My Instructor Says I Cheated, What Happens Now?
When an instructor believes that a student has cheated, they have two options:
- Refer the violation allegation directly to the Honor Council.
- Handle it autonomously by meeting with the student and then reporting the violation and assigned sanction to the Aggie Honor System Office.
If a student has a prior report of an academic misconduct violation, it is automatically referred through the Honor Council when the instructor tries to submit the report in the online system. Most cases of academic misconduct are addressed autonomously by faculty members.
Honor Council Referral
If the allegation has been referred to the Honor Council, the accused student will be contacted by a Case Manager from the Aggie Honor System Office to set up a meeting to explain the details of the process. Generally, the first step will be an investigation. This will be followed by an Honor Council Hearing. Occasionally, the Honor Council Investigation Team will find that there is not enough evidence for the case to proceed to an Honor Council Hearing.
Autonomously Handled Allegations
If a faculty member chooses to handle a case autonomously, they shall make an effort to allow the students an opportunity to respond to the allegations. The allegations may be communicated in person or through email. Following either the attempt to make contact or receiving a response from the student, and after a report is filed with the Aggie Honor System Office by the faculty member, an Aggie Honor System Office staff member will contact the student to discuss appeal options.
Q-Drops and Withdrawals
Accused students may not Q-drop or withdraw from a course with a pending allegation or finding of academic misconduct. If the paperwork has already gone through to Q-drop or withdraw from a class before an academic misconduct violation is reported, the course will be reinstated on the student’s transcript and designated grade sanctions applied.
Meeting with the AHSO Academic Integrity Administrator
The Case Manager will initiate contact by sending accused students an email to set up a time to meet once the violation report is received. This email will be sent to the Texas A&M University email account only.
When students meet with the Case Manager, options will be presented to the student. These options include the opportunity to agree with the violation and sanction or appeal the decision of the faculty member. The Case Manager will also be able to answer any questions about the sanction.
When to Contact Us
Some instructors, especially those with experience at other institutions, may be unfamiliar with Texas A&M University’s procedures for addressing academic misconduct. Instructors are required to report all violations of the Aggie Code of Honor to the Aggie Honor System Office to ensure that the process is properly followed. This requirement is intended to protect the rights of the student and the faculty member.