Academic Conduct Policy

Catholic Distance University expects all students to conduct themselves in accord with the Christian principles of justice and charity. Likewise, CDU will strive to treat students with the same principles of justice and charity based on the Gospel of Jesus Christ, from which it derives its mission and to which it bears witness.

CDU defines academic misconduct to include the following actions:

Any violation of the academic regulations.

Cheating: the use of books, notes, the internet or assistance from other students or the giving of such assistance to fulfill requirements—tests, exams, or other course related work—unless specifically authorized by the professor.

Plagiarism:  according to the MLA Handbook, “Plagiarism is the act of using another person’s ideas or expressions in your writing without acknowledging the source...In short, to plagiarize is to give the impression that you have written or thought something that you have in fact borrowed from someone else...The most blatant form of plagiarism is to repeat as your own someone else’s sentences, more or less verbatim...Other forms of plagiarism include repeating someone else’s particularly apt phrase without appropriate acknowledgment, paraphrasing another person’s argument as your own, and presenting another’s line of thinking in the development of an idea as though it were your own.”  (Joseph Gibaldi and Walter S. Acthlert, MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, New York:  Modern Language Association of America, 1984).

Obstruction: engagement in activities that interfere with the educational mission and programs of CDU.

Falsification: the modification of academic records, information, or documents without proper authorization.

Procedures for reporting and processing academic misconduct

1. The instructor, administrator, or student identifying the academic misconduct must report the complaint in writing to the appropriate dean:

  • Graduate Students and Undergraduate Students Academic Dean
  • Continuing Education Students This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

If a hearing is warranted, the student will appear before the Academic Review Committee.

2. If the Academic Review Committee finds that the student did indeed commit an act of academic misconduct, it may impose one of the following penalties:

  • Dismissal, whereby the student’s enrollment is immediately and permanently terminated.
  • Suspension, whereby the student is asked to leave the university for a specified period of time,
    ordinarily not less than six months. After this period of suspension, the student may reapply for admission to the university.
  • Disciplinary Probation, whereby a severe warning is issued to the student indicating that any further instances of academic misconduct will warrant suspension or dismissal. Normally, this penalty is rendered for a student’s first major violation of the academic misconduct policy. These penalties are noted upon the student’s permanent record

3. The dean will inform the student in writing of the decision and clearly explain any penalty imposed.

4. The student will have one week to appeal the decision to the president, who in turn will have one week to make a final decision.

Student Complaint Against A Faculty Member

The occasion may arise where a student has a complaint against an instructor or staff member. In Christian charity, the student should attempt to resolve the problem privately and in an informal manner as follows:

  • The student should confer first with the instructor or staff member to discuss the issue of concern.
  • If the student still does not think his concern has been resolved, the student should contact the respective staff member for assistance in contacting the appropriate administrator. Graduate students and undergraduate students should contact the Registrar. Continuing education students should contact the Continuing education support person.
  • If these initiatives are not successful, then the student should contact in writing the president who will investigate the student’s complaint and render a final course of action.
  • The West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission encourages students to seek first informal resolution of any concern or issue. If the issue cannot be resolved informally, the student should follow the institution’s formal complaint or grievance procedure. If, after exhausting the institution’s internal grievance procedures, the institution has not responded to the student’s satisfaction or a satisfactory remedy has not been found, the student may contact the Commission for further investigation into the issue. Upon receipt of a complaint, the Commission may conduct an investigation or refer the issue to another agency that is authorized to address the issue. The Commission may contact institution officials to discuss a possible resolution. Instructions for filing a complaint with the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission can be found at http://www.wvhepc.edu/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Student-Complaint-Process-revised-3.pdf. Students will not be subject to adverse actions by the university as a result of filing a complaint. Maryland students may have recourse to the MD Attorney General's Office Consumer Protection Division 200 St. Paul St. Baltimore, MD 21202, 410-528-8662/888-743-0823, or to the Maryland Higher Education Commission. Virginia students have recourse to the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, (SCHEV). Students may also choose to file a complaint with our accrediting body Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC) 1601 18th Street, N.W., Suite 2 Washington, D.C. 20009, 202-234-5100.

Faculty and Course Evaluations

When a course is completed, each student is strongly encouraged to complete a course evaluation with a candid and honest evaluation of the course and the instructor. This information is a vital part of the formal assessment process carried out by the university and helps to improve course materials and instructor teaching skills, and to reward excellence.