Academic Dishonesty and Grievance Policies

Academic Integrity and Grievance policy

Quick Links:

Beth Martin Birky,  associate academic dean

*Note that the reporting link has changed and takes you to a page where you can select “Report Academic Dishonesty” from a drop-down menu.


Goshen College expects all students and faculty members to practice academic integrity. Honesty, trust, fairness, respect, and responsibility are essential building blocks in creating a vital learning community. They are also the foundation for lifelong integrity.  Academic dishonesty at Goshen College is considered a serious breach of the “Goshen College Commitment to Community Standards.” The academic dishonesty policy outlines the process for addressing any act that misrepresents academic work or interferes with the academic work of others. Academic dishonesty includes but isn’t limited to the following:

  • Plagiarism (giving the impression that another person’s work is your own)
  • Cheating on assignments or exams
  • Falsification of data
  • Submission of the same (or substantially the same) paper in more than one course without the prior consent of all instructors concerned
  • Depriving others of necessary academic sources
  • Sabotaging another student’s work

First Offense

Faculty members will report incidents of academic dishonesty to the associate academic dean through an online report form. Note that the reporting link has changed and takes you to a page where you can select “Report Academic Dishonesty” from a drop-down menu. Reports should include the student name, class, type of assignment and offense, date of offense, sanctions, and summary of communication with student.

The faculty member has the right to determine the outcome of a first offense as appropriate to the assignment, context, and severity of the offense. Responses range from requesting that a student re-do an assignment or exam to failure of the course, depending on the severity of the offense.

The associate dean will notify the student in writing that a report has been made and extend campus resources. The associate dean will share a summary of the reported offense with the student’s advisor(s) and will maintain a record of all first offenses.

Second Offense

If more than one incident of academic dishonesty occurs, the associate academic dean will inform the student in writing that an academic review is being pursued and invite them to meet to assess the circumstances. The associate dean will inform the student’s advisor(s) of the academic review and convene an Academic Response Team made up of two teaching faculty members and two students. The Academic Response Team will review the evidence provided in the report and determine the appropriate response for repeated violations of academic integrity.

Responses could include suspension from the college for one or more semesters or dismissal from the college, depending on the severity of the offenses. The professor who reported the incident will continue to have the right to determine the academic outcome for that offense. The associate dean oversees the Academic Response Team determination process and communicates the final decision to the student in writing. The associate dean will share a summary of the reported offense with the student’s advisor(s) and will maintain a record of all first offenses.

Fraudulent documents

The submission of documents such as transcripts, diplomas, test scores, references or applications, that are forged, fraudulent, altered from the original, materially incomplete, obtained under false pretenses or otherwise deceptive (collectively referred to as fraudulent documents) is prohibited by Goshen College.

Academic falsification occurs when:

  • Someone falsely represents to Goshen College having an academic credential, including, but not limited to, degrees, certificates, grades, and credits, that the person never received or earned;
  • Someone falsely represents having attended and/or received credits, grades, a degree, certificate, or other credential from Goshen College; or
  • Someone provides anyone a Goshen College transcript, diploma, or other credential (or copy thereof) that has been altered or otherwise falsified.

Possible consequences of academic falsification may include, but are not limited to, academic and/or disciplinary action which could include dismissal from a program and/or Goshen College; contacting authorities for possible criminal action; forfeiture of academic credits, or revocation of a degree or admission to college.  When the registrar’s office is aware of persons who present a false diploma or transcript, the employer or school will be notified of the fraudulent document.

See the Goshen College Appeals policy for appeal conditions and procedures.

Student Academic Grievance Procedure

The academic grievance policy seeks to provide a fair and expeditious process that allows for both informal and formal resolution of conflicts over academic matters. Students of Goshen College who believe that policy has not been followed with respect to academic matters may initiate the academic grievance procedure. Academic matters are those concerned with instructional activities, grading procedures or other incidents related to academic affairs. Students should be aware that clear evidence is needed to contest a grade. Belief that a subject or test was too difficult is not grounds for a complaint. A student must have evidence that specific policy was violated or that he or she was treated in a prejudicial or capricious manner. This policy does not limit Goshen College’s right to change rules, policies, or practices related to academic policies. The full Academic Grievance Policy is published in the Goshen College Undergraduate and Graduate Catalogs.

Return to the Community Standards home page.