HCHC Home » Academics » Academic Integrity and Disciplinary Policy

Academic Integrity and Disciplinary Policy

In keeping with our Orthodox tradition and Hellenic heritage, HCHC strives to educate the whole person, body, heart, soul and mind.  With ties to the Orthodox Church, HCHC is also obligated to follow ecclesiastical regulations as well as the moral standards of the Church.  As an institution of higher learning in the United States, we are obliged to respect and uphold the principles and laws of the nation and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.  Each of these interests requires that HCHC establish and enforce certain policies, guidelines and rules. 

Generally, disciplinary decisions involving students move through the organizational structure and are handled at the most appropriate level. For example, minor disciplinary infractions for students often involve a discussion between the faculty member and the student; and minor non-academic infractions will be discussed between the Resident Assistant and the student. The purpose of the discussion is to communicate to the student why his/her behavior/performance was inappropriate/inadequate and seek the student’s agreement to not repeat the behavior/improve upon performance. Hierarchs of seminarians and seminarian candidates are notified of disciplinary actions when students are found in violation of any charges brought against them.

Academic Disciplinary Action
As part of their scholarly development, students learn how to work cooperatively in a community of scholars and how to make fruitful use of the work of others without violating intellectual honesty. They learn the parameters of collaboration and the proper forms of quoting, summarizing, and paraphrasing. Faculty advisors and other faculty members will give additional information and instruction in this area.

A student is subject to disciplinary action if found in violation of the accepted norms of student accountability in his or her academic work. All work submitted to meet course requirements (homework assignments, papers, examinations) is expected to be the student’s own work, designed and presented for one course only. In the preparation of work submitted to meet course requirements, students should always take care to distinguish their own ideas from information derived from primary and secondary sources. The responsibility for learning the proper forms of citation lies with each individual student. In addition, all paraphrased material must be acknowledged.

Some specific types of academic dishonesty:

  • Data falsification: the fabrication of data or the alteration of data included in a report.
  • Plagiarism: taking another’s statements, ideas, or information without full and proper acknowledgment, and presenting them as one’s own (further discussed under the “Behavior” section of this handbook.
  • Collusion: assisting another student by allowing him/her to copy one’s own work; the use of purchased essays or term papers and unauthorized cooperation in assignments or during an examination.
  • HCHC insists upon the highest standards of academic integrity in all student work, both written and oral. 

Students involved in the disciplinary process are treated with respect and reasonable efforts are made to preserve the confidentiality of issues discussed. However, there are times when applicable law, health and safety concerns or other factors require that information be disclosed. Community members are asked to extend the benefit of the doubt to HCHC officials, knowing that prayerful consideration has been employed in the discipline process and the subsequent outcome.

Disciplinary Sanctions
Students should expect HCHC to confront any circumstance or behavior that might hinder personal growth or disrupt community life. HCHC believes that when a student chooses to disregard community expectations, it has the obligation to suspend community privileges, including housing and class participation. Each incident is reviewed on a case-by-case basis, with consideration of the following:

  1. Severity of the violation
  2. Context of the incident
  3. Responsiveness of the accused to confrontation, and
  4. Degree to which the individual displays genuine repentance

When it employs sanctions, HCHC intends to:

  • Be fair and consistent.
  • Promote change in the individual.
  • Provide restitution (in case of theft and/or loss).
  • Restore the individual to the community.

The following is a list of possible sanctions available to HCHC.  More than one of the sanctions may be imposed for any single violation.  Other sanctions may be used when deemed appropriate by HCHC.

  • Warning: A statement of the standards of conduct is made to the student with an official warning concerning future behavior.
  • Loss of privileges: Denial of specified privileges for a designated period of time.
  • Loss of credit for assignments: Credit may be taken away for assignments submitted, in the case of plagiarism.
  • Failure of course: Student may be given a failing grade in a course.
  • Fines: Fines vary according to the violation, and may include all costs involving damage to HCHC or private property.
  • Restitution: Compensation for loss, damage or injury. This may take the form of appropriate service and/or monetary or material replacement.
  • Discretionary sanction: Work assignments, service to HCHC or other related discretionary assignments.
  • Mentoring/Accountability: The student is required to meet for a specified period of time with a faculty or staff member for accountability and support.
  • Disciplinary contract: A student is placed on disciplinary contract for minor and/or repeated behavioral infractions.  When placing a student on disciplinary contract, HCHC intends to communicate that the student’s behavior is serious and that subsequent behavioral violations, as well as failure to complete disciplinary action, will result in more serious disciplinary action, up to and including immediate dismissal.
  • Disciplinary probation: The student is expected to show development in responsible actions toward HCHC and members of the community for a specified period of time.  A student is placed on disciplinary probation for major and/or repeated behavioral infractions. When placing a student on disciplinary probation, HCHC intends to communicate that the student’s behavior is jeopardizing his/her enrollment and that subsequent behavioral violations, as well as failure to complete disciplinary sanctions, will likely result in an immediate dismissal from HCHC.  Probationary students are ineligible to hold student leadership positions, may not participate in public ministry at HCHC, and forfeit institutional scholarship awards. HCHC generally informs the parents or legal guardians of students who are placed on disciplinary probation as permitted under the Family Educational Rights to Privacy Act.
  • Interim suspension:  Students are denied access to the residence halls/married student housing complexes, and/or to the campus (including classes) and/or all HC/HC activities or privileges for which the student might otherwise be eligible.
  • Suspension:  The student is involuntarily separated from HCHC for a specified length of time. Suspended students are required to leave campus for the duration of the suspension and may not attend class, reside in on-campus housing, attend Chapel, eat in the cafeteria, etc.  Absences from classes are not excused and faculty members are not obligated to permit students to make up missed classroom work.  All academic and financial consequences caused by the suspension are the responsibility of the student.
  • Withdrawal:  The student is permitted to withdraw from HCHC without the privilege of returning until a time specified.
  • Dismissal:  The student is permanently separated from HCHC.  No refunds are made, all financial aid may be canceled, and the student will suffer academic consequences of his/her actions.  Dismissed students are required to leave campus immediately, will receive failing grades in all classes, and will not receive any financial refunds.

The disciplinary procedures followed by HCHC are not subject to any formal rules of court or evidence.  (For example, HCHC may impose a sanction based on its assessment of whether it is “more likely than not” that a violation has occurred, rather than on any “proof beyond a reasonable doubt” standard.)  HCHC is not required to impose the same sanctions or utilize the same disciplinary procedures in all situations involving the same violation. 

This list of discliplinary levels and sanctions below is intended to provide a general framework that will generally be followed in most cases.  However, consideration is given to the specifics of the incident and the previous behavior of the student(s) involved, as well as to other relevant factors.  Therefore, outcomes and procedures may differ. HCHC may respond to violations that do not appear on this list.

Disciplinary Levels and Sanctions of a Non-Academic Nature
Level One
A level one infraction is a first-offense, incidental or minor infraction of HCHC policy:  alcohol, bigotry, accidents, dress code, entertainment violation, quiet hour violation, failed room inspection, parking violation, burning candles, etc.
Level one disciplinary responses include, but are not limited to, a warning, community service, reduction in community privileges, restitution, etc.

Level Two
A level two infraction is a serious or repeated infraction of HCHC policy:  repeated level one infraction, lack of follow-through on a level one sanction, pornography, sexual immorality, alcohol or tobacco use, etc.
Level two disciplinary responses include, but are not limited to, all level one responses, disciplinary contract, mentoring, professional counseling, suspension of public ministry, removal from student leadership positions, suspension, etc.

Level Three
A level three infraction is a very serious or dangerous infraction of HCHC policy: repeated level two infraction, lack of follow-through on level two sanction, pornography, sexual immorality, theft, vandalism, alcohol or tobacco use, illegal drug use, lying, violation of the law, hazing, violent behavior, etc.  Level three disciplinary responses include, but are not limited to, all level two responses, restitution, disciplinary probation, suspension, withdrawal, dismissal, etc.

Appeal Process
Students may appeal a disciplinary decision on the grounds that:

  1. Fair consideration was not provided to the student (i.e., there is evidence that some aspect of the hearing was prejudicial, arbitrary or capricious).
  2. New and significant information, not reasonably available at the time of the initial hearing, has become available.
  3. The sanction or remedy imposed is not in keeping with the disciplinary guidelines outlined in the Student Handbook.

Students who wish to appeal a disciplinary decision should submit a letter of appeal to the Director of Student Life within three working days of the communication of the decision.  The letter of appeal should outline the facts in the matter, the disciplinary decision, the rationale for why that decision is being appealed, and a list of persons the student wishes to participate in the appeal (if applicable).  The Director of Student Life will generally request a meeting with the student and the person issuing the disciplinary decision to discuss the appeal, and may invite other persons, as he/she deems appropriate. 

Students who wish to appeal a disciplinary decision by the Director of Student Life should submit a letter of appeal to the President within three working days of the communication of the decision of the Director of Student Life. The letter of appeal should contain the same elements as described above.

The President will appoint a Disciplinary Committee to review the facts.  The Disciplinary Committee will make a recommendation and submit it to the President.  The President serves as the final appellate level, and will issue a final sanction to the student.