The mission of LAPU includes cultivating in each student not only the academic skills that are required for a university degree, but also the characteristics of academic integrity that are integral to a sound Christian education. It is, therefore, part of LAPU's mission to nurture in each student a sense of moral responsibility consistent with the biblical teachings of honesty and accountability. Furthermore, a breach of academic integrity is viewed not merely as a private matter between the student and the instructor, but as an act that is fundamentally inconsistent with the purpose and mission of the entire university.
The maintenance of academic integrity is the responsibility of each student and each student is responsible for understanding and upholding the Academic Integrity Policy. Students should familiarize themselves with the expectations specified by the instructor in each course concerning what is and is not permitted, especially in matters of group projects, reports, and the attribution of research to sources (citations).
LAPU has adopted the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Seventh Edition (APA) as the primary style guide for all coursework submitted unless otherwise communicated in writing by a course instructor. The APA manual provides a full description of plagiarism and self-plagiarism. Students are responsible for compliance with the ethical code, but simply stated, plagiarism is the intentional or unintentional presentation in writing or orally of another person’s work to include words, ideas, or any other information as one’s own original work without providing proper credit (APA, 2020). LAPU upholds research excellence and strongly encourages students to provide ample support for claims in the research or academic process. Providing support and credit to others signifies the breadth and depth of a student’s accumulated knowledge and therefore students should strive for excellence in their research and all academic coursework.
Another form of plagiarism occurs when a student uses information from an assignment previously written and resubmits it in another assignment or course without acknowledgement (APA, 2020). In reality a student is academically ‘double-dipping' by seeking to receive credit for work already submitted. Such unauthorized and uncited reuse of a student’s academic work is self-plagiarism and carries the same consequences as other forms of plagiarism. Therefore, before reusing material from previous assignments, students must:
- Receive prior written permission from the current instructor to reuse information from previous work. Instructors may ask to view the material to be reused and have the authority to decide whether or not to accept this work in fulfillment of course requirements. Permission is inferred when the assignment instructions specify the use of previous work, such as when assignments build on previous work in the same course.
- If permission is received, limit the reuse of previously submitted work to no more than 20 percent of the new assignment (i.e., it must include at least 80 percent new material). In special cases, students may exceed this limit with written permission from the instructor.
- Cite the material previously used in the assignment in accordance with APA format. Students must cite themselves as the previous author and include a reference entry even though the general reader may not be able to access the source. Students should use this format when referencing their own work:
Author, A. B. (Year). Title of paper. Unpublished manuscript, Los Angeles Pacific University.
Other Violations of Academic Integrity
Facilitating Academic Dishonesty:
Intentionally or knowingly helping or attempting to help another commit an act of academic dishonesty. This includes, but is not limited to, uploading one’s work to a third-party site or allowing someone else to represent your work as their own. Students may not share any course materials outside of an LAPU class without explicit permission. Course materials include, but are not limited to, assignments, discussion posts, quizzes, and exams. Uploading any LAPU course content on sites such as Chegg and Course Hero is prohibited. Sharing materials without permission violates the Academic Integrity Policy and is subject to disciplinary action.
Inappropriate Use of Artificial Intelligence:
LAPU recognizes the positive potential for learning that Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools can offer. When used to develop critical thinking, hone an argument, or as part of the research process, AI can provide valuable information for students to integrate into their own research, analysis, and writing. However, content generated by an Artificial Intelligence third-party service or site (AI-generated content) without proper attribution or authorization is another form of plagiarism. Plagiarism occurs whenever someone represents words, ideas, or other information as one's own original thoughts without providing proper credit. If choosing to use AI-generated content as one of the assignment resources students should follow APA style for citing webpages and websites and cite the platform they used as well as the author of the AI-generation program, if available. Students should also be aware of the potential for misinformation or inaccurate results from AI.
Cheating is described as the use of, or an attempt to use, unauthorized material, information, or study aids in any academic exercise including unauthorized collaboration. Cheating also includes allowing someone else to represent you in a course.
Falsification is described as “falsifying” or inventing information or citations in academic work.
Consequences of Academic Integrity Violations
By virtue of registration at LAPU, students agree to uphold the following pledge: “As a student at this Christ-centered university, I will uphold the highest standards of academic integrity. I will not lie, cheat, or steal in my academic endeavors, nor will I accept the actions of those who do. I will conduct myself responsibly and honorably in all my academic activities as a LAPU student.”
Sanctions for first violations are determined by the instructor of record in consultation with the assistant dean, if the violation is not flagrant, and may include an F in the course, an F on the assignment, or a less-severe action based on the nature of the violation. The standard sanction for a repeated offense or for a flagrant violation (e.g., submitting a purchased paper or allowing someone else to represent you online) is dismissal from the university. All flagrant violations will be referred to the assistant dean. Students may appeal a sanction they believe to be unfair or unjust as described in the “Grievance Policy” in the catalog.