Absolute integrity is expected of every Cornell University Precollege Studies student in all academic undertakings.

Integrity entails a firm adherence to a set of values, and the values most essential to an academic community are grounded on the concept of honesty with respect to the intellectual efforts of oneself and others.

Academic integrity is expected not only in formal coursework situations, but also in all University relationships and interactions connected to the educational process, including the use of University resources.

While both students and faculty of Cornell University Precollege Studies assume the responsibility of maintaining and furthering these values, this document is concerned specifically with the conduct of Precollege Studies students.

A Precollege Studies student’s submission of work for academic credit indicates that the work is the student’s own. All outside assistance should be acknowledged, and the student’s academic position truthfully reported at all times. In addition, Cornell students have a right to expect academic integrity from each of their peers.

I. Guidelines for Precollege Studies Students

A. General Responsibilities

  1. A student shall in no way misrepresent his or her work.
  2. A student shall in no way fraudulently or unfairly advance his or her academic position.
  3. A student shall refuse to be a party to another student’s failure to maintain academic integrity.
  4. A student shall not in any other manner violate the principle of academic integrity.

B. Examples of Violations

The following actions are examples of activities that violate this Code and subject their actors to proceedings under this Code. This is not a definitive list.

  1. Knowingly representing the work of others as one’s own. Note that team members involved in a group project will be viewed as one unit. Therefore, if one member of a team violates the code of academic integrity, all members will be considered to be in violation, whether they had prior knowledge or not.
  2. Using, obtaining, or providing authorized assistance on examinations, papers, or any other academic work.
  3. Fabricating data in support of laboratory or field-work.
  4. Forging a signature to certify completion of a course assignment.
  5. Unfairly advancing one’s academic position by hoarding or damaging library materials.
  6. Misrepresenting one’s academic accomplishments.

C. Specific Guidelines for Courses

  1. Examinations. During examinations no student may use, give, or receive any assistance or information not given in the examination or by the proctor. Absent an explicit exception, students may not handle or access a cell phone or electronic device (including but not limited to smart watches, smart clothing, fitness bands, earpieces, writing instruments, or any device that has a recording, internet, or communication capability) at any time during an exam. All such devices shall be turned off or disabled and placed out of sight if so requested by the proctor. No student may take an examination for another student. Between the time an examination is distributed and the time it is submitted by the student for grading, the student may not consult with any persons other than the course professor and teaching assistants regarding the examination. The student is responsible for understanding the conditions under which the examination will be taken.
  2. Course Assignments. Students are encouraged to discuss the content of a course among themselves and to help each other master it, but no student should receive help in doing a course assignment that is meant to test what they can do without help from others. Representing another's work as one's own is plagiarism and a violation of this Code. If materials are taken from published sources the student must clearly and completely cite the source of such materials. Work submitted by a student and used by a faculty member in the determination of a grade in a course may not be submitted by that student in a second course unless such submission is approved in advance by the faculty member in the second course. If a student is submitting all or part of the same work simultaneously for the determination of a grade in two or more different courses, all faculty members in the courses must approve such submissions.
  3. Classroom Misconduct and Other Behavior Disruptive to the Educational Process. A faculty member may impose a grade penalty for any such misconduct. Students are not authorized to replicate, reproduce, copy, or transmit lectures and course materials presented, or "derivative" materials including class notes, for sale or general distribution to others without the written consent of the faculty or academic staff members or class participant who is the original source of such materials. Other examples of academic misconduct include, but are not limited to, failure to attend classes for two or more days, failure to complete assignments, talking during an exam, using unauthorized materials into the classroom, and disruptive behavior in the classroom.
    1. Classroom misconduct is not a violation of academic integrity, and no hearing is required.
    2. The faculty member must promptly notify the student of the reason for the imposition of a penalty for classroom misconduct and the degree to which their grade will be affected. The faculty member will also refer the matter to the director of Precollege Studies for a Precollege Studies Judicial Meeting. (See section II(C), below.)
    3. This section does not limit a faculty member’s prerogative to remove a disruptive student from a classroom under appropriate circumstances.
  4. Academic Misconduct. Academic misconduct related to integrity in the conduct of scholarly and scientific research and communication is addressed in Cornell Policy 1.2. Policy 1.2 applies to faculty, staff, and students.

D. Principles for Computer Use and Network Systems

The use of computers and network systems in no way exempts students from the normal requirements of ethical behavior in the Cornell University community. Use of a computer and network system that is shared by many other users imposes certain additional obligations. In particular, data, software and computer capacity have value and must be treated accordingly. Although some rules are built into computer and network systems, such restrictions cannot limit completely what students can do. In any event students are responsive for their actions whether or not rules are built in, and whether or not they can circumvent them.

Standards of behavior include:

  1. Respect for the privacy of other user’s information, even when that information is not securely protected.
  2. Respect for the ownership of proprietary software. For example, unauthorized copies of such software for one’s own use, even when that software is not protected against copying is inappropriate.
  3. Respect for the finite capacity of the system and limitation of use so as not to interfere unreasonably with the activity of other users.
  4. Respect for the procedures established to manage the use of the system.

E. Variances

Precollege Studies faculty members are responsible for informing their students and teaching assistants of variances from this Code that apply to work in their course. These variances should be clearly stated in writing at the beginning of the course of activity to which they apply.

II. Organization and Procedures

A. Reporting

  1. Students and staff discovering an apparent violation should immediately report the matter to the faculty member in charge of the course or to the director of Precollege Studies.

B. Primary Hearing

  1. Primary hearings are to be held by the faculty member.
  2. Notification. If, after investigation, possibly including a discussion with the student, a faculty member believes that the student has violated this Code, the faculty member shall present the student with notice of the alleged violation. This notice shall include notification of a hearing to be held as soon as practicable after the alleged infraction has come to the attention of the faculty member.
  3. Composition. At the hearing the following shall be present: the faculty member concerned, the student in question, and a third-party independent witness (who may be either a member of the faculty or staff). The student may also bring additional witnesses to testify. An advisor or support person may accompany the student but may not participate.

    If a case involves more than three students, the instructor can delegate the instructor’s role in one or more primary hearing to another tenured, tenure-track, emeritus, or RTE faculty member. Any primary hearing with the instructor not present must be recorded. The instructor retains full responsibility for ruling on each case and therefore may wish to engage with a student from whose primary hearing the instructor was absence. If such engagement takes place, it will be treated as part of the primary hearing.

  4. Procedure
    1. At the hearing the faculty member shall present evidence in support of the charge against the student. The student shall be given the opportunity to respond and, if they wish, to present evidence refuting the charge.
    2. The function of the independent witness is to observe the proceedings impartially and, in the event of an appeal, be prepared to provide evidence as the procedures followed.
    3. After hearing the student, the faculty member may either dismiss the charge or, if there is clear and convincing evidence that the student has violated this Code, find the student guilty. ("Clear and convincing" as a standard of proof refers to a quantum of evidence beyond a mere preponderance but below that characterized "beyond a reasonable doubt" and such that it will produce in the mind of the trier of fact a firm belief as to the facts sought to be established.) If the student is found guilty, the faculty member may impose a suitable grade penalty, including failure in the course.
    4. If the student fails to attend the hearing without a compelling excuse, the hearing may proceed in their absence.
    5. A student charged with violating this Code in a course may not drop or change the grading option in that course without the consent of the instructor unless the student has subsequently been cleared of the charges. If the student is taking the course S/U, the instructor may offer the student the choice to change the grading option to LET before assigning a grade penalty following a guilty finding after informing the student of the process for computing the student’s final grade under both options.
    6. If the faculty member finds the student in violation of this Code, the faculty member will refer the matter to the director of Precollege Studies for a Precollege Studies Judicial Meeting. (See section C, below.)

C. Precollege Studies Judicial Meeting

  1. Upon referral of the matter to the director of Precollege Studies, the director of Precollege Studies, or their designee, shall schedule a judicial meeting to be held as soon as possible, normally within 48 hours of referral.
  2. Composition of Meeting. At the meeting the following shall be present: the director or designee, the student, and a third-party independent witness (who may be either a member of the faculty or staff). An advisor or support person may accompany the student but may not participate.
  3. Meeting Procedure. At the meeting the director or designee shall present the faculty member's final decision. The student shall be given the opportunity to respond. After hearing the student, the director (or designee) may choose to impose a sanction (see number 4 below) in addition to the grade penalty already imposed by the faculty member or decline to impose an additional sanction. The director will render their decision in writing the day of the hearing.
  4. Sanctions. Sanctions may include but are not limited to a written warning, an educational assignment (which may include a paper, a letter of apology, or community service), probation, or dismissal from Precollege Studies. Students who are dismissed from Precollege Studies will be withdrawn from their class(es) with a W on their transcript and will not be entitled to a refund.

D. Review of Decision

  1. The student may seek review of a faculty member’s decision regarding classroom misconduct on the basis either that the finding of guilty is arbitrary and capricious or that the penalty for misconduct, including any additional sanctions imposed by the director, is too strict considering the offense. ("Arbitrary and capricious" describes actions which have no sound basis in law, fact, or reason or are grounded solely in bad faith or personal desires. A determination is arbitrary and capricious only if it is one no reasonable mind could reach.)
  2. The student may seek review of the decision of a primary hearing if they believe the procedure was improper or unfair; they contest the finding of the faculty member; and/or they believe the penalty, including any additional sanctions imposed by the director, is too strict considering the offense.
  3. All appeals must be directed to the dean of the School of Continuing Education, in writing, within 24 hours from receipt of the director’s (or designee’s) written decision. The dean will notify the student of their final decision on the appeal as soon as possible, typically within 24 hours.

E. Parental Notification

  1. The Precollege Studies associate director or director will contact the parents prior to a judicial meeting consistent with the University’s Student Record Privacy Statement: Annual Notification Under FERPA.
  2. Parents will be notified if the judicial meeting results in a dismissal. Students who are dismissed from Precollege Studies will be withdrawn from their class(es) with a W on their transcript and will not be entitled to a refund.