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.
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.
a. Plagiarism. Plagiarism is defined as use of intellectual material produced by another person without acknowledging its source. For example:
b. Students’ Misuse of Their Own Scholarly Work
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:
d. Providing False Information. For example:
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.
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:
h. Alteration of University Documents. For example:
Whenever a violation of the Code of Conduct is identified, the university will take prompt and appropriate corrective action consistent with its policy. There shall be no retaliation against any member of the university community who expresses a concern under this policy, and confidentiality, to the extent possible, will be maintained. Intentionally false accusations may result in appropriate corrective action by the university.
Note: This process applies to all Code of Conduct issues except for violations of the academic integrity policy. Review procedures specific to academic integrity violations are outlined in the next section.
The dean or executive director or their designees will provide written notification to the person who is suspected of having committed the violation.
If, after reviewing the student’s response, the instructor determines that the student has violated the academic integrity policy, he or she will inform the dean or executive director or their designees, and together they will determine which sanction to impose. Possible sanctions include one or more of the following: a requirement to redo work, a reduction in grade for the work, award of a failing assignment grade, award of a failing course grade which supersedes course drop and withdrawal deadlines, enrollment in a course on academic integrity, academic suspension, or permanent dismissal from the university. Multiple violations will result in more severe sanctions. The dean must approve all suspensions or dismissals from the university and will notify students in writing of such action.
Suspected violations of academic integrity that are reported to the university by students or other community members will be investigated by the dean or executive director or their designees, and a disposition will be provided to the student in the same manner.
The university believes that upholding academic integrity is among its highest callings and to that end provides educational opportunities for students to explore both the ethical necessity and the technical methods of conducting research that meets the highest standards laid out in the Fundamental Values of Academic Integrity statement. Students who are found to have violated the academic integrity policy but are not dismissed from the university will be required to take and successfully complete with a grade of “S,” a course on academic integrity to build their understanding and skills in upholding academic integrity. This course must be taken in the term immediately following the finding of academic integrity violation.
In addition to instructor-imposed sanctions, the university can impose additional sanctions upon a student whose violation of the Code of Conduct is severe or follows a prior history. These sanctions include award of a failing course or KAM demonstration grade, including retroactive application of failing grades to past courses or KAM demonstrations; placement on a status of academic warning; revocation of proposal or dissertation approval; academic suspension; and permanent dismissal from the university.
All disciplinary actions are recorded in the student’s file, which remains permanently on record. The existence of a prior violation in a student’s file will lead to stronger sanctions for subsequent acts. Students who have been dismissed from the university for violation of the academic integrity policy are not eligible for readmission.
Students who receive a failing course grade as a Code of Conduct sanction, not as the end result of another sanction, will have an “XF” or “XU” notated on their official transcript. In some circumstances, students may have the “X” removed upon successful completion of an assignment or project deemed appropriate by their dean. More information on this policy can be found in the student handbook, Course Registration: Failed Course Grade Sanction policy.
Walden has zero tolerance for Hazing. Hazing is defined as any action taken or situation created through coercion or otherwise which, regardless of intent or consent of the participants, may reasonably produce substantial risk of causing bodily harm or danger, mental or physical discomfort, embarrassment, harassment, fright, humiliation or ridicule, or otherwise compromises the dignity of an individual; compels an individual to participate in an activity that is unlawful and/or contrary to university rules, policies, and regulations; will unreasonably or unusually impair an individual’s academic efforts; and occurs on or off campus between two or more people who are affiliated with the institution including at nonsanctioned events. Hazing is further defined as an act that endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a student, or removes public or private property, for the purpose of initiation or admission into, affiliation with, or as a condition for, continued membership in a group or organization. Prohibited activities and/or actions include, but are not limited to, tests of endurance; submission of members or prospective members to potentially dangerous or hazardous circumstances; any activity that, by its nature, is so intense that it would cause severe mental anxiety, mental distress, panic, human degradation, or public embarrassment; creation of excessive fatigue or a late-work session that interferes with scholastic activities or deprives persons of the opportunity for sufficient sleep (6 hours per day), decent edible meals, and/or access to means of bodily cleanliness; forcing or coercing a person to consume alcohol or other substances, in any amount; any requirement that compels an individual to participate in an activity that is illegal, perverse, or indecent; and compelling individuals to engage in sexual behaviors, sexual or racial harassment or slurs, or exhibitionism.
No administrator, employee, faculty member, teacher, consultant, alumnus, or volunteer of Walden shall recklessly permit the hazing of any person associated with the university or any of its student organizations, nor shall any person affiliated with the university recklessly participate in the hazing of another when the hazing includes coerced consumption of alcohol or drugs of abuse resulting in serious physical harm to the other person.
Whoever violates this policy is not only subject to academic sanctions, which include, but are not limited to, imposition of fines; withholding of diplomas or transcripts pending compliance with the rules; revocation of authority of an organization to operate on campus or to otherwise operate under the recognition or sanction of the university; imposition of probation, suspension, or other disciplinary sanctions up to and including dismissal from the university and/or termination of employment. Individuals who violate this policy are also subject to being reported to law enforcement for criminal investigation and possible criminal penalties, if found guilty of hazing in a court of law.
Beginning in the 2022–2023 academic year, not later than January 15, 2023, Walden University’s student organizations and residences will maintain a report of all violations of the institution’s policy or other state law regarding hazing that are reported to the institution. Thereafter, an updated report shall be posted on the first day of January and August of each year and shall be retained for 5 consecutive years. Each report will be publicly posted on Walden’s website and will include the following:
Walden University will provide students with an education program on hazing which will be offered online during new student orientation session and as modules that can be taken on-demand prior to residencies and before joining a new student organization. Organizations are prohibited from accepting or initiating students who have not attended the program.
All staff and volunteers who coach an organization recognized by and operating under the sanction of Walden University and have direct contact with students must have mandatory training on hazing, including awareness, prevention, and the institution’s policy.
In accordance with the provisions of the Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974, any information related to an alleged violation of the university’s Code of Conduct or the outcome of an investigation or appeal must be treated as strictly confidential by the instructors and staff of Walden University, except when the university has a legal obligation or legitimate interest to do so, for instance, due to a health or safety emergency, or an articulable and significant threat to the safety or well-being of the student, other students, or members of the school community.
Walden University maintains a drug-free university. Students, instructors, and staff are strictly prohibited from misusing controlled substances, intoxicants, alcohol, and prescription drugs while working, participating in the online classroom, or attending residencies, field experience, or other university-sponsored activities.
Violation of the Walden University Alcohol and Drug Policy and/or any municipal, state, or federal law or regulation may result in disciplinary action, including but not limited to a warning, a remediation plan, and up to and including dismissal of a student, even for a first time offense. In addition to the sanctions imposed by Walden, individuals who have violated local, state, and federal law regarding possession, use, and/or distribution of alcohol and other drugs may be referred by the school to the appropriate authorities for arrest and prosecution.
All Walden University students are expected to remain in good academic standing throughout their studies in accordance with university requirements. However, there are situations in which students may be in satisfactory academic standing but exhibit behaviors that bring question upon their capacity as professionals.
There are a number of professional skills and characteristics that are important for those who provide services to children, adolescents, and adults, as well as to professional organizations, in a variety of settings. These interpersonal and/or professional skills include, but are not limited to, adherence to ethical standards published by professional organizations, professional deportment, sensitivity to client issues, and appropriate use of supervision. Situations can arise in which instructors, students, or other professionals observe behaviors by other students that demonstrate a lack of appropriate interpersonal or professional skills. The purpose of this policy is to provide a set of procedures that will be used by Walden instructors to address such issues.
For the purposes of this procedure, a distinction is made between different types of behaviors that impede a student’s development. These include (1) problem behaviors, (2) inappropriate and/or unprofessional conduct, and (3) critical behaviors.
Students who wish to appeal a decision related to Code of Conduct violations are advised to first pursue less formal channels for conflict resolution before filing a formal written appeal or grievance.
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