Handbook at The University of West Georgia

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Honor Code

University of West Georgia

Introduction

An honor code is essential to the University of West Georgia as an agreement between students and the university to promote commitment to academic integrity. Academic and personal integrity is based upon values such as honesty, trust, fairness, respect and responsibility. In an environment that recognizes and honors these values, standards of academic excellence must be maintained. An atmosphere of academic integrity enhances ethical and moral development among college students. It is the responsibility of the community of UWG, including all students, faculty and staff, to uphold the inherent values of the Honor Code.

Each student is given a copy of the Honor Code upon enrollment in the university. By signing the pledge, a student is making a commitment to honor the principles of academic and personal integrity, refusing to condone violation of the Honor Code by other students, and supporting imposition of penalties against those who commit violations.

The Honor Code

At the University of West Georgia we believe that academic and personal integrity are based upon honesty, trust, fairness, respect and responsibility.

Students at West Georgia assume responsibility for upholding the Honor Code. West Georgia students pledge to refrain from engaging in acts that do not maintain academic and personal integrity. These include, but are not limited to, plagiarism*, cheating*, fabrication*, aid of academic dishonesty, lying, bribery or threats, and stealing.

Definitions

Cheating: 'using or attempting to use unauthorized materials, information or study aids'

Fabrication: 'falsification or unauthorized invention of any information or citation'

Plagiarism: 'representing the words or ideas of another as one's own. Direct quotations must be indicated and ideas of another must be appropriately acknowledged'

Examples of Academic Dishonesty Include, but are not limited to:

  • Submitting the same work, or essentially the same work, for more than one course without explicitly obtaining permission from all instructors.  A student must disclose when a paper or project builds on work completed earlier in his or her academic career.
  • Requesting an academic benefit based on false information or deception.  This includes requesting an extension of time, a better grade or a recommendation from an instructor.
  • Making any changes (including adding material or erasing material) on any test paper, problem set or class assignment being submitted for re-grade.
  • Willfully damaging the efforts or work of other students.
  • Stealing, defacing, or damaging academic facilities or materials.
  • Collaborating with other students planning or engaging in any form or academic misconduct.
  • Submitting any academic work under someone else’ name other than your own.
Penalties for Breach of Academic Integrity

Each incidence of academic dishonesty is subject to review and consideration by the instructor, and is subject to a range of academic penalties including, but not limited to, failing the assignment and/or failing the course. The instructor will notify the Assistant or Associate Dean of the College/School or Library in which the alleged incident took place.  The instructor is strongly encouraged to refer the alleged student to the Office of Student Conduct for review and possible student conduct sanctions per the process of adjudicating student conduct cases.  Student Conduct sanctions range from verbal warning to suspension or expulsion depending on the magnitude of the offense and/or number of offenses. The incident becomes part of the student’s conduct record at UWG.

Academic penalties may be appealed through a Grade Appeal.  Appeal of an Office of Student Conduct finding and/or sanction(s) may be appealed through the Student Conduct Appeals process.

Further details regarding Student Conduct can be found in Appendix A of the UWG Connection and Student Handbook.

Further details regarding a Grade Appeal may be found in Appendix E of the UWG Connection and Student Handbook.

Responsibility for Reporting Violations of Academic Integrity

Students

Students who are concerned that they may have violated the Honor Code are expected to report their behavior to the instructor or academic advisor. Self-reporting does not signify admission of guilt, but does provide the opportunity for dialogue to resolve misunderstandings and miscommunication. A student who observes a potential violation of the Honor Code by another student is expected to confront that student with their behavior and engage in discussion to determine if an actual violation has occurred. If it is determined that a violation has occurred, the student observed is expected to self-report the incident to the instructor or academic advisor. The instructor or academic advisor will review the situation. If the instructor or advisor determines that a violation has taken place, an appropriate referral will be made.

Faculty or Advisor

The instructor or advisor should communicate with the student whom they suspect of violating the Honor Code. The instructor/advisor should inform the student of the academic penalty s/he intends to institute per the syllabus. Aftercommunicating with the student, the instructor should send a brief report of the case, including the breach of academic integrity and supporting documentation to the Office of Student Conduct. The case then becomes a part of the student’s conduct record at UWG. 

The University of West Georgia creates a record of students’ infringement of academic integrity to create a mechanism for identifying patterns of dishonesty. This will enable the university to take appropriate actions including suspension and expulsion of students with repeated incidents. 

University of West Georgia Academic Integrity and Honor Code Pledge

When a student chooses to enroll at the University of West Georgia, they pledge the following:

Having read the Honor Code of UWG, I understand and accept my responsibility to uphold the values and beliefs described and to conduct myself in a manner that will reflect the values of the institution in such a way as to respect the rights of all UWG community members. As a UWG student, I will represent myself truthfully and complete all academic assignments honestly. I understand that if I violate this code, I will accept the penalties imposed, should I be found guilty of violations through the processes due to me as a university community member. These penalties may include expulsion from the university. I also recognize that my responsibility includes willingness to confront members of the university community if I feel there has been a violation of the Honor Code.