Table of Contents

Academics


ACADEMICS

COLLEGE CATALOG

The College Catalog contains the academic regulations and policies of the College. Students should read the Catalog carefully to be certain that they are familiar with these policies, and that they are progressing toward the fulfillment of all graduation requirements. Students should review with special care the discussion of major academic regulations noted in the Catalog. Faculty Advisors and the Records Office personnel are available to assist in this task, but the student holds the final responsibility for making certain all graduation requirements are fulfilled. Degree requirements at Blackburn may be met by using any catalog that is in effect during a student’s attendance. Combining requirements from various catalogs is not permitted.

STUDENT PORTAL

Faculty and staff use Blackburn email, the portal or Moodle to communicate with students. The Student Portal is the web-based program the College uses to communicate with students. From the Portal, students can view their class schedules, billing statements and, if they live on campus, room and meal plan information. Students are responsible for checking their billing statement (ledger) on a regular basis. Student statements will only be provided once each semester. From the Portal, students may view their transcript and other grade information. Announcements from Student Life and the Records Office will be posted to the Portal News. Faculty use electronic tools such as Blackburn email, the Portal and Moodle to provide their students with information about the students’ courses and communicate with them. They may use these tools for course content and activities such as syllabi, course documents, and assignments, and host discussion groups. It is each student’s responsibility to follow the communication tools specified for each class in which they are enrolled.

COURSE LOAD

Any student who drops below full-time academic status (below 12 hours) MUST BE AWARE that their eligibility for financial aid and campus residency is in jeopardy.

CLASSROOM BEHAVIOR POLICY

Blackburn College actively supports the right of all students and faculty to work in an environment that is conducive to teaching and learning. Therefore, the College does not condone behavior that, in the judgment of the instructor, interrupts, obstructs, or inhibits the teaching and learning process. Disruptive behavior may include, but is not limited to, verbal attacks, intimidation, shouting, inappropriate gestures, attending class under the influence of drugs or alcohol, unauthorized use of electronic devices, consistently coming to class late or leaving early, sleeping during class, threatening or harassing comments, bullying, profanity, incessantly whispering/talking in class, or other similarly intrusive or disrespectful behavior. Disruptive behavior may also include other behavior that appears attention seeking in nature, monopolizing of class time, interrupting the instructor or classmates, or creating an uncomfortable class environment for other students.

Instructors have the right to ask students exhibiting such behavior to leave the class session. If the same student repeatedly exhibits this behavior or if a student refuses to leave a class session when requested to do so, the instructor should contact campus security at campus extension 5550 or student life at campus extension 5512. In cases of repeated disruption, faculty may drop a student from the class when there is documented written evidence that the student was warned that continued disruptive behavior could result in being administratively dropped from the class with loss of credit for the class.

ACADEMIC INTEGRITY

The College strongly encourages personal and professional integrity in all endeavors, and disapproves of cheating and plagiarism in any form. Academically, cheating involves giving or receiving unauthorized assistance on any test, quiz, report, project, or other graded exercise completed as part of a Blackburn class or program. Helping another student cheat is an act of academic dishonesty and is subject to the same disciplinary action as cheating itself. Plagiarism is discussed in detail in the next section below.

The following procedures outline Blackburn policy regarding cases of cheating or plagiarism in any class:

  • When faculty members discover an incident of cheating or plagiarism, they shall apply penalties as described in the course syllabus, which may include failure of the course.
  • In any case in which a faculty member has determined that a student has cheated or committed plagiarism, the faculty member will complete an Academic Disciplinary Notice. The faculty member will meet with the accused student to go over the Notice and both will sign documentation that the accusation has been discussed and understood. Copies of the Academic Disciplinary Notice will be distributed to the Provost and to the student’s academic advisor. The academic advisor should follow up by meeting with the student to discuss the behavior in question, the penalty that resulted, and the student’s right to appeal, as outlined below.
  • If the Provost receives two Academic Disciplinary Notices for the same student for two different infractions, he or she will report the charges to the Committee on Academic Standing. The Committee on Academic Standing will review the charges and determine whether there is need for a formal hearing to consider further disciplinary measures, up to and including academic probation.
  • If a third Academic Disciplinary Notice is submitted to the Provost for the same student, he or she will report the charge to the Committee on Academic Standing, which will again determine the need for another hearing that could result in penalties up to and including suspension. Any final appeal is to the President of the College.
  • A student who feels that they are wrongly accused of cheating and wishes to appeal must submit a written appeal within thirty days. The appeal should be submitted to the person who ranks above the accuser in the following order: Program Coordinator, Department Chair, Division Chair, or the Provost. If the student is not satisfied with the outcome of the appeal, they may request review at the next level. If the student is not satisfied with the outcome of these reviews, they may request a hearing before the Committee on Academic Standing.
  • The Committee on Academic Standing will review the case and decide either to uphold the faculty member’s charge or to exonerate the student. Either the student or the faculty member making the charge may exercise a right of final appeal to the President of the College.
  • In the event that the student is exonerated of the charges, all documentation relative to the charge of cheating shall be removed from the student’s college records.

PLAGIARISM: WHAT IT IS AND HOW TO RECOGNIZE AND AVOID IT

WHAT IS PLAGIARISM AND WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?

In college courses, we are continually engaged with other people’s ideas: we read them in texts, hear them in lecture, discuss them in class, and incorporate them into our own writing. As a result, it is very important that we give credit where it is due. Plagiarism is using others’ ideas and words without clearly acknowledging the source of that information.

HOW CAN STUDENTS AVOID PLAGIARISM?

  • To avoid plagiarism, you must give credit whenever you use another person’s idea, opinion, or theory;
  • any facts, statistics, graphs, drawings—any pieces of information—that are not common knowledge;
  • quotations of another person’s actual spoken or written words; or
  • paraphrase of another person’s spoken or written words.

HOW TO RECOGNIZE UNACCEPTABLE AND ACCEPTABLE PARAPHRASES

Here’s the ORIGINAL text, from page 1 of Lizzie Borden: A Case Book of Family and Crime in the 1890s by Joyce Williams et al.

The rise of industry, the growth of cities, and the expansion of the population were the three great developments of late nineteenth century American history. As new, larger, steam-powered factories became a feature of the American landscape in the East, they transformed farm hands into industrial laborers, and provided jobs for a rising tide of immigrants. With industry came urbanization the growth of large cities (like Fall River, Massachusetts, where the Bordens lived) which became the centers of production as well as of commerce and trade.

Here’s an UNACCEPTABLE paraphrase that is plagiarism:
The increase of industry, the growth of cities, and the explosion of the population were three large factors of nineteenth century America. As steam-driven companies became more visible in the eastern part of the country, they changed farm hands into factory workers and provided jobs for the large wave of immigrants. With industry came the growth of large cities like Fall River where the Bordens lived which turned into centers of commerce and trade as well as production.

What makes this passage plagiarism?
The preceding passage is considered plagiarism for two reasons:

  • the writer has only changed around a few words and phrases or changed the order of the original’s sentences.
  • the writer has failed to cite a source for any of the ideas or facts.

If you do either or both of these things, you are plagiarizing.

NOTE: This paragraph is also problematic because it changes the sense of several sentences (for example, “steam-driven companies” in sentence two misses the original’s emphasis on factories).

Here is an ACCEPTABLE paraphrase:
Fall River, where the Borden family lived, was typical of northeastern industrial cities of the nineteenth century. Steam-powered production had shifted labor from agriculture to manufacturing, and as immigrants arrived in the US, they found work in these new factories. As a result, populations grew, and large urban areas arose. Fall River was one of these manufacturing and commercial centers (Williams 1).

Why is this passage acceptable?
This is acceptable paraphrasing because the writer:

  • accurately relays the information using their own words.
  • let’s their reader(s) know the source of her information.

Here is an example of quotation and paraphrase used together, which is also ACCEPTABLE:
Fall River, where the Borden family lived, was typical of northeastern industrial cities of the nineteenth century. As steam-powered production shifted labor from agriculture to manufacturing, the demand for workers “transformed farm hands into industrial laborers,” and created jobs for immigrants. In turn, growing populations increased the size of urban areas. Fall River was one of these hubs “which became the centers of production as well as of commerce and trade” (Williams 1).

Why is this passage ACCEPTABLE?
This is acceptable paraphrasing because the writer:

  • records the information in the original passage accurately.
  • gives credit for the ideas in this passage.
  • indicated which part is taken directly from their source by putting the passage in quotation marks and citing the page number.

Note that if the writer had used these phrases or sentences in their own paper without putting quotation marks around them, they would be PLAGIARIZING. Using another person’s phrases or sentences without putting quotation marks around them is considered plagiarism EVEN IF THE WRITER CITES IN THEIR OWN TEXT THE SOURCE OF THE PHRASES OR SENTENCES THEY HAVE QUOTED.

PLAGIARISM AND THE INTERNET

The internet has become a more popular source of information for student papers, and many questions have arisen about how to avoid plagiarizing these sources. In most cases, the same rules apply as to a printed source: when a writer must refer to ideas or quote from an internet site, they must cite that source.

If a writer wants to use visual information from an internet site, many of the same rules apply. Copying visual information or graphics from an internet site (or from a printed source) is very similar to quoting information, and the source of the visual information or graphic must be cited. These rules also apply to other uses of textual or visual information from internet sites; for example, if a student is constructing a web page as a class project, and copies graphics or visual information from other sites, they must also provide information about the source of this information. In this case, it might be a good idea to obtain permission from the site’s owner before using the graphics.

STRATEGIES FOR AVOIDING PLAGIARISM

  • Put in quotations everything that comes directly from the text especially when taking notes.
  • Paraphrase, but be sure you are not just rearranging or replacing a few words.
    • Instead, read over what you want to paraphrase carefully; cover up the text with your hand, or close the text so you can’t see any of it (and so aren’t tempted to use the text as a “guide”). Write out the idea in your own words without peeking.
  • Check your paraphrase against the original text to be sure you have not accidentally used the same phrases or words, and that the information is accurate.

TERMS YOU NEED TO KNOW (OR WHAT IS COMMON KNOWLEDGE?)

Common knowledge: Facts that can be found in numerous places and are likely to be known by a lot of people. Example: John F. Kennedy was elected President of the United States in 1960.

This is generally known information. You do not need to document this fact. However, you must document facts that are not generally known and ideas that interpret facts.

Example: According to the American Family Leave Coalition’s new book, Family Issues and Congress, President Bush’s relationship with Congress has hindered family leave legislation (6).

The idea that “Bush’s relationship with Congress has hindered family leave legislation” is not a fact but an interpretation; consequently, you need to cite your source.

Quotation: using someone’s words. When you quote, place the passage you are using in quotation marks, and document the source according to a standard documentation style.

The following example uses the Modern Language Association’s style:

Example: According to Peter S. Pritchard in USA Today, “Public schools need reform but they’re irreplaceable in teaching all the nation’s young” (14).

Paraphrase: using someone’s ideas, but putting them in your own words. This is probably the skill you will use most when incorporating sources into your writing. Although you use your own words to paraphrase, you must still acknowledge the source of the information.

Both figures from R.A. Harris (2001), The Plagiarism Handbook. Glendale, CA: Pyrczak.

Copyright – Writing Tutorial Services, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN. Reprinted with permission

GRADE APPEAL POLICY

Students who wish to appeal a course grade must do so no later than 5 p.m. on the last regular class day of the semester following that in which the grade was received (not including the summer semester).

Students may appeal a grade on the basis of a belief that the instructor either made an error in the grading process, or was demonstrably unfair or discriminatory in assigning a grade. Students may not use the grade appeal process to appeal a determination of academic dishonesty. To appeal a grade the student should first make an appointment with the instructor of the course in question and discuss the matter with them. If this is not possible or if the student is not satisfied with the outcome of the discussion, the student may appeal to the Division Chair, who will meet with the student and the instructor in the role of mediator. If after such a meeting the student continues to believe that the grade in question is inappropriate the appeal may proceed to the Committee on Academic Standing (CAS). The outcome of CAS review will result in one of three decisions.

That the

  • student’s appeal has no merit and the grade should stand;
  • grade should stand but that the faculty member in question should be advised to improve grading policies and practices; or
  • grade in question is inaccurate or unfair, and the instructor should submit a revised grade. CAS will report its findings to the Provost, who will then review the report and recommendations, ensuring that all parties receive formal notice of the disposition of the case.

A student may appeal the decision of CAS only on the grounds that fair procedures were not followed or that new information has become available that would materially affect the decision. Such an appeal must be made in writing to the Provost within one week of the submission of the CAS report. On appeal the Provost will review the report and recommendations from CAS and decide either that the committee’s decision should stand or be reconsidered on the basis of either procedural inadequacies or the availability of substantial new information bearing on the case. If the Provost concludes that the case should be reconsidered, CAS will reconvene and act on the recommendations for reconsideration from the Provost.

ADMINISTRATIVE WITHDRAWAL POLICY

The Provost, in consultation with the Dean of Students, Dean of Work, and Athletic Director, may administratively withdraw a student who is exhibiting significant problems in one or more areas across campus. Examples include, but are not limited to, lack of serious academic effort, and/or disruptive, abusive or offensive behavior or actions. Administrative Withdrawal is appropriate where, in the judgment of the Provost, the significant problems exhibited by the student demonstrate that the student is interrupting, obstructing, or inhibiting the teaching and learning process.

Failure to demonstrate a serious academic effort is defined as when, in the judgment of the instructor, the student’s ability to derive a meaningful educational experience with regard to the content and learning objectives of the course is impaired. This may include, but not be limited to, excessive absences, failure to submit homework, complete quizzes, exams, or other classroom-based measurements of progress as required by the specific course.

Disruptive, abusive, or offensive behavior or actions are defined as those which result in written actions or reports within Student Life, Athletics, or the Work Program.

When such failure is reported to the Provost, the Provost shall communicate with each of the student’s instructors to determine whether the student has demonstrated or failed to demonstrate a serious academic effort, as defined above. The Provost will solicit information from the Student Life, Athletics, and Work Program Offices to determine if the student has exhibited disciplinary issues. If a student fails to demonstrate serious academic effort, as defined above, and/or is exhibiting disciplinary issues in the Work Program, Student Life, and/or Athletics, he or she may be administratively withdrawn from the college by action of the Provost.

Prior to any decision, the Provost will schedule a meeting with the student to discuss the findings and consult with the student about the circumstances and the possible consequences. The student will have 24 hours to present additional relevant information to the Provost, after which a final decision will be made.

In the event of a decision to withdraw a student, the student may, within 24 hours, appeal to the Committee on Academic Standing solely on the basis of procedural error. The Committee may either uphold or reverse the decision of the Provost. In the event of an administrative withdrawal, students may lose eligibility for financial aid. Resident students will be required to vacate college housing, and other services, activities, and benefits of enrollment at the college will be terminated. Grades will be assigned in accordance with current withdrawal policies.

Students administratively withdrawn retain the right to petition the Committee on Academic Standing for readmission in a future semester.