As stated in the Campus Compact, the BAC expects intellectual activities to be conducted with honesty and integrity. Work submitted or presented as part of a BAC course:
- Shall be the original creation of its author;
- Is allowed to contain the work of others so long as there is appropriate attribution; and
- Shall not be the result of unauthorized assistance or collaboration.
Failure to adhere to these guidelines is academic dishonesty and calls into question the student and the college.
Violations of Academic Integrity
A student suspected of academic dishonesty can face disciplinary action with potential sanctions ranging from failure of the paper or project to dismissal from the college. A few of the most familiar acts of academic dishonesty include:
- Having someone else take an exam, write a paper, produce drawings and sketches, or complete homework assignments for you.
- Bringing inappropriate material, such as notes or answers, into a test situation, unless given permission by the instructor.
- Knowingly assisting another student in circumventing the academic guidelines listed in this document.
However, additional examples exist. Please see the list below for more details.
To plagiarize is to represent someone else's work (writing, pictures, ideas) as your own. While one's work is often based on, or inspired by, other people's designs, images, or ideas, this information must be cited. Failure to do so is unethical and is intellectual theft.
Plagiarism can be intentional, such as knowingly using another person's paper (with or without their permission), or unintentional, such as not being aware of correct research formats. Regardless of intent, it is not acceptable. To this end, all submitted work must be the work of that student. Any passages taken from outside sources must be clearly and correctly cited. The same standards apply to design presentations. Any ideas, drawings, models, or other media made by someone other than the student must be attributed, either verbally or in writing. This should include feedback and ideas received from fellow students.
To guide students, the BAC has adopted the citation style most commonly used in the design field. Often known as "Chicago," it utilizes footnotes or endnotes and all students are expected to know and follow this format. (For more information, consult Kate Turabian's A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations or the BAC Learning Resource Center handouts "Citation Format," "Electronic Citation," "Paraphrasing," and "Quoting.")
Misrepresenting Collaborative Work
Often in studio or class settings, students work collaboratively to complete assignments. In these circumstances, credit must be supplied appropriately. If one attempts to pass an entire group's work off as his/her own, s/he is plagiarizing.
Misrepresenting Practice Work
Similarly, one cannot take credit for work examples that were either generated collaboratively or in which s/he played a minimal role. While it may be necessary at times to include pieces of such work in a Practice Component Report or a portfolio, the exact role one played in creating those images must be spelled out clearly. Exaggerating one's responsibility is a form of plagiarism.
In addition, since the BAC is a practice-based institution, you are asked to maintain a current resume. This resume must accurately reflect your past and present professional experiences, avoiding exaggeration or misrepresentation.
Design may be based on precedents—work done by others. However, when using a precedent, information taken from other sources must be cited. As in the above instances, failure to do so is plagiarism.
Making Up Results
One cannot make up or falsify information used in a paper or project. Fabrication may include:
- Making up evidence that supports one's position in a paper.
- Inventing survey results (or other material) that justify a project.
- Citing sources that you did not use.
Reusing Previous Work
All work for a given class, unless permitted otherwise by the instructor, must be original for that class. Assignments are created to help students better understand the material in question, and reusing or recycling old work defeats that purpose.
Note: Arrangements often can be made to build upon work started in a previous course. However, one must always acquire the instructor's permission before proceeding. If this permission is not secured, the instructor is within his/her right to refuse the assignment or to prompt disciplinary action.
Procedures & Sanctions for Academic Dishonesty
An instructor who suspects academic dishonesty should contact his/her respective program director then meet with the student in question (ideally with the program director present) to determine the severity of the transgression.
If the instructor believes it is minor (for example: incorrect use of sources, misunderstanding of citation format), s/he should handle it as s/he sees fit. This can include counseling the student about the correct use of sources or referring the student to the Learning Resource Center for tutoring, usually in concert with revising the paper in question. (The instructor, however, does reserve the right to refuse the work and give student a zero for it.)
If the instructor determines a major violation has occurred (for example: cheating on an exam, a paper downloaded from the internet, drawings taken from a book or the internet, homework completed by another person), then the instructor should officially notify Academic Advising, filing a report that details the situation.
At this point, there will be a hearing involving the student, instructor, the director of Advising, the relevant program director, and the director of the Learning Resource Center (if necessary). The student will be allowed to explain him/herself. For more serious transgressions, a meeting with the vice president of Student Affairs may also be mandated.
Following all necessary meetings, sanctions will be determined. These may include: failure of the paper/project, failure of the course, suspension, or dismissal from the college. Regardless of disciplinary action taken, a note will be placed in the student's file.
Note: A student may not drop or withdraw from a class once an academic dishonesty investigation has begun, except at the discretion of the relevant program director. If said student attempts to do so without permission, the action will be refused or reversed.
If a student is accused of academic dishonesty a second time, sanctions are either suspension or dismissal from the college, along with a letter being automatically placed in the student's permanent file.
Reporting a Case of Academic Dishonesty
If a student suspects academic dishonesty in his/her class, s/he should contact the instructor who will evaluate the situation (determining whether such an act has taken place) and proceed based on the guidelines above. If the transgression takes place outside a single class (for instance: noticing plagiarized work in a portfolio), the student needs to contact Academic Advising and file an official complaint. The relevant program director will be notified.
The accused student will then be told an investigation of his/her work is underway. S/he will be asked to provide the material in question. If said material does appear to be plagiarized, a hearing will take place based on guidelines above.