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Student Guide on Academic Integrity

This guide is intended to provide students involved in a potential academic integrity violation in a class taught by the College of Health and Human Development with clear information on student rights and the applicable policies and procedures for academic integrity. In addition to reviewing the information below, students should consult information on academic integrity from the University Faculty Senate, the Academic and Administrative Policies and Procedures Manual, and the College of Health and Human Development's academic integrity policies and procedures.

Information for Students Regarding Academic Integrity 

· You may contact the College of Health and Human Development academic integrity coordinator, Dennis Shea ( or 814-863-2901), if you have questions or concerns, or if you would like guidance or information throughout the academic integrity process. The Academic integrity Coordinator can help students understand their student rights related to academic integrity. 

· If an HHD instructor has academic integrity concerns about your work, they will initially contact you to meet and discuss their concerns. 

· HHD recommends that academic integrity meetings be held in-person, but they may be done by Zoom, Teams, or phone, if necessary. At the academic integrity meeting, the instructor will explain their concerns and will share documentation related to these concerns. They will also give the student an opportunity to explain their perspective. 

· Continue to attend class and complete all assignments in the class until a final decision on the case is made. Students are not permitted to drop a class while an academic integrity review is occurring. And, if a student is found not responsible for a violation, they can continue in the class and receive the grade earned. If the student drops the course or withdraws from the course during the academic integrity process, the Registrar will administratively re-enroll the student in the course. 

· All persons involved with an academic integrity situation are expected to treat the information with confidentiality in mind. Academic integrity information should not be discussed with any person not involved in the case and no person other than the instructor, student, academic department/program leaders, and members of the HHD Academic Standards Committee involved with the case should have access to information or discuss the events. 

· Students should check their Penn State e-mail account regularly for updates on from the online academic integrity system or the Academic Integrity Coordinator.

· Students in the Schreyer Honors College should consult University and Schreyer Honors College guidelines concerning academic integrity violations by students in the Schreyer Honors College. The Schreyer Honors College may impose additional sanctions on students who violate the University’s or the Schreyer Honors College’s academic integrity policies. 

· A student may seek advice or consultation from anyone they choose regarding an academic integrity situation. 

· After meeting with the student, the instructor will decide whether or not to file an academic integrity form. If the instructor believes the student has NOT violated academic integrity, they will let the student know and will destroy all materials related to the meeting. If the instructor believes there is a violation of academic integrity, they will file an academic integrity form through the university’s online academic integrity reporting system. 

· Students will receive an email notification from the online academic integrity reporting system that will include the documentation that the instructor has submitted and indicates the sanction that the instructor has recommended. Faculty can propose two types of sanctions, academic and University-level administrative sanctions. 

  • Academic sanctions include a wide range of actions that would result in the modification of grades for assignments or a course and are proposed by the instructor. Students can consult the University's Sanctioning Guidelines to see what types of sanctions might be proposed by the instructor. 
  • University-level administrative sanctions may be proposed by the instructor. All recommendations for University-level administrative sanctions undergo a review process within HHD. If approved, they are forwarded to the appropriate university office, who makes the final decision on whether these sanctions are applied to the student. 

· Once a student has received notification that an academic integrity form has been filed regarding their academic work in a College of Health and Human Development class, the student has 5 business days to select one of three options in response. A student can accept responsibility, contest the violation, or choose not to acknowledge the form. Details on these options are found at the link. 

· If a student’s chosen response is to contest their responsibility for an academic integrity violation and/or to contest the sanction proposed by the instructor, then the HHD Academic Integrity Coordinator will initiate an Academic Integrity Review for the student. A panel of the HHD Academic Standards Committee will review the information and make a decision about the violation and sanction. 

· As part of the Academic Integrity Review, a student has the opportunity to submit documentation. A student can prepare a statement detailing the situation and events from their perspective. This statement is a chance to voice the student’s perspective, provide relevant evidence, describe special circumstances regarding the events, etc. A student may also gather and submit any other supporting documentation that is relevant to the case (i.e., a list of cited sources used for an essay; a statement from a peer, teacher, or doctor; a copy of e-mail messages; etc.). A student submitting documentation should be thorough, but stay focused on the alleged incident and should use a professional and composed tone. All supporting documentation can be uploaded to the online academic integrity system. 

· The instructor can also submit documentation for an Academic Integrity Review. The instructor and the student have an opportunity to respond to what has been submitted by the other individual through the online academic integrity system. 

· The Academic Integrity Coordinator makes the final decision on whether documentation submitted is provided to the Academic Integrity Review Panel. 

· In HHD, students select from two options for their Academic Integrity Review, a “paper review” or a “full hearing”. In a paper review, after documentation is exchanged through the online academic integrity system, a panel of the College of Health and Human Development Academic Standards Committee will review the information and make a final decision on the violation and/or sanction. 

· In a full hearing, in addition to the documentation exchanged through the online academic integrity system, the student and instructor will meet with a panel of the College of Health and Human Development Academic Standards Committee. The panel, student, and instructor will discuss the documentation submitted and have the opportunity to ask questions. Then, the panel will meet privately and make a final decision on the violation. 

· A student may bring one advisor with them to a full hearing, but the advisor must be a member of the University community (faculty, administrative, staff or currently enrolled student). Family members or legal counsel (unless part of the University community) may not attend a full hearing. 

· As part of a paper review or full hearing, or in any situation where a student has a prior academic integrity violation or the instructor has recommended a University-level administrative sanction, the Academic Integrity Coordinator will initiate a sanction review by a panel of the HHD Academic Standards Committee. 

· In a sanction review, the panel of the HHD Academic Standards committee can increase or decrease academic sanctions, approve an XF grade sanction on the student’s academic transcript, approve removal of a student from their academic program, and/or approve a recommendation to be forwarded to the appropriate university office requesting that a University-level administrative sanction be implemented. 

· After the final decision on the violation and sanction are made by the panel of the HHD Academic Standards Committee, the HHD Academic Integrity Coordinator will communicate the decisions to the student and forward the information to the appropriate university office. Students can appeal decisions regarding an XF grade sanction or a program removal sanction to the Dean of the College of Health and Human Development. 

· At Penn State, the university’s emphasis is that “…academic integrity is best taught and reinforced by faculty as an element of the teaching and learning process…”. HHD encourages instructors to treat this as an opportunity to discuss a student’s actions in light of the expectations for integrity at Penn State and in their future endeavors and to help students learn how to meet those expectations. Students should understand the following: 

  • An academic integrity violation can be unintentional. A student may make an unintentional error in using proper citations in a paper, and this mistake may still be an academic integrity violation. 
  • Holding students accountable when they make errors or ethical violations is part of the teaching and learning process. 
  • In HHD, we encourage instructors to report minor violations. This is the best way to make sure students learn and to also hold repeat offenders accountable, protecting the integrity of all Penn State academic degrees. 
  • When students are completing group work, all students who are members of the group are responsible for the academic integrity of the work submitted, unless the instructor has described exceptions to this. 
  • When you graduate from Penn State, records of all academic integrity violations are destroyed, unless you have committed an egregious violation. A single academic integrity offense typically does not result in disciplinary or other significant consequences, beyond the academic sanction for the assignment or course.