Wednesday, September 4, 2019

You’ve probably heard about academic dishonesty at every school you’ve attended but do you really know what it means and how to navigate it?

Thanks to the hard work of faculty members Heather McCarty, Jeff Dean, Brenda Scherbring Ahntholz, and Janel Tomblin-Brown Ohlone has a new Academic Dishonesty Administrative Procedure (AP) and a revised Academic Dishonesty Reporting Form, which were both approved late spring 2019.

The new AP 5501, Academic Dishonesty, clearly defines procedures for both faculty and students in the case where a student is determined by faculty to have committed academic dishonesty. The goal is to help all parties understand what is defined by the College as academic dishonesty and the steps to take if there is a case of it.

“Academic integrity is vital to the educational mission at Ohlone College,” says History Professor Heather McCarty. “The new AP helps everyone—faculty, students, staff, and administration—better understand what constitutes academic dishonesty and how to handle incidents if they emerge.”

According to the new AP, academic dishonesty is broken down in to three categories: cheating; plagiarism; and falsification, theft or the sale of protected materials. And, if you thought you knew the clear definition of each, you should reference the new AP as it’s highly clarified and will give you the tools to know what to avoid during your academic journey.

For example, in the case of plagiarism, the AP states that “both the intentional and unintentional use of another’s work constitutes plagiarism,” and various examples are given so that faculty and students alike are clear on what is and isn’t okay.

The second half of AP 5501 maps out the protocol both faculty, students, and administration need to take in addressing academic dishonesty, from the initial charge to the appeals process, and outlines the guidelines for academic and administrative sanctions. There are no stones left unturned, no “what ifs” unanswered.

“Situations related to academic dishonesty can be stressful for both students and faculty,” says Dean of Language, Communication, and Academic Success Division Mark Lieu, who worked closely with the faculty during this process. “Having clarity about definitions and processes helps everyone.”

Defining what does and doesn’t constitute cheating serves all parties in providing a clear lens on the do’s and do not’s for those continuing or starting their academic careers. AP 5501 empowers both students, faculty, and the administration when it comes to addressing cases of academic dishonesty, highlighting Ohlone’s standards for academic excellence.

Visit the Academic Dishonesty site for details about AP 5501to learn more.