For Students

Advice for Students from the Office of Community Standards

Your College is your community.  It represents a safe place where you can explore your identity and craft your future.  At Middlesex we believe in training students to grow as humans and prepare for a life of active citizenship.  We do this through offering experiences that help students consider what it means to be socially responsible.  We understand that students need to discover what matters to them and that many may change their minds during the process. We also expect you might make a mistake a two along the way.  Learning is a life-long process.  Take advantage of the resources and support MCC offers, use your voice, make a difference, and build your character.  You’ve got this.

Collaborating on Assignments

Students are often encouraged to work in groups or on team projects.  It’s widely accepted that learning with peers is a best practice towards strong understanding of the course material.  However, the line between collaboration and cheating isn’t always clear.  Study together, test each other, support your classmates, but remember that you earn your own grade.  Faculty must be able to assess your work as an individual.  Collaboration is a virtue and skill that is highly regarded and commonly complimented in myriad settings.  It’s critical that students fully understand the scope of the expected cooperation for each course and each assignment.  When in doubt, ask your professor.


The Middlesex Community College Code of Conduct includes academic dishonesty as a violation of a student’s responsibilities.  Multiple submissions of a paper is an integrity violation (also known as ‘recycling fraud’).  Self-plagiarism is a confusing concept for many students.  Submitting your own work a second time is considered plagiarism.  If you represent your work as original for a particular class when, in fact, you used the assignment previously, you can be held responsible for violating class policy and the MCC Code of Conduct.  You are expected to complete assignments during the current semester thereby demonstrating effort you put into that particular course.  Turning in an old paper or project is making a false claim that you completed work for the current class.  It is considered fraud to duplicate your own work without acknowledging the original content.  You may wish to connect with your current professor, explain you have completed prior related work, and ask how you might further your research or cite yourself as a source.  Likely you will be asked to pick a different topic. 


Keeping it Honest

Honesty is the best policy.  College students, like all human beings, often struggle with prioritizing their values.  How does one choose Integrity over Loyalty?  Trustworthiness over Academic Success?  Credibility over a 4.0 GPA?  Scholastic dishonesty – even when hidden – impacts one’s character.  If nobody finds out, perhaps the reputation is not yet tarnished, but how you represent yourself going forward will not be accurate or deserved.  Justifying cheating once often leads to further instances of dishonesty.  Everyone is faced with difficult decisions throughout their life.  Now is the time to take responsibility – even if at a cost.



Last Modified: 8/4/23