How can faculty promote a climate of academic integrity in the classroom?
- Faculty should model integrity, create an environment that fosters respectful dialogue while encouraging and inspiring learning.
- The inclusion of professional and ethical standards should be at the center of the educational curriculum.
- When difficult issues arise in the academic or professional field of study, concerns should be addressed in a timely and respectful manner. These conversations should not be avoided or ignored.
- Faculty should address campus standards regarding academic integrity as well as their own expectations for ethical behavior in the course syllabus and during class discussions.
- Clear expectations must be established for assignments, tests, and grading, along with clearly defined rules for collaboration and citing sources.
- Academic integrity is an essential topic of conversation and should reinforce how honest work builds skills, knowledge, and self-esteem, while cheating and plagiarism do not.
The Center for Excellence in Teaching (CET) promotes a vibrant culture of teaching and learning, providing teaching and course design resources for the USC community, schools, and faculty.
CET also hosts the Syllabus Template and Statement of Academic Conduct and Support Systems available here
An Academic Integrity Ambassador is a designated faculty/ staff representative (typically in a USC school or college) who provides guidance to faculty within the school/ college about USC’s academic integrity standards and the procedures utilized by the university to respond to alleged academic integrity violations.
The Office of Academic Integrity will review the report you submitted and either follow-up with you for additional information or assign the report to a staff member for review.
Staff will schedule a meeting with the student(s) involved to determine if a violation occurred and, if so, assign the appropriate educational interventions and university outcomes.
Grade outcomes are determined and assigned by the instructor of record.
Yes. Instructors are encouraged to discuss the situation with their students if they feel comfortable doing so. Though students are provided general information about the alleged incident, it is common for students to express anxiety and uncertainty about the incident leading up to their meeting with OAI staff. By speaking with the student, you may be able to alleviate their concerns and gain insight into the matter.
Please do not speak about outcomes, as that will be determined by the Office of Academic Integrity.
Yes. You are encouraged to grade the assignment, however if the incident is pending at the conclusion of the semester, you should issue the student a grade of MG (Missing Grade) pending the incident’s resolution.
OAI staff will inform you of the result of their review and you will be asked to issue them a grade based on the determination of responsibility. A grade penalty may not be issued if there is insufficient information to find the student responsible for an alleged violation.
USC empowers and expects its faculty to respond to suspected acts of academic dishonesty that occur in their courses.
The Office of Academic Integrity supports a culture of integrity by holding students accountable for their actions. University outcomes range from Warning to Expulsion, and most incidents do not result in a permanent notation on the student’s transcript. Separation from the university is usually the result of repeated or egregious violations.
By not reporting, you risk allowing students to engage in repeated, unreported misconduct.
A Faculty-Student Resolution is considered an informal review process and available only when:
- The instructor determines that the violation is minor;
- Student accepts responsibility for the violation;
- Student agrees to the outcomes determined by the instructor; and
- Student has not previously been found responsible for an academic violation (either via FSR or formal review)
Generally speaking, an incident is considered minor if the violation, on its own merit, would not result in a failing grade in the course.
FSRs are not typically reported as part of a student’s disciplinary history to entities external to USC.
Alternatively, a formal review is conducted by OAI staff who invite students to discuss the incident and provide their perspective of the incident. This review may take place over the course of multiple meetings may require consultation with the instructor or any other relevant parties.
No. Instructors seeking guidance regarding the FSR process are invited to consult with the Office of Academic Integrity and/or their school’s Academic Integrity Ambassador. Consultation is not, however, a required element of the process.
Yes, you can (and are encouraged to).
Students accused of academic dishonesty are expected to continue participation in the course while OAI resolves the matter.
Students may not withdraw from a course in which they have committed or have been accused of committing an academic integrity violation.
Students found to have withdrawn from a course in which an academic integrity violation is alleged and reported to the Office of Academic Integrity (either via the FSR or Administrative Review Process) will be re-enrolled in the course.
To assign a final grade to the student, please contact your Grade Coordinator to complete the DocuSign MG form. Once the form is completed, you will receive a notification for your e-signature. Your signed form will route to the Grades Department and the grade change will be processed.
A faculty-student resolution (FSR) is an opportunity for an instructor to directly resolve minor academic dishonesty violations with a student.
FSRs require that students accept responsibility for the allegation (and the instructor’s proposed resolution), the behavior is considered minor, and the student has not previously been responsible for an incident of academic dishonesty.
Students responsible for a violation of academic dishonesty (including those participating in the FSR process) will not be allowed to withdraw from the course (those found to have withdrawn will be re-enrolled), will be assigned a letter grade even if initially enrolled in the course on a pass/no pass basis, and may not replace the resulting grade by repeating the course.
After meeting with the student, instructors choosing to resolve the incident via the FSR process must complete the FSR Reporting form.
DO NOT assign grade penalties or other outcomes until you receive confirmation from OAI that the form has been signed and the process has been completed.
Instructors seeking advice about the FSR process are encouraged to consult with the Office of Academic Integrity or their Academic Integrity Ambassador, however, consultation is not required.