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Policies Governing Academic Conduct

School of Education students assume an obligation to conduct themselves in a manner appropriate to the Johns Hopkins University’s mission as an institution of higher education and with accepted standards of ethical and professional conduct. Students must demonstrate personal integrity and honesty at all times in completing classroom assignments and examinations, in carrying out their fieldwork or other applied learning activities, and in their interactions with others. Students are obligated to refrain from acts they know or, under the circumstances, have reason to know will impair their integrity or the integrity of the University.

The School of Education defines academic misconduct as any intentional or unintentional act that provides an unfair or improper advantage beyond a student’s own work, intellect, or effort, including but not limited to cheating, fabrication, plagiarism, unapproved multiple submissions, or helping others engage in misconduct. This includes the misuse of electronic media, text, print, images, speeches and ideas. Any act that violates the spirit of authorship or gives undue advantage is a violation. Students are responsible for understanding what constitutes academic misconduct.

Other violations of academic integrity and ethical conduct include, but are not limited to, knowingly furnishing false or incomplete information to any agent of the University for inclusion in academic records, violation of the rights of human and animal subjects in research, and falsification, forgery, alteration, destruction, or misuse of the University seal and official documents. (For violations related to non-academic conduct matters, see Polices Governing Student Conduct.)

(1) Procedures Governing Student-Initiated Complaints

Students who wish to initiate a complaint regarding the academic conduct of another student should consult with the instructor of the course in question or with their faculty adviser. (Students who wish to initiate a complaint related to non-academic student conduct should contact the Student Affairs office. See Procedures Governing Student Conduct Complaints.)

(2) Procedures Governing Faculty-Initiated Complaints

The School of Education places the highest value on intellectual integrity and personal trust within our community as outlined above. Instructors are required to investigate any suspicion of academic misconduct. Instructors should document the potential evidence and all communication with the student concerning the possible infraction. Before making a final decision in a case, instructors should consult with the faculty program lead/division director and student’s faculty adviser. If the instructor ultimately determines that academic misconduct has occurred, the instructor must complete SOE’s Academic Misconduct Form, providing a brief description of the infraction and the action to be taken.

The instructor must determine the penalty imposed at his/her discretion. For a first offense, and depending on the severity of the charge, the instructor may choose to 1) reduce the number of points or the grade level awarded for the assignment in question, 2) allow the student to resubmit the assignment, but set a limit on the possible number of points or the grade that the student may earn, 3) award zero points/an F grade for the assignment without granting the student an opportunity to resubmit, or 4) impose another type of penalty as s/he deems appropriate. If the instructor decides to impose another type of penalty (option #4), the penalty must be determined in consultation with their program or division lead. For a second offense, or for a particularly egregious first-time case of academic misconduct, the instructor must award an automatic F grade for the entire course and the student may be dismissed from the academic program.

If the student accepts the charge and penalty imposed by the instructor, s/he will sign the consent statement on the Academic Misconduct Form. A student who signs the consent statement admitting the infraction and accepting the penalty cannot subsequently appeal.

If the student disagrees with the academic misconduct charge and/or the penalty imposed by the instructor s/he must sign the acknowledgement statement on the Academic Misconduct Form, instead of the consent statement, acknowledging that s/he is aware of the instructor’s decision. In such cases, the student may appeal the decision to the Vice Dean for Academic Affairs.

Once both parties have signed the form, it will be placed in the student’s record (which the Registrar’s Office maintains), with a copy sent to the student’s adviser, program lead, and Vice Dean for Academic Affairs. This process should be initiated during the semester at issue and completed within 30 days of the instructor’s identifying the alleged academic misconduct.

If the student disagrees with the instructor’s decision, and/or the penalty imposed by the instructor, the student may appeal to the Vice Dean for Academic Affairs (or designee). Any appeal to the Vice Dean must be submitted by the student in the form of a letter. In submitting an appeal, the student must provide a thorough rationale for the basis of the appeal and include supporting materials as evidence. Such materials would typically consist of the disputed work in question, the signed Academic Misconduct Form, and any correspondence (such as email) between the student and the instructor. The appeal form and supporting materials must be received by SOE’s Office of Student Affairs within seven working days of the date the initial Academic Misconduct Form is signed by the instructor and student. The appeal letter and supporting materials should be mailed to the following address—Johns Hopkins University School of Education,  6740 Alexander Bell Drive, Columbia, MD  21046—or emailed to to Jenny Eddinger at Jeddinger@jhu.edu. (The term “academic misconduct appeal” should be referenced in the email subject link.)

The Office of Student Affairs will review and determine that the appeal was initiated within the 7-day appeal window and that appropriate supporting materials have been submitted. The Office of Student Affairs may contact the student for further information—for example, requesting additional supporting materials or clarification regarding the appeal.

Following the initial review by the Office of Student Affairs, and provided the appeal was initiated within the required 7-day timeframe and includes appropriate supporting materials, the Office of Student Affairs will forward the appeal letter and supporting materials to the Vice Dean. The Vice Dean (or designee) will appoint a faculty hearing committee to review the case.

The hearing committee must comprise at least three faculty members, including one faculty member drawn from the academic area of emphasis offering the course in which the alleged infraction took place, plus a senior administrator (equivalent to an Assistant or Associate Dean level appointment) and a representative from the Student Affairs office. Following a presentation of the evidence in support of the charge and the evidence the student offers in response, the committee will render a decision and determine the appropriate course of action. A written report prepared by the committee containing a brief description of the alleged infraction and the penalty imposed (if applicable) must be placed in the student’s record. 

Following notification of the hearing committee’s decision, the student may submit a written appeal in the form of a letter within seven working days to the Dean of the School of Education. An appeal to the Dean must be based on procedural error that had a significant, substantive effect on the outcome of the proceedings, or on newly discovered evidence that was not available at the time of the initial appeal. When the request is based on new evidence, the case may be referred back to the Vice Dean (or designee) or hearing committee for further consideration. After final review of all documentation and the final recommendation of the Vice Dean (or designee) or hearing committee, the Dean (or designee) must make the final decision in the matter.

All academic misconduct appeals must be resolved within 60 calendar days from the date the student submits the initial appeal letter to SOE’s Office of Student Affairs. For appeals that reach the Vice Dean/hearing committee/Dean’s level review stages, written notification of the final decision concerning the appeal must be communicated to the student, instructor, faculty adviser, and faculty program lead/division director, and a copy of the communication must be placed in the student’s file (which the Registrar’s Office maintains).