The Polk State College Board of Trustees Rule 4.01 defines and prohibits academic dishonesty. Polk State considers academic dishonesty an assault upon the basic integrity and value of a college education. Cheating, plagiarism, and collusion in dishonest activities are serious acts that erode the College’s educational role and tarnish the learning experience, not only for the perpetrators but for the entire community. It is expected that all Polk State College students understand and subscribe to the ideal of academic integrity and that they are willing to bear individual responsibility for their work. Materials (written or otherwise) submitted to fulfill academic requirements must represent a student’s own efforts. The fundamental purpose of this rule is to emphasize that any act of academic dishonesty attempted by any Polk State College student is unacceptable and shall not be tolerated. Examples of academic dishonesty include:
1. Cheating or plagiarizing on tests, projects, or assignments: Cheating is defined as the giving or taking of any information or material with the intent of wrongfully aiding oneself or another in academic work considered in the determination of a course grade. Plagiarism is defined (Black’s Law Dictionary, Revised Fourth Edition) as “the act of appropriating the literary composition of another, or parts or passages of his writings, or the ideas or language of the same, and passing them off as the product of one’s own mind.” Plagiarism includes failure to use quotation marks or other conventional markings around material quoted from any specific source without citing that source, or paraphrasing a specific passage from a specific source, or using any sequence of material or order of wording without accurately quoting and citing that source. Plagiarism further includes letting another person compose or rewrite a student’s assignment. The following items have been identified, by faculty and students at Polk State College, as a partial list of examples of cheating and/or plagiarism:
1. Asking for information from another student before, during, or after a test, quiz, or exam situation.
2. Copying answers from another’s paper during a test, quiz, or exam situation.
3. Knowingly letting someone copy from one’s paper during a test, quiz, or exam situation.
4. Using sources other than what are permitted by the instructor in a test, quiz, or exam situation.
5. Copying material exactly, essentially, or in part from outside sources while omitting appropriate documentation.
6. Copying or falsifying a laboratory report, clinical project, or assignment without doing the required work.
7. Changing answers on a returned graded test, quiz, or exam in order to get the grade revised.
8. Plagiarism in written assignments: Plagiarism also includes handing in a paper to an instructor that was purchased from a term paper service, downloaded from the Internet and/or presenting another person’s academic work as one’s own. Individual academic departments may provide additional examples in writing of what does and does not constitute plagiarism.
9. Furnishing false information to any faculty member.
10. Forgery, alteration, or misuse of any College document, record, or instrument of identification.
The College uses an Internet-based plagiarism-prevention service in many classes that require written work. Any student taking such a course at Polk State must agree to the use of this service by the professor during the term of the class through its grading deadline. Any professor who receives a late submission from a student for the purpose of changing a class (e.g. to modify an Incomplete grade) may use the Internet-based plagiarism-prevention service to evaluate the submission.
Violations of the College’s policies pertaining to academic dishonesty may result in academic penalties and/or disciplinary action at the discretion of the professor. Academic penalties may include, but are not limited to, a failing grade for a particular assignment or a failing grade for a particular course. A student who is charged with violating the Academic Dishonesty portion of this rule is not permitted to withdraw from the course. The student must work with a student success advisor for any registration activities needed for the duration of the term in which a student has been charged with academic dishonesty, as his or her record will contain a hold to prevent withdrawal. Additionally, a student in violation of the Student Code of Conduct may be referred to the Dean of Student Services at the campus or center where the offense took place. Any student suspected of violating the Academic Dishonesty section of the Student Code of Conduct is subject to sanctions and provided due process as outlined in the Polk State College Academic Dishonesty policy found in Polk State College Procedure 5026.