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Syllabus Suggestions

Academic Honesty Statement

Each faculty should include a statement on Academic Honesty in their syllabi such as:

Students will be expected to adhere to standards of academic honesty and integrity, as outlined in the Standards for Student Conduct Code. All assignments must be original work, clear and error-free. All ideas/material that are borrowed from other sources must have appropriate references to the original sources. Any quoted material should give credit to the source and be punctuated accordingly.

Academic misconduct diminishes the work of other individuals, hurts the reputation of the university and its academic programs, and devalues a Cal State San Marcos degree or credential. These choices may impact not only your knowledge and expertise as a student but could affect your grades, cause you to retake a course, or result in a transcript notation. Students may also suffer lasting consequences, such as missing out on foundational information they need to learn and apply in higher-level classes and careers.

Our collective responsibility as a community of learners and scholars is to uphold the highest standards of academic excellence by supporting and promoting academic integrity. As a student, it is your responsibility to protect your work and respect and protect others' work by providing proper credit for their ideas. 

To see the full academic honesty policy and types of academic dishonesty, please use this link. The following examples would be violations of the academic honesty policy and Section 41301 of Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations**:

  • Posting any assignment/quiz/exam questions and looking up assignment/quiz/exam answers on third-party websites (i.e., Chegg, Course Hero, HomeworkMarket).
    • University personnel is able to request information from these websites directly to determine the specific students involved.
  • Paying a third party (aka "contract cheating") to complete coursework on your behalf.
    • Additionally, this could compromise the security of the CSUSM network by allowing unverified users to access student accounts and information.
    • Use of these cheating services often comes with many additional risks, such as identity theft, credit card and financial fraud, blackmail, and extortion. 
  • Engaging in video chats, texts or group messages (via FaceTime, Snapchat, GroupMe, Instagram, Zoom, etc.) before, during or after exams to collaborate and share answers.
    • Ask your faculty in advance how much collaboration is acceptable for any assignment/exam.
  • Utilizing AI-generated tools to write or otherwise create work (assignments, homework, writing, essays, papers, images, media, videos, examination answers, etc.) submitted for course credit. 
    • Ask your faculty in advance what specific tools you utilize and what is acceptable/not acceptable for any assignment/exam.

Academic Honesty and Integrity: Students are responsible for honest completion and representation of their work. Your course catalog details the ethical standards and penalties for infractions. There will be zero tolerance for infractions. If you believe there has been an infraction by someone in the class, please bring it to the instructor’s attention. The instructor reserves the right to discipline any student for academic dishonesty, in accordance with the general rules and regulations of the university. Disciplinary academic action for the course may include the lowering of grades and/or the assignment of a failing grade for an exam, assignment, or the class as a whole. Academic dishonesty cases will be referred to the Dean of Students Office and may result in suspension or expulsion from CSU San Marcos and the CSU System.

If you are struggling, we encourage you to visit your faculty during office hours or utilize approved CSUSM academic support services such as: 

It is best for behavioral standards to be published in the syllabus and discussed the first day of class. Information should specify the behaviors that are prohibited, how you will manage behavioral issues, and the consequences that may result.  Remember, an instructor may ask a student to leave a class session, but may not drop a student from a class for disruptive behavior. Explaining why your behavior standards are important for the course and how they benefit students can help students understand and abide by established expectations. A statement in the course syllabus might include:

“Your own commitment to learning, as evidenced by your enrollment at Cal State San Marcos, and the University's Academic Honesty Policy requires you to be honest in all your academic course work.  Faculty members are required to report all infractions to the Dean of Students Office. The Standards for Student Conduct Code can be found at”

Classroom Expectations  

Faculty should consider composing and sharing something like this list at the beginning of the semester:

  • I expect you to show civility and human concern for each of those with whom you work and study while presenting a positive attitude and professional demeanor. This includes such things as remaining alert (and awake!) in class, respecting and never interrupting others, limiting private conversations, and keeping phones and other potential distractions off.
  • I expect that you will arrive to class on time and, if you must miss class, to let me know in advance by an e-mail or telephone call.
  • When you do arrive late, I expect you to take your seat quietly, not disrupting the class, and join us as soon as you are able.
  • Just as you can expect me to be prepared, I expect you to come to class prepared, having read the assignment beforehand and having thought about how you can participate in that day’s discussion.
  • I expect you to work with your team members and obtain their input when working on group exercises and projects. I also expect you to know when it is not appropriate to work with others and to ask me if there is any question about collaboration.
  • I expect you to understand that this class is a dynamic one, with disagreements, but with respect.
  • I expect you to be truthful and honest in all that you do. Work you submit will meet the academic honesty standards of Cal State San Marcos.
  • I expect that you will appreciate the diversity of our campus and respect the rights of each member.
  • I expect that you will contact me with questions, concerns, or issues which need to be addressed. We are a team and I expect you to be my team mate, as I am yours.
  • I expect you to enjoy our class and time together.
  • I expect you to hold me to these same high standards.