Student Academic Integrity

Policy Number: 
3207
Policy Responsibility: 
Vice-President, Academic
Approved: 
Board of Governors
Effective: 
January 27, 2011

Context / Purpose: 

Justice Institute of British Columbia ("JIBC") is dedicated to providing a high standard of service delivery to students and clients, consistent with JIBC mission, vision and values. JIBC expects academic integrity and ethical conduct in all work within its on-site, online and off-site learning settings. It makes clear the responsibility for JIBC staff and instructors to take all reasonable steps to instruct students regarding academic integrity and is intended to complement the Student Code of Conduct Policy which addresses matters regarding non-academic integrity.

Academic misconduct is treated seriously.  Failure by students to maintain appropriate standards of academic conduct will result in the initiation of disciplinary action by JIBC. This policy defines types of academic misconduct, the process for reaching a finding of academic dishonesty, the consequences of such a finding, and the appeal process.

This policy is intended to apply to the students of all divisions with the following exceptions:

  1. where legislation or a JIBC contract requires that another process be followed instead of JIBC Academic Integrity Policy.
  2. where JIBC decides that the allegation of misconduct may be more appropriately dealt with (in whole or in part) in a timely manner in another forum, such as a court or administrative tribunal or by the student's employer.

Policy Statement: 

Academic integrity and ethical conduct is promoted and expected at JIBC.  Students must learn to access, utilize and build on existing knowledge but must acknowledge such content in their own academic work.  Clear attribution of the works of others is an essential part of academic scholarship.  JIBC will investigate all allegations of academic misconduct and may apply penalties as appropriate, up to and including suspension from the program and/or institution.

Scope: 

This policy applies to student conduct at all JIBC campuses and learning sites and will apply to student conduct off-campus and online where the student is engaged in any activities that are part of JIBC course/program requirements.  It will also apply to any situations where a student is representing JIBC in any manner.

Definitions: 

Student Academic Misconduct
Student Academic Misconduct means student or applicant dishonesty in any aspect of application, learning, evaluation or research, including but not limited to the following:

(a)   Plagiarism, which includes, but is not limited to, presenting the ideas or works of another person as one’s own or using another person’s work without proper attribution. It includes submitting work done in whole or in part by another person and/or presenting another person’s ideas or theories in one’s own words, within academic work, without referencing the source, or failure to properly cite material from the internet.

(b)   Cheating in examinations or assignments, which includes, but is not limited to, dishonest or attempted dishonest conduct at tests or examinations, such as copying or attempting to copy another person’s answer on an examination, bringing unauthorized materials into an examination, communicating with another person during an examination without permission, writing an examination or paper for another person or allowing another person to write an examination for oneself, or submitting a paper written by another person.  It also includes unauthorized or unacknowledged collaboration on a take-home assignment and examination or project, submitting work prepared for one course as part of assignments for another course without the authorization of the instructor, and fabricating data for research projects including listing non-utilized sources in a bibliography.

(c)   Educational Misconduct which includes, but is not limited to, unauthorized use of JIBC educational materials. It includes obtaining or viewing an assessment process or exam prior to its administration or providing unauthorized prior knowledge or viewing of examinations to another individual.

(d)   Misrepresentation or Falsified Documents which includes, but is not limited to, providing fraudulent information or withholding pertinent information to obtain admission to any JIBC course or program; misrepresenting past academic records, transcripts or other documents required for admission and falsifying any academic record or credential, whether from JIBC or any other organization, agency, or post- secondary institution.

(e)   Collusion which includes, but is not limited to aiding or abetting others in any attempted act of academic dishonesty. For distance and online courses this includes nominating an invigilator with false information and/or false credentials.

Disciplinary Probation
Disciplinary Probation is a formal disciplinary action by JIBC and becomes part of the student's official record. The student will receive a letter making clear a finding of misconduct, and stipulating the period of time for which he/she is on probation. It gives a strong warning to the student and provides an opportunity to clearly understand JIBC expectation, to learn from experience and to incorporate the experience into his/her overall development. It may include specific sanctions and/or restrictions for student access to JIBC facilities and services and may include other requirements such as a formal written apology, additional academic work and/or counselling. It will make clear that further violations under JIBC policy will result in further disciplinary action up to and including dismissal from JIBC.

Disciplinary Suspension
Suspension is a formal disciplinary action by JIBC and becomes part of the student's official record. The student is suspended from all academic and extracurricular activities at JIBC and may also be restricted from access to JIBC facilities - normally for a period of not less than one year. The student must reapply for admission at the end of the period of suspension and JIBC may stipulate additional requirements for readmission. Only the President has the authority to suspend.


Procedures

  1. Faculty are responsible for informing students about issues of academic dishonesty and expectations for academic integrity. All course outlines should provide reference to this policy. Credit course outlines should also provide guidelines for student course assignments including, where appropriate, the utilization of the APA Style Guidelines to acknowledge information from other sources. The faculty member should also provide clear guidelines for course assignments, projects and research involving group work and legitimate collaboration.
  2. The faculty member is responsible for evaluation of student work, in the context of the learning outcomes, the academic expectations of the course and the guidelines for academic work provided to the students. The faculty member is responsible for ensuring that students use appropriate citations, references and/or acknowledgements for ideas and work from other sources.
  3. When a faculty member determines, either through personal observation or through a third party report, that a student has committed any act contrary to this policy, the faculty member and manager responsible for the program shall meet with the student and review the circumstances of the suspected violation within the context of this policy and course guidelines. Where there is agreement that a violation of this policy has occurred, knowingly or unknowingly and depending on the facts and circumstances, including the seriousness of the violation, the faculty member and manager responsible for the program may reach an appropriate informal resolution with the student, which may include a verbal or written warning, resubmission of the assignment, lowered grade or failed assignment. A record of the informal resolution will be documented in the student database by the manager responsible for the program. Any more serious penalties, including any penalty that will result in a failing grade for the course, must be determined through the formal investigation procedures below.
  4. Where a faculty member or a JIBC staff member determines that a perceived violation of this policy by a student or an applicant to JIBC was denied by the student/applicant, or was a deliberate act of academic misconduct and/or was a serious violation of policy warranting formal actions, the faculty member or staff member shall complete a formal Report of Violation of the Policy on Academic Integrity (a “Report”), and submit that to the manager responsible for the program and shall advise the Dean/Director that this has been done.
  5. In all cases where any violation of this policy has occurred more than once by the student, a formal Report shall be completed and submitted to the responsible Dean/Director.

Investigating Allegations of Student Academic Misconduct

  1. The Dean/Director or his/her designate will, upon receipt of the Report, consider the alleged act(s) of student academic misconduct and decide:
  2. (a)  that the allegations, if true, do not constitute student academic misconduct under this Policy and decline to act on the Report; or

    (b)  that the matter should be addressed under another policy such as The Student Code of Conduct Policy or in another forum, and refer the Report to the appropriate person; or

    (c)  that the matter should be addressed under the Student Academic Integrity Policy. The Dean/Director will notify the person who made the Report of this decision.

  3. If the Dean/Director determines that the matter should be addressed under the Academic Integrity Policy, the Dean/Director will refer the Report to a senior staff member (the “Investigator”) to conduct a fact-finding investigation into the allegation(s) of student academic misconduct in the manner the Investigator deems appropriate and report back to the Dean/Director.
  4. The Investigator will advise the student of the process that will be followed. The process will include an opportunity for the student to respond to the allegation(s) of student academic misconduct.
  5. Normally, investigations will be concluded within ten (10) working days of receipt of the Report by the Dean/Director. However, the time period may be longer for complicated matters or where persons with information relevant to the investigation are not available during that time period. If the Investigator extends the time period, the Investigator will advise the Dean/Director, the student and the person who made the Report.
  6. The Investigator will advise the Dean/Director, in writing, of the results of the investigation.
  7. The Dean/Director will review the results of the investigation with the student, and the student will have an opportunity to respond.
  8. The Dean/Director will make final determination of whether the student has committed student academic misconduct and, if so, what discipline is appropriate. Disciplinary action will depend upon the seriousness of the policy violation and on past practice regarding similar violations and may include, but is not limited to, one or more of the following:

    (a)      For actions involving Plagiarism or Cheating

    • Disciplinary Probation
    • Rejection of submitted work with or without the option of resubmission
    • Reduction of grade, up to and including failure for the assignment
    • Reduction of grade, up to and including failure for the course or program
    • Referral to the President with a recommendation that the student be suspended from the program and/or institution for a certain period of time, indefinitely or permanently

    (b)      For actions involving Collusion, or Educational Misconduct

    • Disciplinary Probation
    • Failure of a course or program
    • Referral to the President with a recommendation that the student be suspended from the program and/or institution for a certain period of time, indefinitely or permanently

    (c)      For actions involving Misrepresentation or Fraudulent Documents

    • where documents or information submitted for Admission are found to be fraudulent or falsified, prior to admission, the applicant shall be denied admission and prohibited from applying to any JIBC course or program for a period of not less than five years.
    • where documents submitted for Admission are found to be fraudulent or falsified, subsequent to admission to a course or program, the student shall be suspended from JIBC and prohibited from applying to any JIBC course or program for a period of not less than five years.
    • in cases where the responsible Dean/Director determines the incident to be serious and fraudulent the matter shall be referred to the VP Academic to determine if criminal action should be initiated
  9. All disciplinary outcomes will become part of the student’s record at JIBC and retained as part of those records, subject to the Procedure on the Creation, Maintenance and Retention of Student Records.
  10. The Student will be advised of the Dean/Director’s decision in writing within twenty (20) working days of receipt of the results of the investigation. The written decision will set out the allegation of misconduct, the key facts upon which the Dean/Director relied to reach a decision, any aggravating or mitigating circumstances, and the decision.

Appeal

  1. This appeal process applies to all findings of student misconduct under this Academic Integrity Policy.
  2. When the Dean/Director has determined that the student is responsible for academic misconduct and discipline has been imposed under paragraph 7, the student may appeal the decision. To commence an appeal, the student must deliver a Notice of Appeal to the Vice-President, Academic, within twenty (20) working days of the Dean/Director’s decision.
  3. The student’s Notice of Appeal must include:
  4. (a)  a copy of the decision being appealed

    (b)  a statement from the student setting out the basis for the appeal, which must be one or more of the following:

    (i)    that there was procedural unfairness in the process before the Dean/Director or the Investigator

    (ii)   that the penalty imposed was inappropriate

    (iii)   that new evidence has emerged that was not available for the investigation and which casts significant doubt on the accuracy of the Dean/Director’s decision

    (c)  the resolution sought on the appeal

    (d)  any relevant information and supporting documentation

    (e)  contact information for the student

  5. The Vice-President, Academic, may delegate responsibility for the appeal to the Registrar or other designate. In this Policy, the person hearing the appeal is referred to as the “Vice-President”.
  6. Subject to privacy concerns, the Vice-President will disclose the Investigation Report to the Student, if a written report was provided by the Investigator.
  7. The Vice-President will determine the procedure to be followed on the appeal, which procedure will include the right of the student to make submissions in response to the case against him or her. The Vice-President will notify the student, and may notify any person who may be required to participate in the appeal, of the procedure that will be followed on the appeal.
  8. The Vice-President will endeavor to conduct the appeal within ten (10) working days of receipt of the Notice of Appeal, but that period may be extended if the appeal is complicated or if the student or others with information that should be considered are not available within that time period. If the Vice-President extends the time period, the Vice- President will advise the Dean/Director, the student and the person who made the Report.
  9. At the conclusion of the appeal and in any event within approximately ten (10) working days of the conclusion of the appeal, the Vice-President will deliver a decision. The Vice- President may extend the time for delivery of the decision with notice to the Dean/Director, the student and the person who made the formal Report.
  10. The Vice-President may:
  11. (a)   uphold the decision of the Dean/Director;

    (b)   reverse the decision of the Dean/Director

    (c)   return the decision to the Dean/Director for reconsideration based on new evidence submitted by the Student or

    (d)   vary the discipline imposed by the Dean/Director.

  12. The decision of the Vice-President is final, except in cases where the decision is a referral to the President with a recommendation that the student be suspended.

Decision to Suspend

  1. The President has the authority under the College and Institute Act to suspend a student for just cause. The President will notify the student, in writing, of his or her decision to suspend the student and the terms, if any, of the disciplinary suspension.
  2. Disciplinary Suspension is a formal disciplinary action by JIBC and becomes part of the student's official record. The student is suspended from all academic and extracurricular activities at JIBC and may also be restricted from access to JIBC facilities - normally for a period of not less than one year. The student must reapply for admission at the end of the period of suspension and JIBC may stipulate additional requirements for readmission. Only the President has the authority to suspend.

Appeals of Suspensions

  1. If the President suspends a student, the student has a right of appeal to the Board of Governors of JIBC (the “Board”).
  2. To bring an appeal to the Board, the student must file a Notice of Appeal to the Board within twenty (20) working days of the President’s decision. The Notice of Appeal to the Board must contain:
  3. (a)     a copy of the President’s decision

    (b)     a copy of the Vice-President’s decision (if any)

    (c)     a copy of the Dean/Director’s decision (if any)

    (d)     the allegation(s) of procedural unfairness that the student relies on for the appeal

    (e)     the resolution sought on the appeal

    (f)     any relevant information, and supporting documentation

    (g)     contact information for the student

  4. The Appeal to the Board will be conducted in accordance with the Board’s Student Appeal Guidelines in place at the time.

Privacy and Confidentiality

  1. Confidentiality: All persons involved in the investigation will be advised that they are required to keep the allegation and information relating to the allegation confidential, and they are not to disclose the allegation or information to others, except as may be expressly permitted or as required by law. Participants should be aware that confidentiality is expected, but that anonymity cannot be guaranteed.
  2. Application of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (“FIPPA”): Investigations into allegations of student misconduct require frank and confidential communications and JIBC takes the position that documents and information acquired through the investigation process may be an unreasonable invasion of individuals’ personal privacy. Records of the investigation will be disclosed only to the extent permitted under JIBC policy on Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Policy and/or as compellable under the BC Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

Last updated May 20, 2015