Connecticut State Colleges and Universities
Charter Oak State College Official Catalog

Academic Honesty Policy


A fundamental tenet of all educational institutions is academic honesty; academic work depends upon respect and acknowledgement of the research and ideas of others. Because Charter Oak State College is a nontraditional college, and the student's work is done at a distance, upholding academic integrity is of utmost importance. Charter Oak State College expects students and its faculty to uphold high standards of academic honesty in their scholarship and learning.

To this end, Charter Oak State College provides information about various web sites that will help students write research papers, provides free tutoring for those who need assistance in writing research papers,and allows students to submit drafts of their written work to Turnitin. Faculty make it clear on their course syllabi what constitutes academic dishonesty and the staff make it clear in publications and on the website.

When an instructor receives academic work from a student, the instructor expects the work to be that of the student, therefore:

  1. A student shall not receive credit for work that is not the result of the student's own effort or for work that is falsified. A student who is in doubt regarding standards of academic honesty in a course or assignment should consult the faculty member responsible for that course or assignment before submitting the work. A student's lack of understanding is not a valid defense to a charge of academic dishonesty.
  2. A student's name on any written assignment (e.g., examination, report, thesis, project, computer program, laboratory report, etc.) or in association with an oral presentation constitutes a representation that the work is the result of that student's own thought and study, stated in the student's own words, and produced without the assistance of others or available software, except as quotation marks and references accurately acknowledge the use of other sources, including sources found on the internet.
  3. Since many of our courses require group projects, it is important to clarify with the instructor which assignments can be turned in by the group and which must be the work of the individual student.
  4. Unless permission is received in advance from the faculty member in charge of the course involved, a student may not submit, in identical or similar form, work for one course that has been used to fulfill any academic requirement in another course at Charter Oak State College or any other institution. If a student perceives the possibility of overlapping assignments, the student should consult with the appropriate faculty. At Charter Oak State College, faculty are encouraged to use a software package that checks for plagiarism. This software package becomes a database for all papers ever turned in. Therefore if a student's paper has been submitted to the database for checking, if it or a similar paper had been turned in before, the results of the review of the new paper will show that a previous similar or identical paper had been submitted for another course.


Charter Oak uses electronic monitoring to check students papers for plagiarism. Currently Charter Oak is using the plagiarism detection website, Turnitin. When a paper is submitted to for review, the paper becomes part of the database. If the paper or part of the paper have already been submitted to, it will check the second paper against the other paper and sources, it will then show line by line the similarities and calculate the percentage of similarity.


Academic misconduct includes, but is not limited to:

  1. Plagiarism is defined as the submission of work by a student for academic credit as one's own work of authorship which contains work of another author without appropriate attribution. It is further defined as the intentional or unintentional use of data, ideas, written or spoken words without giving appropriate credit to the original source, even if the information from the source is paraphrased or in a modified format. Translation sources/programs fall under both these categories because the student is using an outside aid to finish an assignment and using words from another source.
    • Since assignments vary in purpose, the instructor will stipulate the relationship between original thought/work (data and reasoning) that will be required in each assignment.
  2. Copying from another person's paper or exam responses, or receiving unauthorized aid from a person during an exam, allowing someone to copy from your paper, or using unauthorized materials during an exam, including websites that sell of distribute course material;
  3. Providing or receiving assistance in a manner not authorized by the instructor in the creation of work to be submitted for academic evaluation (papers, projects, and examinations);
  4. Attempting to improperly influence any member of the faculty, staff, or administration of the college in any matter pertaining to academics or research;
  5. Using another person as a substitute in any form of academic evaluations or doing unauthorized academic work for which another will receive credit;
  6. Sharing of any logon and password information;
  7. Presenting the same or substantially the same papers or projects in two or more courses without the explicit permission of the instructors involved;
  8. Knowingly assisting another student in committing an act of academic misconduct, such student shall be equally accountable for the violation and shall be subject to the following sanctions:


  • First Offense - A student who has a first offense of academic dishonesty on any assignment (e.g. essay, quiz, test, paper, discussion, oral assignment, group project, or project) will receive a grade of F and 0 points and a warning from the instructor. However, if it is on the final exam or project, they will receive an F for the course.
  • Second Offense - The sanction for a second offense in the same course is failure of the course involved. If it is a second offense, but the first offence occurred in a different course, the student will still receive an F for the course in which he/she currently plagiarized.
  • Third Offense - Ordinarily, the sanction for a third offense of academic dishonesty is expulsion from the College.

In all cases of academic dishonesty, the instructor will notify the student and the Provost and or designee.

In portfolio assessment, plagiarism or falsifying documentation will result in dismissal from the portfolio process and potentially could result in dismissal from the College. Credit will be denied for the portfolio, the assessment fee will not be refunded, and the student will not be able to reapply for portfolio assessment for one year.

Breach of security and/or cheating by a student on a standardized examination will result in cancellation of test scores. Cheating on course examinations will result in an F for the test and may result in receiving an F for the course. If a student is a matriculated student at Charter Oak State College, other sanctions could also be imposed. A breach of security in test administration will result in cancellation of test scores

Violation of copyright of course materials

All course content is owned by the College.  The acquisition, without permission, of tests or other academic material belonging to the College, its faculty or staff, constitutes prohibited academic misconduct which is a violation of the Student Code of Conduct.  Note that this also extends to circumstances in which a student is found to have given or sold any course content to another student or to a third party (including third party websites).  Sanctions for students found in violation of the Student Code of Conduct for acts of academic misconduct may include disciplinary action leading up to expulsion, when warranted.

If a student has found to have given or sold any course content to another student or to a third party, including websites that say they are doing nothing illegal, a student will be dismissed from the college and legal action may be taken. All course content is owned by the College and therefore a student needs to get permission from the College to reuse it or sell it. 

Academic Honesty: Prior Learning Assessment & Testing

The Charter Oak Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) Director will seek to make it clear in the materials on portfolio preparation and assessment what constitutes plagiarism and cheating, and the penalties for such actions. Charter Oak State College proctors will, orally and/or in writing prior to the exam, inform examinees of test administration security standards and remind the students of the penalties for cheating. However, students are expected to be familiar with the requirements of the Student Code of Conduct with respect to academic integrity.

If, during the course of an examination, an instructor or proctor observes suspicious behavior, he/she shall warn the individuals involved regarding the appearance of their actions and request them to cease any suspicious actions immediately. If the behavior continues, it may be considered evidence of academic misconduct.

When an instructor or the PLA Director believes there is sufficient evidence of academic misconduct, the instructor shall notify the accused student in writing (and orally if possible) that unless the student requests a hearing in writing to the Provost within fifteen (15) business days to contest the instructor's belief, the instructor shall impose the appropriate academic consequences warranted by the circumstances. A copy of such written notification and action taken shall also be sent to the Provost.


If the student wishes to contest the sanctions, the student may request a hearing in writing directed to the Provost within fifteen (15) business days of being informed of the sanction. The hearing process is outlined in Section 4 F of the Student Code of Conduct. If the hearing process, including the appeal process is not completed before the end of the term, the student will receive a grade of incomplete (I) until final resolution of the issue.

Adopted: May 20, 2004