Academic Honesty

When students enter Peninsula College, they are joining a community of scholars in an environment of open inquiry and academic honesty.  This community is characterized by the freedom to express and to question.  Responsibilities associated with this freedom include fostering mutual respect for diverse speech and beliefs and contributing to an atmosphere which engenders civility.  The campus recognizes that the U.S. and the Washington State constitutions protect free speech and expression.

The college expects students to act in an honest and ethical manner and to accept responsibility for their own intellectual growth and academic achievement. The college campus is a forum in which disruption or interference with the college’s stated educational mission and guiding principles will not be tolerated.

The academic honesty policy is in accordance with the college’s guiding principles.

Part I.  Definitions

1. Plagiarism:  (Peninsula College has received permission of the California State University at Sacramento to borrow verbatim from their academic honesty site.)

Plagiarism is a form of cheating.  At Peninsula College, plagiarism is the use of distinctive ideas or works belonging to another person without providing adequate acknowledgement of that person’s contribution.  Regardless of the means of appropriation, incorporation of another’s work into one’s own requires adequate identification and acknowledgement.  Plagiarism is doubly unethical because it deprives the author of rightful credit and gives credit to someone who has not earned it.  Acknowledgement is not necessary when the material used is common knowledge.  Plagiarism at Peninsula College includes but is not limited to:

  1. the act of incorporating into one’s own work the ideas, words, sentences, paragraphs, or parts thereof, or the specific substance of another’s work without giving appropriate credit[,] thereby representing the product as entirely one’s own.  Examples include not only word-for-word copying, but also the “mosaic” (i.e. interspersing a few of one’s own words while, in essence, copying another work), the paraphrase (i.e. rewriting another work while still using the other’s fundamental idea or theory); fabrication (i.e. inventing or counterfeiting sources), ghost-writing (i.e. submitting another’s work as one’s own) and failure to include quotation marks on material that is otherwise acknowledged; and
  2. representing as one’s own another’s artistic or scholarly works[,] such as musical compositions, computer programs, photographs, paintings, drawing, sculptures, or similar works.
  3. The use of another’s work in laboratory, shop, practicum, clinical, or internships settings.  This can include lab experiments, projects, or completion of other requirements in professional-technical and academic classes and programs.

For further information, see these websites: 
Academic Honesty and Intellectual Ownership
, Collins Memorial Library, University of Puget Sound
Academic Honesty, Integrity, Cheating, and Plagiarism, California State University Sacramento Library

2. Cheating: At Peninsula College, cheating is the act of obtaining or attempting to obtain credit for academic work through the use of any dishonest, deceptive, or fraudulent means.  Cheating at Peninsula College includes but is not limited to:

  1. copying, in part or in whole, from another’s test or other evaluation instrument;
  2. using crib notes, ”cheat sheets,” or any other device not permitted by the  instructor, including electronic devices, in aid of writing an exam.
  3. submitting work previously graded in another course unless doing so has been approved by the course instructor or by department policy;
  4. submitting work simultaneously in two courses, unless doing so has been approved by both course instructors or by the department policies of both departments;
  5. altering or interfering with grading or grading instructions;
  6. sitting for an examination by a surrogate, or as a surrogate;
  7. stealing or using stolen tests; purchasing papers from the world wide web and  submitting them as a student’s own work.
  8. any other act committed by a student in the course of his or her academic work that defrauds or misrepresents, including aiding or abetting in any of the actions defined above.

3. Lying or fabrication: At Peninsula College, lying includes:

  • falsely claiming an exemption to a college policy or procedure,
  • fabricating a reason for missing a test or not completing a class or assignment on time;
  • inventing sources for a paper or project, or
  • claiming to have completed course or program requirements not actually done.

Part II. Discipline

The faculty at Peninsula College unanimously support the serious responsibilities of maintaining academic honesty.  For any of the offences enumerated in Part I, individual faculty members have the prerogative to discipline students.  This discipline could include any of the following consequences: 

  • diminishing a grade
  • failing a paper
  • giving an extra or substitute paper
  • failing a class
  • initiating the college’s formal disciplinary action process outlined in College Board Policy 431.

Students who wish to contest faculty decisions may initiate an appeal through the vice president of student services.


Peninsula College Board Policy
Subject: ACADEMIC HONESTY
Policy Number:426
Date Adopted: February 8, 2005