Academic Misconduct Referral


The Academic Misconduct 2.3.11 policy guides the process. Academic Misconduct referrals are submitted using an online incident report, using a Maricopa wide system. Reporting centrally allows us to connect repeated student violations across all courses, all programs, and across all Maricopa colleges. It also formally upholds fairness and accountability by using a standard system (Simplicity). This process protects you (as faculty/employee) against accusations of unfair treatment and provides the students with an impartial process to respond. It will increase equitable access to the learning environment for all students by making sure that students use resources fairly and contribute to a positive learning experience here at MCC and throughout Maricopa.

In the online form, when faculty select "Academic Misconduct," the concern is routed to the appropriate Dean of Instruction for the area. Near the end of the online form, faculty choose one or more of the following options:

  • Keep on file, no follow-up requested
  • Please call for consultation or interventions
  • Student removed for one class period
  • Interim Action (including Suspension)
  • Other (please explain in narrative box above)

All other (non-academic) concerns get routed to the Dean of Students.

The Deans of Instruction review all academic misconduct concerns submitted through the system. Academic consequences, disciplinary sanctions, and student appeal process related to academic misconduct allegations must include appropriate due process.

Academic Consequences

Any student found by a faculty member to have committed academic misconduct may be subject to the following academic consequences, based on the faculty member’s judgment of the student’s academic performance:

  • Warning - A notice in writing to the student that the student has violated the academic standards as defined in 1.A.
  • Grade Adjustment - Lowering of a grade on a test, assignment, or course.
  • Discretionary assignments - Additional academic assignments determined by the faculty member.
  • Course Failure - Failure of a student from a course where academic misconduct occurs.

The Deans of Instruction recommend that academic consequences generally be progressive, however, depending on the severity of the academic misconduct a faculty may choose a higher level sanction (such as course failure) based on their judgment, so long as the student is afforded due process.

In general, Deans of Instruction will support lower level academic consequences (warning, grade adjustment, and/or discretionary assignments) recommended by faculty when students are informed of the instructional grievance process (student right to appeal) and faculty are consistent with their syllabus policies.

Faculty recommendations of course failure or removal from a program (such as removal from a cohort program) are considered disciplinary sanctions and require greater due process.

Disciplinary Sanctions

A faculty member may remove a student from one (1) class meeting for disciplinary reasons. For involuntary removal from more than one (1) class period, the faculty member should invoke the procedures outlined in AR 2.5.2 (these are actual student code of conduct issues, not just academic misconduct). Faculty should IMMEDIATELY inform the Dean of Students/Conduct Administrator of the student removal.

If the misconduct is sufficiently serious to warrant course failure, and if either:

(a) the failure results in a student being removed from an instructional program or

(b) the student refuses to accept responsibility for the misconduct and its academic consequence,

the faculty member will, in addition to awarding the course grade, consult the department chair and the Dean of Instruction (as the designee for the Vice President of Academic Affairs) as to whether institutional sanctions set forth below should be sought under AR 2.5.

Regardless of whether the student has accepted responsibility for academic consequences, in all cases of academic misconduct the faculty member may make recommendations for sanctions and may file a written complaint of misconduct. The Dean of Instruction (as the designee for the Vice President of Academic Affairs) will serve as the student conduct administrator in all academic misconduct cases, and will follow the procedure established in AR 2.5.2 to evaluate whether disciplinary sanctions are warranted.

Repeated and serious academic misconduct violations may result in:

Disciplinary Probation - Disciplinary probation is for a designated period of time and includes the probability of more severe sanctions if the student commits additional acts of academic misconduct.

College Suspension - Separation of the student from the college for a definite period of time, after which the student is eligible to return. Conditions for readmission may be specified. (A suspension from one Maricopa Community College will apply to all other colleges/centers in the District.)

College Expulsion - Permanent separation of the student from the college. (Expulsion from one Maricopa Community College will apply to all colleges/centers in the District.)

College probation, suspension, or expulsion will be imposed only by the vice president of academic affairs or designee, and only after the student has received the procedural rights provided in AR 2.5.2.

Opportunity to Appeal Using the Instructional Grievance Process

In cases of academic dishonesty which faculty believe warrant a failing grade (F or Y grade) or a lower sanction of course withdraw (W) and/or program removal, we need to make sure that the student is informed and has the opportunity to appeal using the instructional grievance process before the sanction is imposed. A student who feels that he/she has been treated unfairly or unjustly by a faculty member (full-time or part-time) with regard to an academic process such as grading, testing or assignments, shall discuss the issue first with the faculty member involved.

This conference shall be requested by the student within fifteen (15) working days from the time the student knew or reasonably should have known about the unfair or unjust treatment. When faculty recommend adverse action (program withdraw or course failure) which impacts a person's liberty (ability to pursue education), the institution needs to allow for due process (ability to appeal).

In most cases of academic dishonesty, there isn't a lot of urgency to immediately process the actual withdrawal or issue a failing grade and the student could be encouraged to continue attending class while given the opportunity to appeal. The exception may be sending the student into live clinical/internship environments and in those circumstances alternative assignments could be used during an appeal.