Academic dishonesty defrauds all those who depend upon the integrity of the College, its courses, and its degrees and certificates. In a broader sense the public is defrauded if faculty knowingly or unwittingly allow dishonest acts to be rewarded academically. Faculty should make every reasonable effort to foster honest academic conduct. Specifically, examinations should be appropriately proctored or monitored to prevent students from copying or exchanging information. Examinations and answers to examination questions should be secured in such a way that students cannot have prior access to them. If the faculty member believes that there is evidence of academic dishonesty on the part of a student, it is the faculty member's responsibility to take appropriate action in accordance with this policy and submit the Ohlone College Academic Dishonesty Reporting Form.
Students at Ohlone College have the right to know what constitutes academic dishonesty in each course in which they are enrolled. Faculty members should apprise their classes of the ethical standards required in their courses and the permissible procedures in class work and examinations. If feasible, this information should be presented in the course outline (green sheet) and/or on examination questionnaires. If not feasible to include this information on the course outline (green sheet), the policy should be referenced on course outlines. Students should be informed of the consequences of violation of these standards, their rights of appeal, and the procedures to be followed in the appeal.
I. Definitions of Academic Dishonesty
At Ohlone, cheating is the act of obtaining or attempting to obtain credit for academic work through the use of any dishonest, deceptive, or fraudulent means. Cheating at Ohlone includes but is not limited to:
- Copying, in part or in whole, from another's test or other evaluation instrument or obtaining answers from another person during the test;
- Submitting work previously presented in another course, if contrary to the rules of either course;
- Using or consulting during an examination sources or materials not authorized by the instructor;
- Altering or interfering with grading or grading instructions;
- Sitting for an examination by a surrogate, or as a surrogate;
- Any other act committed by a student in the course of his or her academic work which defrauds or misrepresents, including aiding or abetting in any of the actions defined above.
At Ohlone, plagiarism is the act of representing the work of another as one's own (without giving appropriate credit) regardless of how that work was obtained and submitting it to fulfill academic requirements. Plagiarism at Ohlone includes but is not limited to:
- The act of incorporating the ideas, words, sentences, paragraphs, or parts thereof, or the specific substance of another's work, without giving appropriate credit, and representing the product as one's own work; and
- Representing another's artistic/scholarly works such as musical compositions, computer programs, photographs, paintings, drawings, sculptures, or similar works as one's own.
II. Student Evaluation and Reporting
When a faculty member responsible for a course has reason to believe, and has evidence to substantiate, that the behavior of a student or students falls within one or both the above sets of definitions, it is a faculty's responsibility to take the following steps:
- Arrange a face-to-face meeting with the student; if the course is an on-line course and meeting face-to-face is not an option, ideally schedule a phone conversation or make other arrangements to handle the matter. At that time of the meeting advise the student of the allegations, and make him or her aware of the supporting evidence and the probable consequences/sanctions. Any classroom confrontation should be as discreet as possible. If, as a result of this meeting, the instructor believes that academic dishonesty occurred, the instructor will inform the student of the sanctions to be assessed or recommended in accordance with Section III and complete with the student the Academic Dishonesty Reporting Form available on the Ohlone College website at
- Reprimanded orally. A student may be referred for counseling but cannot be required to seek counseling.
- Lowered grade on assignment, exam, paper, or project involved.
- Failed in the evaluation instrument (assignment, exam, paper, or project).
- Reduced in course grade, including possible failure of course. NOTE: A grade of "F" earned in the course as a result of sanctions for academic dishonesty is final and shall be placed on the transcript. If the student withdraws from the course, a "W" will not replace an "F" earned as a result of academic dishonesty.
- Retake or resubmit assignment, exam, paper, or project involved.
- Complete additional assignment, exam, paper, project, or course work.
- Required to drop or withdraw from the course.
- Referred for administrative sanctions. A faculty member may choose to refer a student to the Vice President, Student Services for disciplinary action in addition to the academic action the faculty member has taken or in lieu of any academic sanction.
- Faculty Discretion Cases involving the careless or inept handling of quoted material but which fall short of the definitions of the acts of cheating and/or plagiarism as defined in Section I.A. and Section I.B. of this policy may be dealt with at the discretion of the faculty member concerned. Section I.A., item 6 also requires faculty interpretation.
B. Administrative Sanctions
As stipulated in the California Administrative Code, Sanction 41301, cheating or plagiarism in connection with an academic program at a campus may warrant expulsion, suspension, probation, or a lesser sanction. Administrative action involving academic dishonesty at Ohlone College is the responsibility of the Vice President, Student Services according to the Standards of Student Conduct and Disciplinary and Due Process Procedures.
The Vice President, Student Services will respond to:
- Referrals from the faculty;
- Flagrant violations of academic standards; and
- Repeat violations as brought to attention by the faculty or through the centralized reports filed with the Vice President, Student Services.
Repeat violators of the academic dishonesty policy will face the following sanctions:
- Students found to have violated the academic dishonesty policy in two separate incidents will be placed on academic probation, and potentially suspended or expelled from the College;
- The College will initiate expulsion proceedings for students found to have violated the academic dishonesty policy in three or more separate incidents.
Faculty members will be notified by the Vice President, Student Services when action has been taken.
IV. Protection of Rights
Nothing in this policy is intended to deny students who come within its scope appropriate "due process," including the right to be informed of the charges, the nature of the evidence supporting the charges, and to have a meeting with the faculty member, the Vice President, Student Services or other decision-maker, at which time statements and evidence on behalf of the student may be submitted. Nor is it intended to deny the right to appeal, through appropriate college channels, any decision resulting from such a meeting.
- Academic sanctions may be appealed through the Vice President, Academic Affairs in accordance with college policy.
- When disciplinary suspension or expulsion is being recommended as an administrative sanction, the student has a right to a formal impartial hearing by an Ohlone College Student Conduct Board. (Education Code 66017)
V. Dissemination of Information
- This policy shall be published in the General Catalog. There shall also be copies of this policy in every department office, in the library, in the Faculty Handbook, on-line, and copies available to all interested parties in the Office of the Vice President, Student Services on the Fremont campus and the Office of the Associate Vice President, Academic Affairs at the Newark Center for Health Sciences and Technology.
- Dissemination of this information shall be the responsibility of the Vice President, Student Services.
- The Vice President, Student Services shall submit to the Faculty Senate annually a statistical report on the number and type of infractions and their eventual disposition.
- For all matters addressed in this policy, the Vice President, Student Services may designate a representative.