Academic Freedom

The Board of Trustees believes that students have the right to listen, the right to decide, the right to choose, the right to reject, the right to express and defend individual beliefs, and that the educational purpose of the District is best served by this freedom of expression. As members of an academic community, students are encouraged to develop the capacity for critical judgment and to engage in a sustained and independent search for truth. Institutional procedures for achieving these purposes may vary from campus to campus, but the minimal standards of academic freedom of students are essential to the purposes for which community colleges exist.

Students are free to take reasoned exception to the data or views offered in any course of study and to reserve judgment about matters of opinion, but they are responsible for learning the content of any course of study for which they are enrolled. Student performance will be evaluated on a broad academic basis, not on opinions or conduct in matters unrelated to academic standards.

Board Policy 5580 (Reference: Education Code Section 76067, 76120) 
Adopted: September 14, 2005 



Academic Integrity


Violations of Academic Integrity

The Academic Senate at MJC shares the original jurisdiction for conduct violations in the area of academic integrity. The Academic Senate at MJC has defined academic integrity and identified possible means for maintaining academic integrity at the College. The following are violations of academic integrity.

  • Cheating - Intentionally using or attempting to use unauthorized materials, information or study aids in any academic exercise; misrepresenting or non-reporting of pertinent information in all forms of work submitted for credit.

  • Facilitating Academic Dishonesty - Intentionally or knowingly helping, or attempting to help, another to violate a provision of the institutional code of academic integrity.

  • Plagiarism - The deliberate adoption or reproduction of ideas, words or statements of another person as one's own, without acknowledgement. This includes all group work and written assignments.


Consequences of Violations

The grading of a student's work rests on the fundamental idea that an instructor is evaluating a student's own work, so cheating or plagiarism demonstrates a failure to complete this most basic requirement of any course. Thus, a faculty member may administer academic consequences for violating the Academic Integrity Policy ranging from partial credit to an 'F' on the assignment or exam.

The instructor may also consider that a student's violation of academic integrity should be a consideration for disciplinary measures. Disciplinary action for violating academic integrity is administered by the Student Discipline Officer under Board Policy & Procedure 5500 Standards of Conduct.


Academic Integrity in the MJC Course

  1. Academic areas may develop, for their faculty and students a statement of the application of the Academic Integrity Procedure in their courses; and

  2. Each faculty member is encouraged to include in his/her introduction to a course:

    • A statement of the application of the Academic Integrity Procedure within his/her course.

    • A statement notifying students that violations of the Academic Integrity Procedure will be reported.


Due Process for Violations of Academic Integrity

  1. Students shall be given notice of the violation and,

  2. Students shall be given an opportunity to respond to the allegations.


Last reviewed: Spring 2007