I have recently done something so stupid and have the possibility of getting expelled or suspended from school due to academic dishonesty. I honestly know I was wrong and feel horrible. I haven't...

I have recently done something so stupid and have the possibility of getting expelled or suspended from school due to academic dishonesty. I honestly know I was wrong and feel horrible. I haven't slept or eaten in 2 days. As I wait till January 8th I was wondering can I willingly withdraw from the school and transfer before they make a decision or do I have to wait till they make a decision because I don't want this on my transcript?  Please help.

Expert Answers
Lorraine Caplan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This must be such a painful and upsetting time for you.  I cannot definitively answer your question because what your options are is a function of the policies at your school, but I can steer you in the right direction and outline the possibilities for you, so that you are making an informed decision about what to do.

Approximately half the colleges and universities in the United States do not show disciplinary actions on transcripts.  If your school does not, you will have withdrawn for no reason at all.  You need to get in touch with the registrar of the school to find out.  Generally, while faculty and students are off until the January term begins, most schools do not shut down completely and most regular staff continue to work. This means you should be able to communicate with the registrar. You need to explain clearly what your situation is, so the registrar understands what is at stake for you and can inform you of the school's policies regarding transcripts.  I encourage you to be transparent about this because otherwise the registrar is not going to be of much help. 

If you find out that the disciplinary action will not appear on your transcript, then you can await the final disposition of your infraction proceedings. That is a difficult wait, I know, but at least you will not have gone through an unnecessary withdrawal.  If you find out that the disciplinary action will appear on your transcript, then you can ask whether or not withdrawing from the school would prevent that from occurring.  If that is the case, then you may very well want to withdraw.  If that is not the case, then you can wait and decide, if you are not expelled, whether or not you want to remain at the school, but remember that if you have the choice of remaining there, running away is not likely to be the best decision.  Remaining at the school, you can prove that you have learned your lesson and graduate with your head held high. 

Some schools also have a policy of permitting expungement of disciplinary actions on a transcript, so you need to inquire about this, too, if the disciplinary action is going to be on your transcript. If that is a possibility, you need to inquire about the process for clearing your record.  The registrar should be able to explain this, too, if there is such a process.  It may very well be that if you maintain a clean record from this point, that will help you make the case for expungement. 

I also think that you should find out if you have any means of appealing the school's decision.  This is something you can ask the registrar about, too. Some schools probably do have some sort of appeal mechanism. 

I am including below a link to an article, which is mostly about how schools track infractions of violence, which is certainly far worse than what you have done, but the principles are the same, and this will give you a good overview of how schools handle transcripts and notifications.

Please do not despair. I know this is a terrible situation for you, but no matter what, you can put this behind you. You have learned a valuable lesson. And now you can move on to the new you, an academically honest person who can graduate with pride!  

 

wowee | Student

wowee