1. Principles of Academic Integrity
- Academic integrity is a cornerstone in the development and acquisition of knowledge. It is founded on values of trust, fairness, respect, honesty and responsibility. Academic integrity protects the quality of education at Okanagan College.
- It is expected that all students will adhere to these ethical values in all of their activities at the College. Students who are in doubt as to what constitutes a violation of academic integrity in any particular instance should consult their College professor, vocational instructor, distance education tutor or continuing education instructor (“Instructor”).
 see the Centre for Academic Integrity, Clemson University; see www.academicintegrity.org
- This policy applies to all current and former students and applies to all course activities.
3. Academic Integrity Violations
- If an Instructor suspects that a student has acted in a manner that would normally be perceived as a violation of this policy, but the Instructor believes that the student was not acting with dishonest intent and that the student’s actions may have been due in part to the student’s weak scholarship and/or a lack of understanding of what constitutes academic integrity, the Instructor shall consult with the student. Poor scholarship, with no dishonest intent, is not a violation of academic integrity. That consultation will include:
- the Instructor's concerns regarding the student's actions that have resulted in the need for the consultation;
- reviewing the principles of academic integrity;
- possible repercussions that a student would face if found in violation of this policy; and
- any other points as the Instructor determines.
- Academic integrity violations covered by this policy can take a number of forms. While the following list of examples characterizes the most common instances of integrity violations, the list is not intended to be exhaustive:
- Plagiarism includes but is not limited to, when a student:
- submits or presents work of another person, in whole or part, as that of the student's own work;
- fails to provide adequate attribution (author/creator must be acknowledged in the text, in footnotes, in endnotes, or in another accepted form of academic citation) to an author or creator whose work is incorporated into the student’s work, including another person's words, ideas, or entire works;
- paraphrases material from a source without sufficient acknowledgement;
- does not ensure the work is the student's own after the student has sought assistance from a tutor or other scholastic aids.
- Cheating in assignments, projects, examinations or other forms of evaluation, may include, but is not limited to:
- using or attempting to use another person's answers/work;
- purposely exposing or providing answers to another student(s), or failing to take reasonable measures to protect answers from use by another student(s);
- unless permitted by the Instructor, a student submitting identical or virtually identical assignments/materials for evaluation, in the case of students who study/work together, or otherwise, as the student’s own work;
- sharing information or answers when doing take-home or take-away assignments, tests or examinations except where the Instructor has authorized collaborative work;
- consulting with another person or unauthorized use or possession of materials or equipment in a lab, test or examination, including, concealing and accessing such aids outside the evaluation room during the evaluation period (e.g. emergency evacuation, washroom break, etc.);
- resubmitting altered test or examination work after it has already been evaluated;
- students communicating with one another in any way during a test or examination;
- accessing or attempting to access examinations or tests before the student is authorized to do so;
- impersonating another student on a lab, examination or test, facilitating the impersonation of a student, unauthorized use of another person's signature or identification in order to impersonate someone else, or benefiting from the results of such impersonation. Impersonation includes both the impersonator and the person initiating the impersonation.
- Multiple submissions - submitting the same, or substantially the same, work more than once (whether the earlier submission was at the College or another institution) unless prior approval has been obtained from the Instructor to whom the material is to be submitted.
- Aiding or attempting to aid others in any academic integrity violation.
- Academic fraud:
- falsifying or submitting false records or information, orally or in writing;
- failing to provide relevant information when requested;
- falsifying or submitting false documents, transcripts or other academic credentials.
- Any behaviour that undermines the College's ability to evaluate a student's academic achievement, or any behaviour that a student knew, or reasonably ought to have known, could gain them or others unearned academic advantage or benefit, is a violation of academic integrity.
4. Procedures - Academic Integrity Violation
- If a student is suspected of violating this policy during an examination, the Instructor, in most cases, should allow the student to complete the examination. Unless the Instructor deems it necessary, the examination shall not be interrupted. The Instructor shall take the following steps once the student in question has completed/submitted his/her examination:
- the Instructor shall ask the student to remain in or return to the examination room after the examination period has ended and all remaining students have vacated the examination area;
- the Instructor shall inform the student that they are suspected of violating this policy during the examination, and that the Instructor will be following the necessary procedures as outlined in this policy.
- When an Instructor has grounds to suspect that a student has violated this policy in their course, the Instructor will:
- provide to the student in writing information regarding the nature of the allegation;
- allow the student an opportunity to respond to the allegation, whether in writing or verbally within five (5) days;
- meet with the student to consider the student’s account; and
- discuss the incident in relation to the Academic Integrity Policy.
- If the student fails to provide a response within five (5) days to the allegation or to participate in the process, the Instructor may continue with the process without the student’s input. In exceptional circumstances, the five (5) day time limit for a response may be extended.
- A student’s withdrawal from a course will not end an inquiry into an allegation of a violation of academic integrity. The Academic Dean, Director, Associate Dean or Associate Director (“Dean/Director”) has the right to assign the student a mark or grade at the conclusion of the inquiry.
- If the Instructor reasonably believes that the student has violated the Academic Integrity Policy the Instructor will refer the matter to the Dean/Director for adjudication. The Instructor will provide the Dean/Director with the following information:
- if applicable, a copy of the academic integrity related guidelines or directions from the course outline, any assignment specific guidelines or other instructions given to the student in the course that pertains to academic integrity;
- copy of the written notice given to the student that outlined the allegation(s);
- the student’s written reply, if provided, or a statement summarizing the student’s verbal reply;
- statement summarizing the meeting with the student;
- any other pertinent information; and
- the penalty that the Instructor recommends.
- The Instructor and Dean/Director may meet to discuss the incident if either believes that discussion is warranted.
- The Dean/Director will contact the student to review the evidence and to hear the student’s perspective. The student will have five (5) days to respond. The Dean/Director may seek further clarification from the Instructor, if necessary, before making a decision on the matter. Failure by the student to respond will not prevent the Dean/Director from making a decision.
- The Dean/Director will contact the Registrar’s Office to determine if the student’s record contains any confirmed academic integrity violations.
- Decision makers will make reasonable efforts to acquire all the information needed to make a fair decision, and will do so in an unbiased manner. For a finding of an academic integrity violation to be supported, based on the information presented, it must be more likely than not that the student committed an academic integrity violation.
- Where the student is found to have violated the Academic Integrity Policy, the Dean/Director will assess the seriousness of the violation, any mitigating circumstances, take into account any previous academic integrity violations, consider the Instructor’s recommended penalty, and make a decision on the appropriate penalty.
- The Dean/Director will inform the student, in writing, of their finding and applicable penalty. The written correspondence will constitute part of the student’s record. The Dean/Director may also provide the student with a formal warning that any additional violation of the Academic Integrity Policy may include a recommendation for immediate suspension from the College.
5. Student Appeals of an Academic Integrity Violation
- The Dean/Director’s finding on an academic integrity violation is considered final.
- A student may appeal the process or procedure that was followed if the student believes the investigation into the academic integrity violation was conducted in a manner that was not procedurally fair and impartial. The process may be appealed under the Final Appeal Tribunal policy.
- A student wishing to initiate a review by the Final Appeal Tribunal must file a written notice of appeal with the Vice President, Education or their designate within ten (10) days of the student's receipt of the Dean/Director’s decision.
- In the event of a penalty entailing a suspension for just cause imposed by the President, the student has the right to appeal to the Okanagan College Board of Governors as per 37(4) of the College and Institute Act.