Jul 14, 2024  
2020-2021 Policy and Procedures 
2020-2021 Policy and Procedures

Academic Misconduct Policy


The Academic Misconduct policy provides information and directions on (1) actions that the University considers as academic misconduct (2) how to report academic misconduct (3)( the process after the misconduct has been reported or identified (4) actions and sanctions imposed for violation (5) the appeal process, where the Academic Misconduct Policy and Procedure is published (6) ways to prevent and identify academic misconduct. 


Cheating: The act of Cheating implies an intent to deceive. Cheating includes all actions, devices, and deceptions used in the attempt to commit this act. Cheating involves using materials, resources, or other methods during a course that are not authorized or are not the student’s own work. This definition also includes unauthorized communication of information before, during and after an academic exercise.

Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Submitting of material in whole or part for academic evaluation that has been prepared by another individual(s);
  • Sending or arranging for another student to take any graded exercise, quiz or test, as a substitute for himself or herself.
  • Copying from another student’s paper or test.
  • Buying, selling, possessing, receiving or using at any time or in any manner any materials which are not the student’s own work which are intended to be submitted for a grade.
  • Using any devices (e.g., calculators, cell phones, tablets, or computers) or any materials not authorized by the instructor during a test or other academic evaluation.
  • Working with another or others in completing an assignment, examination, or other academic exercise when the faculty member has required independent and unaided action
  • Possessing, receiving or using a partial or complete copy of any exam which was not previously authorized by the instructor.
  • Submitting data which have been altered in such a way as to be deliberately misleading
  • Knowingly providing false information to the University in any manner to complete a requirement, enhance one’s academic record or achieve an unfair advantage.​

Aiding and Abetting Academic Dishonesty: Aiding and abetting academic dishonesty is assisting or attempting to help another person commit an act of academic fraud or deception. Aiding and abetting others includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Posing as another student in any course for the purpose of attendance or to submit or complete assignments or exams.
  • Allowing another student to represent, copy or submit your work for a grade.
  • Providing assistance to another student during an exam or on an assignment in a manner not authorized by the instructor.
  • The preparation and/or sale to another student items such as homework, class assignments, papers, projects and exams in an attempt to deceive with that student submitting such items as their own work.

Falsification/Fabrication: Fabrication is the action of inventing or making up something for the purpose of deception; a lie or untruth. Falsification is the altering, distorting, misrepresentation of information or records. An example is:

  • Students signing attendance rolls for one or more students who are not present.

Plagiarism: Plagiarism, a form of cheating, is presenting other people’s work such as the use or close imitation of the words, language or ideas of someone else and passing them off as one’s own. When a student puts his or her name on a report or paper or any work assignment at Shaw University, he/she is declaring ownership of that work. The student is saying that he/she has written the work and that the words and ideas contained therein are his or her own, except for the citations from outside sources, which should be documented.

Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Presenting or submitting any work which was completed by someone else (including another student) and claiming it as one’s own.
  • Using another’s work from print, web, or other sources without acknowledging the source.
  • Quoting from a source without acknowledging the source.
  • Using facts, figures, graphs, charts, or other information without acknowledgement of the source.

Shaw University students are expected to know how to recognize and avoid plagiarism. Plagiarism is presenting other people’s work as your own. Using another person’s words, ideas or work is theft, just as surely as the theft of a car, tape player, or other tangible property. As members of the academic community students must be mindful of other people’s property. Failure to respect such property rights is considered a serious and punishable violation of appropriate conduct at Shaw University.

Collusion: Collusion occurs when two or more people work together for the purpose of deliberately misleading or deceiving others. Individuals involve can include faculty, staff, students and non-students of the University.


Shaw University seeks to empower students with a sense of moral purpose based on Christian principles that provide guidance for intellectual and personal growth. Paramount to this belief is academic integrity. Academic integrity is the ethical policy or moral code that governs all levels of education centered on honest and responsible scholarship. It means doing the right thing even when on one is looking. 

Shaw University expects all students to maintain high ethical standards in all of their coursework. It does not condone academic dishonesty. Actions of “Academic Misconduct” that the University considers as violations of academic integrity include, but are not limited to” Cheating, Aiding and Abetting, Fabrication/Falsification, Plagiarism and Collusion. This list is not exhaustive, therefore, other actions may be considered as Academic Misconduct. 

Policy Statement

Reporting Academic Misconduct:

  • Any person who observes an instance of Academic Misconduct should report such alleged violation to the instructor of the course, Department Head or supervisor.
  • Any instructor who receives information regarding an instance of Academic Misconduct or who otherwise becomes aware of an instance of Academic Misconduct should report such instance to his or her department Chair.
  • In cases of Cheating or Plagiarism, the professor can proceed with the Informal Resolution process. All other cases are referred to the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs and an incident report is required.
  • Any staff who receives information regarding an instance of Academic Misconduct should report such instance to his/her area Vice President. This requires the completion of an incident report.

Academic Misconduct Referred to the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Cases of Academic Misconduct that are referred to the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs include:

  • Aiding and Abetting
  • Fabrication/Falsification
  • Collusion
  • Any egregious cases of Academic Misconduct

Prevention and Identification of Academic Misconduct

Prevention – Below are strategies either implemented or being considered (explored) at Shaw University to minimize or prevent Academic Misconduct. 

  1. Syllabi – all Shaw University syllabi must contain a statement concerning plagiarism as well as a link to the Academic Misconduct policy.
  2. Posting Academic Misconduct Policy in Moodle – Faculty will post Academic Misconduct policy on their Moodle page along with syllabi. All students must:
    1. Confirm they have received and reviewed the information.
    2. (Optional) Students could be quizzed on the Academic Misconduct and syllabus policies during the course orientation.
  3. Certification Statement or Submission Statement
  1. A Certification Statement can be included with an assignment or assessment that will require a click before the assignment or assessment can be accessed.  The statement can read as follows: “I certify that all work on this assessment is entirely my own and does not violate Shaw University’s Academic Misconduct policy.”
  2. Through Moodle, require a Submission Statement. The Moodle administrator can define a “Submission statement”, i.e., a statement where students promise the work is their own and which they must agree to before submitting their work. This may be done via Settings>Site administration>Plugins>Activity modules>Assignment. If preferred, the available default statement which may be used instead: This assignment is my own work, except where I have acknowledged the use of the works of other people https://docs.moodle.org/24/en/Assignment_settings#Require_that_students_accept_the_Submission_statement.
  1. Diagnostic Writing Assignment - Require a writing assignment from each student at the beginning of each semester.  Through this diagnostic writing assignment, an instructors can gauge the quality of the students’ writing. For each subsequent writing assignment, instructors have a sample against which they can compare each assignment.
  2. Proctoring for Online Courses - ProctorU is live proctoring that ensures that the authenticated student is indeed the same person who completes the exam.
  3. Utilization of Commercial Software Identification – The following are methods employed to identify Academic Misconduct.
  • Turnitin – software that provides feedback, grading, and plagiarism checking solutions.
  • Authorship Identification – in this process, authors of assignments can be identified.
  • Computer Location – in this process, the location of computers utilized can be identified.


Procedure for Academic Misconduct Cases Referred to the Office of the VPAA

  1. Incident Report: A report is filed with the Office of Academic Affairs.  The template for the Incident Report can be found by going into Bearsnet as well as under Forms on the Academic Affairs website, and in the Academic Affairs Sharepoint site forms folder.
  2. Investigation & Review of Evidence: The VPAA or designee will review the incident report and review evidence. The VPAA may also choose to conduct a more thorough investigation overseen by Student Judicial Services who will interview witnesses.  Based on evidence obtained, formal charges may be filed against the student. At that time, the student will be notified of the appropriate charges.
  3. Notification of Charges: All students have the right to know the charges filed against them and which policy has allegedly been violated. The charge letter must be sent to the student’s University e-mail account. Students are given 72 hours to reply to the charges in writing and to make an appointment with the VPAA or VPAA’s designee to discuss the charges.
  4. Meeting with VPAA: During the initial meeting with the VPAA or the VPAA’s designee, the allegations and all documents will be reviewed and discussed with the student. The student may:
    • Accept responsibility for the alleged violation, thereby waiving his/her right to a hearing. In doing so, the student accepts the sanction deemed appropriate by the VPAA.
  5. Referral to Hearing Board: A case will be referred to a Hearing Board:
    • If a student does not accept responsibility for the alleged violation or desires to have the case heard by a Board.
    • If the case involves a victim, repeat offenses, and/or particularly egregious cases of Academic Misconduct. Cases that involve other violations of the University Honor Code will be referred to Student Judicial Affairs for additional review and possible additional sanctions.
    • The decision of which board shall hear the case is made by the Office of Academic Affairs.
  6. Hearing Board Notification: If the case goes to a Hearing Board (Academic Standards Committee and/or Judicial Affairs), official notice regarding the time, date, location of the board hearing and a reiteration of the charges will be communicated to the student in writing to his/her Shaw e-mail. This e-mail will also include the names of possible hearing body members. The notice will be delivered at least 72 hours before the date of the hearing to allow the accused student adequate time to prepare for the hearing.
    • Hearings for alleged violations must occur within 30 business days of the alleged violation (excluding break periods and periods when class is not in session) except in situations necessitating an investigation, or cases involving local, state, or federal authorities.
  7. Notification of Outcome: Once the case is heard either through the informal meeting with the VPAA and/or designee or are[RV1]  referred to Hearing Boards (Academic Standards Committee and/or Student Judicial Affairs), the student will be notified in writing of the outcome. The outcome notification will include the decision and sanctions applied (if appropriate).

Sanctions for Academic Misconduct

The following sanctions will be applied for cases of Academic Misconduct.

Informal Resolution-Cheating and/or Plagiarism

The following sanctions may be imposed in the Informal Resolution process:a requirement that the student revise or replace the work at issue,a reduced grade (including a “0” or an “F”) for the work at issue.

  • For the first incident of plagiarism, the student will receive a zero, “0” for the assignment.
  • A second incident of plagiarism by the same student in the same class will result in automatic expulsion from the class and a grade of F in the course. The instructor must notify their Department Head and submit an incident report to the Office of Academic Affairs.  A record of students expelled from classes for plagiarism will be maintained by the Office of Academic Affairs.
  • Three or more incidents of plagiarism in a student’s college career may be cause for additional disciplinary action.

Formal Resolution – Aiding and Abetting, Falsification/Fabrication, Collusion that May or May not Include Plagiarism

Cases referred to Hearing Boards (Academic Standards Committee and/or Student Judicial Services) include: Aiding and Abetting, Falsification/Fabrication, Collusion-which may or may not Include plagiarism.  Additionally cases in which:

  • the accused student has a prior record of Academic Dishonesty,
  • the allegation of Academic Dishonesty is egregious or
  • the accused student denies responsibility for the alleged violation will be referred to a Hearing Board.

The following sanctions may be imposed by the Academic Standards Committee and /or Student Judicial Services:

Grade Reduction: A reduction in grade on the assignment, examination, or academic exercise on which the violation occurred. In cases of plagiarism:

  • For the first incident of plagiarism, the student will receive a zero, “0” for the assignment.
  • A second incident of plagiarism by the same student in the same class will result in automatic expulsion from the class and a grade of F in the course
  • Three of more incidences of plagiarism in the same class will result in additional sanctions such as those listed below.

Probation: A student found responsible for Academic Misconduct may be placed on academic integrity probation for the remainder of the student’s Academic Career. In addition, one or more of the sanctions listed above may be imposed.

Suspension: If warranted, a student may be suspended from the university. Suspension is a separation from the university for a specified period of time, after which the student may be eligible to return.  

  • The length of suspension time should be no less than one week and no more than one semester.        
  • For the duration of the suspension, the student will not be allowed to make up the missed work. While suspended, the student shall not participate in any University-Sponsored Activities and will not be allowed on university property.

Expulsion: Expulsion may be imposed in the most severe cases of Academic Misconduct. Expulsion is a recommendation by the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Vice President for Student Affairs to the President. It is the permanent separation of the student from the University. When expelled, the student shall no longer participate in any University-Sponsored Activity and will be trespassed from University Premises. A disciplinary file indicating expulsion will be maintained by the Office of Student Affairs.

Student cannot withdraw from a course in which there is a pending case of Academic Misconduct. If at the end of a semester an academic misconduct case is still under review, the faculty member will submit a grade of “I” to the Registrar’s Office.

Appeal Process

Informal Resolution Cases

Students may appeal any grade they believe is unjust. Students must appeal through the Shaw University Grade Appeal Process.

Formal Resolution Cases

Decisions of the Hearing Boards may only be appealed to the Vice President of Academic Affairs. All decision, thereafter, are final.

Assessment & Review

Responsible Office: Office of Academic Affairs

Approval Date: December 17, 2019

Effective: Spring 2020

Review Period: 10 Years


Academic Affairs