2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog 
    
    Feb 23, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog

Academic Standards and Integrity


 


Undergraduate Residential Academic Standards

Maintenance of Standards

Each student is expected to make satisfactory progress toward meeting degree requirements. Instructors teaching undergraduate students are asked to identify, during the fifth and eighth weeks of the semester, all who are having difficulty in their classes. This information is available to students and advisors to determine strategies for improvement.

All undergraduate students who have a cumulative GPA below 2.0 are subject to having their academic records reviewed by the Academic Standards Committee, which will determine appropriate action as indicated below. For purposes of record, students who are not under academic probation and have not been suspended or dismissed are defined as being in good academic standing.

Students who do not meet the general criteria for good standing will receive letters of warning, probation, or suspension. In viewing the records of students in academic difficulty, the Academic Standards Committee normally uses specific guidelines in decision‐making. These guidelines are available from faculty advisors, the Pathways Center or the Registrar’s Office.

Policy Guidelines for determining Academic Standing

 

After Semester One:

Sanction Applied Sanction Lifted

Academic Suspension

Semester Two

Appeal is Approved*

Academic Probation

Semester Two 2.0 Cumulative GPA Achieved
Academic Warning Semester Two 2.0 Cumulative GPA Achieved
     

After Semester Two (and each subsequent semester)

Sanction Applied Sanction Lifted
Academic Suspension Proceeding Semester Appeal is Approved*
Academic Probation Proceeding Semester 2.0 Cumulative GPA Achieved
*When appeal is approved, students are placed onto academic probation for the following semester.    

**If an appeal is denied, student will not be able to take classes until appeal is approved.

Suspended students who wish to reenter the College must attend a hearing with the Academic Standards Committee for readmission after they have complied with the conditions of their suspension. Academic Standards Committee will determine if a student is academically eligible to return. Students must still apply and meet all requirements for readmission located in the Readmission section.

Appeals

Undergraduate students who have been placed on probation or who are suspended may appeal their status to the Academic Standards Committee. Appeals requests must be submitted to the Committee, in writing, by the deadline stated. Appeals will not normally be heard after the start of the semester.

The Committee, or its designee(s), will hear each appeal, and the student must present his or her views. The student may be accompanied, if he or she chooses, by an advocate from within the College community. The committee may confirm or change the student’s academic status with such conditions as it deems appropriate. The student and parent(s), if appropriate, will be provided with written statements of the actions taken by the committee in regard to the student’s appeal. Adverse decisions by the committee may be appealed, on procedural grounds only, to the Chief Academic Officer or their designee, who will review the matter and make a final determination.

Notification

Students placed on probation or who are suspended shall be notified in writing. In compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, parents may also be notified.

Academic Standards for Extracurricular Activities

Academic standards for participation in extracurricular activities are determined by the individual student group or by the intercollegiate organization with which the group is affiliated.

Undergraduate Residential Academic Integrity Policy

Academic Honor Principle

We as a community at New England College embrace 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. As members of the NEC community, we accept these values as fundamental guides to our actions, decisions, and behavior.

Academic Dishonesty

Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, the following infractions:
Plagiarism
Misrepresentation
Facilitation of Academic Dishonesty
Cheating

Two Levels of Academic Dishonesty

Because academic dishonesty violates academic integrity, it cannot be condoned at NEC. Nevertheless, because there are various degrees of academic dishonesty, some more serious than others, NEC classifies offenses into two levels: minor violations and major violations. In accordance with academic freedom, NEC entrusts all decisions regarding cases of academic dishonesty (i.e., whether they be minor or major) to the discretion of each instructor, accepting as a premise that instructors honor intellectual property rights and wish to promote academic integrity in their students.

Minor: a minor violation is any case of academic dishonesty that an instructor deems of such a nature that it does not compromise academic integrity or reflect a flagrant breach of NEC’s Academic Honor Principle (see above). It typically involves cases of accidental omissions or unintended oversights.

Major: a major violation is any case of academic dishonesty that an instructor deems serious enough to warrant reporting. A major violation compromises academic integrity and constitutes a flagrant breach of NEC’s Academic Honor Principle (see above). It typically involves cases in which a student deliberately commits an act of academic dishonesty.

Procedures for Minor and Major Cases of Academic Dishonesty

As indicated above, instructors use their discretion in determining whether instances of academic dishonesty are minor or major.

Minor

In the case of a minor offense, the instructor should meet with the offending student to notify him or her of the charge and explain the meaning and importance of academic honesty. In addition, the instructor, in consultation with the offending student, decides any associated penalty: e.g., should the work be redone, should it receive a grade deduction, should it receive a failing mark? If the case is indeed minor, it is understood to have been an accident, a mistake, or an oversight. Hence, the purpose of meeting with the student is to educate so that he or she will know how to avoid similar acts of academic dishonesty in the future. An initial case of a minor offense in a course is not reported to the Registrar.

Major

In the case of a major offense, the instructor collects relevant evidence, meets with the offending student to notify him or her of the charge, explains the seriousness of the charge (including the penalties associated with violations: see below), and submits a report of academic dishonesty to the Registrar. In the meantime, the instructor decides how the offense will affect the offending student’s grade in the course.

Sanctions for Major Cases of Academic Dishonesty

All major infractions of academic dishonesty will result in the student’s name being reported to the Registrar, who enters that student’s name in a log for future reference. The information is confidential, to be kept among those parties immediately concerned: the instructor of the course, the student, the Registrar who enters the name, and any others directly involved, such as the Dean of the Academic Division, the student’s advisor, the Academic Standards Committee, and the Academic Integrity Board.

First Reported Case: In response to an initial case of academic dishonesty, a student must successfully complete and pass (all questions answered correctly) an assigned plagiarism tutorial/test on academic integrity via Blackboard, or else the student will be put on academic suspension. The student will have three weeks upon being enrolled in the Bb course (the plagiarism tutorial/test itself) to pass the tutorial/test. The test may be taken as many times as necessary within those three weeks for the student to pass it. Failure to pass it will result in academic suspension.

Second Reported Case: In response to a second case of academic dishonesty, a student must attend a hearing with the Academic Integrity Board. Penalties for a second case of academic dishonesty may include suspension. Suspension can be appealed according to the policies described below. Readmission to NEC after suspension due to cases of academic dishonesty will be determined by the Academic Standards Committee.

Third Reported Case: In response to a third case of academic dishonesty, a student must attend a hearing with the Academic Integrity Board. Penalties for a third case of academic dishonesty may include permanent expulsion from NEC. Expulsion may be appealed according to the policies described below. Readmission to NEC after expulsion is not allowed.

Academic Integrity Board and Hearings

The Academic Integrity Board consists of at least two members of the Academic Standards Committee and a staff member. Hearings will include the Academic Integrity Board and the student. The student may also invite a witness or advocate from within the college community. When appropriate, hearings may also include relevant instructor(s), witness(es), or advocate(s) from within the college community that the instructor(s) invites.

Appeals Procedures

A student may appeal to the Academic Integrity Board an instructor’s accusation of academic dishonesty or the instructor’s decision to fail, for example, an offending student for an assignment or the course. Within ten class days of receiving notice of the disputed accusation or decision, the student must submit a written request for a hearing to the Academic Integrity Board. 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. After the hearing and within ten class days, the Academic Integrity Board will inform the student and the instructor of its decision. If the decision of the Academic Integrity Board reverses an accusation of academic dishonesty, all records pertaining to the case will be destroyed.

A student may appeal the decision of the Academic Integrity Board. The appeal must be submitted in writing within ten days of the decision and can rest on procedural grounds only. It is to be given to the Chief Academic Officer or their designee, whose decision is final.

A student may also appeal a decision by the Academic Integrity Board regarding penalties associated with a second or third case of academic dishonesty (e.g., suspension or expulsion). Such appeals must be submitted in writing within ten days of the decision, on procedural grounds only, to the Chief Academic Officer or their designee whose decision is final.

Undergraduate Online Academic Standards

Each student is expected to make satisfactory progress toward meeting degree requirements. All undergraduate students who have a cumulative GPA below 2.0 are subject to having their academic records reviewed by the Academic Standards Committee, which will determine appropriate action as indicated below. For purposes of record, students who are not under academic probation and have not been suspended or dismissed are defined as being in good academic standing. Students who do not meet the general criteria for good standing will receive emails of probation or suspension.

General: Any student who has attempted 16 or more credits at New England College and has achieved less than a 2.0 cumulative grade point average will be placed on probation status. The student will have the following 4 terms of graded coursework to achieve a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.00 or will be suspended for a minimum of 1 term.

Undergraduate students who have been placed on probation are allowed continued enrollment. Undergraduate students who have been suspended will not be permitted to continue enrollment until such time as the suspension is rescinded. Undergraduate students who are actively enrolled at the time they become suspended will have the choice to complete the course(s) or withdraw at 100%.

Appeals

Undergraduate students who have been placed on probation or who are suspended may appeal their status to the Academic Standards Committee. Appeals must be submitted in writing, by the deadline stated, to Academic Advising (Advising2@nec.edu), who will forward the request to the Academic Standards Committee. Students have the option of appearing before the Committee in person or via phone to present their cases by scheduling an appointment with the Committee.

The committee, or its designee(s), will review each appeal. The committee may confirm or change the student’s academic status with such conditions as it deems appropriate. The Committee’s designee will provide the student with written statements of the actions taken by the committee in regard to the student’s appeal. Adverse decisions by the committee may be appealed, on procedural grounds only, to the Chief Academic Officer or their designee who will review the matter and make a final determination.

Notification

Students placed on warning, probation, or suspension shall be notified in writing by the Academic Standards Committee.

Undergraduate Online Academic Integrity Policy

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.
  8. 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 suspension.

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. Instances of academic dishonesty must be reported to the Registrar’s office.

In response to an initial case of academic dishonesty, a student must successfully complete and pass an assigned plagiarism tutorial on academic integrity, or else the student will be put on academic suspension. The student will have 1 week upon enrollment in the tutorial to complete it. Failure to pass the tutorial will result in academic suspension.

Violations and Sanctions in cases of Academic Dishonesty

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 Suspension.

If a 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 student of a failing grade and the option of appeal concerning the alleged academic dishonesty and academic dismissal remains with the Dean of the Academic 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 Program Director. The student will be assigned to plagiarism mini‐module. Failure to complete the mini‐module results in suspension. Students who have not completed the mini‐module will not be allowed to sign up for future courses until the module is completed.

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 to the Program Director. 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 Dean of the Academic Division in which the program resides, who may in turn raise the matter to the Academic Standards Committee.

The Academic Standards Committee shall hear and decide, in accordance with procedures it may adopt, academic dishonesty appeals referred to it by the Dean of the Academic Division. Both the student and the faculty member involved may present witnesses and be represented by advocates at the hearing. If the Committee 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 Dean of the Academic Division.

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.

Policy

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 Office of Student Conduct. If, upon consultation with the Office of Student Conduct, 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. Faculty may send the Office of Student Conduct an email at studentconduct@nec.edu with details about the 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 Office of Student Conduct, 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 Offense

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 Office of Student Conduct, 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 Office of Student Conduct 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 Office of Student Conduct 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 Office of Student Conduct 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

Appeals

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 Student Access and Accommodations 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