Addressing Academic Misconduct
St. Clair College treats allegations of academic misconduct seriously and has procedures in place to ensure that students are afforded a fair process if claims of misconduct are made against them. The process provides the student with the opportunity to respond to allegations before penalties are issued against them as well as a right to formally appeal the matter at a hearing before an impartial hearing panel.
For a copy of the policy, refer to the Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities.
Student Conduct Notifications
If you have received a Student Conduct Notification concerning academic misconduct, please review all information below.
Instructors who form the opinion that a student has violated the Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities by committing academic misconduct report the incident by entering it into a database for reporting academic misconduct. When they do so, the student receives a Notification of Academic Misconduct.
If you have been accused of academic misconduct, you will receive a notification which is sent to your official College email address with the subject line "Notice - First Notification".
The notification includes the following information:
- The course name and course code
- The instructor of the course
- The type of academic misconduct offence that is alleged
- Information concerning the misconduct that is alleged
- The academic penalty that may be imposed
Instructors are required to report suspected academic misconduct by recording the incident in the Student Conduct Database. This results in a Notification of Academic Misconduct to be issued to the student.
I have received an email with the subject line: Notice - First Notice. What is this?
An email with the subject line: Notice - First Notice is issued when an instructor reports suspected academic misconduct by a student.
This email is not a final decision. It is a notification that provides you with the opportunity to respond to the claim of academic misconduct.
The notification provides information about what penalty the instructor will impose if this decision becomes final.
Penalties that an instructor can impose are known as academic penalties and include a warning (with no mark penalty), requirement to resubmit the assessment (with or without mark deduction), partial or full mark penalty without opportunity to resubmit, grade deduction, or failing grade in the course.
For more information about penalties, refer to Academic Integrity Violations & Consequences.
I have received a Notice - First Notice email? What should I do?
The first step is to determine whether to respond to the notification. Any response at this point should be directly between you and your instructor.
Because no final decision has been made, you have the opportunity to provide any information relevant to a review or reconsideration by your instructor before a final determination of academic misconduct is made and a penalty imposed.
How much time do I have to respond to the notification for academic misconduct?
You have 5 days from the date the Student Conduct Notification of Academic Misconduct is issued to address the issue with your instructor.
How do I respond to the notification for academic misconduct?
If you wish to discuss the matter with your instructor, you should forward a copy of the notification to your instructor's St. Clair College email address.
Do not reply to the Student Conduct Notification email. The email you received was automatically issued because the incident was recorded in the Student Conduct Database. That email account is not monitored. The Student Conduct Notification email specifically tells you not to reply to that email.
How should I decide whether to respond to the notification?
If there is information that your instructor was not aware of that is relevant to a finding of academic misconduct, you have the opportunity within these five days to allow for a review of the issue in a manner that may provide for another resolution before the instructor's decision becomes final.
Although the student maintains the right to formally appeal the instructor's decision after the instructor's decision becomes final, you should avail yourself of the opportunity to address the issue directly with your instructor first.
What is relevant information when requesting reconsideration?
Information that is relevant includes any information that the instructor may not have been aware of, or is mistaken about, in determining you committed a form of academic misconduct.
What type of responses are not relevant to a request for reconsideration?
Promises to "not do it again" are welcome but are not relevant to whether an academic penalty should be imposed for academic misconduct. Instructors are required to report academic misconduct and so this will not change the outcome.
Similarly, personal issues and stress that may have led to make bad choices, or risk of failing the course and having to pay to take it again, are not relevant to whether the incident should be reported or whether an academic penalty should result.
What happens after I request review or reconsideration of the matter from my instructor?
An instructor may:
- Rely on the original finding and make no changes to the database concerning the incident
- Reconsider the type of offence and make that change in the database
- Reconsider the penalty and make that change in the database
- Reconsider both the type of offence and the penalty and make those changes in the database
- Withdraw the complaint from the database
Unless the complaint is withdrawn, you will receive a Student Conduct Notification of Academic Penalty with final decision.
This notification represents the instructor's final decision and is issued 10 days after the original notice. Although the Academic Penalty notification is the instructor's final decision, you maintain the right to formally appeal that decision.
A copy of the Academic Penalty notification is also sent to the Chair of your program.
If the complaint is withdrawn, no academic penalty notification is issued. The incident will not appear as part of your student conduct record.
How should I respond if I accept responsibility for academic misconduct?
If you accept the report as recorded by your instructor and the penalty that will be imposed, you can choose not to respond at all.
Although it is also not a requirement, you can choose to communicate with your instructor that you acknowledge and take responsibility for the incident as reported.
Refer also to Learning With Integrity for strategies on how to avoid academic misconduct in the future.
What happens if I don't respond to the notification?
If no action is taken that may lead to a change in the recording of the incident, 10 days after original student conduct notification that you received (Notification of Academic Misconduct), you will receive a Notification of Academic Penalty.
The Notification of Academic Penalty signifies the instructor's final decision on the matter, as originally reported in the Notification of Academic Misconduct. As noted, a student has the right to formally appeal the academic penalty when it is issued.
In accordance with the Code of Student Rights & Responsibilities, section 188.8.131.52 (3), a student who is the subject of a complaint process for academic misconduct may not drop the course before the matter is resolved. Further, subject to a successful appeal, a student loses the right to drop the course following an academic penalty.
A course drop after this point may be reversed.
Academic penalties are issued by an instructor to ensure that a student does not gain an unfair advantage in the assessment process. While the most common academic penalty for academic misconduct is a mark penalty (for example, zero grade on the assessment), academic penalties can range from a warning to a failing grade in the course, depending on the circumstances.
While the purpose of academic penalties is to ensure that a student does not benefit from academic misconduct in relation to their academic work, administrative penalties recognize that academic misconduct is a violation of the student's responsibilities as set out in the Code of Student's Rights and Responsibilities.
Administrative penalties may be issued in addition to academic penalties or independently, depending on the circumstances of the misconduct.
Administrative penalties for academic misconduct may be issued by an Academic Administrator, including the Chair/Dean of the student's program or the Vice President, Academic.
Administrative penalties may be appropriate where a student commits academic misconduct more than once but may also be issued in a first instance case where there are aggravating factors or circumstances.
For more information about administrative penalties for academic misconduct, refer to Academic Integrity Violations & Consequences.
If an Academic Administrator issues an administrative penalty, the student receives a Student Conduct Notification of Administrative Penalty.
Just as with academic penalties, the student has the right to appeal an administrative penalty within 5 days of notification.
No. The Student Conduct Database is an internal database for reporting incidents of misconduct.
Academic and administrative penalties may impact a student’s grade or academic standing, but these penalties are not noted on a student’s transcript.
The database is used internally to track data to inform continuous improvement to policies and processes, by Academic Administrators to reference a student’s prior record in determining the issuance of an administrative penalty, and by the Academic Integrity Administrator in relation to an appeal hearing.
No. The student conduct notification system is for internal College reporting purposes only. Academic misconduct penalties do not directly impact a student's visa status.
Notification of Academic Misconduct is not a final decision so you should continue attending to your studies in the course.
If you receive a Notification of Academic Penalty (10 days after the Notification of Academic Misconduct) which issues a warning, resubmission, mark penalty or grade deduction, you should continue attending to your studies in the course.
If you receive a Notification of Academic Penalty and/or a Notification of Administrative Penalty that issues a failing grade in the course, your right to continue in the course ends 5 days after the notification (unless you file an appeal). If you file an appeal, your right to attend the course continues pending a final decision by the Appeal Panel.
If you have been issued a penalty for a failing grade in the course and have any questions about continuing to attend your course, email CAE@stclaircollege.ca.
If you receive a Notification of Administrative Penalty that issues a suspension or dismissal, the notification will provide you with specific information in your case, including your right to appeal the decision within 5 days of notification.
Yes. Whether you have been issued a Notification of Academic Penalty or Notification of Administrative Penalty, you have the right to appeal by filing an appeal within 5 days of notification of penalty.
See Appealing Academic Misconduct for more information.