Policy: Policy 3-4-5: Academic Integrity Date Adopted: Nov 15, 2005
Department: Academic & Student Affairs Contact: Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs
Statement: Western Nevada College is committed to providing a high quality educational experience for all students who attend the college. Academic integrity and honesty in all educational classrooms and programs are critical in providing this high level of education attainment. Students at Western Nevada College are expected to be honest and forthright in their academic endeavors because academic dishonesty disrupts the learning process and threatens the educational environment for all students.


Section 1: Guidelines for Academic Integrity

  1. Students assume full responsibility for the content and integrity of the coursework they submit. The following are guidelines to assist students in ensuring academic integrity:
    1. Students must complete and submit only their own work on examinations, reports, and projects, unless otherwise permitted by the instructor. Students are encouraged to contact their instructor about appropriate citation guidelines.
    2. Students may benefit from working in groups. They may collaborate or cooperate with other students on graded assignments or examinations as directed by the instructor.
    3. Students must follow all written and/or verbal instructions given by instructors or designated college representatives prior to taking examinations, placement assessments, tests, quizzes, and evaluations.
    4. Students are responsible for adhering to course requirements as specified by the instructor in the course syllabus.

Section 2: Academic Dishonesty

  1. The College places a high expectation on all students to act honestly in all situations. The College does recognize that some students will choose to commit acts of academic dishonesty, which places an expectation on all faculty and staff to confront these acts of dishonesty.

Section 3: What is Academic Dishonesty?

  1. Academic dishonesty is any form of cheating and plagiarism which results in students giving or receiving unauthorized assistance in an academic exercise or receiving credit for work which is not their own. Academic dishonesty is a behavioral issue, not an issue of academic performance. As such, it is considered an act of misconduct and is subject to the College disciplinary process as defined in the Nevada System of Higher Education Code.

Section 4: What are Specific Acts of Academic Dishonesty?

  1. Cheating
    Cheating is an act of deception by which a student misrepresents that he or she has mastered information on an academic exercise, which in fact has not been mastered. Examples include:
    1. Copying from another student's test or assignment.
    2. Allowing another student to copy from a test or assignment.
    3. Collaborating during a test with any other person without instructor permission.
    4. Using the course textbook or other course materials during a test without instructor permission.
    5. Using prepared materials during a test (e.g., notes, formula lists, notes written on the students clothing, etc.) without instructor permission
    6. Stealing, buying, or otherwise obtaining all or part of a test before it is administered.
    7. Selling or giving away all or part of an unadministered test, including answers.
    8. Bribing any person to obtain an unadministered test or any information about the test.
    9. Taking a test for someone else or permitting someone to take a test for the student.
  2. Plagiarism
    Plagiarism is presenting someone else's or computer generated words, ideas or data as one's own. When a student submits work that includes the words, ideas or data of others, the source of that information must be acknowledged through complete, accurate and specific references, and if verbatim statements are included, through quotation marks as well.
    1. In academically honest writing or speaking, the student will acknowledge the source whenever:
      1. Another person's actual words are quoted.
      2. Another person's idea, opinion or theory is used, even if it is completely paraphrased in the students own words.
      3. Facts, statistics, or other illustrative materials are borrowed, unless the information is common knowledge.
    2. Some pitfalls that lead to plagiarism:
      1. Procrastination
      2. Failure to follow instructions for the assignment
      3. Inadequate writing skills to accomplish the assignment
    3. How you can avoid these problems:
      1. Have someone you trust review your work and/or sources.
      2. Talk with your faculty members, Academic Director, or counselor about your writing skills.
      3. Complete drafts before due dates.
      4. Use the Academic Skills Center.
  3. Multiple Submission
    Submitting, without prior permission, any work submitted to fulfill another academic requirement.
  4. Fabrication
    Fabrication is the intentional use of invented information or the falsification of research or other findings with the intent to deceive. Examples include:
    1. Submitting as the students own work any academic exercise (e.g., written work, lab work, computer work, art work, etc.) prepared totally or in part by another. (The typing of a student paper by another person is permissible, but all corrections and rephrasing must be the students own.)
    2. Inventing data or source information for research or other academic exercises.
    3. Citing of information not taken from the source indicated.
    4. Listing sources in a bibliography not actually used in the academic exercise.
  5. Grade Tampering
    Grade tampering involves changing, altering, or being an accessory to the changing and/or altering of a grade in a grade book, on a test, on an assignment, on a grade change form, or on any other official academic record.
  6. Failure to Report a Violation
    The conscious failure to report any student who has committed a breach of the Code and may result in action against the student involved.
  7. This is not meant to be an exhaustive list of all acts of academic dishonesty, but is a guide to help student and faculty understand what constitutes academic dishonesty.

Section 5: Academic Dishonesty Complaint and Hearing Procedures

  1. The faculty member observing or investigating the apparent act of academic dishonesty documents the commission of the act, usually by writing down the time, date, place, and a description of the act.
  2. The faculty member collects evidence, often by photocopying the plagiarized assignment and creating a paper trail of all that occurs after the alleged act of academic dishonesty. Often the evidence will include various samples of the students work showing a radical disparity in style or ability.
  3. The faculty member provides the student with an opportunity to explain the incident.
  4. The faculty member explains to the student the procedures and penalties for academic dishonesty and gives the student a copy of the Western Nevada College Academic Integrity Statement.
  5. The faculty member may resolve the matter informally by determining an appropriate course of action, which may include a verbal or written warning, or a failing grade on an assignment, project, or examination, or no further action. If the accused student contests the faculty members decision, a hearing with the Academic Director may be requested. The faculty members policy, with regard to dishonesty, should be included in the course syllabus.
  6. If the faculty member wishes to initiate further action, the faculty member may refer the matter to the Dean of Students to initiate a disciplinary proceeding pursuant to WNC Policy 3-4-4 and NSHE Board of Regents Handbook, Title 2, Chapter 2, governing the rules of conduct and procedures for students. In cases where the academic faculty member is unwilling or unavailable or in a case where a student is suspected to have cheated in multiple classes, the appropriate Academic Director may initiate the process.

Section 6: Suspected Academic Dishonesty Outside of the Classroom

  1. The College requires that standards of academic integrity and academic honesty be upheld outside the classroom as wells as inside the classroom. Examples of academic dishonesty outside a classroom could include cheating, photocopying papers and tests, plagiarism, and illegal access to web courses and tests, etc. If a student is suspected of committing an act of academic dishonesty outside the classroom (in a lab, the library, the learning center, etc.) the student will be subject to the following:
    1. The person who believes that academic dishonesty took place will gather all available evidence and forward it to the instructor of record for the class in question or appropriate Academic Director. The instructor or Academic Director will then confront the student with the evidence and follow the steps outlined above.

Date(s) Revised March 8, 2024; November 7, 2017; June 19, 2013; September 2, 2008 ; Date(s) Reviewed