Code of Conduct
HCC recognizes its students as both citizens and members of the academic community. As citizens, students have freedom of speech, assembly, association and press and the rights of petition and due process as guaranteed by the state and federal constitutions. As members of the academic community, students have the right and responsibility to participate in formulating and reviewing all College regulations and policies directly affecting them.
Upon enrolling at HCC, each student assumes an obligation to act in accordance with generally acceptable standards of responsible adult behavior, which include respect of other students and other members of the College community. If this obligation is neglected or ignored, the College must take appropriate disciplinary action in order to function effectively.
Upon committing or attempting to commit any act of misconduct on the College campus, whether in class, at an activity, function or event sponsored or supervised by the College, or elsewhere with a direct relationship between such act and the College, a student may be subject to disciplinary action.
Acts of misconduct include, but are not limited to:
- Academic dishonesty, such as cheating, plagiarism, etc.;
- Knowingly furnishing false information to the College;
- Forgery, alteration or any misuse of College documents and records;
- Conduct which significantly interferes with the College’s teaching, administration or other responsibilities;
- Conduct which endangers the health, safety or well-being of members of the College community or visitors to the campus, including but not limited to, unauthorized and/or illegal possession, use or distribution of controlled substances, look-alike drugs, alcohol or unauthorized/illegal use or possession of firearms or any other weapon;
- Violation of specific College rules and regulations, including those regarding campus parking, equipment, facilities and telecommunications/Internet;
- Failure to comply with directions of College officials acting within the scope of their duties;
- Any conduct which constitutes a violation of a federal, state or local law. College officials will cooperate with federal, state and local authorities in any investigation of such violations.
Students remain subject to federal, state and local laws; violation of these laws may lead to prosecution by agencies or persons, in addition to disciplinary action of the College.
Integrity in academics is a fundamental principle at Heartland Community College (HCC) and the world in which we live; therefore, is essential to the credibility of the College’s educational programs. It is important that all credit and recognition earned at this institution reflect the honest work of each individual. Academic Integrity protects the value of your educational achievement at Heartland Community College. Integrity, respect and honest achievement are necessary principles for an educated person, and the College is committed to helping students achieve these ideals through development and growth. The College therefore views any act of academic dishonesty as a serious offense against the HCC community, which includes all students and staff.
Heartland Honor Code
In the continuous pursuit of excellence, the HCC community is dedicated to the principles of integrity, respect, and honest achievement. As a member of this community, we each have the responsibility to uphold these ideals with the expectation they be upheld by others.
Student Validation of Work
The signing of a student’s name, whether manual or electronic, will declare that the product being signed is the student’s own work completed according to instructor guidelines and rules.
Academic Integrity is Promoted When Students
- Focus on the process of learning. Mastering the material and the process of learning are more important than having a “grade-only” or a “succeed at whatever cost” mentality. This mentality can lead to short term gains with long term consequences.
- Employ good time management and study skill techniques. Poor time management, trying to take on too much in one semester, and ineffective study skills often lead to lack of preparation and an inability to meet deadlines. Acts of academic dishonesty are often desperate attempts to cover-up for lack of time and preparation.
- Seek help. Free services are available. If you are overwhelmed by course content, meet with the faculty member to discuss your concerns. Heartland also provides free tutoring, free help with papers at the Writing Center, and on-campus workshops in time management and study skills.
- Familiarize themselves with the policies. Policies established by each faculty member are most often found in the course syllabus; the College policies are found in the HCC Catalog and Student Handbook.
- Communicate up front. Collaborate only when it is permitted by that faculty member and maintain the HCC Academic Integrity standards if academic dishonesty is suggested. Let study partners know where you stand on issues of academic integrity.
- Improve time-management and study skills. Schedule adequate time for studying and writing papers. Keep a balance between school, work, family, and extra-curricular activities.
- Withdraw from the course. If you are doing poorly in a course or if a crisis has caused you to fall too far behind, first consider talking to your instructor or a tutor. Also, consult with your academic advisor about the withdrawal date and to discuss your questions and concerns. Don’t ever consider academic dishonesty as an option to try to achieve your goals.
- Re-examine goals. HCC offers free career counseling through Enrollment Services to help you determine the best use of your interests and abilities. Know that family and friends may try to influence you, but the choice of your future is ultimately up to you.
Violations of academic integrity include, but are not limited to, the following:
Misrepresentation of Data
- Fabricating data or deliberately presenting in an assignment data that was not obtained in accordance with assigned guidelines for data collection or generation
- Providing an inaccurate account of the method used in collecting/gathering data
Falsification of Academic Records or Documents
- Altering without proper authorization any documents affecting academic records
- Forging signatures of authorization
- Falsifying information on an official academic document such as a grade report, ID card, letter of permission, a document meant to exempt a student from an academic requirement, or any other document pertaining to academic requirements
- Any unauthorized use of notes, study aids or information from class work or examination from another student
- Secretly obtaining test information prior to taking that exam
- Altering graded work and then resubmitting it for a grade
- Altering or destroying grade records
- Allowing another person to take an exam in one’s place
- Submitting identical or similar papers for credit in more than one course without obtaining prior permission from the course instructors involved
Aiding Cheating or Other Acts of Academic Dishonesty
- Providing material or information with the knowledge that it will be used improperly
- Any actions that intentionally form an unfair advantage over fellow students’ work
- Postponing the taking of an exam by reporting an untrue circumstance (illness, emergency, etc.)
- Developing relationships with college personnel to obtain information or an advantage not provided to all students
- Falsifying information that would be used to acquire privileges such as obtaining an incomplete for a course
- Presenting as one’s own work ideas or information that are not considered to be common knowledge
- Representations or words of another person without customary and proper acknowledgement of that authorship or collaboration
To learn more about the definition and scope of plagiarism, please see your instructor or a Heartland librarian. Unfamiliarity of this term will not excuse a student from the penalties of such conduct.
Unauthorized Access to Computerized Academic or Administrative Records or Systems
- Viewing or altering the College’s computer records without authorization
- Copying or modifying the College’s computer programs or systems without authorization
- Releasing or dispensing information gained through unauthorized access
- Interfering with the use or availability of computer systems or information
- Using College computing resources to illegally obtain or distribute copyrighted material
- At locations where College-sponsored activities are held, the unauthorized use, viewing, copying, or altering of other institutions’ computer records, systems, or programs is in violation of academic integrity
Students found responsible for violating the Code of Conduct will be sanctioned. Students may be sanctioned up to, and including, temporary or permanent removal from the College for acts of gross misconduct or disobedience, violation of the Student Code of Conduct, the Academic Integrity Policy or for any and all other actions or unlawful conduct that would interfere with the educational process, disrupt the normal activities of the College or infringe upon the rights of others. Sanctions vary depending on the nature of the violation. Sanctions include, but are not limited to:
- Disciplinary probation
- Administrative withdrawal or removal from a course(s)
- Loss of privileges
- Letter of apology
- Failing grade on assignment or exam
- Behavior contract
Interim measures may also be put in place until there is a resolution to a violation.
Students will be notified by the Director of Student Success of any violation charges. The Director of Student Success will meet with the student to discuss the charges. If the student is found responsible, the Director will issue appropriate sanctions. The student may appeal the Director’s decision to the Vice President for Learning and Student Success.
Appealing a Sanction
Sanctions can be appealed by drafting a letter explaining the reason for the appeal. The student should also provide supporting documentation. The letter should be addressed to the person below who will process the appeal, disseminate it to the staff member responsible, and document the outcome of the appeal.
Division Secretary of Student Support Services
Suite SCB 2400
Heartland Community College
1500 W. Raab Road
Normal IL, 61761
Appeals may also be emailed to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Students dismissed from the College for a violation of the Code of Conduct will be administratively withdrawn from all courses. An administrative withdrawal will supersede any student initiated withdrawals.
Dismissed students will receive a grade of AW or AF in all courses taken during the semester in which the withdrawal occurs. Grades will be determined as a part of the sanctioning process.
A grade of AW means the student has been administratively withdrawn from all courses for violating the Code of Conduct. This grade is not figured into the student’s GPA. College refund policies apply.
A grade of AF means the student has been administratively removed from a course or courses for violating the Code of Conduct. This grade will be figured into the student’s GPA as a failing grade of “F”. No refund of tuition or fees will be granted.
Policy for Readmittance
Students dismissed from the College for a violation of the Code of Conduct will be allowed to return to the College at a date pre-determined at the time of dismissal. However, before the student will be allowed to return, he or she will be required to provide evidence demonstrating steps have been taken to rehabilitate the offending behaviors and that he or she is able to participate in the campus community without further incident. It is possible that a conditional return may be granted which could limit a student’s use of some services.
Witnessing Code of Conduct Violations
If you witness or become aware of an activity involving academic dishonesty or other Code of Conduct violations, you are encouraged to inform your instructor, an advisor, or other appropriate HCC staff. Your concern will be dealt with in a confidential manner. Your action or inaction about these violations have consequences either way. The HCC Community encourages each student to choose to promote an environment that supports the rights and responsibilities of every person on campus.