In an effort to try to make a difficult situation involving student behavior into a valuable educational experience, the Stark Campus of Kent State University developed "Plagiarism School." When an instructor determines that an act of plagiarism was more the result of poor preparation for college or inadequate writing skills and less the result of out-right academic dishonesty, he or she can ask a student accused of plagiarism to attend Plagiarism School. Plagiarism School is a one-on-one session lasting about 45 minutes (a fuller description is included below). While serving as a means to reeducate and rehabilitate students who plagiarize, students can also mitigate the sanction applied by the instructor. For example, instead of failing the assignment the student may be offered the opportunity to resubmit the corrected assignment (perhaps for a reduced grade) in return for completing Plagiarism School. In addition to diminishing the negative results of being accused of plagiarism, students often feel that they are better equipped to understand and avoid plagiarism in the future, turning a potentially devastating situation into a more positive one.
Before initiating Plagiarism School, an agreement is made between the instructor and student regarding the purpose of Plagiarism School. A Plagiarism School form was created that lists the original sanction applied by the instructor along with a result that is favorable to the student upon completion. Once the instructor and student sign the form and also agree to an anticipated date by which all elements of Plagiarism School are completed, the student contacts the designated librarian for his or her campus to schedule a time for the one-on-one session. At that session the following activities will occur:
Once the student completes all of the above activities, a copy of the Plagiarism School form is returned to the instructor and the student is able to mitigate the original sanction, as agreed by both parties. It should be noted that Plagiarism School is an official part of the university's policy on Plagiarism and Cheating. Instructors should still follow the specific procedures outlined in that policy, including reporting the incident to the Office of Student Conduct.