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Academic Honesty and Conduct Policy

Students, faculty, and staff are responsible for maintaining a proper learning environment at Wentworth. All students are required to abide by the Student Code of Conduct (as published in the Student Handbook), the Wentworth Creed, and all published Wentworth policies and procedures to satisfy the general requirements for graduation, (see Graduation Requirements on page 63) with regard to their character.

All instances of academic dishonesty/misconduct, behavior unbecoming a student, and/or violations of any of the above in the academic environment will be considered violations of this requirement.

ACADEMIC DISHONESTY AND MISCONDUCT

Listed below is a non-exclusive description of many forms of academic dishonesty and misconduct that may arise. Members of the faculty have authority in the classroom. Any expectations set forth by a faculty member constitute the standard to be used in that particular class or laboratory.

Academic Dishonesty

Students at Wentworth are expected to be honest and forthright in their academic endeavors. Academic dishonesty includes cheating, inventing false information or citations, plagiarism, tampering with computers, destroying other people’s studio property, or academic misconduct.

Cheating

Cheating can be manifested in many forms, including:

  • copying from another student’s paper
  • speaking to, or collaborating with, another person without permission during an exam
  • mailing your material by computer to others
  • allowing another student to copy from a test
  • using materials such as calculators, notes, handheld devices, or books during an exam without permission
  • tracing someone else’s drawings unless instructed to do so
  • resubmitting a paper written for one class to a different class without permission
  • collaborating outside of class when not permitted
  • taking information from someone’s computer without permission
  • submitting materials from a website as one’s own
  • falsifying research

Fabrication

Fabrication is the use of invented information or the falsification of research or other findings. Examples include:

  • citing information not taken from the source indicated
  • listing sources in a bibliography, footnotes, or endnotes that are not used in the academic exercise
  • submitting work done by another, in part or in whole, as one’s own (including materials from a website)

Plagiarism

Plagiarism is the submission or inclusion of someone else’s words, drawings, ideas, or data (including that from a website) as one’s own work without giving credit to the source. When sources are used in a paper or drawing, acknowledgement of the original author or source must be made through appropriate references (footnotes, endnotes) or if directly quoted, quotation marks or indentations must be used. Even if another person’s idea, opinion, or theory is paraphrased into your own words, you can be accused of plagiarism. The same holds true for drawings. Only when information is common knowledge may a fact or statistic be used without giving credit. Plagiarism also includes the unacknowledged use of materials prepared by another person or agency engaged in the selling of papers or other academic materials.

Academic Misconduct

Academic misconduct is the violation of Institute academic policies or infringement on the rights of others to receive an education. Examples include:

  • stealing, buying, or obtaining all or part of a test
  • selling or giving away all or part of an unadministered test including answers
  • bribing any other person to obtain information about a test
  • entering an office for the purpose of changing a grade in a grade book, on a test, or on other work for which a grade is given
  • changing, altering or being an accessory to the changing/altering of a grade or any official academic record of the Institute
  • forging faculty member’s signatures on Institute forms
  • using someone else’s work, including submission of material from a website as one’s own
  • being a distraction to the lesson occurring in a classroom or laboratory environment

Behavior Unbecoming a Student

Behavior unbecoming a student is any violation of a published Wentworth policy in an academic environment, and/or any behavior that individual faculty or staff determines is unacceptable in his or her classroom, laboratory, or other academic area or function. Behavior unbecoming a student in an academic environment will not be tolerated. Violations of behavioral expectations may be forwarded to the Office of Community Standards for disciplinary action.

Possible Sanctions

Wentworth takes violations of academic dishonesty and misconduct very seriously. Sanctions for such violations include, but are not limited to, a grade of “F”, removal from a course, Institute suspension, or Institute expulsion.

Individual faculty members may determine an appropriate action with regard to academic dishonesty/misconduct, including failure of a test(s) or project(s). A faculty member, with the approval of the curricular department chair/Dean of CPCE Wentworth or designee, may also assign a final grade of “F” for the course. If an “F” grade is assigned, the student will not be allowed to remain in the class. In addition, the curricular department chair/Dean of CPCE or designee may refer the case to the Academic Discipline Board.

In cases involving conduct unbecoming a student, the student may be asked to leave the academic area or function. Under these circumstances, the student may be marked absent, may receive a zero for any test or project to be completed in that class, and may not be allowed to make up the work. With the approval of the curricular department chair/the dean of CPCE or designee, the student may also be withdrawn from the course, and a grade of “W” will appear on the student’s transcript. If a student is asked to leave a class or other academic area or function, he/she may not return until he/she meets with the faculty and/or staff member and curricular department chair, the dean of CPCE or Director and resolves the issue(s). In addition, Public Safety may be contacted.

PROCEDURES FOR HANDLING ACADEMIC DISHONESTY AND MISCONDUCT CASES

Academic department chairs, the dean of CPCE, and Directors may refer a student, at any time, to the Academic Discipline Board if in their judgment, they feel a situation is very serious and warrants immediate action. This request must be received by the Director of Student Achievement and Academic Relations.

The procedures and guidelines for handling of academic dishonesty and misconduct allegations are found below in section B, Academic Discipline Board

A. Appeals Process

1. If a student wishes to appeal the imposed sanctions (see Possible Sanctions above), the student may request, in writing, within two weeks, that the curricular department chair or the Dean of CPCE review the facts presented regarding the incident, and the faculty or staff person’s action, and determine if the problem can be resolved at this level. The curricular department chair or dean of CPCE will respond to the student, within two weeks of the student’s appeal.

2. The student may request that his or her case be heard by the Academic Discipline Board if no satisfactory resolution is determined in Item A1.

The request must be received by the Provost’s Office or designee, in writing, within two weeks of the date of the letter from the curricular department chair or the dean of CPCE. Before a student can appeal to the Academic Discipline Board, the procedures listed above must be followed.

B. Academic Discipline Board

Academic Department Chairs, the Professional and Continuing Education Dean or Directors may refer a student, at any time, to the Academic Discipline Board if in their judgment, they feel a violation of the Academic Dishonesty Policy has occurred.   Incidents involving serious violations of the Academic Dishonesty Policy that could lead to suspension or expulsion may be heard by the Academic Discipline Board.  As faculty members manage the initial reporting and processing of academic dishonesty, referrals to the Academic Discipline Board are at the faculty members’ discretion.

1. Jurisdiction

The Board has jurisdiction over acts of alleged academic dishonesty involving the three academic colleges, the college of Professional and Continuing Education; the Alumni Library; the Learning Center; and the Office of the Provost. Alleged student misconduct outside the jurisdiction of the Academic Discipline Board will be referred to the Director of Community Standards. Should there be a question of jurisdiction, the Associate Provost for Academic Operations and the Director of Community Standards will decide the appropriate hearing body.

2. Membership

Membership is comprised of three Academic Deans (or designee), the Associate Provost for Academic Operations (or designee) and the chair of the department where the alleged violation took place (or designee).  The Associate Provost for Academic Operations, or designee, will chair the board as a non-voting member except in the case of a tie vote.  The Academic Discipline Board is advised by the Director of Community Standards and/or other Institute designee concerning the hearing process.  

3. Decision

The Board is empowered to levy sanctions up to and including expulsion, against any student who is found to have been involved in instances of academic dishonesty.

C. Guidelines for Hearing

The following guidelines generally apply to Administrative, Community Standards Board and Academic Discipline Board hearings.  Since every case is unique, the guidelines may be changed or modified by the hearing body as needed:

  • Matters are decided based upon a preponderance of the information presented at the hearing.  In cases heard by a board, the members will meet in closed executive session to deliberate on the alleged violation and possible sanction(s).
  • The rules of evidence applicable to civil and criminal cases do not apply. 
  • The hearing shall be conducted in private, only including involved parties, relevant witnesses and hearing advisors. No character witnesses are allowed. 
  • The complaining and responding parties have the right to an advisor at the hearing who may not be an attorney.  Advisors are present for support only and are not permitted to ask questions, answer questions, or present evidence. Students need to notify the Director of Community Standards or Residence Director in writing at least 48 hours prior to a hearing with the name of the advisor.  
  • Admission of any person into the hearing will be at the discretion of the Hearing Administrator or the Director of Community Standards or designee in the case of board hearings.
  • In incidents involving more than one party, the hearing may be conducted as a joint hearing.
  • The parties, Hearing Administrator, and/or board members will have an opportunity to review the complaint/incident and relevant information before the hearing.
  • All written or physical evidence to be used by any party at the hearing must be presented to the Director of Community Standards or Hearing Administrator 48 hours before the hearing is scheduled to begin. Copies of evidence will be given to the board members, Hearing Administrator and other party before the hearing.
  • Written witness statements will only be allowed if signed and if determined appropriate by the Hearing Administrator, Director of Community Standards (or designee). The weight, if any, to be given to signed written statements will be determined by the Hearing Administrator or the appropriate board.  Any witness statements must be presented to the Director of Community Standards or Hearing Administrator 48 hours before the hearing.
  • The complaining party, the responding party and the victim (if applicable) may testify and present witnesses who can speak from personal knowledge about the incident.  
  • A party or witness may refuse to answer a question, but the Hearing Administrator or hearing board will decide the matter based upon the information it has available.
  • If at any time during the course of the hearing a party exhibits behavior or language that is disruptive or threatening, he/she shall be dismissed and the process will continue without their presence.  
  • If the responding party is found responsible, the Hearing Administrator and hearing board has the full disciplinary record available to them to decide if a sanction should be more severe based upon past history. This information is not used to determine responsibility.
  • The responding party will receive a notice of the findings and sanction(s), if any, from the Hearing Administrator or Director of Community Standards, or appropriate board member within five business days of the conclusion of the hearing.   
  • The complaining party, if a victim of an incident of violence, will receive notification of the outcome of the hearing.
  • In cases involving student organizations, clubs and teams, the organization, club or team must designate an officer or captain to act as the spokesperson during the hearing.  
  • If a party does not appear at the Administrative or board hearing, a finding will be made on the information available at the hearing and the party loses any right of appeal.  
  • In cases where information is provided during a hearing that indicates an additional Student Code violation may have occurred, the Director of Community Standards will determine if a separate complaint will be filed.

D. Guidelines for Hearing Order of Events

The following are guidelines for the order of events for an Administrative and CSB or Academic Discipline Board hearing.  They may be modified at any time by the Hearing Administrator, Associate Provost for Academic Operations or the Director of the Community Standards (or designee) as circumstances require.

  • Introduction of the parties.
  • Signing of the Honesty Statement by all parties and witnesses.  
  • Reading of the alleged violations.
  • Oral statement by complaining party (five minutes).
  • Oral statement by responding party accused of violating the Code (five minutes).  
  • Questions to the responding party from the Hearing Administrator or CSB panel members, then questions by the complaining party.
  • Questions to the complaining party from the Hearing Administrator or CSB panel members, then questions by the responding party.
  • Testimony by each witness to the incident.
  • Questions by Hearing Administrator or CSB panel members of each witness, then questions by the complaining party and responding party.
  • Final Statement by party who filed complaint (five minutes).
  • Final Statement by the responding party (five minutes).
  • Final questions from Hearing Administrator or CSB panel members.

E. Assault Cases

In complaints between students involving a sexual assault/violence allegation and other incidents of serious assault, these procedural guidelines are applicable:

  • An investigation by a designated institute official may be conducted and take the place of an Administrative or CSB hearing. The results of the investigation will be provided to a panel consisting of the Director of Community Standards and two faculty and/or staff members.  The panel will decide whether or not a violation has occurred and the sanction to be imposed if as violation is found.   
  • This process, including notification of complainant and respondent, has a normally sixty (60) day (business) timeframe, except when there are scheduled vacations and academic breaks.  The Institute will notify the complainant if the process is expected to take longer.
  • In sexual misconduct cases, past incidents of sexual conduct with other persons will not be discussed or taken into consideration, except in highly unusual cases.
  • A “victim impact statement” may be read at the hearing or provided to the investigator in addition to the final statement.
  • The complainant will be informed of the outcome of the hearing at the same time the responding party is notified.
  • The complainant and respondent both have the right to appeal the decision.  This appeal would be addressed to the Associate Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students or designee.
  • The Institute will not pursue disciplinary action against a student who claims to be a victim of sexual misconduct in connection with reporting that assault or against students named as witnesses. 

F. Hearing Advisors

The complaining and responding parties have the opportunity to have an advisor present at a hearing.  A list of faculty/staff advisors who have offered to serve in this role is available from the Dean of Students Office.  No faculty or staff is required to accept a request from a party to serve as an advisor.  A party may also ask another member of the Wentworth community to serve as advisor.  The advisor may assist the party before the hearing in preparing a statement, reviewing the process, and seeking answers to any questions that the party may have.  The Institute does not warrant the competency or ability of any volunteer advisor.   

G. Appeal Process

A student that has participated in the discipline process and been found in violation of the Student Code of Conduct may file a written appeal to one of the following Appeal Administrators:

Original Hearing Conduct by:

Student Should Appeal to:

Residence Director

Director, Community Standards or designee

Director, Community Standards

Dean of Students or Associate Dean of Students

Community Standards Board

Dean of Students or Associate Dean of Students

Dean of Students

Vice President of Student Affairs

Panel Decision

Dean of Students or Assistant Dean of Students

Academic Discipline Board

Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost

In cases involving assault (sexual or physical) both the complainant and responding party may file an appeal. An appeal must demonstrate one or more of the following bases for appeal and explain in detail the support for each basis:

  1. new and material information not available at the time of the hearing which might have affected the outcome of the hearing;
  2. the hearing did not substantially follow the Guidelines or a change from the Guidelines substantially affected the outcome of the hearing;
  3. the sanction is not proportionate to the violation found.  

The appeal request must be received within 3 business days of the receipt by the party of the decision.  If the appeal does not meet one of the criteria above or is not filed on time it will be dismissed.  The Appeal Administrator may speak to the underlying decision maker/body, the appealing party and the responding party, review all evidence taken during the underlying hearing and seek new evidence.  The Appeal Administrator may change the findings on violations or change the sanction(s) imposed.  The decision made in the appeal process is final.  A party is allowed only one appeal.  

The appeal request must be received within 3 business days of the receipt by the party of the decision. If the appeal does not meet one of the criteria above or is not filed on time it will be dismissed.  The Appeal Administrator may speak to the underlying decision maker/body, the appealing party and the responding party, review all evidence taken during the underlying hearing and seek new evidence.  The Appeal Administrator may change the findings on violations or change the sanction(s) imposed.  The decision made in the appeal process is final.  A party is allowed only one appeal.  

H. Sanctioning

What Is The Purpose Of A Sanction?
When a party is found responsible for violating the Student Code of Conduct, a sanction will be imposed.  This sanction is expected to serve as a deterrent to future violations of the Student Code of Conduct.  Additionally, sanctions are used as a means by which a party gives back to the community.  It is the goal of the Institute to impose sanctions that are educational and purposeful for both the party and the community.

Loss of Good Standing

Students who receive a sanction of Institute Probation or greater are not considered in good standing and may not register for classes and may not participate in extracurricular activities, clubs or terms abroad.

Completion of Sanctions
Sanctions are mandatory. A party is expected to complete the sanction(s) in the time required. Parties who do not complete the sanction(s) on time are subject to further disciplinary action.  Registration Holds are placed on the accounts of students who do not complete community service hours, prohibiting them from registering for future classes.  Incomplete sanctions may result in immediate suspension from housing or the Institute or loss of organization, club or team status.  To avoid additional disciplinary charges, parties are encouraged to take their sanctions seriously and complete them in a timely manner.

Possible Sanctions
The following sanctions are meant to serve as a guide for the disciplinary sanctions that may be taken against a party found in violation of the Student Code of Conduct.  They are not an exclusive or exhaustive list. The severity of the violation and other factors, such, as but not limited to, prior disciplinary history are considered when a determination of the sanction is made.   

  • Disciplinary Warning
  • Community Service
    • Service may either occur on campus or within the community
  • Alcohol/Drug Educational Classes
  • Housing Probation
    • Violation of an Institute policy while on housing probation risks loss of all housing privileges.
  • Disciplinary Injunction
    • This status reflects a mandate to immediately cease and desist a certain behavior.
  • Weekend Housing Suspension
    • Begins at 6:00 p.m. Friday until 6:00 p.m. Sunday.
    • Students are required to hand in their keys and ID to Campus Police prior to leaving on Friday.
  • Housing Suspension
    • No entrance to any of the residence halls during that time. Failure to comply will result in permanent housing suspension, as well as the possibility of Institute suspension.
  • Institute Probation
    • Violation of an Institute policy while on probation risks suspension from the Institute. Students on Institute probation are not considered in good standing and may not represent participate in Wentworth clubs, organizations, athletics, or leadership positions, including, but not limited to, resident assistant or orientation leader.
  • Institute Suspension
    • No entrance to campus during the suspension period. Failure to comply will result in additional disciplinary sanctions up to and including expulsion from the Institute.
  • Expulsion from the Institute

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