Title
Academic Integrity

ACADEMIC  INTEGRITY

Academic integrity is a commitment to honesty, trust, fairness, respect and responsibility in an academic community. An academic community of integrity advances the quest for truth and knowledge by requiring intellectual and personal honesty in learning, teaching, research and service. Honesty begins with oneself and extends to others. Such a community also fosters a climate of mutual trust, encourages the free exchange of ideas, and enables all to reach their highest potential.

An academic community of integrity establishes clear standards, practices and procedures and expects fairness in the interactions of students, faculty and administrators.  We recognize the participatory nature of the learning process and we honor and respect a wide range of opinions and ideas. We all must show respect for the work of others by acknowledging their intellectual debts through proper identification of sources. An academic community of integrity upholds personal accountability and shared responsibility.

Academic integrity is essential to St. Thomas Aquinas College’s mission to educate in an atmosphere of mutual understanding, concern, cooperation and respect. All members of the College community are expected to possess and embrace academic integrity. Academic dishonesty is any behavior which violates these principles.

Policy for Student Identity Verification

This policy applies to all credit-bearing distance education courses or programs offered by the St. Thomas Aquinas College, beginning with the application for admission and continuing through to a student’s graduation, transfer, or withdrawal from study.  The purpose of this policy is to ensure that St. Thomas Aquinas College operates in compliance with the provisions of the United States Federal Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) concerning the verification of student identity in distance education.

The HEOA requires that institutions offering distance education or correspondence courses or programs have processes in place to ensure that the student registering for a course is the same student who participates in the course or receives course credit.  The Act requires that institutions use one of the following three methods:

  • A secure login and pass code;

  • Proctored examinations; and

  • New or other technologies and practices that are effective in verifying student identification.

All student accounts are created from the individual student’s registration information stored in Banner (our ERP).  The initial temporary password for Moodlerooms is sent to the student’s (@stac.edu) account in order to verify the student’s identity in the class.  All correspondence is linked to the @stac.edu account, which neither the student or instructor can change.

Students are responsible for providing their complete and true identity information in any identification verification process. It is against College policy for a user to give someone his or her password or to allow others to use his or her account.

St. Thomas Aquinas College uses Moodlerooms as its learning management system. The Moodlerooms system integrates with University authentication services to ensure appropriate and secure student access to courses and other Student Information Systems. All users of the College’s learning management system are responsible for maintaining the security of IDs and passwords, or any other access credentials as required. Attempting to discover another user's password or attempts to gain unauthorized access to another person's files or email is prohibited.

At this time there are no additional student fees associated with student verification. In the event any verification fee becomes necessary needed, it will be posted on the course registration site to provide an advance alert to students.

St. Thomas Aquinas College complies fully with the provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), 20 U.S.C. 1232g. This act protects the privacy of student information in distance education by requiring, with certain limited exceptions, that the student's consent must be obtained before disclosing any personally identifiable information in the student's education records. Additional information on FERPA and student record access can be found at: http://www.stac.edu/about-stac/consumer-information/ferpa.

Review:

The Provost’s Office is responsible for developing and ensuring compliance with this policy in the College’s various Schools and administrative units.  The Provost’s Office will inform School deans and administrative officers when changes to the policy are made.