Academic Integrity Policy
1. The Royal Military College Saint-Jean (RMC Saint-Jean) fully supports the principles of intellectual integrity. As members of RMC Saint-Jean and the Canadian Forces (CAF), students commit to demonstrate rigorous honesty by adhering to the principles and spirit of academic integrity, and are also committed to enforce them. Academic integrity is a commitment to enforce, whatever the circumstances, the following four core values: honesty, fairness, respect, responsibility. Any academic integrity violation may have serious consequences.
2. There are three categories of academic integrity violation:
- Cheating: violating a rule, a practice while affecting to respect them. Dishonest conduct, betraying what one pretends to serve, to respect. For example:
- An act or attempt to give, receive, share or utilize unauthorized information or assistance before or during a test or an examination;
- Failure to follow rules for assignments, presentations, exercises, tests, or examinations;
- Tampering with official documents, including electronic records;
- Falsifying research or experimental data;
- The inclusion of sources that were not used in the writing of the paper or report; and
- The impersonation of a candidate at an examination.
- Plagiarism: Using the work of others and attempting to present it as original thought, prose or work. For example:
- Failure to appropriately acknowledge a source, misrepresentation of cited work, and misuse of quotation marks or attribution; and
- Failure to adequately acknowledge collaboration or outside assistance.
- Other violations of academic integrity include:
- Forgery: submitting a work containing falsified or altered information, such as inventing experimental data, manipulating experimental data, citing non-existing references, inventing sources;
- Multiple submissions: submitting a paper already presented within the context of another course without the teacher’s permission;
- Manipulating marks, such as modifying the mark of a paper;
- Facilitating academic integrity violation; for example, working as a team on an assignment identified as individual, allowing someone to copy one’s work;
- Unfair advantage, such as attempting to obtain an unwarranted advantage in the preparation of an academic assignment. For example, illicit access to examination material, obstructing another student’s work, destruction of material or reference tools;
- Not following ethical standards or guidelines in research;
- Failure to acknowledge that work has been submitted for credit elsewhere; and
- Misleading or false statements regarding work completed.
3. All alleged academic integrity violation must be reported in writing to the Department Head responsible for the course in which the alleged academic violation took place. The written report may be brief, but it shall include as a minimum the course title and number, details about where the suspected offence occurred, date and time of the incident, and a short description of what happened. The report shall also include the reason why there is academic integrity violation with regard to the present policy.
Here is how the report is distributed and how the alleged academic integrity violation case will be processed.
- The Department Head informs the Dean of Studies of the alleged incident.
- The Dean of Studies then informs the Academic Director and Registrar with a copy of the incident report and assigns a member of the Academic Wing to investigate the incident within 3 working days of being informed.
- The Registrar informs the Director of Cadets (DCdts) and provides him with a copy of the incident report.
- An investigation is completed within 7 working days and a copy of the investigation report is provided to all Faculty Council members and to the suspected student.
- Results from the investigation are discussed at a Faculty Council (held as soon as possible, but no later than 8 working days following the submission of the investigation report) where the suspected student has the opportunity to address questions and answer those of the members of the Faculty Council on the circumstances of the incident.
- If the Faculty Council concludes to an academic integrity violation, academic sanctions may be issued.
- All academic integrity violation sanctions agreed by the Faculty Council will be announced at the Faculty Board meeting.
Sanctions will be publically advertised and the name of the offender will not be mentioned.
4. Academic sanctions imposed upon students found guilty of academic integrity violation may consist of one or more of the following:
- Recorded warning;
- Reduction of marks for the work involved;
- Reduction of marks for the course for which the work involved was submitted;
- Extra work to be done in the course affected by the misconduct, or the academic work in default to be redone; in these cases, the document at Appendix 4 to Annex A will have to be filled and given to the student;
- Suspension for a determined period;
5. In the “Reduction of marks for the course for which the work involved was done” category, the following scale applies (according to the category of the violation and aggravating or mitigating circumstances):
- Loss of marks on that assignment or exam / redo the assignment or exam;
- Some loss of marks for that course;
- Course failure (in cases of failure for reasons of academic integrity violation, no supplemental exam will normally be allowed); and
- A mark of zero on the course (no course substitution).
Aggravating or mitigating circumstances may be taken into consideration in determining the sanction. However, beyond a certain threshold of seriousness, it should be impossible to give the minimum penalty.
6. To ensure consistency, fairness and transparency, all RMC Saint-Jean staff must adhere to the following process when academic integrity violation is suspected:
- Step 1 - Reporting. All incidents must be immediately reported to the Dean of Studies through the Department Head responsible for the course. The Dean of Studies will in turn inform the Academic Director and the Registrar; the latter will inform the DCdts.
- Step 2 – Appointment of an investigator (within 3 working days). In determining who should do the investigation, the Dean of Studies must ensure that the appointed investigator is aware of the rules and procedures to be followed. The investigator provides a copy of the incident report to the OCdt officer or naval cadet suspected of the academic integrity violation and assigns a counsellor – normally the liaison teacher or a teacher selected by the dean of studies if the liaison teacher is implicated in the incident. The counsellor will assist the OCdt officer or naval cadet while the investigation process is ongoing.
Note: This counsellor’s role is not to defend the OCdt officer or naval cadet but to provide him/her with assistance throughout the investigation process.
- Step 3 – Investigation. The student suspected of academic integrity violation will be met by the investigator, who will hand him / her Appendix 1 to Annex A before conducting the interview. The student will have the right to see all the documents used and created during the investigation, including the final report.
- Step 4 – Report. Once complete, the investigator will give the Dean of Studies a written investigation report within 7 days following his appointment. This report has to be drafted in the official language selected by the student suspected of academic integrity violation.
7. Once the investigation is complete, the Dean of Studies will inform the Faculty Council on the results of the investigation so that it may convene (within 8 working days following the submission of the investigation report) to decide on the appropriate sanction. The Faculty Council will ensure consistency and equity in the application of these regulations. The student suspected of academic integrity violation will have the right to appear before that specific Faculty Council to plead his / her case; the Head of the Department implicated in the incident will keep the student informed of the details related to the Council. If a member of the Faculty Council has been involved in the incident in any way (witnessed the incident, reported it, acted as investigator), that member will not be allowed to sit on that specific Council.
8. In the case where the Faculty Council determines that the sanction to be imposed is expulsion, the Academic Director will make a recommendation to this effect to the Commandant RMC Saint-Jean, who will make the final decision. Furthermore, if disciplinary action beyond the authority of DCdts is seen to be required, the DCdts will forward a recommendation to that effect to the Commandant, along with the required modifications. A report will be made for the next meeting of the Faculty Council.
9. Once an academic measure has been determined, the Department Head will inform the student and apply the approved measure. To further ensure consistency in application of this directive, any "warnings" given to students must be recorded in writing and retained by the Department Head. Any sanction other than a warning is more severe and will consist in a formal record of the academic integrity violation on the student’s academic record.
10. All decisions taken on academic integrity shall be forwarded to the DCdts along with the required modifications. The DCdts would then decide what disciplinary and / or administrative action is required (if any) beyond the academic measures taken. This may result in further investigation.
11. A diagram depicting these steps is enclosed at Annex B.
12. After being informed of the imposed sanction, a student will have 10 working days to contest in writing the sanction to the Registrar. The Commandant, the DCdts, the Academic Director and the Dean of Studies will review the issue and make a final ruling. This ruling will have no possibility of appeal.
13. In the case where the student found guilty of serious academic integrity violation or of a subsequent offence is a member of the Canadian Armed Forces but is not an ROTP student, the Commandant RMC Saint-Jean will inform the student’s Commandant of the violation committed. In any case, a Canadian Armed Forces student found guilty of academic integrity violation could be subject to administrative or disciplinary sanctions judged appropriate by his or her Commandant.
14. A student who is expelled from RMC Saint-Jean for motives of serious academic integrity violation or subsequent offence cannot be admitted or readmitted to a program or take courses offered at or through RMC Saint-Jean. Upon reception of a written request and after a period of at least five years, the Academic Director may review the case of an expelled student and consider an application for admission or readmission.
15. Each academic sanction is recorded in the permanent academic file of the ROTP student. In more serious cases of academic integrity, and in accordance with the directives of the Faculty Council, a note may appear on a student’s official transcript at RMCC to reflect that an academic integrity violation has occurred and that a sanction was imposed. This procedure does not apply during a student’s stay at RMC Saint-Jean, for the Cégep Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu cannot insert such comments on transcripts.
16. The Registrar is responsible of publishing penalties for academic integrity violation. He will publish the applicable details to college master, omitting names, and other identifiers, such as student number. A continuous record of academic integrity violation cases will be maintained by the Registrar.
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