Success in college, as in other aspects of life, demands absolute honesty at all times. Sierra College expects that students, as well as faculty, will observe the principles of ethical conduct in their treatment of fellow members of the academic community and in their accomplishment of academic work. Students are responsible for familiarizing themselves with these principles as they pertain to each course in which they enroll. When completing assignments, students should be careful to follow the principles of ethical conduct. Students who are uncertain about the ethics involved in particular courses or assignments should make it a point to talk with instructors. Proven misconduct or violation of these principles will be disciplined as set forth in this policy.


Following are examples of behavior deemed to be dishonest:


1.     Representing as your own, work that was borrowed, purchased, written, or obtained in any other manner from another student or any other sources.


All work accomplished to meet course requirements must be the student’s own original work in oral and written examinations, class projects, lab data, oral presentations, and other assignments.


Group projects must represent the original work of the group; each instructor is free to establish the guidelines for collaborative assignments.


2.     Plagiarism, which is to knowingly present borrowed wording, ideas, opinions or data as if it were one’s own original creation, must under all circumstances be avoided.


In papers based on research, plagiarism can be avoided by clearly acknowledging the sources of all information that is not original. The source of quotations and paraphrases must obviously be acknowledged in footnotes, endnotes, or internal citations and/or in a bibliography/list of works cited in a form or style appropriate to the discipline.


3.     Following are examples of cheating:


a.   Any type of assistance, oral or written, given by one student to another during a project or examination without the approval of the instructor;

b.   Fabricating information or sources;

c.   Using forbidden notes or other sources on examinations;

d.   Altering a grade or interfering with the grading procedures in any course;

e.   Allowing someone other than the officially enrolled student to represent the same;

f.    Forging attendance documents or other records;

g.   Stealing copyrighted computer software;

h.   Submitting purchased, commercially prepared papers;

i.    Use of any electronic device (calculator, tape recorder, or computer) during an examination unless permitted by the instructor.

An instructor may choose any one or more of the following steps when a student has engaged in behavior that is deemed to be dishonest:


1.   Confront the student or students and give counsel regarding the unacceptable nature of the offense.

2.   Reassign the research paper, project, exam, or assignment for reevaluation including the possibility of a lower grade as a consequence for the dishonesty.

3.   Designate a failing grade for the assignment, project, exam, or paper.

4.   Designate a failing grade for the entire course, whether or not the student or students choose to withdraw prior to the official withdrawal deadline.


If an “F” grade is designated for the course, the faculty member must notify the Admissions/Records Office in writing that the “F” was assigned for academic dishonesty. The documentation will be stored in the students’ permanent files. Such students will not be eligible to apply for a grade change at a later date, nor will the students be eligible to repeat the course to have the grade eliminated from the cumulative GPA (see also Board Policy 5240).


5.   Refer the student or students to the Disciplinary Officer for consideration of additional and more severe consequences, including the possibility of suspension or expulsion from the College. (See Sierra College Board Policy 5510)


The instructor has absolute authority over issuing the final course grade (Education Code, Section 76224).


It is important to remember that the principles of academic honesty in no way restrict free inquiry and the open exchange of diverse, and sometimes unpopular, ideas. These the college encourages, for they are vital to learning and the pursuit of reason and truth.


References:       Education Code, Section 76224

                        Board Policy 5510, 5240

                        Administrative Regulation 5510