Return to: Student Conduct and Responsibilities
Each student is responsible for becoming familiar with the Code of Conduct, as published in this Walden University Student Handbook and any subsequent updates. If a student is unsure about the application or interpretation of the Code of Conduct, it is her or his responsibility to seek clarification from university administrators.
Students and other members of the university community should also refer to the Technology Policies section of this Walden University Student Handbook regarding sanctions for violations related to the use of university networks, email services, computer systems, or other information technologies. Any violation of the Technology Policies may also constitute a violation of the university Code of Conduct.
The Code of Conduct addresses the university’s expectations of students in four areas: nondiscrimination, nonharassment, professional conduct, and academic integrity.
- Nondiscrimination: Walden University does not discriminate or tolerate discrimination by or against members of the university community on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, religion, age, mental or physical disability, veteran status, marital status, or other protected characteristics in the admission to, access to, or treatment or employment in any of its programs or activities.
- Nonharassment: Walden University is committed to maintaining an environment that is free of unwelcome and disrespectful conduct and communication and in which university members feel safe and comfortable. As such, it is a violation of this policy for any Walden employee, instructor, or student to engage in harassing conduct or communication directed toward another employee, instructor, student, or any other person affiliated with the university. Sexual harassment can include, but is not limited to, unwelcome sexual advances; requests for sexual favors; unwelcome physical contact; inappropriate emails; obscene or harassing phone calls or jokes; suggestive gestures, sounds, or stares; and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:
- Submission to such conduct is made, either explicitly or implicitly, a term or condition of a student’s academic progress;
- Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as a basis for decisions affecting assessment of academic progress; or
- Such conduct, by instructors, staff, or students, including between students, has the purpose or effect of interfering with academic performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment.
Unwelcome conduct of this nature, directed at others and based on other protected characteristics, such as race, sexual orientation, gender, religion, age, and other characteristics as set forth in the university’s nondiscrimination policy, violates both the nonharassment policy and the nondiscrimination policy.
- Professional Conduct: As part of its commitment to integrity and respect in the community in which it operates, Walden University expects that its students will conduct themselves in a professional and respectful manner at all times, both when interacting within the university community and when representing the university at events outside the institution. In that regard, students will not at any time engage in unduly disruptive, threatening, unethical, disrespectful, or abusive conduct toward other members of the university community, including fellow students, instructors, and staff.
- Academic Integrity: Walden University considers academic integrity to be essential for each student’s intellectual development. As an institution fundamentally concerned with the free exchange of ideas, the university depends on the academic integrity of each of its members. In the spirit of this free exchange, students and instructors of Walden recognize the necessity and accept the responsibility for academic integrity. A student who enrolls at the university thereby agrees to respect and acknowledge the research and ideas of others in his or her work and to abide by those regulations governing work stipulated by the academic unit or academic program, and, in turn, the instructor. Student submissions will be routinely searched for offending material by an online originality check program.
The university also recognizes that, in an educational community, the pressure to succeed can often be intense. Students who feel overwhelmed by their academic and personal obligations may be tempted to take shortcuts that may compromise their honesty and integrity. To help students derive the full benefit of the educational opportunity provided by the university, this section defines a violation of academic integrity and gives examples of actions that are considered dishonest. The university encourages students who may have questions or concerns about the definition and forms of academic integrity violations described herein to contact their faculty mentor, course instructor, or student success advisor.
A violation of academic integrity is any action or attempted action that may result in creating an unfair academic advantage for the student or an unfair academic advantage or disadvantage for any other member or members of the academic community.
Student work is monitored for evidence of plagiarism, using an antiplagiarism application, database, or service of Walden’s choosing. Students will be required to submit their work to such a service in advance of course assignment deadlines. Students grant to Walden, Walden’s faculty members, and Walden’s faculty assistants a limited license to review work submitted for the purpose of comment, criticism, and grading of the work; to distribute the work to other Walden students for educational purposes; to use the work for internal training purposes; to submit the work to the antiplagiarism application, database, or service of Walden’s choosing; to make and retain copies of the work; to image the work for computerized grading; and to archive certain work in a publicly accessible collection.
Academic integrity violations include the following:
a. Plagiarism. Plagiarism is defined as use of intellectual material produced by another person without acknowledging its source. For example:
- Wholesale copying of passages from works of others into an assignment, paper, discussion board posting, or dissertation without acknowledgment;
- Using the views, opinions, or insights of another without acknowledgment; and/or
- Paraphrasing another person’s characteristic or original phraseology, metaphor, or other literary device without acknowledgment.
b. Students’ Misuse of Their Own Scholarly Work
- During their studies at Walden, students may write on the same topic for a second, third, or fourth time; regardless, their writing is expected to reflect new approaches and insights into that topic to demonstrate intellectual growth.
- Walden recognizes that there may be some overlap between the requirements, assignments, and inquiry for different courses and KAM demonstrations. In general, students may use only small portions of documents as background or foundational material for additional development in a subsequent assignment or non-capstone research project. Students may not merely copy and paste substantial sections from one paper or KAM to another. Any use of prior work is at the discretion of the current instructor, and students must receive prior approval from their current instructor, who may request a copy of the previous work. Fair use laws must be respected for published documents.
- When using their scholarly work in subsequent published research, students should cite themselves as a primary author and their previous coursework or KAM demonstrations as unpublished papers as shown in The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. An exception to this requirement is when students use prior work from courses or KAMS in their doctoral capstone projects (i.e., doctoral studies, projects, or dissertations). In this situation, students may use work developed initially in courses or KAMs specifically to build toward the final capstone project; however, students and committees need to make sure the most current literature and evolution of ideas are reflected in the final capstone product.
c. Cheating. Cheating is defined as fraud, deceit, or dishonesty in an academic assignment. It includes using or attempting to use materials, or assisting others in using materials, that are prohibited or inappropriate in the context of the academic assignment in question. For example:
- Copying or attempting to copy from others during an exam or on an assignment;
- Communicating answers with another person during an exam;
- Preprogramming a calculator to contain answers or other unauthorized information for exams;
- Using unauthorized materials, prepared answers, written notes, or concealed information during an exam;
- Allowing others to do an assignment or portion of an assignment, including the use of a commercial term paper service;
- Submitting the same assignment for more than one course without the prior approval of all the instructors involved (see the “Students’ Misuse of Their Own Scholarly Work” section above for more information);
- Collaborating on an exam or assignment with any other person without prior approval from the course instructor; and/or
- Taking an exam for another person or having someone take an exam for you.
d. Providing False Information. For example:
- Furnishing false information in the context of an academic assignment;
- Fabricating or altering information or data and presenting it as legitimate; and/or
- Providing false or misleading information to an instructor or any other university staff member.
e. Copyright Violation. Walden recognizes and respects intellectual property rights. As part of its mission to maintain the highest standards for ethical conduct, the university requires its employees, instructors, students, and other university community members to use copyrighted materials in a lawful manner.
No employee, instructor, student, or other university community member may reproduce any copyrighted work in print, video, or electronic form in violation of the law. The easiest way to avoid violating the law is by receiving the express written permission of the copyright holder. Copyright laws in the United States may protect works even if they are not registered with the U.S. Copyright Office and even if they do not carry the copyright symbol.
Copyrighted works include, but are not limited to, printed articles from publications, television and radio programs, videotapes, music performances, photographs, training materials, manuals, documentation, software programs, databases, World Wide Web pages, and CD-ROMs. In general, the laws that apply to printed materials are also applicable to visual and electronic media.
Walden directs its employees, instructors, students, and other university community members to obtain appropriate permission from copyright holders directly, or from their licensing representative, when reproduction or duplication exceeds fair use. The fair use doctrine allows limited exemptions to copyright infringement liability when copyrighted works are used for purposes such as comment, criticism, teaching, scholarship, or research, particularly when the use of the work is limited in amount and scope and is for noncommercial purposes. To learn more about fair use, visit Copyright Law of the United States of America.
f. Misrepresentation of Credentials. Statements made and documents supplied by Walden applicants and students must be complete and accurate. The university will not tolerate any misrepresentation by a student or applicant of past or current academic programs, degrees, or professional accomplishments. If unexplained discrepancies appear between statements or documents provided to Walden and information obtained otherwise, except in the case of misspellings and other such inadvertent errors, applicants may be rejected for admission and enrolled students may be dismissed.
g. Theft or Damage of Property. For example:
- Sabotaging or stealing another person’s assignment, paper, project, electronic hardware, or software;
- Obtaining improper access to, or electronically interfering with, the property of another person or the university via computer or other means; and/or
- Obtaining a copy of an assignment or exam prior to its approved release by the instructor.
h. Alteration of University Documents. For example:
- Forging an instructor’s or university official’s signature on any document;
- Submitting an altered transcript of grades to or from another institution or employer;
- Putting your name on, or copying, another person’s paper or assignment; and/or
- Altering a previously graded exam or assignment for purposes of a grade appeal or for gaining points in a regarding process.