This BSU Student Handbook is a guide to student's rights, responsibilities and resources.
Policy dealing with academic integrity for graduate students
The College of Graduate Studies at Bridgewater State University, like all institutions of higher learning, considers academic integrity to be an important hallmark for graduate students and scholars. The importance of academic integrity and honesty, which is taught at the undergraduate level, continues to be even more vital for scholars and researchers at the graduate level, who find themselves writing seminar papers, research papers and theses. All graduate degree programs at Bridgewater State University require courses in research where conventions of documentation are taught. Graduate students, who are acquiring scholarly habits and skills in degree programs, must rely on the scholarship that has preceded them, and they must acknowledge the scholarship in their own academic work by adhering to the time-honored conventions of their discipline. In short, graduate students are entering a community of scholars and must respect the rules and traditions of that community. Sometimes, however, graduate students violate the accepted principles and policies of academic integrity and honesty. The dean of the College of Graduate Studies reviews any infractions of academic integrity. The following examples represent a partial list of serious breaches of academic integrity:
- Plagiarizing any published or online source, including Blackboard, Moodle and other online discussions, and claiming them as ones own;
- Not properly documenting quotations and paraphrases in ones texts, i.e., not using footnotes, endnotes, parenthetical citations or other conventional methods of documentation;
- Inadequate paraphrasing, with or without proper documentation;
- Copying portions of Internet sources without proper documentation and citations;
- Creating false documentation, i.e., purposely fabricating information used in references, endnotes and footnotes;
- Using or copying from another students written work with or without the students permission;
- Taking an examination for another student;
- Cheating on an examination;
- Purchasing a paper or assignment from an online source or another student and claiming it as ones own;
- Writing a paper or report for another student;
- Altering or falsifying data.
Serious violations of academic integrity are not limited to this list. Penalties for academic misconduct may include the following:
- A grade of F or N (as appropriate) in the course;
- A grade of F for the assignment being evaluated;
- The assigning of additional course work;
- Suspension from graduate programs;
- Dismissal from graduate programs.
The procedure for implementing a penalty for academic dishonesty or misconduct, which includes, but is not limited to, plagiarism and cheating, is as follows:
- The professor will notify graduate students of any alleged violations of the Graduate Colleges Academic Integrity Policy, and they shall discuss the matter in person, via email or by phone within seven business days of the discovery of the alleged misconduct. (The professor may invite a third party to the meeting, if warranted.) If it is determined that academic dishonesty or misconduct has occurred, the students advisers, the graduate program coordinators, department chairpersons, the appropriate college deans and the dean of the Graduate College will be notified by the professor in writing of the misconduct, the proposed penalty, and the outcome of the discussion with the students. A record of the case, including the letter from the professor, along with any supporting documentation, will be kept in students files at the College of Graduate Studies.
- If the matter is not resolved through the initial process described above, students may file letters of appeal within five business days to the dean of the College of Graduate Studies, attaching any relevant documents. The dean will submit appeals to the Graduate Education Council (GEC). The professors and the students will be notified of the meeting times and dates and invited to attend a meeting of the Graduate Education Council, at which time matters will be reviewed. In conducting its reviews, the Graduate Education Council will follow the requirements of due process. Both students and professors can attend the meetings with representatives, who may serve as advisers or advocates.
Under the direction of the chair of the Graduate Education Council,
the GEC will review student appeals and make its decision, which shall
be forwarded in writing to the dean of the College of Graduate Studies.
Based upon the allegations or evidence received, the Graduate Education
Council may recommend further sanctions, no change in sanctions or a
reduction in sanctions. The Graduate Education Council will take into
account any previous infractions only after it concludes its
investigation of the present case. Further sanctions may include
suspension or dismissal.
Students and professors involved will receive copies of the decision letter from the Graduate Education Council, and copies will be provided to the students advisers, graduate coordinators, department chairpersons and appropriate college dean. A copy of this letter will also be placed in the students official files in the College of Graduate Studies.
Last Modified: September 26, 2012