Student Responsibility for Academic Progress

Although McPherson College provides a thorough academic advising program, the ultimate responsibility for fulfilling requirements for satisfactory academic progress and graduation lies with the student. A student must satisfy the requirements of the catalog in effect at the time that the student is admitted and begins course work in a degree program; or the student may, with the consent of his/her advisor and the registrar, graduate under a subsequent catalog, provided the student complies with all requirements of the later catalog.

Students are expected to be familiar with the information presented in their applicable catalog, and to know and observe all regulations and procedures relating to their program of study. In no case will a regulation be waived or an exception granted because a student pleads ignorance of, or contends that he/she was not informed of, the regulations or procedures. Students planning to graduate should be familiar with the deadline for application for graduation and other pertinent deadlines.

Students should schedule an official graduation check with the registrar’s office during the second semester of their sophomore year. A final check with the registrar’s office is required during the first term of the senior year to assure that the student will meet all graduation requirements. Part-time students should complete the graduation check during the term prior to the term in which they expect to graduate.

Academic Integrity

Academic dishonesty is any act of cheating, fabrication, or plagiarism.

  • Cheating is using or attempting to use unauthorized materials, information, or study aids. Examples: copying homework, copying someone else’s test, using an unauthorized “cheat sheet,” etc.
  • Fabrication is falsification or invention of any information or citation. Examples: making up a source, giving an incorrect citation, deliberately misquoting a source, etc.
  • Plagiarism is representing the work (words, pictures, ideas, etc.) of another person or entity (e.g. Course Hero and/or the inappropriate use of ChatGPT) as one’s own in the submission of an academic assignment.

(The examples above are not exhaustive; infractions may include actions not listed.)

Other Kinds of Academic Dishonesty

Academic dishonesty can also include dissimulation and aiding and abetting.

  • Dissimulation is the act of disguising or altering one’s actions so as to deceive another about the real nature of one’s actions concerning an academic exercise, including (but not limited to) fabricating excuses for missing classes, postponing tests, handing in late papers, turning in a paper for one class that was originally written for another class (when original work is requested), taking inappropriate credit for group work, etc.
  • Aiding and abetting is knowingly facilitating any act defined in this policy, including (but not limited to) helping other students plagiarize and/or cheat by unauthorized sharing or distribution of lab work or coursework, regardless of whether or not one is currently enrolled in the course. Unauthorized sharing includes posting onto homework sharing websites (e.g., Course Hero and other similar websites, either currently available or in the future). Aiding and abetting also includes not reporting others’ cheating incidents, etc.

Faculty retain the right to deal with instances of dissimulation and aiding and abetting as they deem appropriate, including reporting such incidents to the VPAA.

Procedures for Unintentional Violations of Academic Integrity

Instructors use their discretion in determining whether infractions of academic integrity are intentional or unintentional. When instructors determine an act of academic dishonesty is unintentional, they may use their professional judgment in determining the best way to remediate the student.

Procedures for Intentional Violations of Academic Integrity

When instructors determine that an act of academic dishonesty is intentional, they shall

  1. Complete and submit an Academic Dishonesty Incident Report form, including documentation of the incident, to the Chief Academic Officer (CAO). (The form is available on the college Intranet site or in the Academic Affairs office.)
  2. Impose the sanction for academic dishonesty provided in their course syllabus, pending notification from the CAO that their incident report is the first one filed against that student.

Students reported to the CAO for the first time for an act of plagiarism shall submit documentation of their successful completion of a recommended plagiarism prevention program.

If a student has had one or more incident reports previously submitted to the CAO, the following consequences shall ensue:

  • Second reported offense: The student shall fail the course. At the request of the reporting faculty member, the student, the faculty member, and the CAO can meet to determine the appropriateness of an F in the course for the behavior reported.
  • Third reported offense: The student shall be suspended for the remainder of the term plus one additional full semester and fail the course in which the incident occurred. If the incident is reported prior to the last day to withdraw without a grade, the student will be withdrawn from all other courses in which he or she is enrolled. If the incident is reported after that date, the student shall receive final course grades calculated by adding zeroes for all remaining course assignments to grades received up to that point in the course. Suspended students must reapply for admission and are not guaranteed re-admittance.
  • Fourth reported offense: Dismissal with no right to appeal.

The CAO or designee will notify the student, the student’s advisor, and the Coordinator of Student Success each time an Academic Dishonesty Incident Report is submitted. With the exception noted above for a student’s fourth infraction, students have the right to appeal any charge of academic dishonesty following the same procedures described in the Grade Appeal Policy published in the academic catalog.

Class Attendance

Every professor has the autonomy to establish his or her own class attendance policy, which is explained in the course syllabus. Students are responsible for understanding and complying with each professor’s policy. Instructors may lower final grades or fail students who do not comply with the attendance policy set forth in the syllabus. The vice president for academic affairs may withdraw chronically absent students from one or all of their courses.

Unless the instructor’s attendance policy specifies otherwise, students should notify instructors of necessary absences well in advance and arrange alternative means for completing class activities, if appropriate. When prior notification for absences is not possible, the student should explain each absence to the instructor at the next class meeting. The instructor will determine whether make-up work is allowable.

McPherson College’s Department of Athletics makes every effort to minimize student-athletes’ absences for intercollegiate competition. Although the athletics department notifies faculty in advance of students who will participate in intercollegiate competition, each student-athlete is responsible for contacting instructors prior to the missed day to make arrangements due to absence(s); when the student-athlete makes appropriate arrangements with faculty in advance of their absence, the absence will be considered excused. However, when the student-athlete fails to communicate in advance with instructors, those instructors may consider the absence unexcused. It is unacceptable for student-athletes to miss classes for sports-related activities such as practices, team meetings, weight lifting, film sessions, etc., unless approved by the athletic director and CAO.

Classroom Conduct

Faculty members have the responsibility to maintain an atmosphere conducive to learning in their classrooms and labs. Therefore, when, in the judgment of the instructor, a student’s behavior undermines the learning atmosphere, the instructor may remove that student from the classroom for the remainder of the class period.

Students who repeatedly undermine the learning environment, or whose disruptive behavior includes violence, threats, or harassment, may be subject to permanent ejection from a course. Unless the instructor specifies otherwise, ejected students fail the course. Students have the right to appeal an instructor’s request for permanent removal from a course to the CAO.

Documents Originating From Another Agency or Institution

In accordance with record release standards, we do not release official documents nor copies of official documents that have become the property of  McPherson College. Examples of documents include high school records, ACT/SAT scores, AP/IB scores, and college transcripts from other institutions. Please contact the originating agency, organization, or institution that produced the original records to obtain an official record.