Academic Honesty Policy

Students enrolled in MWCC’s courses are responsible for academic honesty. All members of the MWCC community strive to promote honesty in scholarship and research. The primary responsibility for maintaining standards of academic integrity rests with the individual student. Academic honesty is required of all students at MWCC. The Academic Honesty Policy is intended to establish and enforce uniformly just and equitable procedures for resolving allegations of dishonesty. Students must also become knowledgeable about what constitutes cheating, plagiarism, and fabrication by asking the instructor and consulting with the Academic Support Center. Students are instructed to resolve questions or confusion about appropriate documenting and referencing techniques before submitting assignments. The instructor reserves the right to fail students who cheat, plagiarize, or fabricate. Academic dishonesty is prohibited at MWCC and includes but is not limited to:

Cheating: intentional use and/or attempted use of trickery, artifice, deception, breach of confidence, fraud and/or misrepresentation of one’s academic work. Includes giving or receiving aid during examinations or in completing laboratory assignments, computer programs, or other work assigned in courses, unless given explicit permission by the instructor.

Examples: use of books, notes, or other materials during an examination, unless permitted; copying others’ work or unauthorized cooperation in doing assignments or during an examination; use of purchased essays, term papers, or preparatory research for such papers; submission of work originally done by someone else; submission of the same written work in more than one course without prior approval from the instructors involved; falsification of experimental data or results; unauthorized use of username or password; use of false signatures or initials on course related material.

The Student Code of Conduct for the Massachusetts Community Colleges (Code) prohibits students from using someone else’s words or ideas and passing them off as their own, or using unauthorized assistance, and therefore would prohibit the use of an AI tool such as ChatGPT to generate content that is then submitted as the student’s work. Specifically, the Code prohibits “intentional use, and/or attempted use of any unauthorized assistance in any academic exercise including dependence upon the aid of sources beyond those authorized by the instructor,” which would include the use of an AI tool to generate student work product, and also prohibits “knowingly representing the words, ideas, or artistic expression of another as one’s own work in any academic exercise,” which would address the act of taking the product of an AI tool and submitting it as the student’s own work.

Plagiarism: using another person’s words or ideas without acknowledgement.

Fabrication: intentional and unauthorized falsification and/or invention of any information or citation in any academic exercise.

Examples: the use of “invented” information in any laboratory experiment or academic exercise without notice to and authorization from the instructor; alteration and re-submission of returned academic work without notice to and authorization of the instructor; misrepresentation of the actual source from which information is cited.

Student Rights and Responsibilities

Students are responsible for being aware of and understanding the MWCC Academic Honesty Policy. Students have rights to due process (see under Student Discipline). Students have the right to file a grievance if they feel that the faculty’s action taken in the alleged incident abrogated their student rights.

Faculty Rights and Responsibilities

This policy recognizes the right of faculty to manage their class, including addressing directly with students issues of academic dishonesty. When academic dishonesty is suspected, a faculty member may choose to issue a failing grade. A faculty member may also choose to refer the matter directly to the Code of Conduct Administrator (CCA). Where the issuance of a failing grade by a faculty member for academic dishonesty will result in a student’s dismissal from a program (for example in nursing and other health care programs), the charge of academic dishonesty shall be directly referred to the CCA, which shall be completed, where practicable, within thirty (30) days.

Student Discipline

Any student who violates these standards is subject to the MWCC Student Disciplinary Policy and Procedures, which includes academic dishonesty under the definition of misconduct.