Academic Policies

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Academic Integrity Policies

SNU seeks to support and promote qualities of academic honesty and personal integrity in all aspects of life. Serious offenses against the SNU community include cheating, plagiarism, and all forms of academic dishonesty. Cheating or academic dishonesty is defined as the deception to others about one’s own work or about the work of another. Examples of cheating include, but are not limited to:

  1. Submitting another’s work as one’s own work or allowing another student to submit one’s work as though it were his or hers.
  2. Failure to properly acknowledge authorities quoted, cited, or consulted in the preparation of written work (plagiarism; please see the expanded discussion of plagiarism below).
  3. The use of a textbook, notes, information on the internet, etc. during an examination without permission of the instructor.
  4. The receiving or giving of unauthorized help on assignments.
  5. Tampering with experimental data to obtain a “desired” result or cheating results for experiments not done (dry labbing).
  6. Tampering with or destroying the work of others.
  7. Submitting substantial portions of the same academic work for credit or honors more than once without permission of the present instructor.
  8. Lying about these or other academic matters.
  9. Falsifying college records, forms, or other documents.
  10. Unauthorized access of computer systems or files.

Academic dishonesty in a computer assignment will be suspected if an assignment that calls for independent work results in two or more solutions so similar that one can be converted to another by a mechanical transformation (Policy in the Undergraduate Catalog).


The American Psychological Association defines plagiarism as “the act of presenting the words, ideas, or images of another as your own; it denies authors or creators of content the credit they are due” American Psychological Association. (2020). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed.).

Originality, proper recognition of sources, and honest consideration of others are essential to collaborative adult learning and to one’s own personal integrity and scholarship. Individual work and respect for the work and personal expressions of others is especially crucial.

Learners are expected to hold themselves to high standards of academic integrity. They should practice awareness and application of all forms of academic honesty including: submitting only original work, giving appropriate recognition to others’ ideas or words, and familiarity with the definition of plagiarism.

In order to avoid plagiarism, learners should:

  1. Pledge to submit only their original work and avoid all forms of [plagiarism |].
  2. Provide [clear and distinct credit |]when quoting or paraphrasing another’s thoughts, ideas, words, illustrations, or other work products. (See also [APA Checklist |])
  3. Always appropriately cite thoughts, ideas, words, illustrations, and other work products from [websites or other electronic resources |].
  4. Only submit their own work for the intended assignment; never submit the same work product two or more times.
  5. Be familiar with the current APA edition and resources provided through the university or other current APA electronic resources.

Academic Integrity Enforcement

The faculty member is required to inform and discuss all alleged infractions with the learner, the appropriate program director, and/or their designee before submitting an incident report of any infractions to the Office of Academic Affairs. The faculty member or program director should communicate with the learner that they will receive a letter from the Office of Academic Affairs tracking the infraction.

First Infraction: For the first infraction of academic integrity, consequences may include but are not limited to:

  1. Offering the learner an opportunity to resubmit the assignment or an alternative assignment
  2. A lower or failing grade on the assignment
  3. Failing grade for the course
  4. Less serious violations (resulting accidentally from student inexperience) can be used as teaching opportunities, however a report must still be filed to ensure that multiple violations do not go unreported.

Repeat Offense: For a repeat offense at any time in the learner(s) academic career, sanctions will result in:

  1. Involvement of the VPAA for Professional and Graduate Studies and/or the Provost, or their designee(s).
  2. Penalties appropriate for the learner’s circumstances, up to and including suspension or expulsion from the university.

Classroom Attendance with Virtual Option Policy

Virtual Option for Extraordinary Circumstances: Professional Studies (PS) offers the option for PS learners to attend class virtually via Zoom when extraordinary circumstances preclude them from attending class in person. As a professional courtesy and out of respect for PS instructors and their preparation for classroom activities, you should email your instructor before class if using the virtual Zoom option. Please provide a brief, accurate description of the circumstance which precludes you from attending class in person.

Zoom Etiquette: To be counted “Present” in class, we ask that you follow these protocols for the sake of contributing to a positive learning environment:

  • Keep the camera turned on with your face in the video frame. Make sure the name label that appears with your video feed includes your first and last name. Be aware of your background, lighting, and any visual distractions. Occasionally, you may need to temporarily turn your camera off to minimize distraction while still remaining engaged in the course activities. For an extended disabling of the camera while in class or if connectivity becomes a problem, please send a courtesy explanatory email to your instructor. 
  • Keep your microphone muted until ready to speak. Be mindful of background noises. Use the “Raised Hand” icon if you have trouble capturing the attention of the instructor.
  • Avoid multitasking. You will retain the classroom discussion better if you refrain from replying to emails or text messages during class.  Avoid activities like walking around with your laptop or having guests in the room including conversations with others who are not part of the class.
  • Attend the entire class session. Sign in to Zoom by 6:00pm and stay until the class is dismissed.  Participate in all activities and class discussion as best possible. Stay focused and engaged.

Our hope is that you will consider the virtual classroom space the same as you would treat a physical classroom space since the goal is to foster a learning environment where everyone feels respected and valued. If you would not do something in a physical classroom, please also refrain from doing it in the virtual class session.

  • Virtual Access Disclaimer: While technology offers a great opportunity to participate in class as a virtual option, please note that technology disruptions sometimes occur within the classroom and/or for the learner. In the unfortunate event that your virtual access is disrupted, you may be counted “absent” and be required to make up the class session through other work.
  • International Students: International students are required to attend face-to-face classroom instruction at all times.  Due to Federal regulations, virtual attendance is not an approved form of attendance except in rare extenuating circumstances (e.g. sickness).  In these events, the international student should email the instructor and cc in Krista Cowan (, the SNU Designated School Officer, to clearly explain the extenuating circumstance. 

Professional Studies Late Work Policy

As we embrace a posture of professionalism, we recognize that submitting late work can be counterproductive both in the workplace and in the classroom, especially in accelerated programs. All assignment deadlines conform to Central Standard or Daylight Saving Time. 

Learners are expected to communicate with their instructor(s) about any extenuating circumstances and the potential impact upon assignment submission and/or class attendance. Notification does not automatically result in a waiver of a late penalty.  

Late work will incur the following deductions in relation to an assignment’s full point value: 

  • 10% deduction per day for the first four (4) days; 
  • 50% deduction for day five (5) through seven (7); 
  • No credit will be awarded after day seven (7), but learners may receive feedback at the instructor’s discretion.

Learners with accommodations through Disability Services can be best served by submitting a disability-approved accommodation plan to the instructor(s). Short- and long-term disabilities can impact learning at any time and SNU is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities to enable learners to complete learning outcomes equitably with their peers in meeting academic standards and requirements.

Military learners must contact instructors as soon as possible whenever military duties interfere with timely assignment submission. Official military orders or a signed memorandum from the service member’s unit commander is required before late work deductions are omitted.

Withdrawal Policy

Drop/Administrative Drop = no credit, not transcripted; Withdrawal = grade of W on transcript, no credit, no GPA impact

Attendance: Two absences result in an “F” for the course unless the student is absent the first two weeks which results in an administrative drop.  

Books/Fees: Students are responsible for book charges if books are not returned in accordance with Slingshot’s book cancellation and return policy. In order to drop for full refund of fees, the student must email the advisor, program coordinator, or program director with stated intent to drop prior to the start of Week 1.

An incomplete grade (“I”) is given when a student lacks some essential requirements of the course and is only allowed in special cases where students come to the end of the course and experience illness or an unavoidable crisis. A grade of “I” must be requested by the student to the program director in cooperation with the course instructor and must have the approval of the VPAA of PGS. The incomplete form, signed by the student or verified by email, must be submitted to the Registrar’s Office within two weeks of the close of the course. An “I” is not to be given to allow extra time to complete coursework that should have been completed during the length of the course. Incomplete work must be submitted according to the schedule determined by the course instructor and within six months from the last date of the course. Extension of the completion period requires approval by the VPAA of PGS.

Exceptions may be granted to this policy through the Extraordinary Circumstance Request form. Students should contact their academic advisor or program coordinator for more information.

Community Life Expectations

Our Common Commitment in PGS: We value the worth and dignity of all people. SNU strives to be a culturally responsive community where all members of the community are respected, valued, and appreciated. We believe all people are made in the image of God and a diverse community valuing the contributions of every person is essential to SNU and the Kingdom of God. Therefore, abstaining from racism of any kind, discrimination, hate speech, bullying of any kind, or a public disregard for any individual or group is expected. Loving others as ourselves is our goal, so treating all others with value, respect, compassion, cultural humility and responsiveness is expected.