Academic Integrity Policy
The Ashland University community strives to model leadership which is based upon Judeo-Christian beliefs and virtues which will encourage, develop, and sustain men and women of character to serve their professions, their communities, and the world. As members of Ashland University, students hold themselves to the highest standards of academic, personal, and social integrity. In keeping with the Ashland University commitment to the highest standards of academic, personal, and social integrity, students are expected to abide by the academic integrity standards outlined in this policy.
SECTION 1. PURPOSE
Academic integrity is as important to our mission today as it was at the University's founding. The founders declared that Ashland "would develop students intellectually," and our current mission speaks to "the purpose of leading meaningful lives in the world community." Since the educational and social environment is built upon a long-standing commitment to Judeo-Christian values, it is clear that academic integrity is an essential part of students' personal and intellectual growth.
At Ashland University, academic integrity is to be revered, honored and upheld. Therefore, an academic integrity infraction is considered a very serious matter, as it corrupts the educational process and undermines the foundation of our community.
SECTION 2. CONDUCT WHICH VIOLATES ACADEMIC INTEGRITY-ACADEMIC DISHONESTY
Ashland University expects each student to advance the University's mission by furthering an environment that is both challenging and supportive. In such an environment a student will neither seek nor offer improper assistance. All students have an obligation to be forthright in their academic endeavors and to respect ethical standards. The work that one submits for academic evaluation must be his/her own, unless an instructor expressly permits certain types of collaboration. Academic integrity requires that each student will use his/her own capabilities to achieve his/her fullest potential and will neither offer nor accept aid that is not in keeping with regularly accepted standards of academic integrity. Failure to conform to this conduct shall constitute academic dishonesty.
SECTION 3. FORMS OF ACADEMIC DISHONESTY
Proper acknowledgment of ideas and sources is central to academic honesty. To ensure academic honesty, it is important to examine that which constitutes academic dishonesty. Academic dishonesty includes:
Plagiarism is the intentional or unintentional presentation of someone else's words, ideas or data as one's own work. In the event the faculty member deems the plagiarism is unintentional, he/she shall typically require the student to rewrite the assignment. In the event the faculty member believes the plagiarism is willful, the sanctions in this document will apply. If the work of another is used, acknowledgment of the original source must be made through a recognized reference practice, and, if verbatim statements are included, through quotation marks as well. To assure proper crediting, a student will acknowledge the work of others
- Whenever one quotes another person's actual words.
- Whenever one uses another person's idea, opinion or theory, even if it is completely paraphrased in one's own words.
- Whenever one borrows facts, statistics, or other illustrative materials, unless such information is of such common knowledge so as not to be questioned.
Fabrication is the intentional falsification or invention of research, data, citations, or other information. Examples of fabrication include:
- Citing information not taken from the source indicated.
- Including in a reference list sources which have not been consulted.
- Inventing or altering data or source information for research or other academic exercise.
- Submitting as his/her own any academic assignment (e.g. written work, painting, sculpture, etc.) prepared totally or in part by another.
- Using a portion of a piece of work previously submitted for another course or program to meet the requirement of the present course or program without the approval of the instructor involved.
- Permitting one's work to be submitted by another person as if it were his or hers.
- Taking a test (or other evaluation) for someone else or permitting someone else to take a test for oneself.
- Other offenses of this form which incorporate dishonesty for academic gain.
Cheating is an act of deception in which a student represents mastery of information that he/she has not mastered. Cheating may be suspected if an assignment that calls for independent work results in two or more solutions, sequences, or language so similar as to merit the charge. Cheating may be suspected if there is a statistical inconsistency in the student's performance and the student cannot explain or reproduce both the intricacies of the solution and the techniques used to generate the solution; or in the case of an essay examination, the student cannot explain or reproduce the thought-processes used to generate the writing. Examples include:
- Copying from another student's test paper.
- Allowing another student to copy from a test paper.
- Using notes, textbooks or other information in homework, examinations, tests or quizzes, except as expressly permitted.
- Securing, giving or exchanging information during examinations without authority to do so.
- Other offenses of this form which incorporate dishonesty for academic gain.
Other Forms of Academic Misconduct
- Obtaining confidential information about examinations, tests or quizzes other than that released by the instructor.
- Stealing, buying, or otherwise obtaining all or part of an unadministered test in which the origins of the materials are suspect.
- Selling or giving away all or part of an unadministered test including answers to an unadministered test.
- Inducing any other person to obtain an unadministered test or any information about the test.
- Changing, altering, or being an accessory to the changing and/or altering of a grade in a grade book, computer file, on a test, a "change of grade" form, or other official academic record of the University which relate to grades.
- Cooperating with another person in academic dishonesty, either directly or knowingly, as an accessory.
- Using computing resources in a manner which violates University academic integrity policies.
- Other offenses of this form which incorporate dishonesty for academic gain.
These examples are not meant to be exhaustive. Further, they refer only to academic areas; appropriate action may also be undertaken by other agencies.
SECTION 4. PROCEDURES FOLLOWING AN ALLEGATION OF ACADEMIC DISHONESTY AT THE GRADUATE LEVEL
- When a faculty member has observed a student violating any of the policies stated herein, an allegation of academic dishonesty, with supporting documentation, shall be filed with the appropriate administrator.
- When a proctor has observed a student violating any of the policies stated herein, the faculty member, under whose authority the proctor oversaw the academic activity, shall file an allegation of academic dishonesty, with supporting documentation, with the appropriate administrator.
- When a faculty member has not observed a student violating any of the policies stated herein, but has a firm conviction of academic dishonesty, based on probative evidence, the faculty member shall file an allegation of academic dishonesty, with supporting documentation, with the appropriate administrator.
- Upon the filing of an allegation of academic dishonesty, the faculty member, or the appropriate administrator shall inform the student of the nature of the allegation and supply the student with documentation.
- Within ten business days of receiving an allegation of academic dishonesty, the appropriate administrator shall notify the student of the procedures for refuting such allegation and for appealing any resulting penalty, and shall forward the allegation of academic dishonesty, with supporting documentation, to the appropriate committee.
- Within ten business days of receiving an allegation of academic dishonesty, the appropriate committee shall schedule a hearing and inform the student of his or her right to refute the allegation at the hearing.
- Time frames for taking actions may be extended upon agreement of the parties.
SECTION 5. PENALTIES AND PENALTY DETERMINATION
- In addition to submitting the allegation of academic dishonesty to the appropriate administrator, the faculty member may assign a grade of zero for the assignment or test involved and/or assign an F for the course. Any grade appeal in process will be suspended until any integrity violation is resolved.
- The appropriate committee shall determine the penalty, adhering to the stated policies of the program, up to and including permanent dismissal from the graduate program, without opportunity to reapply. Within ten business days of the hearing, the committee shall notify the student of its decision, and report its decision to the College Dean. In determining the penalty, the committee shall take into consideration the seriousness of the offense, including:
- the willfulness of the incident; e.g., an error in the form of a citation is less serious than no attempt to credit the work of another;
- the extent to which the student had been previously instructed or warned about the academic integrity policy;
- previous violations of academic integrity.
- The action taken pursuant to paragraph 2 above does not prevent any additional action taken pursuant to stated policies of individual colleges, departments or programs.
SECTION 6. STUDENT APPEAL PROCEDURE
- The student shall have an opportunity to attend the appropriate committee's hearing and refute the allegation of academic dishonesty.
- Within ten business days of receiving notice of the committee's decision, the student may appeal the decision to the College Dean. The Dean shall review the information presented, make such inquiries as necessary and render judgment. If dissatisfied, the student may appeal to the Dean of the Graduate School within ten business days of receiving notification of the College Dean's decision.
- The Dean of the Graduate School shall review the information presented, make such inquiries as necessary and render judgment, which shall affirm, modify or overturn the decision of the College Dean. If the decision of the College Dean is overturned, the Dean of the Graduate School shall remand the matter to the College Dean for action not inconsistent with the decision of the Dean of the Graduate School.
- Students may appeal a decision of the Dean of the Graduate School to permanently dismiss a student from the program to the Provost by submitting an appeal to the Provost's Office within ten calendar days of notification of the decision.
To remain in good standing, students must maintain a cumulative 3.0 grade point average in the master’s program. Anytime a student’s cumulative grade point average falls below 3.0, the student may be placed on academic probation and is subject to dismissal. Academic probation is recorded as a permanent entry on the student’s official record. The student has four courses (8 hours) in which to raise the grade point average to at least 3.0.
Failure to meet this requirement may result in academic dismissal. If probation occurs or continues during the last semester, the program faculty committee will determine what additional work, if any, the student must accomplish to continue, graduate, or be involuntarily withdrawn. The College of Arts and Sciences and Ashland University reserve the right to dismiss any student at any time for good cause.
Persons who do not wish to receive college credit or who do not meet minimal admission requirements may register as auditors upon payment of the audit fee and completion of all requirements for non-degree seeking students. Official records and grades are not maintained for auditors and audit classes cannot later be changed to a credit standing. Students will receive a grade report reflecting audit status.
Course Delivery and Residency Requirements
Courses in history and government (those with an AHG prefix) are offered as intensive weeklong summer courses at the main campus and as live online weboconference courses during the fall, spring, and summer semesters. On-campus room and board are available for a nominal fee for students attending summer courses. Courses required as part of the education core may be taken at the main campus, at Ashland's regional centers located around Ohio, as hybrid courses (meeting both on-campus and online), and as fully online courses.
No more than 9 hours may be transferred into the program from other universities.
Students may choose to complete the program entirely online, entirely on-campus, or through any combination of online and on-campus coursework. Students need not commit to one particular delivery method and may change their plans at anytime.
Enrollment in two Master's Programs at Ashland University
It is possible to pursue two master's degrees simultaneously at Ashland University. Graduate students must have an advisor in each graduate degree program and plan with them an integrated course of study that satisfies the requirements of both degree programs. A program plan for the dual degree programs must be completed and submitted to the director of the Graduate School within the first semester of enrollment at Ashland University. The student must qualify for admission to each program and the administrative directors for both programs must sign the program plan. No more than 12 semester hours may be counted in both degree programs and this must be specified in the proposal.
Students who have been admitted to graduate study at Ashland University may take courses in any graduate program provided that the prerequisites have been met and providing that they have approval of the instructor or program director.
Students applying for a dual master's degree or a second master's degree may have the second application fee waived.
Students may pursue a second master's degree following completion of a master's degree providing that they meet the requirements for admission to the second master's degree. No more than 12 semester hours from the first master's program may be counted in the second masters program. The student must have earned a B or better in the courses. The transfer of these hours must be approved by the advisor in the second program and recorded in the Registrar's Office.
Students changing from one master's degree program to another must record that change and notify both program directors. They must meet the entrance requirements for admission to the new graduate program. The acceptance of course work from the original master's program must be approved by the advisor in the new program.
Grade Point System
The following system of grading and point values applies to all courses in the master's program:
|Letter Grade||Quality Points|
|A||Work which reflects excellence in all or almost all areas: knowledge, insight or understanding, writing, contribution to in-class discussion – both quality and quantity, effort, general overall contribution to the class.||4.00|
|A-||Work that is good in all areas, with some indications of excellent work.||3.67|
|B+||Solid work in all areas with some indications of good work.||3.33|
|B||Competent work in most areas; may reveal some minor problems.||3.00|
|B-||Below average work in several areas; signs of significant problems.||2.67|
|C+||Minimally competent work which is not quite failing, yet is below the quality expected at the graduate-level work||2.33|
|Unacceptable and incompetent work below the quality that is expected at the graduate level. No credit is awarded for courses in which a grade of C or C- is earned.||2.00
|F||Work with significant problems that is clearly below the quality expected for graduate-level work.||0.00|
|I (Incomplete)||May be given when students are not able to complete the course work due to illness, accidents, or other emergencies. This grade applies to work of acceptable quality when the full amount is not completed. It is never applied to unsatisfactory work. The required work must be completed within three months of the completion of the course. The professor has the option of extending the time period for completing the required work an additional semester. The "I" grade becomes "F" if not removed by the date specified.|
|IP (In-Progress)||Given for thesis, capstone project, or directed study courses that are in progress. There are no time limits for completing the requirements for such courses except those imposed in the program.|
|K (Transfer)||Credit accepted in transfer. Courses are recorded on the student's permanent academic record but not included in the cumulative point hour ratio.|
|W (Withdrawn)||Assigned for official withdrawals within 24 hours of the beginning of the course. Not used in grade point average computation.|
Grading and Course Repeat Policy
No credit toward degree requirements will be awarded for courses in which the student has earned a grade below C+. Any student receiving a C+ or lower grade in a course may choose to retake that same course in an attempt to raise his grade point average. Both grades appear on the student’s transcript. However, upon written request of the student, only the second grade will be used in calculating the GPA.
Student Appeals Process
Students who have complaints or questions about instructional faculty performance or conduct should follow the procedure listed below. Any appeals must be initiated no later than the end of the semester following that in which the issue arose:
- The student should consult the faculty member in question. It is only after this approach has been attempted that further recourse is appropriate. No appeal will be heard until this initial step has been taken, unless the complaint involved conduct that the student does not feel comfortable raising with the faculty member. In this case, the student may initiate the complaint by writing directly to the academic head of the graduate program as described in step 2 of this process.
- If consultation with the faculty member in question does not produce satisfactory results, the student should submit his or her appeal in writing to the academic head of the graduate program. The written appeal should specify the details and circumstances that justify the appeal and state the action or decision sought by the student.
- If the academic head of the graduate program, after having consulted with the individual who is the subject of the complaint, denies the student’s appeal or complaint, the student may submit a copy of the appeal to the dean of the academic college in which the graduate program is housed.
- The academic dean will review the information presented, make such inquiries as necessary, and render a judgment. If the student is dissatisfied with the dean’s decision, the student may make final appeal to the provost.
- If a written appeal is made to the provost, the provost will schedule a meeting including the student, the faculty member in question, and a Review Committee, consisting of the academic graduate program head and the academic dean. The provost, in consultation with the Review Committee, will make a final decision on the appeal or complaint and will specify what action, if any, is required by the student, the faculty member, and/or the University.
Students must complete all requirements for the master's degree within ten years. This period begins with the first Ashland University master’s course completed and ends with the last coursework applied toward the degree. In extraordinary circumstances, a time extension may be granted through approval of the program director.
Inactivity, Withdrawal, and Readmission
Any student who has been absent from the university for three or more consecutive semesters (including summer) will be declared to be inactive and withdrawn from the university. To resume studies, an inactive student must contact the MASTAHG program office. In most cases, it is not necessary to reapply to the university. Upon readmission, students will be held to the degree requirements published in the then-current edition of the Graduate Catalog. Any coursework completed prior to withdrawal will be honored provided it is still applicable to current degree requirements.
Up to nine (9) semester credit hours may be transferred from other institutions to satisfy the degree requirements in the MASTAHG program. The maximum number of transfer credits accepted toward degree requirements may be reduced depending upon the number of semester credit hours the student earns in online courses (see the Course Delivery and Residency Requirements section, above).
To transfer credit hours, the following conditions must apply:
- Credit hours transferred cannot have been used for another degree.
- A student must have earned the credit hours no longer than six years prior to acceptance into the master’s program.
- A student must have earned the credit hours at an accredited institution.
- The credit hours must be graduate-level credit hours from a course in which the student received at least a B.
- Quarter hours transferred into the university will be converted into semester hours, and all conversions will be rounded down to the nearest semester hour.
The student’s academic advisor approves credit transfers. Any exceptions to this policy, which are granted rarely, must be approved by the program's faculty committee.
To transfer credit, a student should ask the registrar of the institution where the credit was earned to send an official, sealed copy of his or her transcript to Ashland University. The transcript should make clear that the credit hours are graduate credits. Transcripts should be sent to:
Ashbrook Center at Ashland University
401 College Avenue
Ashland, Ohio 44805
For prior approval of credit hours to be transferred, the student must submit a letter to the student’s academic advisor along with a copy of the other institution’s syllabus for the course. No other guarantees exist that credit hours will be transferable. Prior assurances given verbally by faculty or staff at Ashland University must be regarded as estimates or opinions; they do not commit the University to a course of action.
Waiver of Degree Requirements
Waivers of degree requirements, which will be granted rarely, must be approved by the program's faculty committee and the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. Requests for waivers must be submitted in writing to the program director.