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Academic Honesty




As students willingly accept the benefits of membership in the Gardner-Webb academic community, which was founded on the ideals of Christianity, they acquire obligations to observe and uphold honesty, integrity, and truthfulness.


Gardner-Webb University expects its graduate students and faculty to display academic integrity. As in any community, this institution must be governed by regulations, which function best when they are fully understood, accepted and cherished by every member of the academic community. Therefore, all graduate students and faculty members are expected to be familiar with, and to base their actions upon, the following statements regarding academic integrity.



The Code of Academic Integrity governs the responsibility of students in the various graduate programs of Gardner-Webb University to maintain integrity in academic work, defines violations of the standards, describes procedures for handling alleged violations of the standards, and lists applicable penalties.



Students should recognize that the regulations governing academic integrity exist for the protection of the honest and that dishonesty in an academic setting must not be tolerated, much less condoned.


Students are responsible for their own work. Any assignment turned in by a student is assumed to be the work of the student whose name appears on the assignment.


Students are ultimately responsible for understanding faculty members’ instructions for assignments. If instructions are not clear, students must seek clarification from professors.


Students must understand the definitions of cheating, plagiarism, and other forms of academic dishonesty.


Students should familiarize themselves with the proper use of citations and quotations in order to avoid submitting other people’s work as their own.


Students are expected to report incidents of academic dishonesty to their professor.


Students who threaten or coerce other students or faculty members for reporting a violation of the Code of Academic Integrity will face disciplinary action, with dismissal from graduate study at Gardner-Webb University being the recommended punishment.



Cheating – Intentionally using or attempting to use unapproved materials, information, notes, or other devices including unauthorized communication during an academic exercise.


Fabrication and Falsification – Intentional and unauthorized alteration or manufacturing of any information in an academic exercise. Fabrication is a matter of inventing information for academic purposes, whereas falsification is a matter of altering information.


Multiple Submission – The submission of substantial portions of the same academic work (including oral reports) for credit more than once without authorization.


Plagiarism – Intentionally or knowingly presenting the work of another as one’s own (i.e., without proper acknowledgment of the source). The sole exception to the requirement of acknowledging sources is when the ideas, information, etc., are common knowledge.


Abuse of Academic Materials – Intentionally or knowingly destroying, stealing or making inaccessible library and other academic resource material.


Complicity in Academic Dishonesty – Intentionally helping or attempting to help another to commit any act of academic dishonesty.



Faculty must explain all assignments as thoroughly as is reasonable and should address any extraordinary limitations on outside assistance.


Faculty members should take reasonable precautions in giving tests to reduce the likelihood that violations occur. The fact that a faculty member did not take a specific precaution does not, however, constitute an excuse for any form of academic dishonesty.


Faculty must be willing to investigate and, if circumstances warrant, press charges against students suspected of academic dishonesty.


Faculty members must file an Academic Dishonesty Report any time they charge a student with an infraction.


Faculty members must seek to be fair in their dealings with students, particularly regarding cases of academic dishonesty, and must realize that no student can be convicted on suspicion alone.



A student is accused of, and charged with, violating the Code of Academic Integrity by the professor in the course. A Report of Academic Dishonesty form describing the alleged violation in full is initiated by the professor and completed either in person, by registered mail, by email, or by fax between the graduate student and the professor. The student is required to enter on the report a plea of either Responsible or Not Responsible within two business days. No response is considered as Responsible.



A plea of Responsible means that the student is not contesting the allegation and accepts the penalty to be imposed by the professor. The professor then sends the completed Report of Academic Dishonesty to the Chair of the Graduate Council, who sends a copy to either the Dean of the Graduate School or Director of Graduate Programs in Business.



A plea of Not Responsible means that the student is going to appeal the allegation and the recommended penalty. This plea requires that a written explanation be filed with the Chair of the Graduate Council within seven days of the date of the plea. The written explanation should include all of the circumstances and the grounds for contesting the charges. The professor sends the Report of Academic Dishonesty, and the student sends his/her written explanation, to the Chair of the Graduate Council, who sends a copy to either the Dean of the Graduate School or Director of Graduate Programs in Business. When the Chair of the Graduate Council receives the completed Report of Academic Dishonesty and the student’s written explanation, the chair, in consultation with either the Dean of the Graduate School or Director of Graduate Programs in Business, appoints an Appeals Committee composed of the Chair and two other members of the Graduate Council. The Appeals Committee examines the Report of Academic Dishonesty and the student’s written response. The committee may hear from the professor and the student, if they wish to appear before the committee. The committee decides whether to uphold or overturn the faculty member’s allegation and the proposed punishment. It reports its findings to the Graduate Council, the faculty member, and the student.


Once the Appeals Committee makes its report, either the faculty member or the student may appeal the findings to the Provost within seven days, only on the basis of additional evidence, improper procedure, or a punishment inconsistent with the offense. The Provost may decide to hear the appeal or deny a further hearing. The Provost’s decision is final.



A graduate student who fails a course due to academic dishonesty will receive a grade of Fx on his/her transcript and will then be suspended from the program for one academic year. At the end of that year, the student may apply for readmission to the graduate program. The faculty in the student’s academic program will then make a decision to readmit the student or to deny admission. If readmitted, the student can retake the course. Both grades will appear on the transcript, and the course hours attempted will continue to be calculated in figuring the student’s grade point average.



Any Student who believes he/she has been discriminated against by a member of the faculty, an employee of the University, or by a fellow student is encouraged to file a complaint. If a student believes he/she has been discriminated against in accordance with policies and practices listed under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, or section 504 of the Vocational Rehabilitation Act of 1973, he or she may make a claim that his or her rights have been denied.


Claims or grievances should be filed with the appropriate University official.


Complaints and grievances related to academic matters should be made in accordance with policies and procedures stated in the current Catalog of Graduate Programs.


Complaints and grievances related to non-academic employees of the University should be made to the supervisor of the employee or to the vice president of that area.


Complaints and grievances related to student life, student activities, residence life, counseling, safety and security, or campus ministry should be made to the Vice President and Dean of Student Development.


Complaints and grievances related to admissions practices, recruitment, and financial aid should be made to the Vice President for Enrollment Management.


Complaints and grievances related to accounts payable and business office related functions should be made to the Vice President for Business and Finance.


Complaints and grievances related to athletics should be made to the Vice President for Athletics.


Complaints and grievances related to public relations, publications, and donations to the University should be made to the Vice President for University Relations.


Complaints and grievances specifically related to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)/Section 504 should be made to the Director of Human Resources, who serves as the ADA/504 coordinator. [Complaints and grievances specifically related to educational support services may be made to the Director of the Noel Program for the Disabled.] Complaints and grievances unresolved at this level may be addressed to the Human Relations Committee. The Director of Human Resources will assist with the forwarding of unresolved complaints and grievances to the Human Relations Committee. Decisions by the Human Relations Committee are subject to review by the Provost. The Provost may take whatever action he deems necessary and appropriate. The Provost’s conclusions and actions are final.


If a student believes he/she has been harassed or otherwise discriminated against because of race, gender, religion, color, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, or military service, the student should report the matter immediately to the Vice President and Dean of Student Development. In the case of sexual harassment, the complaint should be made in accordance with the University’s sexual harassment policy as stated in the current student handbook. If a student is not sure how to file a complaint, the Vice President and Dean of Student Development will assist the student.


Complaints should be presented orally to the appropriate University officials described above. If an informal discussion of the matter is not satisfactory, a written statement of the complaint will be requested. A written statement should contain the following:


a. The exact nature and details of the grievance.

b. The date, time, and place of the grievance.

c. The names of witnesses or persons who have knowledge of the grievance.

d. Any available written documentation or evidence that is relevant to the grievance.


The University official who receives the written complaint will investigate the complaint and take whatever action is deemed necessary and appropriate and will respond to the student in a timely manner. If a student has followed the grievance policy process and remains dissatisfied with the response to the complaint, the student may appeal to the Graduate Council or to the School of Divinity Appeals Committee, whichever is appropriate, for academic matters and to the University Appeal Board for non-academic matters. Decisions by the University Appeal Board are subject to review by the Provost. The Provost may take whatever action he deems necessary and appropriate. The Provost’s conclusions and actions regarding the complaint are final.



When the M.A., M.S.N., M.A./Ed.S., M.Acc., M.B.A., or I.M.B.A. student has earned between 15 and 21 hours credit, the student and the adviser review progress to date and determine additional work to be completed for the degree. At this time the adviser and the student fill out and sign a midpoint checklist.



A student must apply for the graduate degree during the semester preceding the final term of study. An appointment should be made with the adviser who will provide appropriate forms to be filled out to obtain the degree. The adviser will validate the information on the application. It is the student’s responsibility to turn in the signed form to the Registrar. A $125.00 application for graduation fee is required; this includes the diploma and administrative costs. Students submitting applications after the published deadline must pay a $50 late fee.



Gardner-Webb conducts commencement exercises at the conclusion of the spring and fall semesters and at the conclusion of summer school. Each candidate for a degree must be present for rehearsal (if held) and for the conferring of degrees. The University is not obligated to grant a degree to any candidate for graduation who does not attend these exercises. Any exception to this policy must be approved in writing by the Provost.



The Graduate Council is the governing body for all graduate programs at Gardner-Webb except for the M.Div. and D. Min. degrees. Graduate students are represented each year on the Graduate Council by a representative who has voting privileges on the Council.




Membership in this International Counseling Academic and Professional Honor Society is one of the highest honors a Gardner-Webb graduate student in the counseling program can attain for academic excellence. To be eligible for membership, students must have completed 6 semester hours, have a 3.5 G.P.A. or higher, and be a student in good standing.



Sigma Tau Delta, the international English honor society, creates camaraderie among English majors and minors, offers scholarships, provides publishing opportunities, and hosts a national conference where students can showcase their scholarship. Lifelong membership in Sigma Tau Delta is available to both undergraduate and graduate students who meet the organization’s rigorous requirements.



Sigma Theta Tau International is the only nursing honor society dedicated to improving the health of the world’s people. Graduate and Baccalaureate nursing students who meet the high standards of eligibility and are endorsed for membership may be invited to join the Phi Upsilon, Gardner-Webb University School of Nursing's Chapter.



International Honor Society in Business Administration


The purposes of Delta Mu Delta are to promote higher scholarship in training for business and to recognize and reward scholastic achievement for business majors. Graduate students completing half of degree requirements - GPA 3.9 and above and top 10% of class (transfers have special conditions).