Academic Integrity

  • What is Academic Integrity?

    HCS Virtual takes the integrity and authenticity of student work very seriously.  Students are responsible for submitting and protecting their own, original work.

    In simple terms, the Merriam-Webster online dictionary defines integrity as: “the quality of being honest and fair” and “the state of being complete or whole.” In an academic sense, integrity means that student learning is demonstrated through student work products that are completely true and original. Cheating, plagiarism, and falsification are categories of academic misconduct which violate the principles of academic integrity.    

     Academic Integrity violations can include, but are not limited to the following:

     Cheating:  is “the inclination or practice of misleading others through lies or trickery” (“Cheating”). Examples of cheating are:

    • Copying someone else’s work and submitting it as one’s own

    • Attempting to copy someone else’s work to submit as one’s own

    • Sharing assignments or test/quiz answers with other students

    • Using prohibited references/sources/textbooks to complete an assignment, test/quiz

    Plagiarism: is “the act of using another person's words or ideas without giving credit to that person” (“Plagiarism”). Examples of plagiarism are:

    • Copying text in whole or in part from a reference without citing authorship

    • Failing to properly cite a source (e.g. after paraphrasing) either in the text or in the reference section (e.g. Works Cited)

    • Presenting another’s ideas as one’s own in an assignment

    Falsification: is submitting work that is fabricated (untrue). Examples of falsification are:

    • Presenting invented information in a research paper/assignment

    • Creating a falsework cited/bibliography list

    • Falsely attributing credit to a source not used in one’s research

    Academic Integrity Policy

    Students are expected to uphold the qualities of academic integrity by NOT engaging in any of the following unacceptable behaviors: cheating, falsification, or plagiarism. Below, you will find a list, although not all-inclusive, of acts of cheating, falsification, or plagiarism.

    Students should NOT...

    • copy or use someone else’s work (to include images, words, and ideas) and pass it off as their own
    • use unauthorized study aides (cheat sheets, references, calculators, notes, other people, Internet, etc...)
    • falsify information, including research or data
    • commit forgery
    • copy or apply patterns of language, structure, or ideas of another without internal and external citation or receipt of permission as appropriate

     Students SHOULD...

    • complete their own original work using resources and references only as allowed and citing appropriately

    What does HCS Virtual have in place to help ensure the integrity of student work?

     HCS Virtual instructors utilize various methods to ensure the authenticity of student work.  These tools include:

     Teacher Expertise:

    HCS Virtual instructors have years of experience as teachers in the online and brick and mortar school.  Their expertise is used as a guide to help monitor the consistency of student work submissions and the level of originality of student work.

     Discussion Based Assessments:

    Each course has built-in assignments that are required to be completed verbally during a discussion between the student and the teacher.  Other random discussions are also used to assess mastery of content.

     Proctored Exams:

    Midterm and final exams are password protected.  Students are required to take these exams in a proctored environment at school under the supervision of a certified teacher.  Students may also be randomly chosen to take other proctored assessments in a course.

     Plagiarism Detection Tool:

    HCS Virtual teachers use a plagiarism detection tool that compares student work to a variety of work various databases as well as general information found on the internet.

    What are the consequences of poor decisions related to academic integrity?

     If a student is determined to be in violation of the HCS Virtual Academic Integrity Policy, their actions will be dealt with as indicated in the chart below:


    Consequences of Academic Integrity Violation(s)

    1st offense

    2nd offense

    3rd offense

    Parent contact




    Student receives a grade of zero (“0”) on the assignment with no make-up opportunity




    Mandatory review of academic integrity policy (video) by student




    Student removed from HCS Virtual course with a failing grade



    Student disqualification from academic honor societies



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