As an institution guided by Christian principles, the University of Saint Francis places the highest importance upon honesty in all academic work. As such, academic integrity is a fundamental principle of collegial life at the University of Saint Francis and is essential to the credibility of the university’s educational programs. Moreover, because assessment may be competitive, students who misrepresent their academic work violate the rights of their fellow students. The University of Saint Francis, therefore, views any act of academic dishonesty as a serious offense requiring disciplinary measures, including failing the assignment, failing the course, and even expulsion from the university. In addition, an act of academic dishonesty may have unforeseen effects far beyond any officially imposed penalties. Violations of academic integrity include cheating or assisting others to cheat. Examples of academic dishonesty include plagiarism, falsification of academic records or documents, and unauthorized access to computerized academic or administrative systems.
Plagiarism is the presenting of others’ ideas as if they were your own or reusing your own work as newly completed work. When you write an essay, do a project, or create anything original, it is assumed that all the work, except for that which is attributed to another author or creator, is your own work. Be aware that word-for-word copying is not the only form of plagiarism.
Plagiarism is considered a serious academic offense and may take the following forms:
- Copying word-for-word from another source and not giving that source credit.
- Cutting and pasting from an Internet or database source without giving that source credit.
- Paraphrasing the work of another and not giving that source credit.
- Adopting a particularly apt phrase as your own.
- Reproducing any published or copyrighted artwork, both fine and commercial.
- Digitally duplicating or downloading any copyrighted software, programs or files.
- Paraphrasing another’s line of thinking in the development of a topic as your own.
- Receiving excessive help from a friend or elsewhere, or using another project as your own.
- Self-plagiarism. If you reuse ideas or phrases that you used in prior work and do not cite the prior work, you have plagiarized. Many academic honesty policies prohibit the reuse of one’s prior work, even with a citation. If you want to reuse your work, consult with your instructor.
[Adapted from the Modern Language Association’s MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. New York: MLA, 1995: 26.]
Consequences of Violations to Academic Integrity Policy
Each course syllabus must describe the specific ramifications for the first incident of academic dishonesty in the course and note that the offense will be reported to the Academic and Career Development Center.
All violations of undergraduate academic integrity will be reported through the Academic Integrity Violation Form (in Form Central> Employee Forms > Advising and Academic Support > Academic Integrity Violation). A student has the right to appeal each reported violation following the procedure listed below.
A first offense will be handled according to the consequences regarding individual acts of academic dishonesty or plagiarism detailed in each individual course syllabus. A student is required to meet with a representative from the Academic and Career Development Center for remediation and complete an academic integrity module on Canvas. A student will be prohibited from course registration until the remediation is completed. A first offense is reported through Form Central by the faculty member.
A second offense of academic dishonesty as recorded by the Academic and Career Development Center will result in a final grade of failure (F) for the course which will supersede any withdrawal action by the student. The student will meet with the faculty member and a representative from the Academic and Career Development Center. If the faculty member is unavailable the student will meet with the faculty member’s supervisor for that program.
A third offense will result in a final grade of failure (F) for the course which will supersede any withdrawal action by the student. In addition, the case will be brought forward by the Vice President for Academic Affairs or its designee to a committee that consists of the following:
- Vice President for Academic Affairs, Chair
- College Dean
- Division Director or Program Director (specific to the student’s program)
- Instructor of the course in which academic dishonesty or plagiarism occurred
- Two faculty members, at least one of whom is outside of the student’s program or department, appointed by the Faculty Senate Chair
The committee determines if the student will receive either a one-year suspension or a permanent dismissal from the university. The student will receive a certified letter stating the committee’s decision. The decision of this committee is final and cannot be appealed.
Steps to Appeal the Reported Violation of Academic Integrity and Related Ramifications
A student may appeal a report of academic dishonesty solely and exclusively in accordance with the following procedures.
- Appeal to the Faculty Member. The student shall, in good faith, attempt to settle the disputed incident of dishonesty or plagiarism by meeting with the faculty member who reported the academic integrity violation. The student is responsible for bringing all relevant materials that support his or her appeal to this meeting. During this meeting the faculty member and student will discuss the issue. This meeting shall be accomplished within three business days from the date of the notification of the offense unless additional time is requested and approved by the College Dean. The faculty member will provide a written response to the student, Academic Division Director or Program Director, Dean of the College, and Vice President for Academic Affairs within two business days. If the faculty member is unavailable, then the student will meet with the faculty member’s supervisor for that program or division.
- Appeal to the Academic Division Director or Program Director and Dean of the College. If the student is not satisfied with the result of his or her meeting with the faculty member or the program’s designee, he or she can appeal the decision to the Academic Division Director or Program Director and College Dean. To do so the student shall submit a letter not to exceed two typed pages to the College Dean within three business days from the date of receiving the faculty member decision on the appeal unless additional time is requested and approved by the Vice President of Academic Affairs. The letter must include an explanation of the disputed elements in the student’s reported dishonesty, and a clear statement of what outcome the student seeks. The student may attach materials previously submitted to the faculty member, but no additional materials are to be submitted. The Division Director and/or Program Director or Dean will meet with the student within five business days after the receipt of the letter. The College Dean will respond, in writing, to the student, faculty member and Vice President of Academic Affairs within two business days after the meeting. For first and second offenses the College Dean’s decision is final.
- Appeal to the Vice President for Academic Affairs (third offense only). For students who have incurred a third offense and facing separation from the university, the student has the option of appealing to the Vice President for Academic Affairs. To activate this option, the student shall submit a written request to the Vice President for Academic Affairs to convene an Academic Integrity Appeals Committee. The student shall submit the written request within two business days of receiving the decision of the College Dean. The student may attach materials previously submitted to the Division Director or Program Director and College Dean, but no additional materials are to be submitted.
The Vice President for Academic Affairs shall convene the Academic Integrity Appeals Committee to consider the issues involved in the academic integrity dispute. The Academic Integrity Appeals Committee shall meet within five business days after the written request has been received by the Vice President for Academic Affairs.
The membership of the Academic Integrity Appeals Committee shall consist of the following:
- The Vice President for Academic Affairs, Chair.
- Two faculty members appointed by the chair of the Faculty Senate.
- Two undergraduate student appointed by the president of the Student Government Association or Dean of Students.
The student has the right to be accompanied by a support person to the Academic Integrity Appeals Committee meeting. Either party shall have the right to bring in witnesses necessary for the processing of the appeal. The student may not submit additional materials to the Appeals Committee. Since this is an internal grievance procedure, legal counsel shall not be involved in the process.
The Academic Integrity Appeals Committee shall notify the student, faculty member, Division Director and/or Program Director, and College Dean of its decision in writing within five business days after considering the issue. The decision of the Academic Integrity Committee is final.
General Provisions of the Academic Integrity Appeal Process
- It is desirable that a solution to an academic integrity appeal be reached at the level closest to the course in which the student reportedly exhibited a breach of integrity. The appeal shall be considered resolved when the solution offered is accepted by the student and further appeal is not requested.
- If the student does not act on the appeal process within the specified time limits, the appeal shall be considered settled based on the last decision rendered. If the student is not notified of a decision within the specified time limit, the appeal is automatically moved to the next step in the appeal process. Time limits may be extended by the mutual, written consent of both parties.
- If necessary, teleconferencing and videoconference may be used.
- Students, faculty members and administrators involved in the academic integrity appeal process shall act in an ethical manner and shall not be subject to discipline or reprisal because of such involvement.
- To protect all parties concerned, the strictest privacy shall be maintained by all parties involved.
Classes for the academic year commence on the date announced on the university calendar and in the course schedule. Students are expected to attend class regularly and punctually. All students must attend class whenever an announced test, quiz, or oral or written examination is scheduled and whenever a report or paper is due, unless an extension is granted by the instructor prior to the scheduled session. If an instructor does not appear within 15 minutes of the scheduled class time, students may presume the class session was cancelled.
Instructors may establish specific attendance requirements in their own classes, with the option of lowering grades because of excessive absence. Specific attendance requirements and penalties will be stated in writing in the course syllabus and distributed to students during the first week of the course.
A student who judges that absence from a class session is necessary must assume responsibility for the decision. It is the student’s responsibility to arrange to make up work due to absence and to keep fully informed of class assignments, special activities and examinations in order to meet the requirements of the course. Student veterans are reminded that the government expects the university to use due diligence in checking the attendance of students receiving veteran’s benefits.
The University uses Connect Ed, a campus-wide emergency notification system. This system can store several phone numbers and e-mail addresses for all members of the campus community and reaches all those numbers simultaneously. Students should be sure the Registrar’s Office has their most up-to-date cell phone numbers, land line numbers and e-mail address(es). Should an emergency arise on campus or should classes be cancelled for any reason, students will be notified through this system. If classes are cancelled, announcements will also be made on local radio and television stations as well as www.cancellations.com.
The university policy is to hold classes if at all possible. Students are to use personal discretion to determine whether or not they should come to class if the university does not cancel and they must travel a great distance in bad weather. If students miss a class due to weather-related issues, they are responsible for initiating the appropriate communication with the instructor prior to the class time and for making up any coursework that is missed.
Mid-term examinations are given at the discretion of the instructor.
Final examinations are given in most courses and are held on the dates and in the places designated on the Final Examination Schedule issued by the Registrar’s Office. A two-hour block of time is set aside for all four-hour, three-hour, and two-hour courses. Students are expected to report for all examinations at the scheduled time.
Students may change the time of their final examination only with the consent of the faculty member in advance of the scheduled exam and only for valid reasons such as serious illness, death in the immediate family, or more than three examinations on one day. It is the student’s responsibility to request an unscheduled examination and to work out the details of time and place with the faculty member.
Independent study, tutorial courses and directed study carry special fees and are available only to degree-seeking students at the University of Saint Francis, and only in cases of demonstrated and exceptional need as determined by the student’s advisor, the Division Director and the Dean of the College. These options are not to be viewed as rights of students, but rather as options that may meet with approval in certain circumstances. These options are not available to special or transient students. Students should take a regularly scheduled class if at all possible.
This option involves a student’s request to take one of the courses listed in the Undergraduate Catalog on an independent study basis.
A student may choose this option in which he/she engages in an individual project to investigate an area that is not included in regular course offerings. The project may be of the nature of research or advanced study in a selected area of interest. The course number 490 in the major is reserved for this study.
Regulations for Independent Study Options
- An independent study, tutorial or directed study must be approved in writing on the electronic Independent Study form available on Form Central.
- It is the faculty’s responsibility to fill out and submit the form so the registrar can create the course and register the student.
- A student may take up to a total of nine hours (preferably six hours) of independent studies throughout his/her program. He/she must have already successfully completed all, or nearly all, of the coursework in that discipline and/or must demonstrate a high degree of expertise in the area.
- Regular tuition will be charged, plus an additional fee per semester hour if the course is offered at the student’s request and is not a required course. It is strongly recommended that independent study courses not be taken during the summer term.
- Students who do not have a good record of attendance or academic achievement may be denied the opportunity of doing independent study coursework.
At the request of faculty from two or more departments, the university will periodically offer courses which explore a common theme, issue or problem. These special topic courses will be listed under the respective departmental listings in the Schedule of Classes for a given semester, as well as under IDS 371, Contemporary Themes, Issues and Problems.
Study Abroad Opportunities
The University of Saint Francis recognizes the value of carefully planned study abroad for students who are qualified and interested in such opportunities. The university will formalize arrangements with colleges offering study abroad programs and investigate consortium arrangements for international study as student interest dictates.
The interested student is encouraged to investigate the many excellent programs for international study offered by American colleges and universities, as well as the opportunities for direct enrollment in a foreign institution. All programs should be planned in cooperation with the division director or dean of the college to assure full credit and the most rewarding educational experience possible.
Study experiences will be approved for a student who has a proven record of academic achievement (minimum GPA 3.0) and who will be classified as a junior or senior (minimum of 64 earned credit hours) at the time of the intended international study experience. Students planning to spend a semester or year away from campus should be thoroughly familiar with both major and graduation requirements. Coursework must be approved by the student’s advisor. The student is responsible for providing an official transcript to verify all coursework.
Academic departments arrange study programs for which students may receive credit. These programs vary in duration and cost.
Internships provide students with opportunities to practice career skills in a real-world employment setting and are content-based, skills development experiences that provide positive vocational training beneficial to all students. In many cases, undergraduate internship experiences lead to successful career outcomes and jumpstart many careers upon a student’s graduation. Many USF academic programs require one or more internships as a degree requirement; other academic programs offer optional internships for credit. Academically substantive in nature, internship experiences are integral to the integration and growth of academic skills and career competencies and can lead to future job opportunities with internship-sponsoring organizations. Internships may be on or off campus and paid or unpaid, as stipulated by the academic department and/or the internship site. A faculty supervisor, collaborating with an internship supervisor on site, will monitor and supervise student skills development together with the site-based internship supervisor. Internship evaluations are completed by students, sitebased internship supervisors and faculty internship supervisors.
Once the student has selected and been accepted to an internship site (in partnership with their faculty advisor, internship supervisor and/or staff from the Academic and Career Development Center), the student must register for academic internship experience prior to participation. The Internship, Apprenticeship and Practicum Registration form on Form Central on MCC must be completed by the student and verified and approved by the student’s Faculty Advisor before the internship course will be added to the student’s course schedule.
USF Academic Advisors and the Academic & Career Development Center can answer questions about the process for registering for an internship and can help students with the internship search and registration process.
Cancellation of Courses
The university reserves the right to cancel courses.