8. Academic rights and responsibilities

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 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 adversely 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. See section 9: Academic integrity.

8.1 Student academic rights

Students’ academic, human and legal rights are important in ensuring a smooth path to their success. Students must not let anyone diminish the value of their achievements by taking unfair advantage. Students should not accept any academic dishonesty or actions that diminish the dignity of students or staff, however they occur.

Student rights are protected under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Ontario Human Rights Code, as well as Georgian College’s Human Rights policy and these Academic regulations.

8.2 Student academic responsibilities

Students are responsible for conducting themselves in a manner that brings credit to themselves and the college community. The responsibilities can be summed up in the following attendance statements and eight cardinal rules, paraphrased and taken from Northwestern University website.

8.2.1 Attendance

Faculty determine the requirements for success in students’ courses. Students are responsible for attending classes, not only for course content, but also for information related to the progress of the course.

Tests, examinations, assignments, clinical and field placements must be written/submitted/attended on the date and time specified (see section 11: 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. See section 4.4.4: Incomplete grade designation.

8.2.2 Academic accommodations  

There may be circumstances that prevent students from being able to write a test or submit an assignment on a pre-scheduled date. Students must make every effort to inform their faculty well in advance if they think they will not be able to meet a deadline.    

Circumstances that are eligible for academic accommodation may include:    

  • Sudden or acute physical illness or mental distress

  • Serious injury to self or significant others 

  • Bereavement  

  • A traumatic event 

  • Other serious personal/family crisis. 

Circumstances that are not eligible for academic accommodations, and could result in a mark of 0 may include: 

  • Personal or family events (e.g., vacations, weddings)  

  • Technological and/or computer failure 

  • Disability for which you are already receiving ongoing accommodations (refer to section 11.1: Academic accommodations for persons with disabilities ) 

Documentation to support absences must include the following information: 

  • name and ID number of the student 
  • date and time of the incident/illness 
  • a statement from an appropriate regulated health care professional that the student was absent for medical reasons (if medical) 
  • the name, license/registration number, phone number and signature of the appropriate regulated health care professional/witness (if medical) 

Academic accommodations for missed tests/assignments/co-op that are requested more than once per course or multiple times in a semester may warrant additional discussions with the faculty to ensure academic integrity is maintained. The faculty, in consultation with the Dean/Associate Dean may recommend restrictions in the use of academic accommodations for a set period of time. 

Accommodations may also be made to allow for religious observance. In all cases, arrangements must be made with the faculty prior to the test, examination, assignment, clinical or field placement due date. Other reasons for absence are not sufficient to receive any special consideration and result in a mark of 0. For more information, refer to the Accommodation of Religious Observances Policy, and Section 11: Tests and examinations.

8.2.3 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 web pages. Further actions may be taken under law, or the college’s Student Code of Conduct or Human Rights policies.

8.2.4 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 Policy.  

8.2.5 Health and safety 

The faculty has the right to cancel a class if safety or health of any individual is at risk. Further actions may be taken under law, or the college’s Student Code of Conduct or Human Rights policies 

8.2.6 Acknowledgement of sources

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.

Plagiarism is the representation of another’s words or ideas of another as one’s own, in any academic work. 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. Refer to section 9.1.3: Plagiarism. To avoid plagiarism, every source of information must be identified and properly documented according to an established writing convention determined by the faculty, for example APA (American Psychological Association) style.

Faculty have the right to submit student work for electronic detection of plagiarism or to require that the student submit their own work for detection of same.

8.2.7 Protection of work

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.

8.2.8 Avoiding suspicion

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. Even the appearance of dishonesty may undermine faculty confidence in students’ abilities.

8.2.9 Taking credit for another’s work

The purpose of assignments is to develop skill and measure progress. Letting someone else do the work for which another student takes credit defeats the purpose of education and may lead to serious charges.

8.2.10 Never falsifying a record

Students must never falsify a record of any kind, nor permit another person to do so. Academic records are regularly audited and students whose grades have been altered put their entire grade history at risk. Students should keep copies of work they hand in to protect themselves from loss. See section 9.1.2: Fabrication.

8.2.11 Never fabricating

Students must not fabricate data, citations, experimental results or any other activity-derived work. Students must not fabricate any medical or other documentation used to support a test rewrite, extension, or other request for special consideration. Fabrication also includes but is not limited to documentation related to co-op jobs, placements, employer or placement supervisor evaluation or signatures. See section 9.1.2: Fabrication.

8.2.12 Always telling the truth

Any attempt to deceive may destroy the relationship between students and faculty, and students and the college. Hiding, omitting or misrepresenting information does not constitute the truth and, in situations where the student is a witness, may make the student an accessory subject to the same penalty as the culprit.

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