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Academic Integrity 4.407

I. Statement on Academic Integrity

Elgin Community College strives to foster an environment of respect for and achievement of the highest levels of academic integrity for all members of its academic community.  Academic integrity and honesty are essential hallmarks of the institution’s contributions to the greater society and cannot be abridged without considerable harm to those who must rely upon the intellectual pursuits of the institution.

The college community has responsibilities to all those within its sphere of influence, both within the academic community itself and to the greater society which supports its work. Institutional integrity can only be achieved through honesty, conscientiousness, and credibility of the members of the ECC community itself.  To that end, all members of the ECC community are expected to comply with the college’s shared values, which emphasize excellence, freedom of inquiry, equity, ethical practices, accountability, respect for diversity, and community engagement; and with its codes of conduct, which expressly forbid any form of academic dishonesty. 

For more information on how to avoid academic integrity violations, see the Plagiarism Modules available from the main menu, under Student Support, in D2L or via Students may also use the ECC Library resources for citing sources at or seek assistance from the Write Place staff.

II. Acts of Academic Dishonesty include, but are not limited to the following:

A. Cheating

At its most basic level, cheating is the unauthorized use of outside assistance.  Cheating includes use of notes, study aids, or other devices that are expressly forbidden by the instructor for the completion of an assignment or an examination.  In addition, cheating occurs when a student copies another individual's work or ideas.

B. Plagiarism

Plagiarism is the presentation of another person’s written words or ideas as one’s own.  Students are guilty of plagiarism if they submit as their own work:

  • the sequence of ideas, arrangement of material, pattern of thought of someone else, even though it is expressed in the student’s own words; plagiarism occurs when such a sequence  of ideas is transferred from a source to their work without the processes of digestion, integration, and reorganization in the writer’s mind, and without acknowledgement in their work.
  • part or all of a written assignment copied or paraphrased from another person’s work without proper documentation reusing or modifying a previously submitted  work for a present assignment without obtaining prior permission from the instructors involved

C. Fabrication

Fabrication is the invention or counterfeiting of data and/or research.  

D. Complicity

Complicity occurs when a student provides assistance in any act that violates the integrity policy.  Students are guilty of being accomplices to academic dishonesty if they:

  • allow their work to be copied and submitted as the work of another
  • prepare work for another student and allow it to be submitted as that student’s own work
  • keep or contribute materials with the clear intent that they will be copied or  submitted as work of anyone other than the author
  • purchase work from another source
  • fail to report acts of plagiarism to their instructor; students who know their work is being copied are presumed to consent to its being copied

E. Multiple Submissions

Multiple submission occurs when a student submits the same (or largely unaltered) work in multiple courses without instructor approval.  Multiple submission does not include coursework in learning community or linked courses (in which instructors develop assignments together), nor shall it cover those situations in which a student has received approval to expand or develop previous work.

F. Misconduct in Research

Misconduct in research occurs when a student violates professional guidelines or standards in research, to include college standards and codes of conduct.

III. Instructor Initiated Sanctions

If an instructor identifies an act of academic dishonesty, the instructor shall determine the appropriate sanction(s) for the particular offense. The instructor may choose to document any of the following actions using the Academic Integrity Violation form:

  • Verbal warning
  • Completion of non-credit “Writing with Integrity” course through the Write Place
  • Rewrite/redo assignment
  • Reduced grade/failure on assignment 

When an instructor chooses to reduce the final course grade or fails the student in the course, the student must be informed of the act in writing using the Academic Integrity Policy Violation form. The form must be completed then emailed to the student via their ECC student email account with an electronic copy to the Academic Dean, Dean of Students, and Registrar.  

The student must also be informed by the instructor of his or her right to appeal the instructor’s determination to the appropriate Academic Dean (see Part IV). A student must appeal within ten days of instructor notification.  While an appeal is in progress, the student must be allowed to continue actively participating in the class as long as the student is in compliance with the college’s Student Code of Conduct Administrative Procedure 4.402.

A documented subsequent violation of the Academic Integrity procedure recorded with the Dean of Student Services & Development shall result in administrative sanctions as outlined in the Administrative Procedure 4.402 (Student Code of Conduct), which may include:

  1. Disciplinary warning or probation
  2. Participation in non-credit “Writing with Integrity” course
  3. Suspension
  4. Expulsion

IV. Appeal Process

A student charged with an act of academic dishonesty may appeal the instructor’s determination. Students should continue active participation in the course while appeals are under review. The phases outlined below shall be followed. All dates will extend from the date of first notification by the faculty even if such dates fall before the end of the semester.  In addition, students who appeal a specific finding of academic dishonesty may not appeal the final grade in the class for reasons associated with the specific academic integrity charge.

Phase I: Informal Resolution

The purpose of Phase 1 is for the faculty member and the student to resolve the disagreement following and documenting these steps:  

  • Step 1: The student must contact the faculty member within ten (10) days of receiving the Academic Integrity Violation form with a written request to the faculty email account identified in the course documents.
  • Step 2: The faculty member, if available, must respond in writing to the student’s Elgin Community College email account within ten (10) days from the day the student contacts the faculty member.

If the student and faculty member cannot reach an agreement or if the faculty member is unavailable, the student may move on to Phase 2.

Phase 2: Division Review

The purpose of Phase 2 is to allow for independent review of the student’s appeal by following and documenting these steps:

  • Step 1: To formally appeal the Academic Integrity charge, the student must submit a written statement with documentation to the appropriate Academic Dean for review within ten (10) days of receiving the faculty member’s response (or if ten (10) days has passed with no response).
  • Step 2: Within ten (10) days, the Dean will review the documentation and confer with the faculty member, if available, and student to determine if the appeal has merit. If the Dean determines that the appeal has merit, he or she will work with the faculty member, if available, and the student in an effort to resolve the problem in a manner that is agreeable to both the faculty member and student.  If such a solution is determined, the Dean and faculty member, if available, will work together to implement the solution as noted in Phase 4, Step 1. 
  • Step 3: If such a solution is not found within ten (10) days, the Dean will forward his or her recommendations to the Vice President of Teaching, Learning and Student Development, as noted in Phase 3.

If dissatisfied with the Dean’s recommendation, the student or faculty member may submit a written appeal to the Vice President of Teaching, Learning and Student Development within five (5) days of the Dean’s recommendation as noted in Phase 3

Phase 3: Vice President/Committee Review

The purpose of Phase 3 is to provide due process for students and faculty by following and documenting these steps: 

  • Step 1: If the appeal is denied by the Vice President, the student shall be notified within five (5) days and the matter shall be at an end.
  • Step 2: If the Vice President determines that the appeal has merit, within five (5) days of receiving that written appeal, s/he will notify Elgin Community College Faculty Association (ECCFA) of the need to appoint and convene an Academic Integrity Appeal Advisory Committee.  The Vice President, in consultation with ECCFA, is responsible for ensuring that those designated to serve are not directly involved with the concern nor have any other conflict of interest. The committee will be comprised of the president of the student senate and three faculty members from three different academic disciplines, including one from the course discipline or closely related field and two from outside of the course discipline.
  • Step 3: ECCFA will consult with the Vice President and will select these members within ten (10) days of receipt of the request.  After ten (10) days, if ECCFA is unable to fulfill the request, the Vice President shall appoint, in consultation with ECCFA, the faculty representatives for the committee.  The faculty members will elect the chair of the committee.  
  • Step 4: The committee will hold formal hearing(s) at which the student and the faculty member may provide documentation.  The student must be advised of his or her right to be accompanied by an advisor (who may be an attorney, but may not participate in the hearings except as an advisor to the student).  The faculty member may also bring an advisor (who may be an attorney, but may not participate in the hearings except as an advisor to the faculty member).  All committee hearings shall be confidential.
  • Step 5: The committee shall review the evidence and make a written recommendation to the Vice President Teaching Learning Student Development within three days of the last hearing.  The Vice President may accept or modify the Academic Integrity Appeal Advisory Committee’s recommendations and may determine additional sanctions or responses, as necessary.  The Vice President will notify the faculty member, the student, the appropriate Academic Dean, and the chair of the Academic Integrity Appeal Advisory Committee of his or her decision within five (5) days of receiving the Committee’s recommendation. 

Phase 4: Resolution

The purpose of Phase 4 is to implement the findings of the grade appeal process by following and documenting these steps:

  • Step 1: If the Dean (in Phase 2) or the Academic Integrity Appeal Advisory Committee (in Phase 3) finds merit in the appeal, the faculty member, if available, will be given an opportunity to change the student’s grade prior to the Academic Dean or Committee reporting to the Vice President.  The Academic Dean or Chair of the Academic Integrity Appeal Advisory Committee will notify the Vice President of Teaching, Learning and Student Development of the faculty member’s decision in his or her report to the Vice President.
  • Step 2: If, after all appropriate steps, the grade appeal has been accepted and the faculty member refuses to change the grade, the Vice President Teaching Learning Student Development will change the grade administratively.
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