Academic Integrity in Odyssey Early College and Career Options

Marissa Caster, Secretary/Staff Writer


Academic integrity is the ethical policy or moral code of academics. In other words, it means to uphold responsibility and honesty in your studies in order to achieve scholarship. Although the concept sounds fairly simple, there are many violations of this policy that students accidentally enact.

Violations include, but are not limited to, having someone write an essay for you, plagiarism, cheating on tests, not completing assignments, and not citing your source when you state a quote.

To maintain integrity in your academics, it is recommended that you: carefully read your syllabus, avoid procrastination, do not share answers on tests and assignments (unless instructed otherwise), ask teachers about any questions you may have on an assignment, and study.

Academic Integrity Policies in Odyssey
The general Code of Conduct that Odyssey Early College and Career Options (Odyssey) follows states, “Students shall maintain academic integrity.” Every Odyssey student is required to maintain academic integrity and, if not, will face repercussions, such as receiving a zero on a test or assignment.

In addition to being a school requirement, integrity is also a part of the our slogan “R.I.S.E.” which stands for Respect, Integrity, Scholarship, and Effort. As Odyssey students, we are expected to demonstrate these qualities at school to assist our success.

Violating the academic policy at Odyssey will not only result in consequences and grade deductions but will ultimately result in limiting your success by acting as a hindrance to your understanding of school subjects.

It will prevent you from moving on to more advanced classes by prohibiting you from taking classes at Pikes Peak Community College (PPCC) and removing you from classes you are currently taking. You must pass math 121, English 121, and U.S. Government in order to take classes off campus. If you do not demonstrate academic integrity, you will most likely fail or be removed from these classes preventing you from progressing in your academics.

Importance of Academic Integrity
Your grades reflect your academic integrity and the amount of effort put into your assignments. Not maintaining academic integrity will result in lower grades and prohibit your understanding of the topic. Academic integrity also proves that you are trustworthy, credible, and responsible. Without it, it would remove most of the value from your education, because you would be receiving exceptional grades through dishonest and unethical means.

Even though academic integrity greatly impacts your school life, it can also affect your work life. Employers prefer to hire applicants that have high integrity to show that they are worthy of employment at their business. The academic integrity you display at school will assist you in getting a job by teaching you how to demonstrate personal integrity.

In addition to benefitting you, maintaining academic integrity also helps our school’s image. If Odyssey students maintain academic integrity in their studies, it will improve Odyssey’s reputation. Although maintaining academic integrity seems to play a small role in the reputation of our school, it is up to us to uphold the school’s image by doing so.

Odyssey vs. Other High Schools
Odyssey’s foundation is built on its students’ maintenance of academic integrity. The courses offered by Odyssey are rigorous and require students to put in more time and effort than normal high school classes because they are more advanced. Academic integrity is required to succeed in these classes. Students study topics they do not understand, complete assignments on time, and put more time into their studies after school if they expect to obtain satisfactory grades.

Most high school students will see this as optional and only necessary if they wish to receive an A in a certain class. Odyssey students are faced with more challenging classes and need to maintain academic integrity in order to succeed in a college/ high school setting, and because of this, are willing to go the extra mile in order to be as successful as possible in their classes, even if it requires more time outside of school.

Students at Odyssey are so concerned about accidentally committing plagiarism that they seek out other options to ensure that their essays are not too similar to another author’s work. In an interview, Ms. Weeks, an English teacher at Odyssey, stated, “I have seen students who were so concerned about their similarity report that they used alternatives sites before turning it into” Odyssey students aim to uphold their academic integrity and maintain it throughout the course of their school life.

Although Odyssey does have exceptionally high academic integrity, it is not perfect. Odyssey does encounter academic integrity issues.

“I once had a student who waited until the end of the semester to tell me that their movie report was plagiarized because they felt bad about it.” Ms. Weeks had encountered one academic integrity issue concerning plagiarism at Odyssey. However, this incident had happened three years ago.

It is how the students respond to their actions that makes Odyssey different from other high schools. The student that plagiarized their movie report had felt bad about their actions and decided to be truthful to their teacher.

They had decided to take responsibility and own up to their actions and continued to display integrity after plagiarizing. This is what separates Odyssey students from normal high school students. They continue to demonstrate integrity even if they had violated school academic policies and take responsibility for their actions.