Reporting Process

The reputation Saint Mary's College of California and its programs depend on a collective commitment to academic integrity.  Faculty, students and staff members of our community pride themselves in valuing honesty and respecting the individual work of others.

The College expects all students, faculty, and staff members to uphold the College's standards of integrity.

Any member of our community is required to report suspected violations of the code:

  • Centralized reporting is necessary for fair and impartial administration of the code. 

  • To facilitate proper record-keeping to ensure that repeat offenses will not be overlooked.

What do I do if I suspect academic dishonesty?

If you suspect academic dishonesty, investigate the matter by privately discussing it with the student(s) involved.

  1. If the student(s) denies(y) responsibility and you are persuaded that there was no academic misconduct, then the matter ends.
  2. If a student admits to the violation, then you may agree to No-Contest Resolution that results in the standard sanction (the "XF" grade). Both parties must agree that a violation occurred and that the "XF" is an appropriate sanction. Contact the Coordinator of the Academic Honor Council (AHC). The Coordinator will meet with the student to witness the agreement, assist you in discussing the importance of the academic honor code, and provide counseling services to the student.
  3. If the student denies the misconduct but you retain your suspicion, or if both parties do not agree to the "XF" sanction, then you should refer the matter to the AHC.  Submit an online report form along with relevant original documents (i.e., exams, papers), course syllabus, and a brief written narrative explaining the alleged cheating incident to the Coordinator in Filippi Hall - Administrative Room 102.  Retain copies of documents sent to the AHC in a secure location. 

To report a suspected violation of the Academic Honor Code:

  1. Meet with student(s) to discuss the questionable work.

  2. If you no longer believe a violation of the code has occured, the matter is dropped.   If you still suspect a violation of the acadedemic honor code is possible, inform the student that you are obligated to submit the questionable materials to the Academic Honor Council for review.

  3. Submit confidential Report of Suspected Academic Dishonesty online to the AHC

  4. Submit assignment(s) in question, course syllabus, and brief written narrative explaining what led to this report to the AHC Coordinator, in Filippi Hall - Administrative (SEAS Office).

  5. The coordinator will contact the student(s) being reported and arrange a confidential meeting to discuss the reporting process and specifically what their options are, and provide additional support and campus referals as needed.

  6. If a student opts to take full responsibility for their actions by signing  a No-Contest Resolution, they will receive an XF grade from the Registrar's Office.   If a student wants to dispute the report, they have the option to request a Review Board with the Academic Honor Council, where the reporting and reported parties will meet with committee members and where they will review the situaiton to determine if 1) a violation has occured and 2) what the sanctioning will be.

  7. If a student violates the honor code, they are required to successfully complete the Integrity Seminar.

What happens in the Academic Honor Review Board Process?

  1. The reported and reporting party(s) meet with the AHC Coordinator individually and are assigned AHC Student Adviosrs to assist them as they navigate through the reporting process.  All conversations with the AHC Coordinator and Advisors are confidential.
  2. If the reported party(s) request a fair and unbaised review board to review the report, the Coordinator schedules an AHC Honor Review Board hearing.
  3. The Honor Review Board (consisting of 4 students and 1 faculty for undergraduate hearings, and 3 students and 2 faculty for graduate and professional boards) will review the facts of the matter in the presence of the parties involved.
  4. After the parties leave the room, the review board engages in a thorough deliberation to decide 1) whether or not a violation more than likely occured, and 2) if so, what the sanctioning will be. 

What will the penalty be?

  1. The standard sanction for a violaiton of the academic honor code is an "XF" grade for the course involved. The "XF" grade indicates a failure of the course, and an "X" signifies a violation of the Academic Honor Code.  An "X" disqualifies a student from representing the College as the leader of an approved extracurricular activity, or as a member of an athletic or scholarly team that is sponsored by the College. Students with "XF" grades will be eliminated from consideration for departmental or College awards and honors.
  2. Students may later petition for a removal of the "X" (leaving the "F") contingent upon successful completion of the AHC Integrity Seminar.
  3. Alternative sanctions may be imposed by the AHC depending upon the nature and circumstances of the violation.
  4. Most students found to be in violation of the code will be requried to succesfully complete the rehabilitative AHC Integrity Seminar, a confidenital eight-week course that incorporates collegiate seminar with group counseling components.  The learning outcome is for each student to begin formulaing a personal definintion of integrity.
  5. Although students generally are not removed from the College for first-time violations, the standard sanction for a second violation is suspension from the College, and the standard sanction for a third violation is expulsion.  
  6. When referring a case to the AHC, the reporting party(s) may recommend that a harsher or more lenient sanction be imposed; the final decision, however, rests with the AHC.

For more detailed descriptions of the procedures, please consult the Student Handbook.

What do I do about the student's grade?

  1. Until the matter is decided by the AHC, it is not appropriate to assign a grade. 
  2. If it is necessary to submit grades before the process is completed, then you should submit an "I" (Incomplete) until the matter is resolved.
  3. Students are allowed to remain in the course until a decision is reached by the AHC regarding the allegation. 

Adapted from materials available through the UC Davis Student Judicial Affairs Office