Procedure V.5001.B.a, Cheating, Plagiarism, Collusion, and Fabrication

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Associated Policy

Policy V.5001.B, Classroom Behavior


Code of Academic Integrity and Honesty

Integrity is one of the core values at San Jacinto College. As such, students are expected to exhibit honesty, integrity, high standards, and freedom from lies and fraud in their academic work. Personal integrity is important in all aspects of life and students must conduct themselves in an ethical manner both in and out of the classroom. Incidents of academic dishonesty will not be tolerated and students guilty of such conduct are subject to disciplinary and academic consequences.

Campus leaders for each campus are as follows:

  • Central Campus Provost for Central Campus courses
  • North Campus Provost for North Campus courses
  • South Campus Provost for South Campus courses
  • Maritime Campus Associate Vice Chancellor for Maritime Campus courses
  • Generation Park Campus Executive Director for Generation Park courses

Cheating, Plagiarism, Collusion, and Fabrication         

Academic dishonesty (or scholastic dishonesty) includes, but is not limited to, cheating, plagiarism, collusion, fabrication, and any act designed to give or obtain an unfair academic advantage to a student or another individual. Academic dishonesty also includes an attempt to commit such an act. The following guidelines apply to students enrolled in any course offered by San Jacinto College. Gaining knowledge and practicing honesty go hand in hand. The importance of knowledge honestly obtained is reinforced by the grading system; therefore, the College emphasizes honesty fully practiced by establishing rules against cheating, plagiarism, collusion, and fabrication. Any act of cheating, plagiarism, collusion, or fabrication, whether direct or indirect, will subject a student to the disciplinary procedures listed below.


    Students are expected to be completely honest in all phases of their work and must adhere to the guidelines provided by their faculty members for completing academic work.

    Cheating includes, but is not limited to, the following:

    • engaging in dishonesty of any kind on examinations, assignments, projects, or any program requirements;
    • unauthorized use or possession of examinations and/or materials, notes, books, resources, or sources at any time, whether or not actually used
    • copying, photographing, or obtaining information from another person prior to or during an examination or performance of a lab skill or competency;
    • providing, revealing, or discussing the content of an exam with another student who will take the exam when the instructor has not given permission for students to provide, reveal, or discuss the content;
    • allowing another student to copy (or photograph) and/or use one’s exam answers or class assignment
    • claiming as their own work any portion of academic work that was completed by another student;
    • using materials not approved by their faculty member when completing an assignment or exam, such as a calculator or electronic device;
    • presenting the same work for more than one course without obtaining approval from the course faculty member;
    • taking, misplacing, and/or damaging the property of the College of faculty member when the student knows or reasonably should know that an unfair academic advantage would be gained by such conduct, including, but not limited, disrupting utility service or computer networks;
    • failing to comply with instructions given by the person administering an exam;
    • altering or falsifying course or academic records; and
    • unauthorized entry into or presence in any office


    Providing proper attribution when using another person’s work is essential because it recognizes the original author’s effort, establishes the student writer’s credibility, and supports the audience’s future research. Plagiarism is offering the work of another as one’s own, intentionally or unintentionally, without proper acknowledgment. Students who fail to give appropriate credit for ideas or material they take from another, whether a fellow student or a resource writer, are guilty of plagiarism. Plagiarism applies to the written word, computer code, ideas, illustrations, physical structure, and other expression or media.

    The College may contract with companies or organizations that provide plagiarism-detection services. Such companies may receive students’ work for the purpose of comparing the students’ work with a reference database. Students enrolling at San Jacinto College agree as a condition of their enrollment that their work may be submitted to such companies for the purpose of plagiarism detection and that the company may retain a copy of the work for plagiarism- detection purposes. Such companies will not copy, use, or distribute the students’ work.

    Plagiarism includes, but is not limited to, the following:

    • using the ideas and or words of another person, without giving that person appropriate credit;
    • representing another’s artistic or scholarly works (i.e., musical compositions, computer programs, photographs, paintings, drawings, sculptures, etc.) as one’s own
    • submitting a paper obtained or purchased in whole or in part from another person or other sources, including the internet;
    • copying computer programs or data files belonging to someone else; and
    • using undocumented Web sources.


    Learning is an active process for all students; completion and submission of original work is essential to the learning process. Collusion is unauthorized collaboration in preparing any work offered for credit. Therefore, students should take reasonable precautions to protect their work from being compromised.

    Collusion includes, but is not limited to, the following:

    • knowingly using, buying, selling, stealing, sharing, transporting or soliciting, in whole or in part, any information or materials to be submitted as a student’s own work,
    • substituting for another person or permitting another person to substitute for oneself to take or complete a class, test, exam, or other assignment or project;
    • providing unauthorized access to course materials (including photographing such materials with a cell phone or transmitting a photograph of such materials), and/or
    • agreeing with one or more persons to commit any act of academic dishonesty, regardless of whether the agreement is implemented.


    Fabrication is all experimental data, observations, interviews, statistical surveys, and other information collected and reported as academic work not authenticated.

    Fabrication includes, but is not limited to, the following:

    • falsifying data or the results obtained from research or laboratory experiments,
    • presenting results of research or laboratory experiments without the research or laboratory experiments being performed, and
    • changing answers or grades after an academic work has been returned to the student.

    Misrepresenting Facts for Academic Advantage

    Misrepresenting facts for academic advantage includes, but is not limited to, providing false or misleading information to obtain an extension or postponement of a test or assignment for oneself or for another person; providing false grades or a resume with false information; and/or providing false or misleading information to injure another student academically or financially.

    Responding to Violations

    Faculty have the responsibility to initiate disciplinary action in response to violations of the rules regarding academic honesty. A faculty member is responsible for investigating these violations, which include, but are not limited to, collection and/or preservation of any evidence of cheating at the time it occurs and discussions with the student and witnesses. A student may not withdraw from the course during the investigation of an incident of academic dishonesty or when a course grade of F has been imposed. Should a student withdraw from a course related to the instance(s) of academic dishonesty (during the academic dishonesty investigatory process) the College reserves the right to reinstate the student in the class over the student’s objection. The College will maintain a record of any imposed penalty or disciplinary action. These violations of academic dishonesty are also communicated with respective Department Chairs/Program Directors and Deans.


    If, in the judgment of the faculty member, cheating, plagiarism, collusion, or fabrication has occurred, he or she may assess any of the following penalties:

    • failure of the assignment by the faculty member,
    • requirement for the student to redo the test or assignment,
    • reduced grade on the assignment by the faculty member,
    • failure of the course, in which case; the student may appeal the grade through the Grade Appeal process (see Complaint Procedure 100 found in the catalog and Student Handbook),
    • recommendation for suspension from the College or dismissal from a program, which is submitted to the campus leader (a suspension notation from the College may be placed on the student’s transcript, if appropriate.), and/or
    • submission of other penalty or action recommended by the faculty or program.

    The faculty member will notify the student in writing of his or her decision concerning the student’s grade. The College may recommend other disciplinary action if code of student conduct violations have occurred and are substantiated. If a student declines to meet with the faculty member or if notification does not occur because of a student’s unavailability, failure to respond, or incorrect contact information, the process proceeds as specified. The campus leader must review a recommendation for suspension or dismissal. If necessary, the campus leader will convene the Academic Appeals committee.

    The faculty member will prepare an online Academic Dishonesty Incident Report ( for the campus leader , Dean, Department Chair, and/or Program Director. The report indicates the nature of the incident, student identifying information, and the proposed penalty. The Department Chair will generate a decision letter to the student that will include the proposed penalty and the student’s appeal rights.


    A student may appeal a proposed penalty made by a faculty member. The student shall initiate the appeal process within five (5) working days following the communication of the proposed penalty. The procedures for appealing a proposed penalty are:

    Student meeting with Academic Dishonesty Appeals Committee: Within five (5) working days after receiving written notification of the proposed penalty via email (or first-class mail or hand delivery), a student may request a hearing before an Academic Dishonesty Appeals Committee. The student must submit a written request directly to the respective campus leader via email, hand delivery, or first-class or a mail. A first-class letter will be deemed to have been received on the third day after the date of mailing, excluding any intervening Sunday or federal holiday. An email will be deemed to have been received on the second day after the sending of the message. The committee will consist of three members: one full-time faculty member to be designated by the student, one full-time faculty member to be designated by the faculty member, and one full-time faculty member to be designated by the campus leader. The campus leader will request that the student and faculty member submit the name of their nominees within five (5) working days after notification of all parties involved. The campus leader should determine whether the nominees have a conflict of interest or are otherwise unavailable, in which case the student or faculty member may nominate another participant. Upon approving the nominees and the campus leader appointing a third faculty member to the committee, the campus leader will set the time, date, and place of the closed hearing and notify all parties. The campus leader will appoint a separate faculty member to serve as the chair of the appeal committee. This will be done within five (5) working days after finalizing the committee.

    A student may present written evidence relevant to the appeal and may also be accompanied by an advisor. An advisor may be an attorney. The student’s advisor may attend the appeal meeting and confer with the student but may not serve as an advocate for the student or cross-examine other participants. The student may have a maximum of two (2) persons (faculty member and advisor) in the room at the appeal committee meeting. An advisor may not be a witness in the matter. Advisors may be dismissed from an appeal meeting if they disrupt or interfere with the proceeding.

    The Academic Dishonesty Appeals Committee may request information from the faculty member, student, and/or other persons familiar with the matter. The College retains the right to have legal counsel present at the appeal meeting but the attorney will not serve as an advocate or cross-examine other participants.

    The student’s appeal will be dismissed if the student fails to correspond with the campus leader’s Office within ten (10) working days of the last communication with the student. In the event that a student is a qualified person with a disability under federal law and is unable to represent himself or herself at the appeal meeting because of his or her disability, the College, as a reasonable accommodation to the student, will permit the student to be represented by an advisor at the meeting. If the student is represented by legal counsel, then the College also may be represented by legal counsel.

    Within five (5) working days after the appeal meeting, the campus leader will notify the student and the faculty member in writing of the committee’s findings regarding the approval or denial of the appeal. The decision of the Academic Dishonesty Appeals Committee is final.


    Date of SLT Approval

    January 20, 2022

    Effective Date

    May 4, 2022

    Associated Policy

    Policy V.5001.B, Classroom Behavior

    Primary Owner of Policy Associated with the Procedure

    Deputy Chancellor & President

    Secondary Owner of Policy Associated with the Procedure