Standards of Academic Integrity

The following standards of academic integrity are required of all students. They are also found in the City Vision University catalog.

Continuing enrollment in City Vision University requires adherence to the university’s standards of academic integrity. Many of these standards may be intuitively understood and cannot in any case be listed exhaustively. The following examples represent some basic types of behavior that are unacceptable:

1. Cheating: using unauthorized notes, aids, or information when taking an examination; submitting work done by someone else as the student’s own; copying or paraphrasing someone else’s essays, projects, or other work and submitting it as the student’s own.

2. Plagiarism: submitting someone else’s work and claiming it as the student’s own or neglecting to give appropriate documentation when using any kind of reference materials.

Plagiarism, whether done purposefully or unintentionally, includes copying or paraphrasing materials from study guides, textbooks, someone else’s writing, or any other source (published or unpublished). Any words, thoughts, or ideas taken from any other source must be properly documented according to an accepted style manual. The style manual used at City Vision is that of the APA (American Psychological Association). City Vision faculty use Unicheck to check for plagiarism.

We strongly recommend that all students read this article on what plagiarism is and how to avoid it before beginning courses, so that they will not be subject to penalties for committing plagiarism in a course.

It is also plagiarism to submit an assignment in a class that is the same or substantially the same as one previously submitted for credit in another.

3. Fabrication: falsifying or inventing any information, data, or citation; falsely claiming that documents or interviews were received from an organization when they were actually written by the student.

4.  Obtaining an Unfair Advantage:

• Stealing, reproducing, circulating, or otherwise gaining access to examination materials prior to the time authorized by the instructor.
• Unauthorized collaborating on an academic assignment.
• Retaining, possessing, using, or circulating previously given examination materials where those materials clearly indicate that they are to be returned to the advisor or to the City Vision University offices at the conclusion of the examination.
• The sale of completed assignments for the use of other students.

5. Misrepresentation: forgery of official academic documentation; presentation of altered or falsified documents or testimony to a university office or official; misrepresenting one’s identity or that of another for academic purposes, such as taking an exam for another student; or lying about personal circumstances to postpone tests or assignments.

6. Obstruction: conduct that interferes with other students’ ability to learn, such as deleting their computer files or disruption of class forums.

Disciplinary action may range from lowering a grade for a paper to dismissal from the program, depending on severity of the offense. Further details on this are given below.

Severity of Offense

Not all violations of the Standards of Academic Integrity are equally severe. Therefore, the sanctions that are applied may vary, based both on the severity of the offense and the intentionality with which it was committed.

Where intent is questionable, or the extent of the violation is severe, then lesser sanctions are appropriate, such as reduction of points given for the assignment or requiring the assignment to be resubmitted after the violation has been explained. This level of sanction may be appropriate in cases where a student failed to given proper acknowledgement in a limited section of an assignment, or a first offense of plagiarism was committed without intent on the part of the student.

When academic dishonesty was more clearly evident, or its extent more severe, then greater sanctions are appropriate, such as a failing grade for the assignment, the entire course, or, in some cases, a temporary suspension from the program. This level of sanction may be appropriate when unacknowledged plagiarism is more extensive, or a student submits the same assignment in multiple courses.

Finally, the most severe instances of academic dishonesty may warrant permanent academic dismissal. Some offenses that may fall into this category are buying coursework online, violating the proctor policy by taking an exam for another person or having another person take one’s own exam, submitting the same work as another student, and repeated instances of plagiarism after being warned by the Academic Oversight team.

In all cases where the Standards of Academic Integrity are violated, a certain amount of discretion is required to determine the appropriate level of sanction, while following the Due Process procedures described below.

Due Process

The following principles of due process apply for suspected violations of the standards of academic integrity, just as they do for other violations of the University Code of Conduct.

The Academic Oversight staff (President, Chief Academic Officer, relevant Department Chair), as well as the affected faculty and Director of Student Services, may be involved in investigating suspected violations of the Standards of Academic Integrity.

A student suspected of violating the Standards of Academic Integrity shall, at a minimum, be accorded the following rights:
  1. A prompt investigation of all charges conducted, insofar as possible, in a manner that prevents disclosure of the student’s identity to persons not involved in the offense or the investigatory process.
    • Investigations may include informal review and discussion with an official of the school prior to bringing an official charge, provided that such review does not compromise the rights of the student in the formal process.
  2. Reasonable written notice of the facts and evidence underlying the rule violation.
  3. Reasonable written notice of the procedure by which the accuracy of the charge will be determined.
  4. Reasonable time within which to prepare a response to the charge prior to the implementation of any sanctions.