academic integrity, probation, appeals
All students at Regent College are expected to practise uncompromised integrity in all academic matters. The fact that Regent is a Christian college makes vigilance in this area all the more imperative. Consequently, academic offences shall not be tolerated.
Academic offences that are subject to penalty include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Plagiarism: Plagiarism is an academic offence in which someone presents, in whole or in part, the work of another person as his or her own work. Academic work properly involves the examination, critical evaluation, and utilization of contributions of other people. However, whenever someone uses the contributions of others in an academic setting, he or she must acknowledge the author of those contributions through footnotes or other acceptable referencing practices. Failure to do so constitutes plagiarism. Plagiarism can occur in written work (e.g., failure to acknowledge the use of other people’s words and ideas) and in non-written work (e.g., failure to acknowledge the use of other people’s images or creations in a work of art, or of other people’s words in an oral presentation).
- Cheating: Cheating is an academic offence involving the failure to follow the instructions pertaining to the conditions for writing an assignment or examination, or falsifying material subject to academic evaluation. Cheating includes, but is not limited to, copying work from another person or text, using unauthorized materials or equipment in an examination, obtaining examinations or similar materials by improper means, and impersonating another student or submitting work under another student’s name.
- Duplicating Assignments: It is an academic offence to submit the same, or substantially the same, essay, presentation, or assignment in more than one course, whether the earlier presentation was at Regent College or at another institution, unless prior approval has been obtained.
- False Representation: Making false representation by submitting false records or information, whether in writing or orally, by falsifying or submitting false documents (including, but not limited to, the following: transcripts, letters of reference, financial aid documents), or by failing to submit required records or information, is an academic offence.
The assessment of penalties for academic offences is at the discretion of the Academic Standards Committee; recommendations for suspension shall be referred to the Senate. Where the Committee determines that a student’s behaviour does warrant discipline, it may impose one or more of the following penalties:
- A reduced grade, including a grade of zero or Fail, on the assignment, test, or exam in question.
- A reduced grade, including a grade of Fail, on the course in question.
- A notation to be placed on the student’s transcript stating that the student has committed an academic offence and indicating the penalty imposed.
- Suspension or cancellation of any bursaries, scholarships, or other forms of financial aid.
- Suspension from the College, whether for a specified period of time, an indefinite period of time, or permanently (i.e., expulsion).
- Rejection of admission to a program or to the College.
Consideration of the severity of the offence shall be given in determining the appropriate penalty. Under normal circumstances, however, the penalties shall be as follows:
- In cases of plagiarism or cheating, the penalty for the first offence shall be failure of the course; the penalty for a subsequent offence shall be failure of the course and suspension from the College.
- In the case of duplicating assignments, the penalty for the first offence shall be a full letter grade reduction in the course and the student shall be required to re-write and submit the assignment in acceptable form; the penalty for a second offence shall be failure of the course and suspension from the College.
- In the case of false representation in the context of an application for admission, the penalty shall be rejection of admission to the College; in the case of false representation in the context of a course, the penalty shall be failure of the course and suspension from the College.
In all cases of academic offence, a notice shall be placed in the student’s file. In the case of suspension, a notation of the penalty shall be entered on the student’s record, which shall appear on his or her academic transcript. After at least two years following the termination of the suspension, the student may appeal to the Academic Standards Committee to have this notation removed. Students shall not receive credit for courses taken at another institution while on suspension.
All work submitted by students may be reviewed, by whatever means seem appropriate, to ensure that an academic offence has not been committed. These means may include, but are not limited to, using one or more software and/or internet-based service to verify the authenticity and originality of students’ work. Professors who suspect that a student has committed an academic offence must report their suspicions to the Registrar, with supporting evidence.
Upon receipt of a report from a professor of an alleged academic offence, the Registrar shall refer the matter, along with supporting evidence provided by the professor, to the Academic Standards Committee. The Registrar shall also invite the student alleged to have committed an academic offence to answer, in writing, the allegations being raised against him or her. The student shall be given a minimum of fourteen days to provide a written defense before the Academic Standards Committee meets. The Academic Standards Committee shall consider the evidence provided by the professor and the defense provided by the student (if any), and any other information that may be relevant to the case, in determining whether or not an academic offence has been committed, and, if so, what the appropriate penalty shall be, with reference to the penalties outlined above. Where the penalty is suspension from the College, the Academic Standards Committee shall make recommendation to the Senate and the Senate shall make the final decision regarding the penalty.
The student has the right to appeal, in writing, to the Senate the decision or recommendation of the Academic Standards Committee regarding a penalty against him or her. Letters of appeal must be submitted to the Academic Dean within thirty days of the decision of the Academic Standards Committee, failing which, no appeal shall be entertained by the Senate. The Senate shall consider whatever information has been provided by the Academic Standards Committee and by the student, and any other information that may be relevant to the case, in deciding whether to uphold the recommendation of the Academic Standards Committee, to impose a different penalty, or not to impose a penalty at all. All decisions of the Senate are final.
The purpose of the probation policy is to alert students, where applicable, to the fact that they are not succeeding academically and to impress upon them the importance of giving serious attention to their academic performance in order to continue their studies. The policy also provides a mechanism for preventing students who are not likely to succeed from continuing their studies.
Criteria for Probation
Students admitted to Regent College are expected to maintain a grade point average (GPA) high enough to graduate. Students admitted to a program must maintain the minimum graduation GPA for that program (see Graduation Requirements and Procedures). In addition, students admitted with Special Student status must maintain the minimum graduation GPA for the GradDipCS program over the ﬁrst 30 credit hours, but must maintain the minimum GPA for the MA Theo Studies program in order to go beyond 30 credit hours. Students who fall below the minimum level, who have completed at least 12 credit hours of studies at Regent, shall be placed on academic probation.
Applicants to the College who have an undergraduate degree with a GPA less than the minimum normally required for admission, but who, in the opinion of the Admissions Committee, are suitable candidates for admission, may be admitted on probation. Students admitted to the College who are applying to the MA Theo Studies or MDiv program, but whose GPA is less than, but within 0.3 of, that required for admission, may be admitted to the program on probation.
Process for Students on Probation
Students who have been placed on probation for having a low GPA shall be required to do the following in the order indicated:
- Meet with the Registrar in order to devise a recovery plan for raising their GPA above the minimum required (e.g., retaking courses with low or failing grades, taking fewer courses at a time so as to achieve higher grades).
- Meet with the Dean of Students and on the basis of the recovery plan approved by the Registrar discuss any other actions that may need to be taken in order to improve their academic performance (e.g., restricting non-academic activities, taking a course in Academic Writing and/or English).
A record of the recovery plan and any recommendations from the Dean of Students shall be kept in the student’s ﬁle.
Students who have been admitted to the College on probation shall remain on probation for one year, but they shall not be required to do (1) and (2) in the paragraph above unless after their ﬁrst term their GPA is lower than that required to be taken off of probation. Students who have been admitted to the MA Theo Studies or MDiv program on probation shall remain on probation for one year and shall be required to do (1) and (2) in the paragraph above.
Action to be Taken at the End of Probation Year
Students shall be taken off probation if after one year their cumulative GPA has risen above the minimum level as deﬁned under “Criteria for Probation” above.
If after one year of being on probation a student’s cumulative GPA does not rise sufﬁciently for him or her to be taken off probation, then:
- Those admitted to the Diploma in Christian Studies program or to Graduate Studies, and those admitted on Special Student status, will not be permitted to register for further courses at the College.
- Those admitted to the MA Theo Studies, MDiv, or ThM program will not be permitted to continue in their program. Those who would still be on probation if they went into the GradDipCS program will not be permitted to register for further courses at the College.
When a student is not permitted to register for further courses in accordance with this policy, an indication that the student is not in good standing shall be made on the student’s academic transcript. Probationary status, however, shall not be indicated on the transcript.
Students who believe that an exception ought to be made in their case (concerning probation, continuing in a program or taking further courses) may appeal in writing to the Academic Standards Committee. The decision of the Academic Standards Committee shall be ﬁnal. Students shall not be permitted to take courses at Regent while an appeal is in process.
In the event where a student’s appeal is successful, he or she shall remain on probation for one year and shall be subject to all the regulations of this Probation Policy and to any conditions stipulated by the Academic Standards Committee. Also, where a student has completed academic courses at another institution while he or she has not been permitted to register for courses at Regent College, and then successfully appeals to continue to take courses at Regent, the credits earned at the other institution may be transferred to a program at Regent in accordance with the College’s Transfer Credit and Exemption Policy and the Residency Requirements Policy.
Students who feel aggrieved regarding a decision relative to their academic program (e.g., admission to a degree, a ruling regarding an academic requirement or policy) may appeal the decision. The general appeal process is as follows:
- The appeal would normally be made, in the first instance, to the person or committee responsible for the contested decision (e.g., the Registrar).
- Where the student is not satisfied that the appeal has been fairly heard or considered, or where he or she wishes to appeal for an exception to College policy, a further appeal may be made:
- In the case of an admissions matter, appeal should be directed to the Admissions Committee, which meets regularly throughout the year.
- In the case of a ruling regarding an academic requirement or policy, appeal should be made to the Academic Standards Committee. For specific information on the appeal process for the following, see the relevant section in this Catalogue:
Final Project Extension
Submission deadlines for Academic Standards Committee
Letters appealing for an exception to Regent’s academic policies or requirements should be written to the Academic Standards Committee and submitted to the Registrar. The deadline for submission of appeals is two weeks prior to a meeting.
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