SVCC HLC Self-Study Document

Sauk Valley Community College
HLC Self-Study Document

September 19-21, 2011

4D.1: Academic Integrity

SVCC is committed to integrity in the acquisition and dissemination of knowledge as evidenced by policies and practices which ensure academic integrity in the discovery and use of knowledge, including the many ways students are introduced to ethics in instruction and the commitment of the faculty to include ethics and research in the general education competencies.

Student Integrity

A Student Code of Conduct, authorized in Board Policy 616.01 (link to digital resource room support), states that “Students at Sauk Valley Community College are expected to demonstrate qualities of morality, honesty, civility, honor, and respect.” It further describes Sauk's academic integrity policy and defines violations, including definitions of cheating and plagiarism. The document also details for faculty and students the procedures for filing a formal complaint, parties responsible for investigation, and the hearing and appeals process. The Code of Conduct is introduced in Orientation (PSY 100), included in the college catalog, and appears under the “College Policies” section of the homepage. It was also in the student handbook until it was discontinued in FY09.

Although the definition of academic integrity and the procedures for enforcement of the code are clear in the Student Code of Conduct, the policy does not define specific consequences. An informal survey of ten randomly-selected spring 2010 syllabi revealed inconsistency in disciplinary consequences. Three made no mention of academic integrity. Of the seven which contained statements concerning academic integrity,

Although latitude in disciplinary action is necessary to ensure fairness, the wide range of definitions and inconsistent consequences make it difficult for students to understand and comply with the college’s expectations for their behavior.

Sauk has adopted two general education competencies which specifically address the integrity of student scholarship and which are subject to assessment efforts:

Faculty are supported in their efforts by services offered to students and have many opportunities for professional development.