Academic Integrity


College for Creative Studies adheres to the highest standards of academic integrity throughout a student’s educational experience, in both academic writing and research and in studio work. Students who violate the standards of academic integrity face serious disciplinary consequences, including letters documenting the incident in their permanent record, failure of the assignment, immediate course failure, and/or dismissal from the College.

Faculty members have a responsibility to foster a culture of creative honesty, freedom, and intellectual expression for all students. Promoting and cultivating an environment of integrity reinforces that mandate and upholds the reputation of the College and its students.

Students should make sure they that have a clear understanding of these important issues and how they apply to both Liberal Arts and studio classes. The instructor or Department Chair should be consulted for clarification on how this relates to their discipline or project.

Scope and Purpose

This statement on academic integrity applies to all undergraduate and graduate students at College for Creative Studies. Students are responsible for seeking clarification on assignments to ensure full understanding of what practices might be deemed an incidence of academic misconduct, including unethical use of language, ideas, or creative expression.

The purpose of this statement is to:

  1. Clarify the College’s expectations of academic integrity, and
  2. Outline the process to be followed if this policy is violated.


The College condones no form of dishonesty in any academic activities, whether in academic writing and research or studio work. Academic dishonesty is defined as the use of a third party’s words, ideas, visual material, or physical artifacts as one’s own original work without proper permission, citation, or other appropriate recognition of source. Any act that assists academic dishonesty is itself a violation of the academic integrity policy. 

Artists, designers, and writers draw on the work of others for reference, inspiration, and understanding. However, there is a difference between creative exploration, seeking inspiration, and considering the work of other creatives, and presenting language or ideas that are not your own without proper acknowledgement.  Students are ultimately responsible for the creative integrity of their own work. Referencing or appropriating ideas may be part of an assignment, especially for written works, but it is always up to the student to include proper citation of the original material. That said, the College understands that new technologies might provoke further questions of boundaries. Students should consult faculty members for clarification as to what practices do and do not constitute creative dishonesty.

    Types of Violations

    While this list is meant to address broad categories of violations, it is not meant to be exhaustive and there may be other examples deemed as violations in respect to the written policy herein.

    • Buying papers or using a third party* to  write a paper, or produce a studio project Submitting the same work in two courses without explicit permission. This could take the form of presenting all or part of work done from one course or independent study to another course requires permission of the instructor in the current course.
    • Unauthorized collaboration with other people or third party* tools. Many course activities permit and encourage collaboration. Course syllabi and in-class instructions will usually identify situations where collaboration on assignments is allowed. The student is responsible for determining whether collaboration is approved by seeking clarification from the instructor.
    • Cheating. This is a very broad category encompassing a variety of unfair or dishonest methods to gain an advantage. Examples include: copying another student’s work, unauthorized usage of third party* tools, using “crib notes” on tests, and accepting from or giving aid to another student unless authorized by the instructor.
    • Misrepresenting experience or ability. This includes providing false information concerning academic and creative achievement or background. For example: misrepresentation of technical abilities through the use of third party* tools, falsely reporting the substance of an internship, omitting transcripts, or otherwise providing false information, including submitting a falsified portfolio as part of the admission process.
    • Falsifying data or records.
    • Deleting/Destroying Student Work. All students must refrain from altering work that does not belong to them, regardless of the date the piece was created or its location. Destruction or deliberate inhibition of the progress of another student’s work is also strictly prohibited. This includes the deletion or destruction of digital files, sabotaging another student’s artwork, or destroying College property, including library materials, lab materials, and computer software, hardware, or studio space.
    *Third party tools are defined as a person or artificial intelligence tool/system

    Statute of Limitations

    There is no statute of limitations on academic integrity violations. Academic integrity violations may be discovered and acted upon at any time during the course of a semester, after a semester has ended, and even after a student has graduated. Academic dishonesty that occurred prior to a student being admitted to CCS, and which has a bearing upon their status as a student in good standing, may also be discovered and acted upon, including but not limited to falsification of transcripts, portfolio work, or relevant experience.

    Reporting Misconduct

    Faculty, students, exam proctors, and administrative staff all share responsibility ensuring the honesty and fairness of the intellectual environment at CCS. It is the responsibility of every individual to report incidents of academic dishonesty to the appropriate faculty, Department Chair, exam proctor, and/or College officer.

    Processes, Procedures, and Potential Outcomes

    • Faculty or staff who suspect a violation of academic integrity should immediately inform the student of the nature of the violation and advise him/her that they will not be able to withdraw from the course until the case is reviewed and resolved.
    • Faculty or staff should complete an online Academic Integrity Violation Report documenting the alleged violation. The report is sent automatically to the Office of Academic Affairs and the Academic Advising and Registration Office for recording.
    • The faculty member or staff member should identify and collect supporting evidence of the alleged violation, such as comparisons of writing samples or creative processes, witness statements, and/or forensic investigations.
    • Within seven business days of receiving the report, the chairperson of the department in which the alleged violation occurred, will notify the Office of Academic Affairs. The Office of Academic Affairs will appoint a Hearing Officer and will schedule an academic hearing to be attended by the instructor, the student, the Department Chair, and the Hearing Officer. The Student Advocate may attend the hearing, at the student’s request. No other persons will be allowed in the hearing. The Hearing Officer will chair the hearing.
    • All relevant factors, including the nature of the offense, the severity of any damage, injury or harm resulting from the offense, and the student’s statement will be taken into consideration in the hearing.
    • Outcomes of the hearing will be determined by the instructor, the Department Chair, and the Hearing Officer, who will communicate the findings to the student.

    Potential Outcomes

    Charged Dropped- Insufficient Evidence

    • In the case of denial by the student and the impossibility of determining adequate support of the violation, the charge will be dismissed. (Determination of adequate support may include but is not limited to comparisons of writing samples or creative processes, witness statements, and/or forensic investigations.)

    First Offense

    • If the work is determined or affirmed by the student to be in violation, an academic sanction will be imposed and a letter placed in the student’s file. First offense sanctions may be but are not limited to:
    • Repeating the assignment
    • Failure of the assignment
    • Failure of the course
    • Academic probation
    • Suspension
    • Dismissal from the College

    Second Offense

    • Second offense sanctions may be but are not limited to:
    • Academic probation
    • Suspension
    • Dismissal from the College

    Process of Record Keeping

    If the work is determined or acknowledged by the student to be in violation, a letter will be placed in the student’s file in the Registrar’s Office.

    Student Rights and Responsibilities

    A student accused of an academic integrity violation is entitled to:

    • Review the evidence prior to the academic hearing.
    • Offer an explanation as to what occurred and present any supporting material.
    • Determine the validity of the charge without reference to any past record of misconduct.
    • Have the Student Advocate present in the hearing to ensure a fair process is granted (optional).


    Students have the right to appeal the results of an academic hearing. Appeals must be initiated in writing either via email or in hardcopy to the Office of Academic Affairs within seven business days following the findings of the academic hearing and imposition of a sanction.

    The appeal will be submitted to the Committee on Academic Performance who will review it and render a final decision or conduct an appeal hearing before reaching a final decision. If the Committee is unable to meet in a timely manner, the appropriate Dean or the Provost may serve as the Hearing Officer. The appeal decision will be communicated to the student in written form and documentation will be placed in their file. The ruling of Committee on Academic Performance (or the Provost or appropriate Dean, as applicable) is final.

    December 22, 2016

    August 3, 2023

    Academic Affairs