Academic Honesty

Statement of Policy

Honesty is the cornerstone of the academic integrity of Excelsior College. Consequently, any form of academic dishonesty is considered to be a serious violation of the ethics that form the foundation of all Excelsior College academic programs.

Students are accountable for acts of academic dishonesty committed prior to and during enrollment and/or while taking Excelsior College sources of credit, as well as after separation from the College through withdrawal or graduation. Students also have an ethical obligation to report violations of the academic honesty policies they may witness.

Students found to have engaged in academic dishonesty at Excelsior College will be subject to disciplinary action. If the student has graduated, the credits and/or certificate or degree previously awarded to the student may be revoked.


A. Definitions

There are many different forms of academic dishonesty. The following kinds of honesty violations and their definitions are not meant to be exhaustive. Rather, they are intended to serve as examples of unacceptable academic conduct.

Using unauthorized technology during an examination; attempting to communicate with other others in order to get help during an exam or in an assignment where collaboration is not allowed; obtaining an examination prior to its administration; allowing another person to do one's work and/or impersonate a student; obstructing or interfering with another student's academic work; undertaking any activity intended to obtain an unfair advantage over other students.
The attempt to represent the work of another, as the product of one's own thought, whether deliberate or unintentional is considered plagiarism.

The entire content of the work presented by a student is assumed to be original unless the source is explicitly noted. If a student presents even one sentence or phrase by another writer as his or her own without properly citing the source of those ideas or words, plagiarism has been committed.

Excelsior College does not consider re-use of sections of a student's own original work in subsequent assignments to be plagiarism as long as the copied work has been cited, the student has received prior approval of the faculty, and the new assignment expands upon the original work. An assignment that contain a high percentage of properly cited quotations is also not considered to be an act of plagiarism although may represent a poorly written paper. See Guidelines for Faculty Members and Others Responsible for Evaluating Student Work (PDF).
Falsifying or inventing any information, citation, or data; using improper methods of collecting or generating data and presenting them as legitimate; misrepresenting oneself or one's status in the College; perpetrating hoaxes unbecoming to students in good standing or potentially damaging to the College reputation or that of the members of its academic community of students and scholars.
Facilitating Academic Dishonesty:
Aiding another person in an act that violates the standards of academic honesty; allowing other students to look at one's own work during an exam or in an assignment where collaboration is not allowed; providing information, material, or assistance to another person knowing that it may be used in violation of course, departmental, or college academic honesty policies; providing false information in connection with any academic honesty inquiry.
Falsifying Records and Official Documents:
Forging signatures and/or falsifying documents such as transcripts, diplomas, health status forms, Letters of enrollment, qualification, or completion, enrollment and registration forms, applications, or any other official document.

B. Classroom Honesty Policy Discussion

Because academic honesty is of vital concern to the faculty and because each discipline may raise its own specific set of issues, all faculty members are encouraged to discuss the issue of academic dishonesty in their classrooms and to explain how the College policy applies in each of their courses. It is particularly important that faculty members discuss the academic procedures that may vary from discipline to discipline, such as proper and improper forms of academic collaboration.

C. Reporting Violations

Staff, faculty, or students who believe that a student has not adhered to the Academic Honesty Policy will bring the matter to the attention of the appropriate dean or dean's designee. The dean or designee will investigate the alleged violation, and determine what action, if any, should be taken. If action is warranted, the student will be notified of the proposed disciplinary action as well as the date it will be imposed.

In cases where the authenticity of documents submitted by a student is in question, an investigation is conducted by the director of the Office of Registration and Records. Should the documents submitted by a student be determined to be fraudulent (such as a transcript, diploma, certification, etc.), the student will be notified in writing by the registrar of the violation and the action that the College will take.

D. Disciplinary Actions

In response to alleged violations of the Academic Honesty policy, the College administration (School deans and Office of the Provost) reserves the right to take any or all of the following actions:

  • Bar the student from enrolling in the College or registering for a course or examination.
  • Assign a failing grade for an examination or course.
  • Administratively withdraw the student. If the student is administratively withdrawn, the College reserves the right to revoke all credits. If the student has withdrawn or graduated, any credits and/or degree and certificate previously awarded may be revoked. The student will be asked to return the certificate or diploma. Please see the Administrative Withdrawal and Academic Dismissal policy for further details.
  • Suspend or terminate selected College services previously available to the student.
  • Retain all tuition and fees paid by the student.
  • Withhold course grades and/or examination scores and official Excelsior College transcripts.
  • Permanently annotate a student's record to reflect action(s) taken by the College in response to the student's violation of this policy.
  • Notify educational institutions, licensing or certification boards, employers or others, who have previously received a transcript or similar certification, e.g., Letter of Completion (LOC), Letter of Qualification (LOQ) of any action taken by the College.
  • Take other action, as appropriate

Zero tolerance policy:
Excelsior College has a zero tolerance policy for cases of identity fraud and falsifying records/official documents since it threatens the academic integrity of the institution. Students who are found to have committed identity fraud or have falsified records or official documents in any way will be administratively withdrawn from the College and will not be allowed to appeal a petition for reenrollment.

When there is evidence of academic dishonesty, the student will be notified in writing of the nature of the alleged violation and the action, if any, that the College proposes to take. College services to the student may be suspended following student notification.

E. Appeal

Refer to the Student Appeals policy for details on how to appeal disciplinary actions described above.