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Academic Honor Code

Pinnacle Classical Academy students are required to uphold honesty, integrity, and truthfulness in all areas of school life. “Students are not to lie, cheat or steal nor tolerate those who do.”

Policy of Academic Honesty

As a community of scholars and learners, Pinnacle Classical Academy expects its students to develop and display a strong sense of academic integrity. As in any community, this school must be governed by regulations; and like the laws of any community, these rules function best when they are fully understood, accepted, and cherished by each and every individual member of the community. Therefore, all students and faculty members are expected to be familiar with and to base their actions upon the following statements regarding academic honesty.

Student Responsibilities

  1. Students should recognize that the regulations governing academic integrity exist for the protection of the honest and that dishonesty in an academic setting must not be tolerated, much less condoned.
  2. Students are responsible for their own work. Any assignment turned in by a student is assumed to be the work of the student whose name appears on the assignment.

  3. Students are ultimately responsible for understanding a teacher’s instructions for any assignment. If instructions are not clear, students must seek clarification from the teacher.

  4. Students must understand the definitions of plagiarism and academic dishonesty.

  5. Students should familiarize themselves with the proper use of citations and quotations in order to avoid accidentally passing someone else’s work off as their own.

  6. Students are expected to report incidents of academic dishonesty to their teacher(s).

  7. Any student who threatens or coerces another student for reporting an Honor Code violation will face severe disciplinary action.

Teacher Responsibilities

  1. Teachers must explain all assignments as thoroughly as is reasonable and should address any extraordinary limitations on outside assistance.

  2. Teachers should take reasonable precautions in giving tests to ensure that violations do not occur.  The fact that a teacher did not take a specific precaution does not, however, constitute an excuse for any form of academic dishonesty.

  3. Faculty must be willing to investigate and, if circumstances warrant, press charges against students suspected of academic dishonesty.

  4. Teachers must inform the administration any time that a student is charged with an infraction.

  5. Teachers must seek to be fair in their dealings with students, particularly regarding cases of academic dishonesty, and must realize that no student can be convicted on suspicion alone.

Academic Dishonesty and Plagiarism

Academic Dishonesty is the deliberate and knowing misrepresentation of one’s academic work. A student is dishonest when two circumstances occur: (1) The student could reasonably be expected to know that his/her teacher would disapprove of some aspect or circumstance of the student’s academic work; and (2) the student submits work to the teacher for evaluation while hiding that particular aspect or circumstance from the teacher. To do so is clearly dishonest because the teacher will evaluate the work as what he/she understands it to be. The student has deceived the instructor by misrepresenting the work, and the evaluation has not been rightly earned.

From another perspective, academic dishonesty may be viewed as the use of unauthorized assistance in any work that is to be evaluated –“unauthorized” meaning that the professor would not approve of the form of assistance received and is unaware of its use. The student is being dishonest if he/she deliberately hides this assistance from the teacher while knowing the instructor would not approve of this assistance. If the teacher is unaware of the assistance that has been received he/she will evaluate the work as being entirely the student’s own. Thus, the evaluation has not been fairly earned by the student. Furthermore, any student who knowingly gives unauthorized assistance is also guilty of academic dishonesty.

On tests and examinations academic dishonesty occurs when a student receives any assistance that the teacher has not expressly permitted. It may take the form of looking on another student’s test paper or bringing into the test site any information or materials not expressly permitted by the teacher. Both of the above definitions of academic dishonesty apply: the student has misrepresented the test as being entirely his/her own work. Furthermore, the student has received unauthorized assistance.

On research papers, reports and other written assignments a form of academic dishonesty is plagiarism, which is the use of someone else’s information or exact words without properly “documenting” or identifying that source. Whenever someone else’s exact words are used those words must be properly punctuated as a quotation and the source fully identified. Also, any information or ideas that have been taken from a source other than the student’s own personal knowledge “book, article, interview, etc.,” must be properly documented, even though the student may be rephrasing the information in his/her own words. A student should not hesitate to consult the teacher about any question or uncertainty regarding proper documentation or research information.

A teacher may often allow and even encourage students to work together on assignments or receive assistance from other students, other faculty members, other staff members, friends, family or others. However, if the teacher has not expressly allowed such assistance and expects the assignment to be done entirely by the student, to do otherwise would be dishonest. The student should consult the teacher if there is any doubt about outside assistance being permitted.

Ultimately, academic dishonesty amounts to deliberately hiding something from the teacher. So the best advice is this: whenever in any doubt, consult the teacher.

The PCA Academic Honor Code is derived from Gardner-Webb University’s undergraduate Honor Code.