Academic Honesty - Dishonesty Policy

Academic Honesty/Dishonesty Policy

Your instructors are eager to help you succeed in your studies at Cerritos College. But success means more than just receiving a passing grade in a course. Success means that you have mastered the course content so that you may use that knowledge in the future, either to be successful on a job, or to continue on with your education in advanced classes.

Your success depends on a combination of the skill and knowledge of your instructors, and your own hard work. You will reach your future goals only if you gain new knowledge from every course you take. That knowledge becomes yours, and can be used by you, only if it is gained through your own personal efforts. Receiving a grade in a course, without acquiring the knowledge that goes with it, diminishes your chances for future success.

While in college, you are also shaping the principles which will guide you throughout the rest of your life. Ethical behavior and integrity are a vital part of those principles. A reputation for honesty says more about you, and is more highly prized, than simply your academic skills.

For that reason, academic honesty is taken very seriously by the Cerritos College faculty. The following guidelines have been prepared so that you will understand what is expected of you in maintaining academic honesty.

Academic dishonesty is normally to be dealt with as an academic action by the instructor, reflected in the student’s grade in the particular course, rather than through college disciplinary procedures.

No specific departmental, divisional or institutional procedures are established for academic dishonesty other than the normal process for review and appeal of an instructor’s grading procedures. However, plagiarism, cheating, and other forms of academic dishonesty are violations of the college’s official Standards of Conduct.

Academic dishonesty is defined as the act of obtaining or attempting to obtain credit for work by the use of any dishonest, deceptive or fraudulent means. Examples of academic dishonesty would include, but not be limited to the following:

  • Copying, either in part or in whole, from another’s test or examination;
  • Discussion of answers or ideas relating to the answers, on examination or test when the instructor prohibits such discussion;
  • Obtaining copies of an exam without the permission of the instructor;
  • Using notes, “cheat sheets,” or otherwise utilizing information or devices not considered appropriate under the prescribed test conditions;
  • Altering a grade or interfering with the grading procedures in any course;
  • Allowing someone other than the officially enrolled student to represent the same;
  • Plagiarism, which is defined as the act of taking the ideas, words or specific substantive material of another and offering them as one’s own without giving credit to the source.

The faculty member may take options to the extent that the faculty member considers the cheating or plagiarism to manifest the student’s lack of scholarship or to reflect on the student’s lack of academic performance in the course. One or more of the following actions are available to the faculty member who suspects a student has been cheating or plagiarizing:

  1. Review-no action.
  2. An oral reprimand with emphasis on counseling toward prevention of further occurrences.
  3. A requirement that work be repeated.
  4. A reduction of the grade earned on the specific work in question, including the possibility of no credit for the work.
  5. A reduction of the course grade as a result of item 4 above, including the possibility of a failing grade for the course.
  6. Referral to the Office of Judicial Affairs for further administrative action, such as suspension or expulsion.