Bakersfield College

Academic Integrity

Click here to complete the Academic Integrity Reporting Intake Form

Bakersfield College has the responsibility to ensure that grades assigned are indicative of the knowledge and skill level of each student. Acts of academic dishonesty make it impossible to fulfill this responsibility, and they weaken our society. Faculty, students, administrators, and classified staff share responsibility for ensuring academic honesty in our college community and will make a concerted effort to fulfill the following responsibilities.

Any test, paper, or assignment submitted and that bears BC students' name is presumed to be the own original work that has not previously been submitted for credit in another course unless you obtain prior written approval to do so from the instructor.

In all of the assignments, including homework or drafts of papers, students may use words or ideas written by other individuals in publications, web sites, or other sources, but only with proper citation. As a general rule, if citing from a published source or from a web site and the quotation is short (up to a sentence or two) place it in quotation marks; if a longer passage from a publication or web site, please indent it and use single spacing. In both cases, be sure to cite the original source in a footnote or in parentheses. If a student is not clear about the expectations for completing an assignment or taking a test or examination, be sure to seek clarification from the instructor beforehand.

Finally, students should keep in mind that as a member of the BC campus academic community, students are expected to demonstrate integrity in all of your academic endeavors and will be evaluated on their own merits. Students should be proud of their academic accomplishments and help to protect and promote academic integrity at Bakersfield College. The consequences of cheating and academic dishonesty – including a formal written warning, possible loss of grade – are simply not worth it.

Click here to complete the Academic Integrity Reporting Intake Form

The following procedure is done when the Office of Student life receives an Academic Integrity Reporting Intake Form:

  1. The Director of Student Life receives the Academic Integrity Reporting Intake Form with all supplements.
  2. The Department Assistant for Student Life calls the Student-in-Question to schedule a meeting with the Director of Student Life.
  3. Director of Student Life meets with the Student-in-Question to determine if there was “good cause” in violation of the Student Code of Conduct for Academic Integrity.
    1. If found in violation, the Director of Student Life will sanction accordingly.
    2. If not found in violation, the Director of Student Life will release alleged violations.
  4. If the Student-in-Question does not attend the first Scheduled meeting
    1. The student fails to show up to their first scheduled meeting.
    2. The Department Assistant for Student Life will call the Student-in-Question to reschedule the missed meeting.
  5. If the Student-in-Question fails again to show up to the second scheduled meeting.
    1. An email will be sent out to the Student-in-Question’s BC email account warning the Student-in-Question to contact the Office of Student Life regarding the missed scheduled meetings or an “Administrative Hold” may be placed on their registration account.
  6. If the Student-in-Question fails to show up to the third scheduled meeting.
    1. The Department Assistant for Student Life notifies the Office of Admissions and Records to place an immediate “Administrate Hold” on the Student-in-Question’s enrollment records at Bakersfield College.
    2. Holds may be removed after the Student-in-Question meets with the Director of Student Life.

Definition of Plagiarism (KCCD Board Policy Appendix 4F7D)

Plagiarism is defined as the act of using the ideas or work of another person or persons as if they were one's own, without giving credit to the source. Such an act is not plagiarism if it is ascertained that the ideas were arrived at through independent reasoning or logic or where the thought or idea is common knowledge.

Acknowledgement of an original author or source must be made through appropriate references, i.e., quotation marks, footnotes, or commentary. Examples of plagiarism include, but are not limited to, the following: the submission of a work, whether in part or in whole, completed by another; failure to give credit for ideas, statements, facts or conclusions which rightfully belong to another; in written work, failure to use quotations marks when quoting directly from another, whether it be a paragraph, a sentence, or even a part thereof; close and lengthy paraphrasing of another's writing or programming. A student who is in doubt about the extent of acceptable paraphrasing should consult the instructor.

Students are cautioned that, in conducting their research, they should prepare their notes by (a) either quoting material exactly (using quotation marks) at the time they take notes from a source; or (b) departing completely from the language used in the source, putting the material into their own words. In this way, when the material is used in the paper or project, the student can avoid plagiarism resulting from verbatim use of notes. Both quoted and paraphrased materials must be given proper citations.

Definition of Cheating (KCCD Board Policy Appendix 4F7D)

Cheating is defined as the act of obtaining, or attempting to obtain, or aiding another to obtain academic credit for work by the use of any dishonest, deceptive, or fraudulent means. Examples of cheating during an examination include, but are not limited to, the following: copying, either in part or in whole, from another's test or examination; discussion of answers or ideas relating to the answers on an examination or test unless such discussion is specifically authorized by the instructor; giving or receiving copies of an examination without the permission of the instructor; using or displaying notes, "cheat sheets," or other information or devices inappropriate to the prescribed test conditions, as when a test of competence includes a test of unassisted recall of information, skill, or procedure; allowing someone other than the officially enrolled student to represent the same. Also included are plagiarism as defined and altering or interfering with the grading procedures.

It is often appropriate for students to study together or to work in teams on projects. However, such students should be careful to avoid the use of unauthorized assistance, and to avoid any implication of cheating, by such means as sitting apart from one another in examinations, presenting the work in a manner which clearly indicates the effort of each individual, or such other method as is appropriate to the particular course.

Action by the Faculty and Responsibilities

The Faculty has a responsibility to ensure that academic honesty is maintained in their classroom. In the absence of academic honesty it is impossible to assign accurate grades and to ensure that honest students are not at a competitive disadvantage. Faculty members are suggested to:

  1. Explain the meaning of academic honesty to their students.
  2. Conduct their classes in a way that makes cheating, plagiarism and other dishonest conduct nearly impossible.
  3. Confront students suspected of academic dishonesty and take appropriate disciplinary action in a timely manner.

An instructor who has evidence that an act of academic dishonesty has occurred shall, after speaking with the student, take one or more of the following disciplinary actions:

  1. Issue an oral reprimand (for example, in cases where there is reasonable doubt that the student knew that the action violated the standards of academic honesty)
  2. Give the student zero points, or a reduced number of points on all or part of a particular paper, project, or examination (for example, for a first time occurrence of a relatively minor nature)
  3. Have the student repeat the assignment
  4. Another means determined by the faculty or department

L 95-31: May an instructor fail a student who is found guilty of plagiarism or cheating on a specific class assignment? Read the CCCCO Legal Opinion

The instructor should also report the incident to the Director of Student Life through the online Academic Integrity Reporting Intake form.

Action by the Office of Student Life

Upon receipt of the first “Academic Dishonesty Report” form concerning a student, the Director of Student Life shall personally meet with each student in question. During the meeting, the student will be served a written warning and one or more of the following sanctions:

  1. The student is placed on written warning
  2. The student will need to write a reflective letter regarding the incident and will explain why the behaviors jeopardized the academic integrity of the learning mission of Bakersfield College
  3. The Student will attend a workshop on plagiarism or academic honesty
  4. The Student is required to complete four (4) hours of community service
  5. Another sanction determined by the Director of Student Life

Upon receipt of a second “Academic Dishonesty Report” form concerning the same student, the Director of Student Life shall meet with the student again and determine a course of action that meets the needs of the student and the learning mission of Bakersfield College.

Bakersfield College Research Survival Skills

College Research Survival Skills was initiated by the Library as an outreach to area high schools who are preparing BC’s future students. In the initial video, ten BC faculty members discuss the research expectations held by professors at Bakersfield College for their students. Colleagues from English, Philosophy, Biology, Chemistry, Nursing, Anthropology, and History share their views of what students need to know and do in order to succeed in college-level research. Although it is geared to incoming students, the video is also relevant to students who are already here at BC. The full version of the original is available online at and can also be posted in your class materials.

Student Responsibilities

Students share the responsibility for maintaining academic honesty. Students are expected to:

  1. Refrain from acts of academic dishonesty.
  2. Refuse to aid or abet any form of academic dishonesty.
  3. Notify instructors and/or appropriate administrators about observed incidents of academic dishonesty.

Examples of Violations of Academic Honesty

Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  1. Obtaining information from another student during an examination.
  2. Communicating information to another student during an examination.
  3. Knowingly allowing another student to copy one’s work.
  4. Offering another person’s work as one’s own.
  5. Taking an examination for another student or having someone take an examination for oneself.
  6. Sharing answers for a take-home examination unless specifically authorized by the instructor.
  7. Using unauthorized material during an examination.
  8. Altering a graded examination or assignment and returning it for additional credit.
  9. Having another person or a company do the research and/or writing of an assigned paper or report.
  10. Misreporting or altering the data in laboratory or research projects.
  11. Stealing or attempting to steal an examination or answer key.
  12. Stealing or attempting to change official academic records.
  13. Forging or altering grade change cards.
  14. Submitting all or part of the same work for credit in more than one course without consulting all instructors involved.
  15. Intentionally impairing the performance of other students and/or a faculty member, for example, by adulterating laboratory samples or reagents, by altering musical or athletic equipment, or by creating a distraction meant to impair performance.
  16. Forging or altering attendance records. Collusion Collusion occurs when any student knowingly or intentionally helps another student perform an act of academic dishonesty.

Sample Syllabus Statements

This blurb is written in the voice of the instructor; you may alter these statements, of course, as best suits your course and needs. This is simply a suggestion for you.

Academic Integrity and Plagiarism.
Academic integrity includes cheating, fabricating or falsifying information or sources, improper collaboration, submitting the same paper for different classes without permission, and plagiarism. Plagiarism occurs when writers deliberately or unintentionally use another person's language, ideas, or materials and present them as their own without properly acknowledging and citing the source. Academic Integrity and Plagiarism in this course results in one or more of the following consequences: failure of the assignment, referral to the Dean of Instruction, and/or disciplinary actions by the Director Student Life. Cite sources carefully, completely, and meticulously; when in doubt, cite. Familiarize yourself with BC’s Student Code of Conduct and KCCD’s definitions of plagiarism and cheating (KCCD Board Policy 4F7D; pg. 115).

Academic Integrity/Plagiarism Example Assignment #1

Please answer each of the following questions with a full paragraph for each answer. This is an “open-book” assignment, but you can use your own words for each answer. When you complete the assignment, send your answers to me via e-mail as a single Word or pdf file. When you come to class, append a hard copy of your answers to this sheet, and sign and date as indicated below.

You will receive credit for accurate answers, but I may ask you to retake all or part of the quiz if one or more answer is substantially incorrect, if you do not follow the prompts, or if is your answers show that you do not adequately understand the plagiarism policy.

  1. What is academic integrity?
  2. List at least three types of violations of academic integrity.
  3. According to KCCD’s policies, what are the possible consequences of violating the student code of conduct on academic integrity?
  4. Explain what plagiarism is and how it can occur even unintentionally?
  5. What should you do if you are uncertain about how the plagiarism policy applies to your work?
  6. What are some ways that you can avoid plagiarism?

Academic Integrity/Plagiarism Example Assignment #2

Read the information on Academic Integrity on the Office of Student Life Studies website (

  1. After reading, using two or three sentences for each one, answer the following questions in your own words.
  2. What is academic integrity?
  3. Why is it important?
  4. What are some examples of academic dishonesty?
  5. Summarize in a few sentences KCCD’s policies on Academic Integrity.
  6. Where can you find information about KCCD’s policies on Academic Integrity?
  7. Why is it in your best interest to make a commitment to upholding the standards of Academic Integrity?

Learning Styles

What are Learning Styles

Each individual person has their own set of ways with which they learn best. Some students find they learn best from a lecture when the professor presents key points in a visual manner-either on the board, on an overhead, or with a handout. Others find they have a much easier time hearing someone talk about a subject rather than reading the same ideas on paper. These two examples present the two key learning styles: Visual and Auditory. But learning styles are not limited to the senses of hearing and sight; there are as many different ways of learning as there are learners.

While learning styles are varied, there are some specific categories which people fall into, and there are some specific hints for each category on how to learn more effectively.

The Barsch Learning Style Inventory

To gain a better understanding of yourself as a learner, it is useful to identify the way you prefer to learn. Learning is easier when study skills match your preferred learning style. The Barsch Learning Style Inventory is a short diagnostic test to assess your learning style. You will discover if you learn best through seeing things (visual), hearing them (auditory), or through the sense of touch or body movement (tactile/kinesthetic).

What do the scores mean?

When you have identified your style, what do you do with that information? You need to build on your strengths and address your weaknesses. Most students have one dominant learning style. If you have scores that are close or tied, you can use either learning style equally well. Those who learn to adapt study skills to incorporate all 3 learning styles learn faster and remember longer.

The Visual or Auditory style, whichever scores the highest, is considered the primary preferred learning style. The Tactile/Kinesthetic is considered secondary, even if the score is higher than the other two. This is because we do most of our learning through our eyes and ears, and use the senses of touch, feeling and motion to enhance our primary learning.

What should I do now?

To be flexible to meet any academic situation, you need to use your strengths but also try to build up your weaknesses. Capitalize on your learning strengths because it's like money in the bank you can draw from. Try to convert study materials to the sensory format of your preference. But why should you focus on things you're not good at?

  • Not every learning situation gives you a choice.
  • Teachers with a learning style different from yours give assignments they find naturally appealing.
  • Flexibility = Freedom. The more ways you can learn, the more options and power you will have over your life.
  • It's not clear whether learning styles are inborn or the result of experience. Constant deliberate effort can often change your style. But it will take repeated practice and may even be a little painful at first (like working out at a gym.)

Learners taking written tests are expected to retrieve the information in the VISUAL learning style. All students must learn how to strengthen their visual skills if they are to succeed in college because nearly all college testing is conducted in the visual or written mode. If you do not naturally learn in the visual style, you can get the most help by developing some of the visual learners' techniques.