2023-2024 Graduate Catalog 
    
    May 28, 2024  
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog

Academic Policies and Procedures



Unless otherwise stated in the Doctor of Education in Rural and Diverse Educational Leadership (Ed.D.) section, School of Graduate Studies policies apply to all graduate students.

Registration

After being admitted to the University, each student must register for courses at the time designated by the University. The student is responsible for the accuracy of the registration schedule, which should correspond with planning a program of study and meeting the requirements of graduation.

No credit will be granted for courses for which the student has not been duly registered.

The last day a student will be allowed to register is the sixth class day of a regular semester or the second class day of a summer session. Class days are Monday through Friday. Students registering on or after the first day of classes must pay a $50 late registration fee and may be required to take a reduced class load.

A student’s registration is incomplete until all admissions requirements are met and all fees have been paid.

Change of Registration

A student’s schedule may be changed during the first six days of classes of a regular semester or the first three days of a summer term, subject to the approval of the advisor and the payment of a $10 fee.

Dropping a Course

A student may drop a course without penalty until the end of the calendar day on Wednesday of the 11th week of a regular semester or Wednesday of the third week of a summer term subject to the consultation with the advisor and the payment of a $10 fee. A student will not be allowed to drop a course after these deadlines except for circumstances beyond the student’s control which are approved by the Registrar.

A student who stops attending class, but does not officially withdraw, will receive a grade of WN (withdrawn non-attending), WF (withdrawn failing), or F in the course at the course instructor’s discretion.

A student receiving VA benefits will be governed by Veterans Administration regulations regarding the dropping of courses and should contact the Office of the Registrar for information. Other agencies furnishing financial assistance to a student may have regulations affecting the dropping of courses which differ from those of the University policy.

Withdrawing from the University

Withdrawing from the University (through week 11 of a semester or week three of a summer session or week 10 of a long summer session or day 4 of an intersession)

A student who chooses to leave the University for any reason must officially withdraw (drop all classes for the term). The student should submit a request to withdraw via CampusConnect through their mySAU account. The process is not complete until the withdrawal has been approved by each administrative area listed: 1.) Residence Hall Director, 2.) Post Office, 3.) Dean of Students, 4.) Director of Library, 5.) Business Office, 6.) Financial Aid, and 7.) Registrar’s Office. If a student has a hold in any of the administrative areas, they will have five business days to resolve the hold. The official date of withdrawal will be the date in which all holds have been removed. Any student who pre-registers and saves a schedule on-line or by signing a statement with the Business Office must follow this withdrawal process.

Withdrawing from the University (week 12 through week 14 of a semester or week four of a summer session or week 11 of a long summer session)

If a student withdraws from the University from week 12 through week 14 of a semester or week four of a summer session or week 11 of a long summer session, a grade of W will be given for each course the student is passing at the time of the withdrawal, or a WF will be given if the student is failing. Exceptions to this policy may be made in the case of illness or some other valid reason. The student must follow the process as outlined in section “Withdrawing from the University (through week 11 of a semester or week three of a summer session).”

Withdrawing from the University (the two final weeks of a semester or during the final week of a summer term or beginning day 5 of an intersession)

A student may not officially withdraw from the University during the two final weeks of a semester or during the final week of a summer term, except for documented circumstances beyond the student’s control and cases approved by the vice president for academic affairs. If approved, the student must obtain a withdrawal card from the Office of Student Life. The process is not complete until the withdrawal card is signed by each administrative area listed in the following order: 1.) Residence Hall Director, 2.) Post Office, 3.) Dean of Students, 4.) Director of Library, 5.) Business Office, 6.) Financial Aid, and 7.) Registrar’s Office. Appeals must be approved by a committee of the vice president for academic affairs, the vice president for finance, and the vice president for student affairs. A grade of W will be given for each course the student is passing at the time of the withdrawal, or a WF will be given if the student is failing.

Academic Advising

Every student admitted to SAU’s graduate program is assigned a faculty advisor to assist in scheduling classes and planning the program of study.

Each advisor assigned is a member of the graduate faculty and a faculty member in the department in which a major component of the student’s graduate study will be done. The progress of study will be planned in consultation with the advisor within the structure of the program curricula outlined by Southern Arkansas University.

In addition to helping a student select the graduate courses that will make a unified and balanced program of study, each graduate advisor will be responsible for the following duties:

  • Assisting the advisee in completion of the degree audit.
  • Completing necessary forms as needed on an individual basis (e.g., substitution form, catalog change form).
  • Submitting questions for written and/or oral examination (if applicable).
  • Grading written and/or oral examination (if applicable).
  • Directing the completion and defense of portfolio/project (if applicable).
  • Evaluating/approving thesis filed for graduation (if applicable). Auditing Courses

Any student who has been officially admitted to the University may audit a course with the approval of the dean of the School of Graduate Studies and the instructor and upon payment of the fee for the course. Although subject to the same regulations as other students, students auditing a course are not required to take examinations and they do not receive credit for the course. Students may audit a course after completing it for credit, or they may take the course for credit after previously auditing it. Doctoral-level courses may not be audited.

Workshop Credit

Workshops typically involve educational experiences in which an attempt is made to develop specialized skills in focused areas, often emphasizing a hands-on approach. Students taking workshops for graduate credit are required to follow all graduate school admission procedures as listed in the graduate catalog. Workshop students have a choice of continuing education credit through the Office of Continuing Education or graduate credit through the School of Graduate Studies. Student file must be complete in graduate office before the workshop begins to receive graduate credit.

A maximum of six credit hours in workshop courses may be counted in a master’s degree program, subject to the approval of the graduate advisor and the college dean. Individual degree programs may be more restrictive in their policies regarding the number of workshop credits that can be counted toward a graduate degree. In addition to these workshop credits, with advisor approval, a student in a teacher education degree program may enroll in an additional three hours of EDUC 6801 -EDUC 6803  or EDUC 6813  Teacher Education Seminar for credit toward a degree program. Workshop credit may not be used to satisfy professional education core requirements.

Course Numbers

The course numbers of the regular University courses contain four digits. The first digit generally indicates the student classification. The second and third indicate the particular course, and the fourth is indicative of the number of credit hours earned by completing the course.

0000 - 0999 Transitional courses*
1000 - 1999 Freshmen level
2000 - 2999 Sophomore level
3000 - 4999 Junior and senior level
5000 - 6000 Master’s level
7000 Doctoral level

*Credit earned in these courses will not be applied to the total credit hours required for a degree.

Courses with numbers 1000-4999 are undergraduate courses. The 5000-level courses are dual listed (4000/5000) for both undergraduate and graduate credit. Undergraduate students enroll under the 4000-level number and graduate students under the 5000-level number. Graduate students will have additional in-depth assignments in dual-numbered courses. The last digit indicates the number of semester credit hours awarded upon satisfactory completion of the course (e.g., EDUC 6003 ).

A 5000-level course will not count as graduate credit if the corresponding 4000-level course with the same title and content was taken for undergraduate credit.

Courses with numbers 7000-7999 are doctoral courses. Some 7000-level courses are dual listed (6000/7000) for both master’s and doctoral credit. Master’s students enroll under the 6000-level number and admitted doctoral students enroll under the 7000-level number. Doctoral students will have additional in-depth assignments in dual-numbered courses. As long as the course is not counted toward a previous degree, dual listed 6000-level courses with the same title and general content may be considered for the doctoral degree.

Only admitted doctoral students are permitted to enroll in 7000-level doctoral courses.

Course Loads

Six (6) credit hours or more are considered full-time in a regular academic semester.

A graduate student wishing to enroll in more than 12 hours of coursework during a semester must obtain permission of the college dean and the vice president for academic affairs. For a five-week summer term, 3 (three) credit hours constitute a full-time load. A graduate student wishing to enroll in more than 6 (six) hours of summer coursework per summer term must obtain permission of the college dean and the vice president for academic affairs.

Veterans Administration Benefits

Southern Arkansas University is approved by the State Approving Agency for Veterans as a university whereby veterans and dependents of deceased or disabled veterans may obtain benefits while working toward a degree. Eligible students should contact the Office of the Registrar to obtain information regarding school attendance under the following programs: Chapter 30-Montgomery GI Bill®, Chapter 31-Vocational Rehabilitation, Chapter 33-Post 9/11 GI Bill®, Chapter 35-Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Benefit or Chapter 1606-Montgomery GI Bill®/Selected Reserve.

All students must be working toward a degree and should follow the curriculum outlined for their objectives, since only specific courses may be applied toward VA certification and graduation. The Office of the Registrar is available to assist students concerning VA benefits.

GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA).

Evaluation of Prior Credit, Training, and Military Educational Experiences

It is the policy of this institution that an evaluation of previous education and training for service members and dependents will be conducted, appropriate credit granted, and if applicable, the institution’s duration in the course will be shortened proportionately and the Veteran’s Administration and the student will be so notified. VA credit will be given for prior training for veterans and eligible programs.

Military educational experiences (MOS and Service Schools) will be evaluated upon presentation of a certified copy of the Discharge Form DD214 to the Office of the Registrar. The student asking for the evaluation must be currently enrolled at SAU. Credit is awarded in accordance with recommendations set forth by the Guide to the Evaluation of Educational Experiences in the Armed Services published by the American Council on Education (ACE). For further information, contact the Office of the Registrar at (870) 235-4031 or registrar@saumag.edu.

Service Members Opportunity College (SOC)

Because of its efforts to serve the educational needs of service members and their dependents, SAU has been designated a Service members Opportunity College. As a member of the SOC, SAU has committed itself fully to support and comply with Service members Opportunity College principles and criteria. For further information, call the Office of the Registrar at (870) 235-4031.

Grading System

The Southern Arkansas University School of Graduate Studies uses the grading system of A, B, C, D, and F. The letters have the following significance for graduate students:

Grade Grade Points per Semester Hour
A excellent 4
B acceptable 3
C below acceptable standard 2
D failure 1
F failure 0

Other grades that may be recorded are AU, audit; CR, credit; I, incomplete work; NC, non-credit; P, pass; W, withdrawal with passing work; WN, withdrawal for excessive absence and WF, withdrawal with failure, and XF, failure with academic dishonesty hold. A WF is computed as an F in the grade point average; a W is not computed in the grade point average.

Only grades of A or B are accepted in the doctoral course work. Doctoral students must maintain a 3.0 GPA or higher. Letter grades of C or below cannot be used toward the doctoral degree requirements.

Incompletes (I Grades)

In a regular graduate course (courses other than project or thesis courses), a grade of I may be given only for illness or circumstances beyond the student’s control.

Grades of I for regular coursework must be removed by the deadlines listed in the academic calendar or they will be changed to a grade of F.

Significant differences exist between the policies on I grades at the undergraduate and graduate levels at SAU because project courses and theses involve research that may require more than one semester to complete. Unlike I grades in regular courses, I grades in project and thesis courses are not automatically changed to an F as indicated in the academic calendar.

Students are not eligible for graduation until all I grades are removed from their transcripts.

Grade Point Average

To determine the student’s academic standing at any given time, the grade point average is used. The grade point average is obtained by multiplying the number of grade points awarded for each grade by the credit hour value for the course. The total number of points received for all courses is divided by the total number of hours attempted at Southern Arkansas University.

Up to nine hours of approved coursework from an institutionally accredited college or university may be accepted and posted on the SAU transcript. Grades earned at other institutions will not be used to calculate a student’s cumulative grade point average.

Repeating Courses

The grade earned the last time the course is taken is the grade that will be considered the final grade. All grades will remain on the permanent record.

The policies for repeating graduate courses are significantly different from those at the undergraduate level. All graduate courses taken at SAU (including repeated courses) are included in the computation of the cumulative grade point average.

Graduate Grade Replacement Policy

Graduate students seeking a master’s degree may petition to have up to six graduate hours excluded from the graduate grade point average (GPA). The six credit hours must be repeated and request for grade replacement may not be submitted until the replacement course(s) have been repeated with satisfactory grade(s) earned. Other courses my not be substituted for grade replacement.

Six hours of grade replacement is the maximum allowed for any student regardless of the number of hours required for the degree, length of time to complete the degree, or the number of degrees the student chooses to seek

The graduate grade replacement request process is as follows:

  1. Student contacts the advisor to determine if grade replacement is a good option.
  2. If the student has not already taken the replacement courses they must do so prior to proceeding.
  3. Advisor completes the Grade Replacement Request form in Campus Connect.
  4. College dean reviews and approves/denies.
  5. Assistant graduate dean reviews and approves/denies (ensures student has met criteria and is not exceeding the limit).
  6. Registrar updates the student transcript.

Academic Bankruptcy

A Southern Arkansas University-Magnolia master’s degree seeking students who have not been enrolled in any college or university for a period of at least five-years (60 months) immediately preceding the intended enrollment at Southern Arkansas University may file for academic bankruptcy. The student must apply for and declare academic bankruptcy at the time of admission to SAU or within the first semester or term of enrollment. The following criteria will apply only to course work attempted at SAU-M:

  1. The academic bankruptcy policy will be limited to semesters or terms completed during any consecutive 12-month period.
  2. The student will forfeit the use of all college or university credits earned during any declared academic bankrupt semester or term.
  3. A declaration of academic bankruptcy may be exercised once in a student’s academic career, and the declaration is final and irreversible.
  4. A student who declares academic bankruptcy must be a graduate student seeking a graduate degree.
  5. The notation “academic bankruptcy” and the date will be noted on the student’s permanent record for each declared academic bankrupt semester or term.
  6. The credits will appear on the student’s permanent record or transcript, but no courses in any declared academic bankrupt semester or term will be used in computing the student’s grade point average.
  7. Policies related to academic bankruptcy pertain only to Southern Arkansas University, Magnolia, and may not be honored by other universities for admittance to graduate schools, or admittance to professional schools.
  8. In regard to financial aid history, accumulated semester and award limits include all semesters of enrollment, including any semester of declared academic bankruptcy.
  9. In regard to VA certification, accumulated semester and award limits include all semesters of enrollment, including any semester of declared academic bankruptcy.
  10. A student who declares academic bankruptcy will be subject to all University policies.

To request academic bankruptcy, a student must submit a Petition for Academic Bankruptcy and all transcripts of prior college or university work to the School of Graduate Studies at the time of application for re-admission to SAU School of Graduate Studies or within the first semester or term of enrollment. After reviewing all records to determine that, the student has met the five-year period of non-enrollment, the dean of graduate studies will verify the request, counsel the student, and contact the advisor. The Petition for Academic Bankruptcy will be forwarded to the registrar by the graduate dean.

Class Attendance

Each student enrolled in a course is expected to attend all class meetings. A student who is absent from a quiz, examination, or other class exercise must report to the professor the reason for the class absence. If the cause of absence is acceptable, the instructor may arrange for the student to make up the work missed.

Online Class Attendance

Student attendance in online courses is defined as active participation in the course as described in the individual course syllabus. Online courses will, at a minimum, have weekly (no more frequently than daily) mechanisms for student participation, which can be documented by any or all of the following methods:

  • Completion of tests or quizzes
  • Discussion forums
  • Submission/completion of assignments
  • Communication with the instructor
  • Other course participation

Students are required to log in to each online course by the second day during the week in which the course officially begins, or the day enrolled during late registration, to complete the initial introductory postings required in the course. As a component of attendance, student email, course announcements, and discussion forums should be checked frequently (daily is recommended). The student is solely responsible for checking updates related to the course. Note: nonattendance may affect financial aid. If a student fails to meet the attendance requirements, he or she may be recommended for withdrawal from the course. In the case of an anticipated absence, such as military deployment, the student should contact the instructor in advance and make arrangements to complete the required assignments. In case of an emergency (illness/accident or death in family), the student should contact the instructor as soon as possible providing documentation supporting the need for any late submission of a graded event.

A student’s absence from class in excess of the equivalent of one week of instruction or missing three assignment due dates in an online course, may be reported to the dean of students. At the graduate level, one week of instruction is equivalent to one three-hour class meeting. The dean of students will then send the student a notice of pending action. The student is advised to contact the instructor as soon as the notice has been received. Ten calendar days after the report is submitted by the instructor during the regular semester, or after seven calendar days during a summer session, a student may be dropped from the class for excessive unexcused absences at the request of the instructor. If this occurs, a grade of WN (withdrawal for non-attendance under extenuating circumstances) or WF (withdrawal with failure) will be given for the course.

Notification of excessive absences (WN or WF) may not be given during the final two weeks of a semester or the final week of a summer term.

Grade Appeals

If a student believes an error in a grade has occurred, the student shall formally initiate a review of the grade no later than three weeks after the beginning of the next regular semester. (Summer terms are excluded from the phrase “regular semester” for the purposes of this provision.)

The first step of the process is for the student to verify with the instructor the accuracy of the recorded grade-book scores and the listed grade. If the instructor also happens to be the chair of the department or the dean of the college, this step also initiates the formal appeal process.

If the grade differences are not resolved through discussion with the instructor, and the student seeks additional mediation, during the first three weeks of the next semester the student must submit a letter to the chair of the appropriate department requesting a review. A copy of this letter must also be sent to the college dean and to the vice president for academic affairs. The chair has the responsibility to confer with the instructor concerning the documentation of the grade for its completeness and accuracy. The chair will notify the student of the grade status in writing within 10 days of receiving the student’s request.

If the student wishes further appeal, the student must submit to the college dean, by mid-term, a written request for formal review. A Grade Appeal Committee will conduct a hearing and recommend a decision. The committee will be composed of the following:

  1. A Student Government Association representative of the college in which the grade is challenged (one of the four student representatives eligible to serve). The representative will be appointed by the Student Government Association president.
  2. A Faculty Senate representative of the college in which the grade is challenged. The representative will be appointed by the Faculty Senate president.
  3. The dean of the college. If the dean is not available, then the vice president for academic affairs is the third member of the panel.

At the hearing, the instructor and the student may both make individual presentations, and the Grade Appeal Committee may ask questions and seek clarification. A final written decision will be provided by the committee. If a grade is to be changed, the final grade will be recorded by the dean. This procedure shall be completed by the end of the semester in which the grade is appealed.

Transcripts

A University transcript is a complete and unabridged academic record. It is used to communicate information concerning a student from one institution or agency to another. Academic transcripts for all SAU students are maintained indefinitely by the Office of the Registrar.

The University prepares and issues several types of transcripts:

  • Official - This transcript is issued directly from SAU to another educational institution or employer.
  • Official - Issued to student - This transcript is issued from SAU to the student and is marked “Issued to Student.”
  • Unofficial - This transcript can be obtained from the student’s account on CampusConnect.
  • Advising - This transcript is used by the student and advisor to plan a program of study.

Official transcripts must be requested by the student via the Office of the Registrar.

Academic Probation and Suspension

A graduate student is expected to maintain a cumulative 3.0 average. Students who do not maintain a graduate cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 will be placed on academic probation at the end of the semester, regardless of whether or not they receive notification. Any graduate student who receives a grade of D, F and/or WF in any graduate-level course will be placed on academic probation whether or not they receive notification. Transfer students with a cumulative GPA below 3.0 or on probation at another university will be placed on academic probation at SAU. A student placed on academic probation will be suspended from school if the current semester grade point average falls below 3.0 and/or they receive a grade of D, F or WF in any semester while on academic probation.

A student suspended for academic reasons will not be allowed to register for classes or attend the University for one full semester (i.e., fall or spring). After one semester, the student may apply for readmission to the University on academic probation. The student will not be permitted to enroll further without the consent of the Graduate Council. To continue in graduate studies, the student must submit a written petition to the Graduate Council requesting reinstatement and outlining a plan to remedy the academic situation. If the student’s current semester grade point average falls below 3.0 while on academic probation after the first suspension, the student will be suspended for one year from the date of the second suspension. After one year, the student may apply for readmission on academic probation. To continue in graduate studies, the student must submit a written petition to the Graduate Council requesting reinstatement and outlining a plan to remedy the academic situation. Failure to earn at least a 3.0 in any semester while on probation after the second suspension will result in indefinite academic dismissal.

Academic Suspension Appeals

A student on academic suspension who believes there are extenuating circumstances which justify early readmission may submit a written appeal to the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs. The letter of appeal must reach the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs at least three business days prior to registration for the semester for which readmission is sought. Appeals received after that date will not be considered for that semester. The Academic Suspension Appeals Committee will review the case and make a recommendation to the vice president for academic affairs.

Credit earned while on academic suspension from any university, including SAU, will not be accepted by SAU.

Other Academic Appeals

Written appeals should be filed with the department chair. If necessary, decisions are then appealed to the college dean, the graduate dean, and the graduate council. The student is to receive a written response within 10 calendar days following each decision. Written appeals must be submitted within three weeks following each decision, or they will not be considered. A decision made by the graduate council is the final decision.

Academic Integrity Policy

(The following Policy on Academic Integrity, developed by an ad hoc committee appointed by the Faculty Senate, was approved by the Faculty Assembly in 2018, and updated in 2019.)

The mission of Southern Arkansas University empowers all members of the University community to develop and encourage learning environments that create, expand, acquire, share, evaluate, and communicate knowledge. Academic integrity at SAU is an organizational and individual responsibility. Students, faculty, and staff share responsibility for maintaining the highest standards for academic integrity.

  1. Academic Misconduct Definitions
    Any act of dishonesty in academic work constitutes academic misconduct and is subject to disciplinary action. Acts of dishonesty include, but are not limited to, plagiarism, cheating, and fabrication.
    1. Plagiarism

      ​Plagiarism is the act of taking and/or using the ideas, work, and/or writings of another person as one’s own. Plagiarism occurs both when the words of another (in print, electronic, or any other medium) are reproduced without acknowledgement and when the ideas or arguments of another are paraphrased in such a way as to lead the reader to believe that they originated with the writer.
      1. To avoid plagiarism, give written credit and acknowledgement to the source of thoughts, ideas, and/or words, whether you have used direct quotation, paraphrasing, or just a reference to a general idea.
      2. If you directly quote works written by someone else, enclose the quotation with quotation marks and provide an appropriate citation (e.g., footnote, endnote, bibliographical reference).
      3. All course work including research performed and all assignments such as a written paper, must be the work of the person seeking academic credit for the course. Under no circumstances can purchased papers, book reports, projects and/or other class assignments, or work otherwise obtained from individuals or companies be submitted as work of the student.
      4. It is not sufficient to provide a citation if the words of another have been reproduced - this also requires quotation marks. It is the responsibility of all University students to understand the methods of proper attribution and to apply those principles in all materials submitted
        1. Cheating
          ​Cheating is an act of dishonesty with the intention of obtaining and/or using information in a fraudulent manner. Examples of cheating include:
          1. Observing and/or copying from another student’s test paper, report, computer file, and/or other assignments.
          2. Giving or receiving assistance during an examination period. This includes providing specific answers to subsequent examinees and/or dispensing or receiving information which would allow a student to have an unfair advantage in the examination over students who did not possess such information.
          3. Using class notes, outlines, and other unauthorized information during an examination period unless permission is specifically given.
          4. Using, buying, selling, stealing, transporting, or soliciting, in part or entirety, the contents of an examination or other assignment not authorized by the professor of the class. This includes the uploading of quizzes, examinations, or any other graded material, with or without answers, to a third-party website.
          5. Exchanging places with another person for the purposes of taking an examination or completing other assignments.
        2. Fabrication
          1. Fabrication is faking or forging a document, signature, or findings of a research project.
          2. Other forms of fabrication may include unauthorized collaboration or submitting the same paper or portions of the same paper to two different courses without the consent of current instructor.
          3. Forging a signature on an official SAU or other document.
  2. Academic Integrity Policy Application to all Students
    The University’s academic integrity policy applies to all students enrolled in courses at the University. All forms of academic misconduct at SAU will be regarded as serious and may result in the student being expelled from the University.

    Seminars related to academic integrity will be made available to faculty, students, and staff from time to time each year. The Divisions of Academic Affairs and Student Affairs will collaborate in publishing information about academic integrity and misconduct, with explanations and examples intended to help students make informed decisions about how they conduct themselves in their academic work.
     
  3. Faculty Syllabus Requirements
    Faculty will place in every course syllabus the following language:

    Southern Arkansas University affirms its commitment to academic integrity and expects all members of the University community to accept shared responsibility for maintaining academic integrity. Students in this course are subject to the provisions of the University’s Academic Integrity Policy, approved by the president and published in the Student Handbook. Penalties for academic misconduct in this course may include a failing grade on an assignment a failing grade in the course. Continued enrollment in this course affirms a student’s acceptance of this University policy.

    An instructor may include in the course syllabus additional information about academic integrity if he or she wishes to do so.
     
  4. Academic Misconduct File and Assistance with Notice to Students
    All documentation relevant to a student’s academic misconduct will be maintained in the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs in a digital form. Academic misconduct files shall only be used in accordance with University FERPA policy.

    If the student makes a formal appeal, it will be decided in accordance with the procedures set forth below. If the matter is appealed to the Academic Integrity Council, the VPAA (or designee) will forward all forms and other materials associated with the specific violation and a summary of other Academic Integrity violations committed by the student to the Chair of the Academic Integrity Council to be disseminated to members of the Council.

    Students may not drop a class until the allegation of the academic integrity violation has been resolved. If the allegation is confirmed, the instructor retains the ability to assign a grade for the course, consistent with the criteria below, if the student decides to drop the class after completion of the process.
     
  5. Notification of Charge of Academic Misconduct to Student
    All forms used in the process will be located on SAU Academic Integrity web page and will be sent via SAU email. All forms will be copied to the instructor and to the student to keep them informed of the process. A copy will be sent to the appropriate dean of the college in which the alleged misconduct occurred.

    When an instructor determines that a student has engaged in academic misconduct, the instructor may take one of two actions: 1) the instructor may complete the web-based academic integrity violation form; or 2) the instructor may choose to meet informally with the student to discuss the alleged academic misconduct and then decide, on the basis of that meeting, whether or not to complete and submit the web-based academic integrity violation form. The form is found on SAU’s Academic Integrity webpage. This form will notify the student, Dean, and the VPAA of the allegation through the student’s SAU email account. The notice will include the justification for the allegation. Once the form has been received, the Office of the VPAA will inform the Dean as to whether the student has been found responsible for any previous violations of the Academic Integrity Policy and at what level.

    Note: Faculty members should not penalize a student for acts of academic misconduct unless an academic integrity violation form has been completed and the process described in this section has been followed.

    To do otherwise would deprive students of their due process right to appeal any actions taken against them.
     
  6. Meeting with the Dean
    The student will have three days (excluding weekends and holidays) to make contact with the appropriate academic Dean and schedule a meeting. (Should the student fail to make contact with the Dean within the prescribed time, the Dean’s decision as to violation level and sanction will be final.) Once contacted, the Dean should ensure that the meeting take place within seven (7) calendar days of the student’s receipt of the initial notification email. If the Dean is unable to schedule a meeting within seven days, he or she may ask an assistant dean, an associate dean, or the Provost to serve in his or her place. At the meeting, the Dean will inform the student of the violation level associated with the alleged academic misconduct and provide the student with a copy of the entire Academic Integrity Policy, pointing out the relevant sanctions. The Dean will then inform the student that he or she has seven (7) calendar days to submit an appeal. If the student does not submit an appeal within seven calendar days, the Dean’s decision as to violation level and sanction will be final. At the end of the meeting, the Dean must fill out (within 24 hours) the associated form including the sanction value of the violation. This form should be send to the student, the instructor, and the VPAA.
     
  7. Appeal Process
    A student may appeal the charge of academic misconduct and/or the proposed violation level through the procedures set forth below.
    1. Appeals at the College Level
      1. Within seven (7) calendar days of receipt of the appeal, the Dean will review all materials submitted by the student and VPAA and, if necessary, meet with the student to attempt to resolve the matter. Online students may speak with the Dean via electronic telecommunications. After the meeting with the student, the Dean will render a decision on the appeal and fill out the online form within 24 hours. The instructor, student, and Office of the VPAA will be informed of the Dean’s decision.
      2. If the student is not satisfied with the action of the Dean, the student can appeal the decision of the Dean to the University Academic Integrity Council.
      3. If the instructor is not satisfied with the action of the Dean, the faculty member may also appeal the decision to the University Academic Integrity Council.
    2. Appeals to the University Academic Integrity Council
      1. Within seven (7) calendar days of receipt of the notice of the College/Dean appeal decision, the student or instructor may appeal to the Academic Integrity Council. The party filing the appeal will use the appropriate form found on SAU’s Academic Integrity Council web page. Upon receiving this form, the VPAA will forward all forms and other materials associated with the specific count and a summary of other Academic Integrity violations committed by the student to the Chair of the Academic Integrity Council and that material will be disseminated to all members of the Council.
      2. Within seven (7) calendar days of receipt of the appeal, the Academic Integrity Council will consider the appeal with at least three members of the Council being present. The decision of the Academic Integrity Council will be forwarded (within 24 hours) to the student, the instructor, the Dean, and the Provost/VPAA via the web-based form.
      3. The Provost/VPAA will review all decisions recommending suspension or expulsion.
    3. Final Notification to Student and Instructor
      Once the process is complete, the student, the instructor, the Dean, the Chair of the Academic Integrity Council, and the Registrar will receive information from the VPAA of the final disposition of the case, including the violation level and sanction points if the student is guilty.
  8. Violation Levels
    The following violation levels are assigned to specific types of violations of the University’s Academic Integrity Policy; if a violation occurs which is not specifically provided below, then any sanctions will be based on the most similar type of violation that exists in the rubric. A violation will be considered as a single violation up until the point that a student receives notice of that violation; additional infractions occurring after that point will be considered separately for purposes of this rubric. If assignment of a sanction requires the Academic Integrity Council to interpret the sanction rubric, the Academic Integrity Council shall provide a rationale for its determination and application of the particular sanction(s). General guidance on substantial issues of interpretation of the sanction rubric shall be provided by the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs.

    A student receives the assigned number of sanction points for each violation for which he/she is found responsible. Sanction points are cumulative over the length of the student’s matriculation at Southern Arkansas University. Graduate students will be considered new matriculates.

    The violation levels are as follows:
    1. Level Zero Violation - 0.0 sanction point
      1. For plagiarism/copying in work done for a course, if the plagiarized/copied material constitutes less than 10% of the assignment in the judgment of the Dean (first offense only).
      2. Unauthorized collaboration on homework assignments constituting less than 10% of the assignment in the judgment of the Dean (first offense only).
      3. Use of any materials or resources that are not authorized by the instructor in completing any assignment having a value of less than 10% of the assignment in the judgment of the Dean (first offense only).
    2. Level One Violation - 1.0 sanction point for each violation
      1. Copying from or viewing another student’s work during an examination.
      2. Using any materials or resources that are not authorized by the instructor for use during an examination or in completing any assignment having a value equal to or greater than 10% of the assignment in the judgment of the Dean, or a second offense.
      3. Collaborating during an examination with any other person by giving or receiving information without specific permission of the instructor.
      4. Facilitating or aiding in any act of academic dishonesty.
      5. Collaborating on laboratory work, or other assigned work when instructed to work independently.
      6. Submitting, without specific permission of the instructor, work that has been previously offered by the same student for credit in another course.
      7. Falsification of attendance and/or participation.
      8. Submitting as one’s own any theme, report, term paper, essay, computer program, speech, painting, drawing, sculpture, or other written or creative work or project of any nature prepared totally or in large measure by another /plagiarizing, in work completed for a class assignment, when that copying/plagiarizing constitutes less than 10% of the assignment in the judgment of the Dean and is a second offense, or when that copying/plagiarizing constitutes 10% or more of the assignment in the judgment of the Dean.
      9. Unauthorized collaboration on homework assignments constituting 10% or more of the assignment in the judgment of the Dean, or less than 10% of the assignment on a second offense in the judgment of the Dean.
    3. Level Two Violation - 2.0 sanction points for each violation
      1. Submitting as one’s own any work prepared totally or in large measure by another.
      2. Uploading of quizzes, examinations, or any other graded materials, with or without answers, to a third-party website.
      3. Submitting altered or falsified data (in work completed for a class assignment).
    4. Level Three Violation - 4.0 sanction points for each violation
      1. Altering grades or official records.
      2. Falsifying or signing another person’s name on any academically-related University form or document.
      3. Buying or selling course work (paying another person to complete exams, assignments, etc. or being paid to do this for another).
      4. Sabotaging another student’s work.

        Note: For offenses not specifically mentioned in this rubric, faculty members may confer with the Academic Integrity Council Chair and propose a description of the offense and the level of sanction to be recommended in the faculty member’s syllabus. The proposed description and sanctions will be forwarded to the Academic Integrity Council Chair to review the proposed offense and sanction for consistency with existing offenses and sanctions. If a faculty member and Academic Integrity Chair disagree over a particular offense or sanction, the matter may be discussed with the relevant dean and /or the Academic Integrity Council.
  9. Sanctions
    The possible university sanctions are as follows:

    Sanction points for Level 0 = 0.0: The student will be issued a Letter of Reprimand (first offense only). There will be no grade sanction for a Level Zero offense. Student must attend the Academic Integrity Course.

    Sanction points for Level 1= 1.0: For work for a course, the instructor will give the test or an assignment an immediate zero (0) which will then be averaged into the course grade. If that involves missing a stated deadline, the stated late penalty will apply. Student must take the Academic Integrity Course.

    Sanction points for Level 2= 2.0: The student will receive a course grade of XF for work done for a course. A 2.0 offense will result in academic integrity suspension for one semester.

    Sanction points for Level 3= 4.0 or more: The student will be immediately and permanently expelled. An XF will be given for the course(s).
     
  10. Opportunity and Removal for the “X”
    After two semesters of acceptable performance at the University following the imposition of a penalty, with no student conduct or academic dishonesty infractions, the student may request grade forgiveness by VPAA.

    To remove the X on the transcript, the student may request that the X be removed by submitting a written petition to the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs. This written petition must provide evidence that the student now understands ethical standards (e.g. GPA following the infraction; lack of subsequent infractions [academic and conduct]; proactive activities that the student has engaged in to learn about appropriate techniques for citation, etc.), The X will still be counted if future infractions occur.
     
  11. Degrees, Honors and Awards
    The University reserves the right to withhold or withdraw degrees, honors, or awards due to violations of the Academic Integrity Policy.
     
  12. Suspension and Expulsion
    Suspension involves withdrawal of enrollment privileges for a specified period of time and ordinarily carries with it conditions which must be met for re-enrollment. Suspended students are not permitted to live or board in University facilities or approved student organization housing (i.e., facilities owned by the University and leased to a student organization). Students suspended may not receive credit for University work completed by correspondence or in residence at another university without prior permission from the Provost or designee. Records of suspension are maintained indefinitely.

    Expulsion is a permanent dismissal from the University. These records are maintained indefinitely.

    Expulsion from Southern Arkansas University for academic dishonesty will be permanently noted on the student’s transcript.

    Note: The Academic Integrity Policy of the University of Arkansas was a source for the update of this policy.