Were you found responsible for an academic integrity violation like cheating, plagiarism, or an honor code violation? Just because you were found responsible, does not mean you are out of options. Appeal the decision. Read on for tips on how to win an academic integrity appeal.
What is an academic integrity appeal?
Students that are found responsible for an academic integrity violation will have a chance to appeal the decision. Some academic integrity violations that fall under this category are:
- Cheating – charges like unauthorized assistance, taking answers from another student’s test, using a cell phone to during a bathroom break or at your desk to look up answers, or using a friend’s old course work to study from.
- Plagiarism – Forgetting to cite sources, using assignments that were purchased online, passing off a friend’s paper as yours, or submitting the same paper to two courses called self-plagiarism.
- Honor Code Violations – having possession of drugs, weapons (even BB guns on campus), or alcohol on school grounds; inappropriate or unacceptable behavior in a clinical or internship setting, or other ethical violations
Who do I write the academic appeal to?
Students will need to look at the policy in their student handbook to find out the contact person for an academic appeal. Student can also email or call the contact person in the academic integrity office that helped coordinate the original academic integrity hearing.
What should I argue in my academic appeal?
Academic appeals are typically limited to a few issues like new information or procedural violations. Typically, you cannot re-argue the facts, or that you feel it was just not fair. It is strict criteria that is set by the school and it is important that you know what issues you are allowed to argue.
Academic appeal category of New Information
An appeal that is based on new information means that there is now information available that was not presented at the academic hearing. This is not information that you had available but choose not to submit it for the hearing or forgot about it. That is not “new” information.
Academic appeal category of procedural violations
An appeal that is based on procedural violations usually refers to policies or procedures not followed, either before the hearing or during the hearing. For example, were you supposed to be provided an opportunity to look at the information the school used against you before your hearing and were not given that option? If so, that could be a procedural violation.
What can an academic appeal lawyer do to help fight a suspension or expulsion?
I strongly suggest that students involve a lawyer experienced in the academic integrity process early in the process. This can avoid the need for an appeal. If a student handled the academic integrity process on their own and need to appeal, I still advise that they involve a lawyer. Writing an appeal is a specialized skill that not all lawyers possess. Being able to spot for facts that fit the limited appeal categories is a task that not all are suited for. Additionally, writing the academic appeal in a logical way takes a lawyer with appeal experience.
Can you help all college students that need an academic appeal?
Yes. I advise students all over the country facing academic integrity appeals. By working together to craft the best defense possible, you will be given the greatest chance at success. Achieving positive results is my goal.
You get only one chance at success. Make it your best.
Richard Asselta is an award-winning lawyer for college students who offers student defense services to students throughout the United States. He is experienced in defending all types of student disciplinary issues including all academic integrity charges. Call The Education Lawyers today for a free consultation and protect your future. (855) 338-5299 Click here to read what clients are saying about Richard Asselta on AVVO, a lawyer review website.