Frequently Asked Questions

If you are a student seeking to start the Seminar, please click here.

Students are expected to provide fully developed responses to relevant readings and essay questions. Tutors are looking for thoughtful engagement with the assigned readings.

Creative and contrary opinions from students are welcome. Those opinions, however, must show critical thought and be supported by reasoned references to the sources. If we think student reasoning is unpersuasive we tell them why. See the sample tutor comment in our response to question 10, below.

An edited excerpt from one student answer (student name removed) and related tutor comments may be seen here.

Seminar survey evaluations provide evidence that the Seminar is impactful on our students. We’re enthusiastic about the results, including a finding that over 84% of respondents would recommend the Seminar to a friend. We think that’s an exceptional outcome for a required remediation assignment.  In addition, we frequently receive unsolicited comments from our students — see our regularly updated Student Comments page.

Yes. Our core readings are relevant to those fields (consider Tolstoy’s criticism of insensitivity and arrogance in the medical profession in The Death of Ivan Ilyich), but we also include readings like Alan Greenspan’s 1999 Harvard Commencement Address (business ethics) and Patrick L. Schiltz’s classic Vanderbilt Law Review article, “Being a Happy, Healthy, and Ethical Member of an Unhappy, Unhealthy, and Unethical Profession” (legal ethics). There are many other examples. We welcome ideas for new readings, including readings that may be of special interest on your campus.

We seek no access to student education records. Students communicate with us directly, and we don’t inquire about why they are enrolled. Students may, for example, be referred to us for purposes of honor committee or hearing-board training. Student’s answers and our evaluations are shared with designated officials at their home institutions.

In any event, FERPA regulations allow colleges and universities to designate Integrity Seminars as a “service provider.” We follow your directions pertaining to privacy policies and commit in writing to follow FERPA rules governing the use and redisclosure of any personally identifiable information obtained from students.

We’ve conducted the Academic Integrity Seminar online and in person. Our experience has been that student participation is more inhibited in face-to-face settings, especially when groups of students take the Seminar together in a traditional classroom. Direct, private dialogue with a tutor avoids stigmatizing students on campus and allows us to focus on candid discussion of the readings.

We team with referring institutions to practice a cardinal rule in classroom and online teaching: Know the student. Students are informed at the outset that their answers are shared with a designated official at the referring institution. We encourage those officials to meet with students and become familiar with each student’s interests, background, and overall academic performance. It’s helpful for referring officials to ask students to discuss some or all of their responses after the responses have been evaluated by us. Please consider this related program at the University of Central Florida. Students are also informed that Integrity Seminars uses plagiarism detection algorithms.

In any event, we strive to reduce academic dishonesty by assigning engaging materials linked to student discussion of their personal experiences. We also try to establish rapport and trust with each student. These are long-established characteristics of learning environments with lower levels of cheating and plagiarism.

We welcome participation from high schools, junior colleges and universities, as well as individual students who may be looking for additional reading and reflection on academic integrity.

Please alert us before you refer your first student. We’ll suggest assignment language for you to use with your students.