University 101 Programs

Cocky Never Cheats: Academic Integrity & the Honor Code at USC

Presentation Abstract
This presentation discusses the importance of academic integrity at USC. "Cocky Never Cheats" specifically addresses the individual policies of the Honor Code, ways to avoid academic dishonesty (i.e. use of campus resources, building relationships with faculty members, etc.), how cheating impacts the USC community, as well as an individual student's reputation and value of degree. "Cocky Never Cheats" is an interactive educational program that uses "Think-Pair-Share" and personal reflective activities to provide students the opportunity to think critically about decision making skills, discuss why students should not violate the honor code, and discuss how to avoid potential violations.

University 101 Learning Outcomes

I c) Identify relevant academic policies, processes, and resources related to their academic success and timely attainment of degree requirements.

"Cocky Never Cheats" identifies several campus resources that can help students with writing skills, researching skills, and time management. These include the University's Writing Center, University Libraries, and the Student Success Center.

III b) Explore the tenets of the Carolinian Creed.

The first half of "Cocky Never Cheats" focuses on the Carolinian Creed and how the first tenant, which discusses personal and academic integrity, can affect not only your academics, but your reputation as a whole. Students are given the opportunity to write down what integrity means to themselves and what values they strive to live by.

Presentation Learning Outcomes
As a result of this presentation, students will:
-Be able to articulate the philosophy of the University’s Honor Code, as well as its policies, procedures, and possible outcomes of violations.
-Be able to identify and locate resources related to academic integrity.
-Be able to evaluate the importance of academic integrity on the value of their USC degree.

Presentation Outline
• Presenters will have a PowerPoint presentation that includes active dialogue between the presenters and participants. Student participants are encouraged to talk openly about academic integrity during this session and ask questions related to what can be considered cheating, and what is permissible academic behavior at USC.

• Topics covered include:
- Discussion and reflection on the Carolinian Creed, it's first tenant, and how integrity can affect one's reputation.
- Introduction of the University of South Carolina’s Honor Code and its policies.
- Differences between the Carolinian Creed and the Honor Code.
- Ways students can prevent cheating, including use of available resources on campus.
- Discussion and clarification of typical “gray areas” of potential cheating, like the use of old tests, previous original work, or collaboration among students.
- Review of the process of referral to the Office of Academic Integrity and the possible sanctions a student may receive for an Honor Code violation. Special care is taken to explain that the academic penalty (like failing the class or the assignment) is completely up to the professor, but that the Office of Academic Integrity can assign sanctions as well.
- Discussion on how the lack of academic honesty in college impacts a student’s education, the value of their USC degree, and how those cheating behaviors can follow them throughout their professional careers after their time at Carolina.

• Integrity Activity (completed after integrity and reputation discussion): - Students will be given a handout where they will write down their personal definition of integrity and then what values are most important to them. - Everyone will be asked to share but not required.

• Choose Your Own Adventure Activity (completed after the different types of Honor Code violations are introduced): - Hypothetical situations are presented to students, who are split into small groups, and they are asked how this student could avoid a violation, end up in one of those "gray areas," or how they could choose to violate the Honor Code in their decision making process. - Students are further asked for rationale behind their three options and will report out to the class.

Presentation Length
50 minutes; 75 minutes;

Presenter Training
Presentations are given in pairs consisting of an undergraduate student and either a professional staff member or a Graduate Assistant from the Office of Student Conduct.

The Office of Academic Integrity hosts training for all of their graduate staff prior to the start of the semester. A portion of this training is dedicated to
all outreach opportunities, including University 101 presentations. It is at this training that the content of the presentation is reviewed and discussed.
Once the semester begins, the graduate assistants are required to observe 3-5 presentations with a professional staff member before they are able to facilitate on their own.

Undergraduate presenters are recruited from within the Office of Student Conduct’s Carolina Judicial Council (CJC), and must complete an application process in order to be selected. Students are specifically used to facilitate this presentation to help new students better connect with the community values, individual values, and positive resolution options advocated by their peers. In addition to their CJC training, undergraduate presenters also receive facilitation training on the following topics:

Connecting with an audience
Debriefing group experiences
Values exploration
Leading reflection activities
Facilitation styles
Dealing with difficult students