learning environment and activities are determined by the faculty, and guided by mutual respect, common sense, propriety, courtesy, and etiquette. The faculty has the right to require any student to cease and desist in actions that are disruptive or that impede positive progress in the course. The faculty has the right to require anyone to leave the learning environment if positive progress is impeded by their actions or comments. Also, students are not permitted to transmit, distribute, or make materials available that are harassing or discriminatory. Illegal, abusive, obscene, threatening, intimidating, or demeaning transmissions to any individual or group are also prohibited. This includes but is not limited to the use of electronic mail systems and postings on electronic bulletin or message boards, Blackboard, and webpages. Further actions may be taken under law, or the college’s Student Code of Conduct or Human Rights Procedure.

8.1.4 Improper use of technology

The faculty may ban any device deemed to impede positive progress of the class or deemed to compromise the integrity of tests or examinations. For detailed information about use of Information Technology, refer to the Information Technology Acceptable Use procedure.

8.1.5 Acting with academic integrity 

Students are expected to act with academic integrity throughout their studies at Georgian College, in alignment with the ICAI’s Fundamental Values (2014). This includes the obligation to acknowledge sources; to protect one’s work; to avoid suspicion, falsification and fabrication; and to tell the truth. Breeches of academic integrity constitute academic misconduct, outlined in Section 8.2: Academic misconduct below.

To support the education and awareness of academic integrity, all students are required to successfully pass Georgian’s Academic Integrity module in Blackboard with a grade of 80 per cent or greater, in their first semesters of study.

8.2 Academic misconduct

The following areas constitute the major types of academic misconduct and are subject to penalties. Please note that misconduct on one or any portion of a work constitutes misconduct; there is no partial responsibility. No fees are refunded to students who are suspended, dismissed, or removed from courses, for misconduct. Refer to the penalties chart in Section 8.3: Academic misconduct process below.

8.2.1 Cheating

Cheating is the use of inappropriate, prohibited, or unacknowledged materials, information aids, or misrepresentation in any academic work. The use of books, notes, online resources, electronic technology (including but not limited to calculators, cell phones, tablets, and voice and video recorders) and conversation with others is restricted or forbidden in many instances of academic work and would constitute cheating. Students may not request others (including commercial or free term-paper organizations) to conduct research or prepare any work for them.  

8.2.2 Fabrication

Fabrication is the falsification or invention of any information or citation in an academic work or program documentation.

Students must never falsify a record of any kind, nor permit another person to do so. Fabricating an academic record includes, but is not limited to clinical permits, criminal reference checks, co-op jobs, placements, employer or placement supervisor evaluation, or signatures.

False information may not be used in any academic work without the prior authorization of the faculty. It is considered misconduct, for instance, to analyze one sample in an experiment and invent data based on that single experiment for several more required analyses. The actual and original source of the information must be acknowledged in a citation (Section 8.2.3: Plagiarism).

8.2.3 Plagiarism

Plagiarism is the representation of another's words or ideas as one’s own, in any academic work. Whenever students use words or ideas that are not their own when submitting scholarly work, they must cite their sources with an in-text citation, use quotation marks where appropriate, and include a list of references for the sources cited. Failure to do this constitutes plagiarism.

Students must not allow anyone access to the work they have prepared for evaluation, whether in a test, examination or assignment, etc. The student is the only one who should receive credit for what they know, unless prior agreement has been reached with the faculty that group work (and group credit) is allowed.

Self-plagiarism is the resubmission of previous work, or portions thereof without the permission of the current faculty. Students should be aware that plagiarism or self-plagiarism of any part of a work is an academic misconduct; there is no partial responsibility or penalty.

To avoid plagiarism/self-plagiarism, every source of information must be identified and properly documented according to an established writing convention determined by the faculty, for example; American Psychological Association (APA) style. Faculty have the right to request that students submit their work for electronic text matching.

8.2.4 Facilitating academic misconduct

Students should not put themselves in a position where they could be suspected of having made their work accessible to others, having copied another’s work, or having used unauthorized aids. They alone should receive credit for what they know, unless prior agreement has been reached with the faculty that group work (and group credit) is allowed. Even the appearance of dishonesty may undermine faculty confidence in students’ abilities.

Students who knowingly or negligently allow their work (including electronic files), portions of their work, or drafts of their work to be used by other students or who aid others in committing academic misconduct are violating academic integrity. This applies to students who hide, misrepresent, or falsify information related to an incident of academic misconduct. Such students are as responsible as a student who is involved in the incident directly, even though they may not themselves benefit from that act of misconduct and are therefore subject to the same penalties.

8.2.5 Impersonation 

Impersonation is pretending to be another person for the purpose of deception. Students who knowingly have someone impersonate them, either in-person or electronically, for any academic work or activity are violating academic integrity. Both the impersonator and student impersonated are subject to the same penalties.   

8.2.6 Denying access to information or material

It is a violation of academic integrity to deny others access to academic resources or to deliberately impede the progress of another student or scholar. This would include giving other students false or misleading information, making library or shared resource material unavailable to others by stealing, deliberately misplacing, defacing, or destroying any of these resources, including computer files that are not one’s own.

8.2.7 Copyright violation

Canada’s Copyright Act, states the legal and permissible use of copyrighted material. Georgian College has adopted the Association of Canadian Community Colleges Fair Dealing Policy that provides guidance in copying according to the Fair Dealing exception under the Copyright Act. Copying beyond these limits of the guidelines and the Copyright Act, is an academic misconduct for the individual who made the illegal copy. Students may also be subject to penalties under the Copyright Act.

8.3 Academic misconduct process

The following outlines the process for addressing cases of academic misconduct at Georgian College, as well as related penalties.

  • If at any point in the process outlined below the situation is shown, to the faculty’s satisfaction, to be free of academic misconduct, no record is kept of the incident
  • If at any point in the process a student decides to withdraw from the course connected to the academic misconduct the process continues unless otherwise advised the dean/associate dean or Office of the Registrar
  • If at any point during the process outlined below, the student is unresponsive or unwilling to meet within the required timelines, the process proceeds, and the Academic misconduct form (AMF) is forwarded to the Office of the Registrar for processing. The student’s signature on the form is not required in order for a penalty to be applied or for a record to be created in Banner
  • If an academic misconduct is identified for group work, the process proceeds individually for every member of the group. In cases where one or more members of the group (a subset of the group) are identified to be responsible for the misconduct, only the individual members of the group held responsible will receive a penalty
  • The AMF remains part of the student’s official record in the Office of the Registrar, however no indication of academic misconduct is made on a students' official transcript. Regulatory bodies, partnership institutions or employers may require details around academic misconducts such as number of instances and penalties received. As with other documents in the student’s file, access is restricted by the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, 1990 (Section 7: Academic and related records)
  • From the time the misconduct is found to the time it is recorded on the student record, the process should take no longer than 15 working days to be finalized
  • The student is expected to continue their semester while the process is taking place unless otherwise advised by a dean/associate dean, registrar/associate registrar in writing
  • Academic misconduct may also be identified by other employees such as co-op consultants, testing services staff, or any other department at the college who is involved in determining grades for academic work
  • If requested by the student, the student success advisor can prompt reflection and support the student to build their self-navigation and self-advocacy skills as it relates to the academic misconduct process.  It is not the role of the student success advisor  to negotiate on behalf of the student
  • Academic misconduct may be appealed following the process outlined in Section 8.3: Academic misconduct process of the academic regulations.
Step Process Owner Resource
1 Suspect academic misconduct Faculty Exam, test, assignment, etc.
2 Inform and consult with the program coordinator Faculty phone/email
3 The date and time of the meeting with the student must be determined within five working days of first identifying suspected misconduct. After five days the misconduct process continues Faculty Banner, timetable/outlook calendar
4 Contact the Office of the Registrar via RORecords@georgiancollege.ca to determine any previous misconducts Faculty Phone/email/or Banner
5 Complete the Academic Misconduct form (AMF) Faculty AMF
6 Conduct student meeting. If third offence, provide warning to student that a fourth offence will result in an automatic dismissal from the college for up to five years. Faculty AMF and supporting evidence
7 Within 24 hours of the meeting, student reviews the AMF and either a) acknowledges the offence, accepts the penalty and signs. The form is then sent to the dean/associate dean for final signature and forwarded to the Office of the Registrar or b) does not. If the student does not wish to meet/sign the form or fails to provide the required documentation, the process continues Student AMF
8 Send AMF and any supporting evidence to the dean/associate dean within two days of meeting with the student Faculty Email
9 Review AMF and supporting evidence and discuss with faculty. If a meeting with the student is required, (as determined by the Dean/Associate Dean) the date and time of meeting must be determined within three working days of receiving the AMF from the faculty Dean/associate dean AMF/phone/email
10 Finalize/sign the AMF and email the form to the student with copy to the Office of the Registrar, the student success advisor, and the faculty. In this same message, advise student of the academic appeal process as per section 10.2.1. If the academic misconduct is appealed the Academic Appeal form (AAF) must be completed and submitted by the student to the Office of the Registrar Dean/associate dean AMF
11 Update student information in Banner Office of the Registrar Banner
12 Implement any record changes needed as a result of the outcome Faculty/Office of the Registrar Blackboard, Banner

Penalties for Academic Misconduct

The below guidelines are used to assist in penalty assignment, with the understanding that circumstances can occur which may warrant a penalty that differs from the guidelines. Any one or more of the penalties listed below can be applied on the first, second and third offence. The penalty imposed is recommended by the faculty in accordance with the severity of the offence and the number of past misconducts found. Final decisions with regards to the penalty that is applied will be determined by the dean/associate dean. All fourth offences will result in automatic dismissal from the program and college for up to five years. Students may not return to the same program. 

Offence Penalty
First - Verbal warning
- Complete or repeat online Academic Integrity module in Blackboard
- Assigned training or advising/academic support
- Re-submit work involved
- Mark of “0” in work involved
Second - Mark of “0” in the course
- Immediate suspension from the college for the current term
- Immediate suspension from the college for the current term, plus one subsequent term
- Immediate dismissal from the program and suspension from the college for one year (12 months)
Third - Mark of “0” in the course
- Immediate dismissal from the program and suspension from the college for one year (12 months)
- Immediate dismissal from the program and the college for three years
Fourth - Automatic dismissal from the program and college for a period ranging from current term, plus one subsequent term, up to five years as determined by the dean/associate dean

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