2020-2021 School of Graduate and Professional Studies Catalog 
    Jul 13, 2024  
2020-2021 School of Graduate and Professional Studies Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Academic Standards and Integrity Policy: Graduate and Professional Studies


Academic Standards

Each student is expected to make satisfactory progress toward meeting degree requirements. Instructors are asked to identify students who are having difficulty in their classes no later than halfway through the term. Students having difficulties in meeting academic performance standards should meet with the Program Director to discuss potential plans of action.

Due to the rigorous nature of graduate and professional studies, students are expected to maintain a high academic grade point average (GPA).

Students are required to maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0, or s/he will be placed on academic probation.  The student must maintain a term GPA of 3.0 for each term while on probation.  If a student does not earn a 3.0 or higher term GPA in any term while on academic probation, the student will be suspended.

The Registrar’s Office will remove a student from academic probation once the student’s cumulative GPA is above a 3.0.

Final course grades of C+ or below will not meet graduate degree requirements. Students will need to repeat any course in which they received a grade C+ or below.  All grades remain on the student’s permanent record, but only the highest grade is used in computation of the grade point average.

Suspended students who wish to reenter the College may contact Academic Advising for reinstatement after they have complied with the conditions of their suspension. Students who are reinstated following suspension are expected to achieve a minimum term GPA of 3.0 for the duration of their program. Students who fall below a 3.00 cumulative GPA and 3.00 term GPA after reinstatement from suspension will be dismissed from the College.


Students placed on probation, suspended, or dismissed shall be notified in writing.


Students who have been suspended or dismissed may appeal their status to the Program Director. Appeal requests must be submitted in writing, together with any evidence in support of such appeal, within 7 days of notification. The decision of the Program Director can be appealed, on procedural grounds only, to the Vice President of Academic Affairs or designee, whose decision will be final.

Policy on Disruptive Behavior in an Academic Setting

Disruptive Behavior in an Academic Setting

New England College is committed to establishing an educational community that is respectful of all members. This includes balancing free speech, including the expression of controversial opinions, with appropriate behaviors in all academic settings. Students and faculty share responsibility in maintaining an appropriate learning environment.

Disruptive behaviors hinder the educational process. Although these types of actions are addressed in the New England College Student Handbook, the purpose of this policy is to clarify what constitutes disruptive behavior in an academic setting, what actions a faculty member and/or the Office of Academic Affairs may take in response to disruptive conduct, and the interim procedures that will be followed if a student needs to be removed from an academic setting pending the outcome of an investigation and student conduct process.

Classifying and Defining Disruptive Behaviors

Disruptive behaviors in an academic setting are those behaviors that a reasonable faculty member would view as interfering with normal academic functions and/or the emotional and/or physical safety of all members of the class community. For the purposes of this document, disruptive behavior is divided into three categories based on the degree to which conduct includes aggression or harassment.

Category One: A category one disruption is behavior that is disruptive, but which has no element of aggression or harassment, i.e., no one feels threatened, endangered or at‐risk. Such situations might include but are not limited to:
A student is sleeping during class.
A student talks incessantly during class.
A student uses a cell phone during class.

Category Two: A category two disruption is behavior that has some element of aggression or harassment without an immediate risk. Such situations might include but are not limited to:
A student swears loudly and repeatedly upon getting a grade.
A student makes disparaging comments about other students.
A student tears his paper up in class upon receiving it.

A student appears to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Category Three: A category three disruption is behavior that has clear and immediate potential for risk or harassment. Such situations might include but are not limited to:
A student threatens a faculty member, staff member, or student.
A student says he/she has a gun and knows how to use it.


Students are expected to adhere to the standards described in the Academic Catalog and the Student Handbook; specifically, students are to refrain from disrupting classes and other academic settings. Academic settings may include, but are not limited to, campus facilities, classrooms, off site locations, virtual learning management systems, and other locations, platforms, and environments in which academic experiences are conducted.

Category One Offenses

A faculty member should tell students who are disruptive to stop the disruptive behavior and to warn the student that such disruptive behavior, if continued or repeated, may result in academic or disciplinary action.

A faculty member is authorized to ask a student to leave the classroom or other academic setting if the faculty member deems such action necessary. If the faculty member takes such actions, he/she shall notify the Office of Academic Affairs within 24 hours. The Office of Academic Affairs may share this information with the Student Development Office. If, upon consultation with the Student Development Office, it is determined that the student presents a risk, the Office of Academic Affairs will request that the faculty member complete a Disruptive Behavior in an Academic Setting Report. This report documents the events that occurred in this incident.

Category Two Offenses

A faculty member is authorized to ask a student to leave the classroom or other academic setting if the faculty member deems such action necessary. The faculty member must report such instances to the Office of Academic Affairs within 24 hours. Working collaboratively with the faculty member and the Student Development Office, the Office of Academic Affairs will take appropriate action that may include initiating interim removal and/or initiating an investigation and student conduct proceeding.

Category Three Offenses

A faculty member is required to report all Category Three offenses to Campus Safety. This report will result in an immediate interim removal of the student from the academic setting, pending the outcome of the investigation and student conduct proceeding. The faculty member will notify the Office of Academic Affairs about the incident as soon as possible. The faculty member must complete a Disruptive Behavior in an Academic Setting Report within 24 hours of the incident.

Interim Removal from an Academic Setting

The Office of Academic Affairs, in consultation with the faculty and the Student Development Office, may enact interim removal pending resolution of the matter by sending the student a written notice informing the student of the interim conditions and advising the student of the pending investigation and student conduct process.

The Office of Academic Affairs will work with the student to try to establish an interim means to allow the student to continue to make satisfactory academic progress. This may include reassigning the student to a different class section or a different academic advisor. While it is the intention of the College to assist a student in making satisfactory academic progress, the College will not compromise the safety of faculty, staff, or students in order to do so.

Any incident that results in interim removal will be referred directly to the Student Development Office within 24 hours.

Student Conduct Proceedings

Generally, a student will not be permanently removed from an academic setting without a formal student conduct proceeding. A student who is removed from an academic setting on an interim basis has the following rights:

  • The Student Development Office will conduct a Student Conduct Hearing pursuant to an investigation and student conduct processes as defined in the New England College Student Handbook.
  • The student can request an expedited review of the incident. If such a request is made, the Student Development Office shall review the incident through a Student Conduct Hearing within three business days of the date that the student requests such review.

In addition to the sanctions that are possible through a Student Conduct Hearing, the following possible sanctions are available to the instructor and the Office of Academic Affairs.

Authority of Instructor:

  • Warning
  • One‐time removal from a class session or an academic setting
  • Academic sanctions if course participation and/or attendance are a component of the final grade and are indicated in the syllabus

Authority of the Office of Academic Affairs:

  • Interim exclusion from the instructor’s academic area, pending the outcome of a student conduct procedure
  • Interim reassignment to a different class section or alternative means by which to make satisfactory academic progress
  • Interim reassignment to a new academic advisor


There is no appeal of a faculty member’s one-time decision to remove a student from a class. To appeal an interim decision, the student must contact the Office of Academic Affairs.

Appeals for the outcome of the student conduct proceedings will follow the appeals process described in the Student Handbook.

Students with Disabilities

All students, regardless of disability status, are expected to adhere to the same community standards and academic policies Sanctions for student conduct or academic honesty violations and guidelines for due process procedures must be equally applied without regard to a student’s disability.  Accommodations may be provided in the process if requested and appropriate.  Faculty are encouraged to consult with the Office of Disability Services if issues arise around student conduct, academic integrity or other behavioral concerns that may be a related to a student’s disability.

Students’ Rights to Privacy

All information and discussion regarding the disruptive student shall be handled in a confidential manner. The privacy of the student’s educational records, including misconduct cases, is protected under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA).

Disruptive Behavior in an Academic Setting Report Form

The Disruptive Behavior in an Academic Setting Report form should include the following information:

  • Date of incident
  • Student’s name
  • Instructor’s name
  • Instructor’s phone number
  • Instructor’s email
  • Title of course, course number and section
  • Detailed summary of incident including a description of the disruptive behavior
  • Names of witness and identification of witness status (student, faculty, staff, etc.)
  • Action, if any, taken by the instructor (e.g. student warned, asked to leave class, campus security contacted, etc.)
  • Recommendations for a course of action and reason for this: what do you want to have as a potential outcome?
  • Instructor’s signature

Academic Integrity and Academic Dishonesty

The New England College community embraces an Academic Honor Principle. It consists of honesty, trust, and integrity. Honesty is being true to oneself and others, engendering a culture of trust. Trust builds mutual respect, fostering a disposition of responsibility and civility. Integrity denotes inner strength of character: doing what is right and avoiding what is wrong. Students, Faculty, and Staff accept these values as fundamental guides to our actions, decisions, and behavior.

Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, the following infractions:

Plagiarism: Using other people’s ideas, research, opinions, or words and taking credit for it as if it is your own work instead of copied. It is failing to cite quoted and/or paraphrased words or ideas from another person’s work other than the common knowledge or original thinking prepared for the course. Submitting an assignment or sections of an assignment that someone else has written - without giving proper credit ‐ is plagiarism. This includes work from other students, a purchased paper, and text from the internet. The following list describes different ways of plagiarizing. Any of these activities is academically dishonest:

  1. Direct copy and paste from a source, without citation
  2. Including cited sources in your paper, but not including sufficient information or correct formatting.
  3. Copying pieces of a source.
  4. Copying a source and then changing some of the words.
  5. Using pieces of many different sources to put together a new whole.
  6. Submitting a paper - or parts of a paper - that you have submitted for another course.
  7. Uses more writing from other sources than from the author, even though it is cited.

Misrepresentation: having someone else do coursework, assignments, papers, quizzes and tests.

Facilitation of Academic Dishonesty: Helping someone else cheat. Examples include: supplying questions and/or answers to a quiz or examination, allowing someone to copy your homework, doing homework together without the instructor’s permission, seeking input from others during a take‐home or open book test.

Cheating: Deliberate deceptive behavior to avoid work and learning. Examples include:

  1. Communicating with others during an exam or quiz
  2. Copying all or part of homework or another’s quiz, exam, or written work
  3. Using notes when you are directed not to by the professor, using electronic equipment to look up answers you don’t know
  4. Making up data for research
  5. Stealing quizzes or exams prior to their administration
  6. Altering or attempting to alter college records
  7. Offering a bribe to college personnel in exchange for special treatment or favors.

Because academic dishonesty violates academic integrity, it cannot be condoned at NEC.

Penalties for Academic Dishonesty

A student who incurs in academic dishonesty will receive a failing grade on the work in which the dishonesty occurred or may, if in the instructor’s opinion the work is of major significance in the total course, receive a failing grade in the course. Instances of academic dishonesty must be reported to the Registrar’s office. If a second report of cheating or plagiarism occurs, the student will be subject to expulsion.

Procedures for Assigning Penalties

In order to protect the interests of the College community, including those of students and instructors, the following procedure shall be followed in cases of cheating and/or plagiarism. If an instructor is convinced an event of academic dishonesty has occurred, the instructor shall inform the student immediately before taking any other action. The student shall be given the opportunity to discuss the matter with the instructor. As a result of the discussion with the student, the instructor shall either dismiss the matter or, if the instructor remains convinced of academic dishonesty, s/he assign the student a failing grade for the work and/or the course, and report the matter to the Program Director and the Associate Dean where the program resides. Instances of cheating or plagiarism must be reported to the Registrar’s office.

Violations and Sanctions in Cases of Academic Dishonesty

Graduate students are responsible for being aware of and complying with academic integrity policies, and must conduct themselves accordingly. Sanctions for Academic Dishonesty will depend on the seriousness of the offense and may range from the receipt of:

  • An “F” grade on the subject paper, report, etc.
  • An “F” in the course in which credit may be earned.
  • Academic Dismissal.

If a graduate student who has been accused of academic dishonesty drops the course, the student’s registration in the course will be reinstated until the issue is resolved.

Notification to the graduate student of a failing grade and the option of appeal concerning the alleged academic dishonesty and academic dismissal remains with the Program Director and/or the Associate Dean of the Division where the program resides.

The student’s ability to proceed within an academic program while an appeal is in process will be determined by the individual Program Director and Associate Dean.

Appeals Procedure

The student may appeal the instructor’s action through the following procedure: Within 10 class days of receiving notice of the failing grade in the assignment or course, the student must submit a written request for a hearing to the Director of the program in which the student is enrolled. The request will contain a statement of the basis for appeal as well as any supporting evidence. The instructor will receive a copy of the student’s appeal. The Program Director will consult with the student and with the faculty member, and will try to reach a decision acceptable to both. If this is not possible, the Program Director will refer the case to the appropriate Associate Dean of the division in which the program resides, who may in turn raise the matter to the Graduate and Professional Studies Council.

The Graduate and Professional Studies Council shall hear and decide, in accordance with procedures it may adopt, academic dishonesty appeals referred to it by the Vice President of the School of Graduate and Professional Studies or equivalent position. Both the student and the faculty member involved may present witnesses and be represented by advocates at the hearing. If the Council finds in the student’s favor, it will recommend that the instructor reconsider the failing grade. If the instructor does not accept the recommendation, the case will be forwarded to the Vice President of the School of Graduate and Professional Studies or equivalent position for a final decision.