The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974 is a federal law that was enacted to protect the privacy of students and their educational records. The intent of the legislation is to protect the rights of students and to ensure the privacy and accuracy of “educational information.”
A student may formally request that Virginia Western not release Directory Information on their behalf by submitting a Student Request for Non-Disclosure of Records (PDF) to the Records Office or by changing the privacy settings in the Student Center through their MyVWCC account. Once this request has been made, every reasonable effort will be made to safeguard the confidentiality of directory information.
If you have any questions or concerns about releasing student information, please do not hesitate to contact the Records Office.
Academic dishonesty is not tolerated at Virginia Western; violations of this policy can result in disciplinary actions, including suspension or expulsion from the College. Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, the following:
- Cheating on a test by giving, receiving, offering, and/or soliciting information.
- Buying, selling, stealing, or soliciting any material purported to be a part of an assignment.
- Plagiarism (taking and using the ideas of another as one’s own).
- Unauthorized use of materials, notes, or other aids during a test.
Plagiarism, of special concern to the English Department, is using the ideas or language of another person so that these seem to be the writer’s own ideas or language. The students’ grammar and usage handbook states that plagiarism, whether deliberate or accidental, includes the following:
- Presenting a summary or paraphrase of another writer’s ideas without giving credit to that writer.
- Copying another’s material and presenting it as one’s own–even materials as brief as a phrase within a sentence–without quotation marks and proper documentation.
- Using the sentence structure, diction, or order of ideas from another source.
- Submitting as one’s own any material one has solicited (or allowed) anyone else to write (or dictate), or that has been acquired (or purchased) from any course, including the Internet.
- Submitting as one’s own any paper that has been significantly revised or edited by another, including other students, parents, acquaintances, or professionals, such as tutoring agencies outside the College. (The staff of the VWCC Writing Center has been trained to help with specific writing problems without unduly influencing the final evaluation of a paper.)
- Falsifying documentation.
Consequences of Plagiarism
Unintentional plagiarism, depending on circumstances, may result in rewriting, failure of an assignment, or failure of a class. Intentional plagiarism will result in any of the procedures explained in the Student Conduct Policy, from failure of the assignment or course to suspension or expulsion from the College. The College has a site license with SafeAssign.com, a service that allows instructors to detect Internet plagiarism. Other services are available that can match a student’s writing “fingerprint” with suspected plagiarized passages in essays to determine if those passages are indeed the student’s own work. Most English instructors at VWCC will ask their students to submit their essays to SafeAssign.com as part of their class requirements.