Cheating and Plagiarism Policy

The expectation at Bucks County Community College is that the principles of truth and honesty will be rigorously followed in all academic endeavors. This assumes that all work will be done by the person who purports to do the work without unauthorized aids. In addition, when making use of language and some idea not his or her own, whether quoting them directly or paraphrasing them into his or her own words, the student must attribute the source of the material in some standard form, such as naming the source in the text or offering a footnote.

Individual instructors are responsible for completing the Plagiarism/Cheating Incident Report within fourteen (14) days of the discovery of an offense. The instructor should maintain copies and forward originals of the Report and supporting documentation to the Office of the Dean of Academic Affairs. The Dean of Academic Affairs will notify the instructor’s Assistant Academic Dean, the student’s Assistant Academic Dean, and the Dean of Students.

Instructors should include in their course formats an explanation of the Cheating and Plagiarism Policy and its penalties.

The Office of the Dean of Academic Affairs will maintain a central record and monitor all policy violations.

Penalties for Cheating and Plagiarism

First Recorded Offense

When an instructor charges a student with cheating or plagiarism, the instructor must complete a Plagiarism/Cheating Incident Report within fourteen (14) days of the incidents discovery. The instructor must take one of the following two actions:

Level 1-Issue a warning with the requirement that the offending portions of the work be revised.
-OR-
Level 2-Issue an automatic failing grade (F) for the work in question, e.g., quiz, essay, examination.

Second Recorded Offense

When the Office of the Dean of Academic Affairs receives a Plagiarism/Cheating Incident Report, a review of the central record file will be made to determine if any previous incidents have been reported on the same student. If one previous offense has been recorded, the instructor filing the Incident Report will be contacted and must resubmit the Incident Report taking one of the following two actions:

Level 3-Issue an automatic withdrawal grade (W) for the course. (This action must be taken within the normal course withdrawal period).
-OR-
Level 4-Issue an automatic failing grade (F) for the course.

NOTE: Instructors should always complete the Incident Report as a First Recorded Offense unless contacted by the Office of the Dean of Academic Affairs to resubmit the Incident Report as a second offense.

Third Recorded Offense

If the Office of the Dean of Academic Affairs receives a third recorded offense on the same student, it will notify the instructor and the College will take the following action:

Level 5-Three year suspension from the College.

  • Any incident or penalty, except Level 5, shall be levied by the instructor in writing and recorded in the Office of the Dean of Academic Affairs.
  • No information pertaining to the offense shall be disclosed to external entities such as colleges, employers, or agencies.

Cheating and Plagiarism Appeals

Normal appeal routes shall be followed with normal time allocation for the student to seek counsel, should he or she desire to appeal the instructor's actions.

  • Appeals pertaining to Levels One and Two should be directed to the Assistant Academic Dean. If resolution is not achieved at that level, the final step in the appeal process is the Dean of Academic Affairs.
  • Appeals pertaining to Levels Three and Four should be directed to the Committee on Academic Performance.
  • Appeals pertaining to Level Five should be directed to the Dean of Students.