Skip to content

Academic Integrity

Administrative Procedure 4.407

Calculation of Time Periods

For the purposes of this policy, the term “days” will refer to any day the college is open (e.g. Monday through Friday, or Monday through Thursday during the summer). The Vice President of Teaching, Learning, and Student Development may extend timelines under certain circumstances (e.g. when faculty are not available for consultation).

Statement on Academic Integrity

Elgin Community College is committed to providing a learning environment that values truth, honesty, and accountability. Academic integrity means being honest and responsible regarding any work submitted as one’s own while in a college course. Acts of academic dishonesty include cheating, plagiarism, fabrication, complicity, submitting the same work in multiple courses, and/or misconduct in research. The purpose of academic assignments is to help students learn. The grade a student receives in a course should reflect that student’s efforts. It also indicates how well they have met the learning goals in a course. In order to demonstrate that learning, the work done must always be their own and if students consult others’ work, those consulted sources must be properly cited. Students who commit any act of academic dishonesty will be subject to sanctions imposed by their instructor, up to and including failure in the course, as well as any sanctions imposed by the Dean of Students or the Student Disciplinary Committee, as applicable.

For information on how to avoid academic integrity violations, see the Plagiarism Modules available from the main menu on your D2L homepage (under the Student Support tab) or visit the Renner Library Tutorials for “Writing Your Paper/Avoiding Plagiarism” on the Library website.  Students may also seek assistance from Librarians as well as the Write Place staff.

Acts of Academic Dishonesty

The below definitions provide an overview of common areas of academic dishonesty. This is not an exhaustive list and does not limit the college from determining that other behaviors qualify as acts of academic dishonesty.

  • Cheating
    at its most basic level, is the unauthorized use of outside assistance. Cheating includes the use of notes, study aids, or other devices that are expressly forbidden by the instructor for the completion of an assignment or an examination. In addition, cheating occurs when a student copies another individual's work or ideas.
  • Plagiarism
    is the presentation of another person’s written words or ideas as one’s own. Students are guilty of plagiarism if they submit as their own work:
    • A sequence of ideas, arrangement of material, the pattern of thought of someone else, even though it may be expressed in the student’s own words; plagiarism occurs when such a sequence of ideas is transferred from a source to their work without the processes of digestion, integration, and reorganization in the writer’s mind, and without appropriate acknowledgment in their work.
    • Part or all of a written assignment copied or paraphrased from another person’s work without proper documentation; paraphrasing ideas without giving credit to the original author is also plagiarism; or
    • A previously submitted work, even if modified, for a present assignment without obtaining prior permission from the instructors involved.
  • Fabrication
    is the invention or counterfeiting of data and/or research.
  • Complicity
    • Allow their work to be copied and submitted as the work of another
    • Prepare work for another student and allow it to be submitted as that student’s own work
    • Keep or contribute materials with the clear intent that they will be copied or submitted as work of anyone other than the author
    • Purchase work from another source; or
    • Fail to report acts of plagiarism to their instructor; students who know their work is being copied are presumed to consent to its being copied
  • Multiple Submissions
    occurs when a student submits the same (or largely unaltered) work in multiple courses without instructor approval. Multiple submission does not include coursework in linked courses (in which instructors develop assignments together), nor shall it cover those situations in which a student has received approval to expand or develop previous work.
  • Misconduct in Research
    occurs when a student violates professional guidelines or standards in research, including college standards and the Student Code of Conduct.

Instructor Initiated Sanctions

If an instructor identifies an act of academic dishonesty, the instructor shall determine the appropriate sanction(s) for the particular offense. If the instructor chooses one of the sanctions listed below as a direct consequence of the academic dishonesty, the instructor must document the violation using the Academic Integrity Policy Violation Form - PDF. Form must be sent to the student via the ECC student email account, the Academic Dean, the Associate Vice President of Student Services & Development, and the Dean of Students. This enables the Dean of Students to monitor multiple offenses across classes and semesters.

Instructor Sanction Options include any one or a combination of the following:

  • Completion of the “Writing with Integrity” course through the Write Place
  • Reduced grade on the assignment
  • Failing grade on the assignment
  • Reduced final grade in the course
  • Failing grade in the course

Instructors also have the discretion to use the offense as a “teachable moment,” which may include a verbal warning or re-doing an assignment, in response to issues related to missed or partial citations, incorrect formatting, etc. In these instances, the instructor does not need to submit the Academic Integrity Violation form.

Students are informed of their right to appeal the violation through the information contained in the Academic Integrity Violation form. The student must appeal within ten (10) days of being emailed the violation form from their instructor. Should the student choose to appeal the allegation of violation (see section IV below), the student must be allowed to continue actively participating in the class while the appeal is in progress, as long as the student remains in compliance with the College’s Student Code of Conduct Administrative Procedure 4.402.

All students who receive an Academic Integrity Violation form will be required to meet with the Dean of Students. The student will be notified through the student’s ECC email to attend the meeting. The Director may or may not determine that additional sanctions beyond those imposed by the instructor are appropriate. Students will remain restricted from future course registration and will be unable to obtain official ECC transcripts until they have met all meeting/sanction requirements. If a student does not attend the meeting with the Dean of Students, the case may be referred to the Student Disciplinary Committee for a hearing to determine further sanctions.

A documented subsequent violation of the Academic Integrity policy recorded with the Dean of Students shall result in administrative sanctions as outlined in the Student Code of Conduct, which may include but are not limited to:

  • Completion of the “Writing with Integrity” course through the Write Place
  • Disciplinary warning or probation
  • Suspension
  • Expulsion

Right to Appeal

A student charged with an act of academic dishonesty may appeal the violation charge, but not the sanction. If the violation appeal is granted, the sanction would change accordingly. A student who appeals the charge should continue active participation in the course while the appeal is under review. The steps outlined below shall be followed. All dates will extend from the date of the email the student receives from their instructor with the Academic Integrity Violation form. If an extension is required, it may be granted by the Vice President of Teaching, Learning & Student Development.

Step 1: Division Review

The purpose of this step is to allow for an independent review of the student’s appeal:

  1. To formally appeal the Academic Integrity charge, the student must submit a written statement via their ECC student email with documentation (e.g., relevant syllabus sections, drafts, emails, research notations, etc.) to the appropriate Academic Dean (or designee of the Dean) for review within ten (10) days of receiving the Academic Integrity Violation form from their faculty member.
  2. Within five (5) days of receiving the appeal, the Dean will review the documentation and confer with the faculty member, if available, and the student to determine if the appeal has merit.
  3. If the Dean determines the appeal has merit, the Dean will work with the faculty member, if available, and the student, in an effort to resolve the problem in a manner that is agreeable to both the faculty member and student. If such a solution is determined, the Dean and faculty member, if available, will work together to implement the change in sanction.
  4. If the Dean denies the appeal, the student will be notified of the decision and rationale via their ECC email. The faculty member will be copied on this email.
  5. If either the student or faculty member is dissatisfied with the Dean’s decision, they may submit an appeal via their ECC student email to the Vice President of Teaching, Learning & Student Development within five (5) days of the Dean decision notification. The appeal must include all necessary and supporting documentation.

Step 2: Vice President/Committee Review

The purpose of this step is to provide due process for students and faculty:

  1. Within five (5) days of receiving the written appeal, the Vice President of Teaching, Learning, & Student Development will review the violation, documentation, Dean’s recommendation, and the written appeal sent in by the faculty or student in reference to the Dean’s decision, and determine if the appeal has merit.
  2. If the appeal is denied by the Vice President, the student, instructor, and Dean shall be notified within five (5) days of that decision and the matter shall be at an end.
  3. If the Vice President determines that the appeal has merit, within five (5) days of receiving that written appeal, the Vice President will notify Elgin Community College Faculty Association (ECCFA) of the need to appoint and convene an Academic Integrity Appeal Advisory Committee (“Committee”). The Vice President, in consultation with ECCFA, is responsible for ensuring that those designated to serve are not directly involved with the concern nor have any other conflict of interest. The Committee will be comprised of the president of the student government or that person’s designee and three faculty members from three different academic disciplines, including one from the course discipline or closely related field and two from outside of the course discipline.
  4. ECCFA will consult with the Vice President and will select these members within ten (10) days of receipt of the request. If for any reason ECCFA is unable to do so, the Vice President will appoint the Committee members by the end of the ten (10) days. The faculty members will elect the chair of the Committee.
  5. The Committee will hold a formal hearing(s) at which the student and the faculty member may provide documentation. The student must be advised of his or her right to be accompanied by an advisor (who may be an attorney, but who may not participate in the hearings except as an advisor to the student). The faculty member may also bring an advisor (who may be an attorney, but who may not participate in the hearings except as an advisor to the faculty member). All Committee hearings shall be confidential.
  6. The Committee shall review the evidence and make a written recommendation to the Vice President within three (3) days of the last hearing. The Vice President may accept or modify the Committee’s recommendations and may determine additional sanctions or responses, as deemed necessary. The Vice President will notify the faculty member, the student, the appropriate Academic Dean, and the chair of the Committee of his or her decision within five (5) days of receiving the Committee’s recommendation.
  7. If the Academic Integrity Appeal is upheld (it is determined that the student was not in violation of the Policy), the faculty member, if available, can be given the opportunity by the Vice President to change the student’s grade. If the appeal has been upheld and the faculty member refuses to change the grade, the Vice President will change the grade administratively. If needed, the final course grade may also need to be recalculated based on the course syllabus.