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Academic Integrity Case Standards

Understanding the standards that Student Rights & Responsibilities uses when investigating cases of Academic Integrity. Illustrated below are these standards. 

The below is an example of typical processes, but each incident is handled on an individualized case-by-case basis. Case outcomes may not always follow these examples.

Violations Table

1st offense 2nd offense 3rd offense
Disciplinary Probation + Academic Integrity Seminar Suspension (1-3 Quarters) Expulsion


  • Copying during a midterm/final (less than 50% of an exam)
  • Submitting another person’s work as your own (or without proper citation)
    • Has to be less than 50% of a midterm/final
  • Unauthorized possession/purchasing/supplying of a non-midterm/final
  • Having someone sign someone else in for an attendance grade (ghosting)
  • Altering an exam/assignment to earn a better grade
  • Improper Use of Technology/Unauthorized Access to PolyLearn
  • Facilitating Academic Dishonesty of Others (other than suspendable offenses)
  • Submitting work from another course for current course (student’s own work)
  • Unauthorized Collaboration
  • Unauthorized use of Study Aids
1st offense 2nd offense
Suspension (1-3 Quarters) Expulsion


  • Having someone else write a paper/take a test (Ghosting)
  • Copying an entire test/final paper/midterm
  • Unauthorized possession/purchasing/supplying of a midterm/final
  • Plagiarizing over 50% of a midterm/final paper
  • Altering a midterm/final to earn a better grade
  • Premeditated cheating

Evidence Standard

Student Rights & Responsibilities uses a Preponderance of the Evidence standard, which means more likely than not. Student Rights & Responsibilities also uses a Reasonable Person standard, which means that the student's academic integrity is viewed from the perspective of what a reasonable, average student would do. Student Rights & Responsibilities takes into account the following for the Reasonable Person standard: 

  • Age
  • Year at Cal Poly
  • GPA
  • Major / Course

As an example, John Doe, 23, 5th-year Senior, Business Major, 3.8 GPA will be held to a different Reasonable Person standard than Jim Doe, 18, 1st-year, English Major, no GPA.


    To maintain the integrity and confidentiality of the process, Student Rights & Responsibilities will not discuss specific student cases (with names) with non-reporting faculty members. Student Rights & Responsibilities will attempt to maintain an open-line of communication with the reporting Faculty member throughout the entire process and will defer to the reporting faculty member's expertise regarding the desired outcome of the process (in most cases). 

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