Integrity & Academic Honesty
Integrity and Academic Policy Overview
Sonoran University values the pursuit of knowledge, research, and personal growth. These pursuits cannot be achieved without an adherence to ethical standards of behavior and honesty. As we embrace this quest for academic growth, we are guided by Sonoran University's core value "Do the Right Thing". Academic integrity is the commitment to and the demonstration of honesty and integrity within an academic or learning environment. Academic work is evaluated based on the assumption that the work presented is the student’s own. Anything less is unacceptable and is considered academically dishonest. Cheating, plagiarism, and the use of artificial intelligence applications are forms of academic dishonesty. Such actions are subject to full disciplinary action up to, and including, permanent academic dismissal or reversal of the conferral of a degree.
Exams and Other Assessments
Confidentiality of Assessment Structure and Content
Students are required to maintain the educational integrity and instructional value of academic training by honoring the confidentiality of the assessments utilized in evaluating professional progress. This includes not sharing information about the content, process, and structure of assessments with other students, or discussing the assessment with unauthorized faculty or staff. This includes other individuals who may have taken the same assessment. Discussions about performance on assessments, content, or concerns should occur solely with the designated faculty responsible for that assessment.
- No student shall offer or provide information of any kind to another student during an examination or quiz unless otherwise instructed by a faculty member.
- No student shall receive information of any kind from another student or the quiz or exam responses made by another student unless otherwise instructed by a faculty member.
- No student shall be in possession of any written or electronic material or other devices that may be of assistance in taking a quiz or exam, which has not been authorized by the faculty member.
- No student shall take, steal, or otherwise procure in an unauthorized manner any pieces of writing, whether hard copy or electronic, which contain the questions or answers to an exam scheduled to be given to any individual or group enrolled in any course of study offered by the university.
- No student shall take, steal, or otherwise procure or utilize any pieces or work of writing, whether hard copy or electronic, from another student, individual, or external source and attempt to present as their own original work.
- No student shall sell, give away, lend, or otherwise furnish to any unauthorized individual any piece or pieces of writing, on hard copy or electronic form, which contain the questions or answers to an exam scheduled or an assignment or project to be given to any individual or group enrolled in any course of studies offered by the university.
- No student shall attempt to bypass security measures on electronic testing software or deliberately create computer issues with the intent of hiding inappropriate actions. Additionally, students will not use additional technologies to capture questions used in electronic testing.
To ensure students understand what constitutes cheating and academic dishonesty, details are listed below. When taking in-person or online examinations or other individual graded assessments, students:
- Are expected to abide by Sonoran University’s Student Code of Professional Conduct and Academic Honor (Code). Cheating is a violation of Code policies and undermines the community of trust and integrity of which we are all stewards. A failure to follow the outlined policies in the Code will not be tolerated and may be subject to disciplinary actions, including suspension and dismissal.
- Should encourage honesty and discourage dishonesty among other students.
- Must refuse to assist other students in cheating.
- Are expected to adhere to all expectations as outlined in course syllabi as well as examination/assessment instructions. Some examinations and assessments have specific requirements and unique expectations.
- Are prohibited from taking a screenshot, photo, or transcribing questions or responses to questions or sharing answers with other students.
- May not receive or send answers from or to other students (via text, instant message, phone, email, etc.).
In addition to the expectations outlined above, when taking in-person or online examinations students:
- Are required to leave all books and other aids in an inaccessible spot, such as in the front of the room or another room (exception: open-book tests).
- Are not allowed to talk to each other during an examination.
- Must ensure that their line of sight does not cause suspicion of cheating and should not look in various directions that may cause suspicion as to intent.
- Should place as much space between themselves and other students as possible, when necessary.
- Are encouraged to take the initiative to prevent others from copying their work.
- May not leave the room or virtual testing environment and return to the test without the express permission of the faculty or proctor, unless provided by an ADA Accommodation plan. ADA Accommodation plans should be discussed with faculty in advance of a test.
- Students speaking to others or appearing to engage in academic dishonesty during an exam will result in a suspension of the exam result, pending investigation, and may be subject to further disciplinary actions.
- May not eat during exams unless covered under an ADA Accommodations plan.
- If note or blank paper is allowed, all notes must be turned in with the exam or destroyed as instructed.
- When using electronic testing, proctored technologies may be employed. This includes scanning the testing environment before starting an exam and remaining visible to the camera at all times.
Students who violate any standard above will receive an automatic zero for the examination or assignment and are subject to disciplinary actions.
Sonoran University’s Intellectual Property Policy clarifies the rights and responsibilities of Sonoran University of Health Sciences an Arizona non-profit corporation, its employees, non-employee students, and anyone who creates Intellectual Property with significant use of Sonoran University resources in the development and use of educational materials and other intellectual property. In general, Sonoran University provides its employees with broad rights to use educational materials they create as Sonoran University employees, but with the exceptions as described in the Policy. Students engaged in research are required to sign off on Sonoran University’s Intellectual Property policy prior to engaging in research at Sonoran University. For more information, see the Intellectual Property Policy on MySonoran.
Plagiarism occurs when one reproduces another’s words, ideas, or work without proper acknowledgment; when one paraphrases another’s ideas or arguments in a way that leads the reader to believe they originated with the paraphraser; or when someone signs the name of another individual on an academic/administrative report or document. For more information, see Sonoran University’s Copyright Policy on MySonoran.
- No student shall represent the words or ideas of another in any academic exercise.
- No student shall offer as one’s own work, the phrases, or ideas, of another without written attribution by reference or footnote.
- No student shall sign the name or initials of another student, faculty, supervising physician, or other University personnel on a University document, including attendance rosters.
- No student shall re-use work submitted for another course, either at Sonoran University or another institution, in whole or part, as new. Assignments should be current and expanding work that adds to the body of knowledge.
Self-plagiarism or text-recycling is a form of academic dishonesty. It does not demonstrate new knowledge but rather, it misrepresents a work that was previously completed as something original and new. Self-plagiarism includes resubmitting work from one course in another course or submitting the same work in a course that is being retaken. In cases when a student is retaking a course, select assignments or portions of select assignments may be resubmitted with prior approval by the course faculty. In general, it is expected that students retaking a course will not resubmit the same work they used previously in that course. Students are expected to demonstrate learning by integrating feedback previously provided by faculty and/or improve their submission based upon learning that occurred since the prior submission.
Use of Artificial Intelligence AI
The acquisition of academic work in whole or in part from any source (from textbooks and journal articles to web resources to generative AI to third parties such as ghost writers) and the subsequent presentation of those materials as the student's own work (whether that material is paraphrased or copied in verbatim or near-verbatim form, including answers used to complete an assessment or exam) constitutes an academic integrity violation unless otherwise allowed by the faculty and/or academic administration.
Sonoran University policy requires students to disclose if submitted course work contains AI generated content. Sonoran University’s AI policy distinguishes between AI-generated and AI-assisted work product where AI-generated refers to work product generated by AI consisting of verbatim text, images, and other media generated in whole or in part by AI and AI-assisted work product refers to work product generated by an individual where AI may assist with tasks such as brainstorming, drafting an outline, or editing, correcting, refining spelling, grammar, and structure/organization. When a student is unsure, the student must ask their faculty in advance and/or default to disclosing use of AI.
In recognition of the value AI may offer to learning, AI use in the learning environment (classroom or clinic) is not always prohibited. However, any use of AI generated content:
- must be done with prior approval by course faculty/clinical supervisor, and
- must be disclosed as a source in references and using quotation marks in cases where any text from a generative AI tool is used within the body of an assignment.
Specific to the clinical environment, any student with access to confidential clinical information must be aware that generative AI tools are not always HIPAA compliant. Students and all stakeholders are therefore prohibited from placing any confidential and protected patient/client information onto these platforms for any reason including but not limited to helping inform clinical decisions. Such actions will be deemed a violation of both HIPAA and Academic Integrity standards.