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Honor Code

Academic Honor Code

Skagit Valley College exists to expand opportunities and horizons for students and to improve the communities in which they live. We achieve this by welcoming and valuing diverse learners, providing quality education and support, and contributing community leadership and service. Skagit Valley College values include:

  • Learning: Our focus is on learning in a climate of open inquiry, respect, academic freedom, and scholarship.
  • Civic Responsibility: We are committed to democratic ideals that encourage engagement in the affairs of the college and the community it serves, involvement in the global community, and the promotion of social justice.
  • Communication: We value honest and respectful communication that contributes to effective relations, operations, personal growth and learning.

Skagit Valley College provides a welcoming and supportive climate in which all people are respected and differing ideals and opinions are valued. A sense of mutual trust is critical to achieving such a community. Lying, cheating, and other acts of academic dishonesty are not acceptable in the Skagit Valley College community of trust. The community should not suffer due to the dishonest acts of its members.

The presence of an academic honor code is vital to achieving the college's mission and values. An academic honor code establishes a fundamental social contract within which the college community agrees to live. Each member of the college community is expected to uphold the values of the honor code. Alleged honor code violations will be investigated through the procedures in the Code of Student Conduct and other college disciplinary policies.

Prevention and Detection of Academic Dishonesty

The prevention and detection of academic dishonesty depends upon the collaboration of SVC community members. Educating all community members about academic dishonesty, the unethical nature of such actions, and their consequences will deter dishonesty and promote the academic success of all students. The prevention of academic dishonesty is often accomplished by applying safeguards when assigning class work, homework, or proctoring exams.

What is Academic Dishonesty?

Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, the following behaviors in both on-ground and on-line courses:

Plagiarism: Presenting as one's own, intentionally or not, someone else's words, ideas, conclusions, images, or data, without specific acknowledgement. This includes, but is not limited to presenting the source's language without quotation marks (with or without citation); paraphrased language that is not cited; and/or language that is cited, but insufficiently paraphrased;

Cheating:

  • using unauthorized assistance, notes, or study aids in completing assignments, taking quizzes, tests, or exams;
  • allowing another party to do one's work/exam and turning in that work/exam as one's own;
  • submitting the same or similar work in more than one course or while repeating the same course without permission from the course instructors;
  • the acquisition, without permission, of a test or other academic material belonging to the college;

Fabrication: Falsification or creation of data, research, or resources, or altering graded work without the prior consent of the course instructor;

Lying: Deliberate falsification in written or verbal form;

Bribery: Providing, offering, or taking rewards in exchange for a grade, an assignment, or the aid of academic dishonesty;

Threat: An attempt to intimidate a student, staff, or faculty member for the purpose of receiving an unearned grade or in an effort to prevent the reporting of a conduct violation;

Aid of Academic Dishonesty: Intentionally facilitating any of the above behaviors.

Procedures, Grading and Sanctions

Procedures for Students
If it is determined that a student violated the Academic Honor Code, s/he can receive a failing grade for the assignment. S/he will fail the course in which the violation occurred if the course instructor determines that the violation is repeated or serious in nature. In these cases, a student has the right to appeal the course grade via the student complaint process found at http://www.skagit.edu/complaint.

Since academic dishonesty is a violation of the Code of Student Conduct, all incidents on which an instructor takes action are reported to the office responsible for student discipline. The college may take disciplinary action in addition to any academic penalty assigned by instructors. If a student is found responsible for repeated or serious academic dishonesty violations, s/he may be suspended or expelled from the college in accordance with the Code of Student Conduct, WAC 132D-120-080. Disciplinary decisions may be appealed via the disciplinary appeals process described in the Code of Student Conduct, WAC 132D-120-230 found at http://www.skagit.edu/conduct
A student may report an alleged Academic Honor Code violation to an instructor. If this occurs the instructor will approach the student with the alleged code violation and forward the allegations and any accompanying documents to the student conduct officer who will investigate it further.

Procedures for Faculty
Instructors are responsible to familiarize themselves with the tenets and procedures of the academic honor code and incorporate the following statement in each of their syllabi:

Academic Honor Code

"All students of Skagit Valley College are responsible for knowing and adhering to the Academic Honor Code of this institution found at http://www.skagit.edu/honorcode. Violations of this code include: cheating, plagiarism, aid of academic dishonesty, fabrication, lying, bribery, and threatening behavior. All incidents of academic misconduct are reported to the student conduct officer. Students found to be in violation of the Academic Honor Code are subject to academic consequences up to and including failure of the course. Students may also be subject to college disciplinary sanctions up to and including expulsion from the College."

Instructors may add additional course-specific clarifications and definitions to their syllabi as needed.

When an instructor determines that a student has violated the Academic Honor Code:

  • S/he will contact the student to discuss the situation as soon as possible prior to the posting of final grades and allow the student to present his/her perspective on the case (meeting with the student is not required in subsequent occurrences of academic dishonesty);
  • The instructor will document the incident and contact the appropriate student conduct officer;
  • The instructor may invite the student conduct officer to join in the meeting with the student and/or the officer may hold a separate disciplinary conference with the student.
  • The instructor will determine how to grade the assignment and/or the course in keeping with the policies outlined in the course syllabus.
  • Instructors are to grade course assignments in light of work completed during the current quarter only.
  • The student conduct administrator will decide what, if any, college disciplinary action will be taken.

A student may report an alleged Academic Honor Code violation to a faculty member. If this occurs the instructor will approach the student with the alleged code violation and forward the allegations and any accompanying documents to the student conduct officer who will investigate it further.

Disciplinary action may not be taken against a student based solely on an anonymous report. If an instructor receives one, s/he may choose to investigate further, address the issue to the class in question, or wait for more concrete information.

Contact Information

For information regarding disciplinary processes contact:

Mount Vernon Campus/Business Resource Center
Dean of Students Office
360-416-7663
deanofstudents@skagit.edu

Whidbey Island Campus/San Juan Center/South Whidbey Center
Office of the Vice President, Whidbey Island Campus
360-679-5331

For information regarding grading procedures consult the following:

  1. Your course syllabus
  2. Your course instructor
  3. Your academic advisor

Significant portions of this code were adapted with permission from the Academic Honor Code of the University of Colorado-Boulder.