Education Law Questions? Ask an Education Lawyer
Hello. I will help you with your questions today. I have been an attorney for 26 years and in the field of Education for 16 years. Can you please tell me if your school is a public or private university?
I looked at the website for Chamberlain. Since this is private university, the law of contracts applies. They would have to live up to the written procedures for discipline found in the student handbook or on the website.
I have been trying to find the "Academic Integrity" definitions. Do you please send this to me or give me? The sanctions depend on what rule they was violated.
Is this your first offense?
In the Student Code of Conduct, I believe this is the section you are being charged with:
4. Alteration of Records
• Any act by which the signature of an instructor or any authorized agent of the instructor (including student faculty assistants) is changed or forged for purposes of misrepresenting the signature of the instructor or authorized agent
• Any act that changes or alters the time or date of a submitted assignment for purposes of misrepresenting an established due date or time
• Any act of altering any previously completed examination, record of an examination or any other assignment that has been returned to the student, in an attempt to claim instructor error. This includes any attempt to gain an improved grade or additional credit for work not originally completed
Here is the procedure they have to follow to give you your due process rights:
"D. Procedure for Violations Any member of the Chamberlain community may report a violation of the Academic Integrity Policy. The violation should be reported at the time the violation is observed or immediately after the observation. If a violation is suspected, observed or reported, the chief academic officer (CAO) or designee at the location will discuss the incident with the student in question. The student will be granted the opportunity to deny the allegation and provide details of the incident or admit to the incident. If the student is able to present satisfactory evidence to the CAO or designee, the allegation may be dismissed at that time. If the student admits to the allegation, or cannot discredit the allegation, the CAO or designee will investigate the allegation, evaluate the relevant facts and make a determination as to whether the academic integrity policy was violated. At the discretion of the CAO or designee, the professional review committee may be convened to evaluate the relevant facts and make a determination as to whether the academic integrity policy was violated. If the student is found in violation, the CAO or designee will impose appropriate sanctions. Any prior violation of the Academic Integrity Policy will be taken into consideration when determining appropriate sanctions. Depending on the severity of the violation, the discretionary sanctions may be imposed if deemed appropriate by the CAO or designee. If the student does not agree with the decision or the sanctions imposed, the student may appeal to the campus president (pre-licensure) or the program director (post-licensure). In the event that the campus president or the program director was also the chief academic officer, the point of appeal would be that person’s supervisor. This decision will be final."
They have to follow these procedures before they suspend or expel you.
According to these rules you can deny that you did anything wrong and provide evidence in your defense. If they find that you violated the Code of Conduct, they can give you any of the listed sanctions, including expulsion. If you don't agree with the sanctions they may give you, you have a right to appeal to the program director if you are licensed already. If you are not licensed, you can appeal to the campus president. If you lose the appeal, the decision is final.
You could hire an Education attorney to assist you with defending against this. There is nothing in the rules that say you cannot. I always recommend that people seek attorneys from the state bar association. Here is a link to this service with the Illinois State Bar Association.
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