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Office of Student Affairs & Activities

Faculty Academic Integrity Resources

Foothill College is committed to excellence in the pursuit of learning and academic achievement by its students.

To further this goal, the college is committed to providing academic standards that are fair and equitable to all students in an atmosphere that fosters integrity on the part of student, staff and faculty alike. The student’s responsibility is to perform to the best of his or her potential in all academic endeavors. This responsibility also includes abiding by the rules and regulations set forth by individual faculty members related to preparation and completion of assignments and examinations.

The submission of work that is not the product of a student’s personal effort, or work which in some way circumvents the given rules and regulations, will not be tolerated. It is the responsibility of the faculty to clearly define the requirements and rules applicable to their courses for all students.

An applicable paragraph of the California State Educational Code (§ 76130) is quoted: “Code of Student Conduct: The college has an obligation to specify those standards of behavior essential to its educational mission and campus life. The following types of misconduct for which students are subject to disciplinary sanction apply at all times on campus as well as to any off-campus functions sponsored or supervised by the college: cheating, plagiarism or knowingly furnishing false information in the classroom or to a college officer.”

Important Information


College considers the following principles essential to its educational mission and its community life

  • Mutual respect between students, faculty and staff
  • Pursuit of studies with honesty and integrity
  • Respect for college and personal property
  • Compliance with all rules and regulations

What is Academic Integrity?

As a student at Foothill, you join a community of scholars who are committed to excellence in the teaching and learning process. We assume that all students will pursue their studies with integrity and honesty; however, all students should know that incidents of academic dishonesty are taken very seriously. When students are caught cheating or plagiarizing, a process is begun which may result in severe consequences. It is vitally important to your academic success that you know what constitutes academic dishonesty. 

It is the student’s responsibility to know what constitutes academic dishonesty. Interpretations of academic dishonesty may differ among individuals and groups. However, it is expected that Foothill students will refrain from the behavior outlined. If you are unclear about a specific situation, you should speak to your instructor.

What Is Academic Dishonesty?

The two most common kinds of academic dishonesty are cheating and plagiarism.

Cheating is the act of obtaining or attempting to obtain credit for academic work through the use of dishonest, deceptive or fraudulent means, such as

  • Copying, in part or in whole, from someone else’s test
  • Submitting work presented previously in another course, if contrary to the rules of either course
  • Altering or interfering with grading
  • Using or consulting any unapproved sources or materials during an examination, including consulting with other students or using electronic equipment such as cell phones, unless authorized by the instructor
  • Committing other acts that defraud or misrepresent

Plagiarism is representing the work of someone else as your own. This may include

  • Incorporating the ideas, words, sentences, paragraphs or parts of another person’s writings without giving appropriate credit, and representing the product as one’s own
  • Representing another’s artistic or scholarly works such as musical compositions, computer programs, photographs, paintings, drawings or sculptures as your own
  • Submitting a paper purchased from a research or term paper service, including the internet
  • Undocumented use of internet sources

Other examples of academic dishonesty include

  • Purposely allowing another student to copy from your paper during a test
  • Giving homework, term paper or other academic work to another student to plagiarize
  • Having another person submit any work in your name
  • Lying to an instructor or college official to improve your grade
  • Altering graded work after it has been returned, then submitting the work for re-grading
  • Stealing tests
  • Forging signatures on drop/add cards or other college documents
  • Collaboration without permission of instructor
  • Gaining unlawful or unauthorized access to college or district computers or servers

Consequences of Academic Dishonesty

Academic and/or administrative sanctions may be applied in cases of academic dishonesty.

  • Academic consequences may include
  • Receiving a failing grade on the test, paper or exam
  • Having course grade lowered
  • Receiving a grade of F in the course

Administrative consequences may include

  • Disciplinary probation
  • Disciplinary suspension
  • Expulsion

Students may also be subject to arrest or monetary fines if the academic dishonesty offense violates state or federal law.

Academic Integrity Reporting Process

Use the Academic Integrity Reporting Form to report all potential violations of academic dishonesty (cheating and plagiarism)

If you suspect a student has violated the Academic Integrity Policy, follow the steps below:

Faculty Steps

Inform Student

Inform the student that you have concerns with the assignment and you would like to discuss it. If more than one student is involved, meet with each student individually.  If you are unable to meet with the student notify the student of the finidngs and report the incident through the Maxient reporting form.

Assess Incident

If you meet with the student, the instructor should get a sense of how the student constructed the assignment or that he/she did violate the academic integrity policy.

Submit Maxient Incident Report

Fill out the online reporting form for violations to the Academic Integrity Policy. 

  • Attach all supporting documentation to Maxient report
  • Report must be submitted as soon as incident occurred
  • Report only facts of incident (please leave out opinions or comments that may sound bias against student)

Faculty Grading

Grading: Faculty may grade the student's assignment based on their grading and academic integrity policy as stated in their syllabi. The student may receive a grade reduction or a zero for the assignment they allegedly plagiarized. Please note that according to Title V, students cannot be automatically failleg for the entire course for academic integrity violations.

Office of Student Affairs Steps

Case Creation

Once a report is received: Office staff will create a file through Maxient to keep all documentation, communication, statuses.

Notice of Concern Letter to Student

Notice of Concern: Written notice must be provided to the student within 10 days of the date on which the conduct took place; in the case of continuous, repeated or ongoing conduct, the notice must be provided within 10 days of the date on which conduct occurred which led to the decision to take disciplinary action.

Notice of Receipt Letter to Faculty

Notice of Receipt: Written notice will be sent to the faculty that submitted the report.

Conduct Process

Office of Student Affairs and Activitees will work with student through student conduct process.

Please note: 

Our office cannot move forward with the disciplinary process until your student responds to our communication. 

Sanctions: If this is the student’s first offense, the student will receive a written warning, depending on the gravity of the offense (minor, moderate, major). In cases of repeated or major offenses, sanctions may vary from extended disciplinary probation to suspension from the Foothill-DeAnza District.

Student Educational Records in Accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA): Foothill College makes every effort to comply with FERPA, a federal law that protects the privacy of a student's educational record. Accordingly, we keep the student's conduct process outcomes confidential.

Status Updates: You will receive a notification from our office once a disciplinary resolution has been reached with your student.  As stated above, the outcome of the case, including sanctions, will not be disclosed in accordance with FERPA. However, our office will notify you once a resolution is reached and the case is closed.


Check this out! Helping Students Avoid Plagiarism

Many students arrive at the college uncertain of expectations. This uncertainty may have multiple origins.

Plagiarism is not an easy concept to fully grasp without considerable experience working with sources.

While the general principle of “not cheating” is easily understood and recognized in some forms of academic dishonesty (copying answers on a test, bringing a “cheat sheet” to an exam, etc.), knowing how to adequately cite the sources of one's expanding knowledge base is not easy.

Even expert writers can be found to have misquoted or misdated/paged the ideas and words of others (Pennycook, 1989). Additionally, the concept of paraphrase while not difficult in principle is extremely difficult to execute when the academic language resources of the writer are limited.

Within the context of avoiding plagiarism as a developing skill, there are a number of principles and practices faculty can use to help their students avoid the problem.

Why Students May Plagiarize

  • May not have received explicit, thorough, or effective instruction about plagiarism in high school;
  • May have been trained in a different national or cultural tradition, which can result in very different expectations about citation and textual ownership (Ballard & Clanchy, 1991, adapted in Hyland, 2003, p. 39);
  • May have difficulty understanding variations among disciplines—for example, that an acceptable paraphrase in their psychology class may look like plagiarism to their English professor (Jamieson, 2008).

General Principles

Some widely shared ideas for effectively addressing academic honesty are summarized below.

  • Be fully aware of the College's policy on plagiarism including all the consequences for the student and obligations of the instructor.
  • Devote class time throughout the quarter to supporting students as they learn the conventions of your field.
  • Be clear and explicit in your expectations (account for a learning curve with novice writers; decide whether to have a warning stage or not and inform the students).
  • Provide a definition that distinguishes weak use of citation format from plagiarism.
  • Design assignments to be very specific to course content, to synthesize ideas, to apply knowledge, and to require drafts.
  • Change assignments from quarter to quarter.
  • Require drafts of major assignments (treat misuse of sources differently on final drafts than on intermediate drafts).
  • Be consistent from student to student in enacting your policies.
  • When grading, hold firm in your commitment to promoting academic honesty and in holding students accountable for their actions and coursework; reward originality and proper citation




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