Madison Area Technical College values the learning experience. To be successful, the learning experience requires trust between faculty and students, and adherence to standards of academic honesty and integrity. It is the intent and desire of the college that this integrity and trust be honored and protected. To avoid academic misconduct it is important that students understand how it is defined and what is expected of students. It is also important that students know their rights when an allegation of academic misconduct is made. Every member of the college community has the right to expect that all students will be graded fairly, and every member of the college community has rights of due process if accused of academic misconduct. Members of the college community are obligated to conduct academic work with honesty and integrity according to institutional standards. For these reasons, it is important that each student:
- BECOME FAMILIAR with the rules and consequences of academic misconduct.
- ASK INSTRUCTORS if you are unaware or uncertain of what behaviors constitute academic misconduct (for example, how to cite from the web or whether it is permissible to work with another student on an assignment).
- LET INSTRUCTORS KNOW if you believe you have witnessed an incident of academic misconduct. You may report your observations to your instructors without fear of retaliation.
- BE AWARE that helping someone else cheat is a violation of the rules and may result in misconduct charges.
Academic misconduct includes, but is not limited to acts in which:
- A student seeks to claim credit for the work or efforts of another without authorization or citation, i.e., plagiarism (View the Howler Tutorial  on Citing Sources and Avoiding Plagiarism );
- A student uses unauthorized materials (notes, calculators, etc.) in any academic exercise;
- A student forges or falsifies academic documents or records;
- A student provides examination questions or answers to another person, or accepts examination questions or answers from another person;
- A student copies the academic work of another student;
- A student intentionally impedes or damages the academic work of another;
- A student engages in conduct that misrepresents a student’s academic performance;
- A student assists another student in any of the acts described in this section; or,
- Any member of the college community assists or collaborates with a student in any of the acts described in this section.
- These definitions apply to all academic work, including, but not limited to, all exams, essays, homework, performances, computer programs, projects, labs, tutoring and the like.
Disciplinary Sanctions for Academic Misconduct
The following disciplinary sanctions may be imposed for academic misconduct:
- An oral reprimand;
- A written reprimand presented only to the student;
- An assignment to repeat the work to be graded on its merits;
- A lower grade on the particular assignment or test;
- A failing grade on the particular assignment or test;
- A lower grade in the course;
- A failing grade in the course;
- Removal of the student from the course in progress;
- Removal of the individual from the student help, lab, tutoring position, athletic team or other student-related activities; or,
- Recommendation to the Academic Appeals Board for the suspension of the student from the institution.
One or more of the disciplinary sanctions listed in (1) through (10) above may be imposed for an incident of academic misconduct.
Procedures for Addressing Allegations of Academic Misconduct
- When an instructor suspects that a student or college member has engaged in academic misconduct, the instructor will investigate the matter in a timely manner. The instructor will communicate the basis of his or her suspicion to the student or college member, if at all possible, to afford that individual the opportunity to respond.
- If, as a result of this investigation, the instructor determines that no academic misconduct occurred, the matter will be considered concluded.
- If, as a result of investigation, the instructor determines that academic misconduct occurred, sanctions (1) through (4) (alone or in combination) may be imposed at the discretion of the instructor (see “Disciplinary Sanctions for Academic Misconduct”). The determination and sanctions must be communicated to the student or college member orally in the case of sanction (1) or by letter or email in the case of sanctions (2) through (4).
- If the instructor determines that based on a reasonable assessment of the information available, academic misconduct occurred and sanctions (1) through (4) alone are inadequate or inappropriate to address the misconduct, the instructor may impose sanctions under (5) through (9). The instructor may also recommend suspension under sanction (10).
- If the instructor determines that one or more of the sanctions listed at (5) through (9) should be imposed, the instructor must prepare a written report so informing the student or college member. The report will contain the following:
The instructor will mail the report to the student in a timely manner using the college email system. The instructor will forward a copy of this report to the office of the Vice President for Student Development for inclusion in the student disciplinary file.The student has the right to appeal the determination of academic misconduct and/or sanctions imposed. See “Procedures to Appeal Determination and/or Disciplinary Sanction Due to Academic Misconduct” below.
- description of the misconduct and the basis for the determination;
- identification of the sanction(s) recommended;
- a notice of the student’s right to appeal the sanctions; and,
- a copy of the "Procedures to Appeal Determination and/or Disciplinary Sanctions Due to Academic Misconduct".
Procedures to Appeal Determination and/or Disciplinary Sanction
- A student against whom disciplinary sanctions are imposed has the right to appeal the determination that academic misconduct occurred, or the level of sanctions recommended, or both. In such cases the student must contact his or her program dean within 14 business days of the date of the instructor’s imposition of sanctions (1) through (9). The program dean, or if the dean has been previously involved, the dean’s designee, will conduct a review of the matter and will work with the student and instructor to attempt to facilitate a resolution. The student and instructor may each have one person of their choosing present for support during any meeting held by the dean regarding this matter. This support person will not be permitted to speak for, mediate or otherwise act as an advocate for the student or instructor. The program dean will complete the review within 10 business days of receiving the student’s appeal and communicate the results in writing to the student and faculty member within 5 days of the review.
- If the matter is not resolved by the program dean to the student’s satisfaction, s/he may make a written request for a hearing before the Academic Appeal Board through the office of the Provost.
- A letter or email containing this request must be received by the office of the Provost within 14 business days of the date of the program dean’s determination. If the student’s request for a hearing is not filed within the 14 business days, the student forfeits any further appeal of the academic dishonesty determination and sanctions.
- The student’s letter or email requesting a hearing must include the student’s reasons for disputing the determination of academic misconduct or recommended disciplinary sanctions or both. Reasons for appeal may include but are not limited to the following: new information; procedural error or irregularity; or the sanction imposed is not commensurate with the findings.
- The student must provide dated written documentation that the program dean reviewed the student’s appeal.
- A copy of the student’s letter or email requesting a hearing will be sent immediately to the instructor, the student's program dean, and the instructor’s dean by the Provost or designee.
- If the matter is not resolved by the program dean to the instructor’s satisfaction, s/he may make a written request for a hearing before the Academic Appeal Board through the office of the Provost.
- A letter or email containing this request must be received by the office of the Provost within 14 business days of the date of the program dean’s determination. If the instructor’s request for a hearing is not filed within the 14 business days, the instructor forfeits any further appeal associated with the academic dishonesty allegation.
- The instructor’s letter or email requesting a hearing must include the instructor’s reasons for disputing the determination of the student’s program dean.
- A copy of the instructor’s letter or email requesting a hearing will be sent immediately to the student, the student’s program dean and the instructor’s dean by the Provost or designee.
- Students are encouraged to ask for information and/or seek assistance regarding the appeals process through Madison College Counseling Services (Conflict Management Services). The role of Madison College Counseling Services in regard to academic dishonesty concerns is to provide information about the process and, if requested, provide support to the student through the process. Madison College Counseling Services does not mediate, negotiate, gather information, or serve any administrative role in issues involving academic integrity. A student may request assistance from Madison College Counseling Services by calling (608) 246-6076, or by stopping by the campus Student Development Center.
- A Madison College Academic Appeals Board hearing will be scheduled by the office of the Provost within 10 business days after receiving the written request for a hearing. The student, instructor or program dean may request that the time be extended for justifiable reasons (for example, summer schedules and faculty availability) or extenuating circumstances. The student, instructor and the program dean will be notified in writing in such circumstances. All persons involved in this hearing will be notified in writing of hearing time, date, and location by certified mail or personal delivery. The office of the Provost is responsible for these notifications. A decision will be made by the Madison College Academic Appeal Board regarding the matter in question. All parties will be notified of the decision by the Provost or designee within 5 business days of the conclusion of the hearing unless the Academic Appeals Board needs additional time to complete its work. Decisions of Academic Appeals Board are final.
- The Academic Appeals Board that presides at the Academic Appeals Board hearing consists of the Provost or designee and at least four members representing each of the following groups: faculty, learning program administrators, students designated by Student Senate, and a representative from Learner Development.