Academic Integrity

Take the Zero Campaign

  • A series of workshops specifically aimed at providing students (undergraduate and graduate) with College Life Skills necessary to navigate a collegiate experience.


  • What is a Z Designation? Is there a way to get it removed?

What Websites (Course Hero, Clutch Prep, Chegg Study, Quizlet) Could Get Me In Trouble?

  • There are many websites out there that our office considers Traps of Academic Misconduct. Find out information about these websites and how to use them properly.

Can Group Messaging Apps (GroupMe, Whatapp) Get Me in Trouble?

  • Have group messaging apps become the modern day library? Can I get in trouble for being in them?


  • Some professors want collaboration and others do not. Find out how you can navigate collaboration in a confident and honest way.

Need Clarification

  • Have a question about what does or doesn’t constitute academic misconduct? In an academic situation that you consider a grey area? Ask us– We are here to help you!

Take the Zero Campaign

A campaign to promote academic integrity and prevent academic misconduct.

  • Take the Zero is a campaign to raise awareness of the ethical option of taking a zero for an assignment vs. compromising one’s moral compass and cutting a corner all in the name of an “A”.
  • We have worked with hundreds of students who after being found in-violation of academic misconduct, have all said “Why did I not just take the zero.”
  • College students have a fear of failure and a fear of not being picture perfect when it comes to their academics. Students need to have the ability to just as proud of a letter grade of a “B” or a “C”. Compromising one’s moral compass in making a cheat sheet for a final exam in order to raise one’s grade from an 88 to a 90 is not worth it.
  • Messages whether internal or external such as “you have to”, “you should”, “you better”, “if not…” need to be put in the proper context. For example, it is not true that only students who graduate with a 4.00 GPA are eligible for graduate school.

So when faced with an assignment due at midnight and the fear of an “F” is knocking at your door, consider the following options instead of cutting a corner:

  • Review the syllabus for point value of the assignment
  • Review current course grade to determine if the conversation in your head is reality
  • Email your Professor for an extension on the assignment
  • Schedule an appointment with your Professor to ask for suggestions on the best way to complete the next assignment
  • Check the syllabus to determine if extra credit is given
  • Turn it what you have with the understanding you are not rewarded for just turning something in. If the required number of pages for a paper is 10 and you turn in 5, expect a 50.
  • If you feel you are not succeeding at the level you want, make an appointment with your academic advisor to discuss the withdraw policy and grade forgiveness.
  • When comparing a zero to committing academic misconduct, taking the zero is always the better option.
  • TAKE THE ZERO — We understand taking a zero on an assignment, paper, project, quiz, exam, is never the goal but if one chooses to cut a corner, the consequences of being found in-violation of academic misconduct, is greater.


  • What is a “Z” Designation?
    • A “Z” designation is to denote a student was found in-violation of academic misconduct while enrolled in a course.
  • Does a “Z” Designation affect my GPA?
    • A “Z” designation does not affect a student’s grade point average.
  • Does a “Z” Designation remain on my transcript permanently?
    • A “Z” designations will remain permanently on a student’s transcript if:
      1. A student is found in-violation of academic misconduct and the punitive sanction is suspended for one or more semesters, is dismissed or expelled from UCF
      2. A student is found in-violation of academic misconduct twice (2 times) during their UCF academic career.
        • The punitive sanction received in either academic misconduct case has no bearing on the “Z” designation being permanently placed on the student’s transcript.
        • A “Z” designation will be placed in association with both courses in which the student was found in-violation of academic misconduct.
  • Is it possible to have a “Z” Designation removed?
    • A student can attempt to have a Z designation removed through the completion of the Creed Program within the Office of Student Conduct.
  • Where is the “Z” Designation placed on my transcript?
    • A student is found in-violation of academic misconduct a Z designation will be placed on their transcript in association with the final course letter grade recorded (ex. ZA, ZB, ZC, ZD, ZF).
  • Is the “Z” Designation placed even if I withdrew from the course?
    • A “Z” designation will be denoted on the student’s transcript as a ZW if a student withdrew from the course prior to the conclusion of the conduct process and was subsequently found in-violation of academic misconduct.
  • If I use grade forgiveness for the course I have a “Z” Designation in, will the “Z” Designation still be there?
    • Students have the opportunity to improve the letter grade recorded in association with a course in which they were found in-violation of academic misconduct through the use of grade forgiveness. The “Z” designation however will still remain on the student’s transcript.

For a printable handout with information regarding Z Designation, click here.

What Websites (Course Hero, Clutch Prep, Chegg Study, Quizlet) Could Potentially Get a Student in Trouble?

  • Searching on the internet for help in learning concepts discussed in class is a common practice. There are many websites offering “help” to students with their academics.
  • Using some of these websites could actually lead to a student committing academic misconduct and not ever realizing they have.
  • It could be as simple as uploading coursework completed in a prior semester, signing up to be a note taker, posting course notes, etc.
  • In the Golden Rule, UCF 5.008, one of the seven violations of academic misconduct reads as follows:
    • Commercial Use of Academic Material: Selling of course material to another person, student, and/or uploading course material to a third party vendor without authorization or without the express written permission of the University and the Instructor. Course materials include but not limited to class notes, Instructor’s power points, course syllabi, tests, quizzes, labs, instruction sheets, homework, study guides, handouts, etc.
  • There is no way possible for our office to keep up with the number of different companies which create such websites and lure students into a false sense of security that claim “don’t worry your University will never know”, or “don’t worry it is legal to use our website.” Sure going to one of these websites is legal (not punishable through the criminal system) but can be a violation of academic integrity at UCF.
  • Don’t forget we have free academic assistance on campus through Student Academic Resource Center (SARC), Supplemental Instruction, Math Lab, Writing Center, UCF Library, etc.
  • Many of these websites will email or text students encouraging through monetary or other types of rewards to upload current or previous coursework. Doing so is a violation of academic integrity and when discovered by a Professor and reported to the Office of Student Conduct, the student will potentially go through the conduct process.
  • Our office has worked with many students who have found themselves in this situation facing either disciplinary probation, deferred suspension, suspension or worse.
  • If you are introduced to by a friend, receive an email or text message, or notice a sign-up sheet going around a classroom about one of these websites, we recommend you check with us first. Let us investigate all of the information presented on the website to determine whether or not, use of such a website could be considered an act of academic misconduct. The more we investigate what students are exposed to, the better we can be at preventing violations and protecting students.
  • Need Clarification? Have a question about what does or doesn’t constitute academic misconduct? In an academic situation that you consider a grey area? Ask us — We are here to help you!

Can Group Messaging Apps (GroupMe, WhatsApp) Get Me in Trouble?

The answer is YES!  Being associated with a Group Messaging App is not an academic misconduct violation.  The exchange of answers to graded work, is a violation of academic misconduct.


Amy posts to a GroupMe chat a screenshot of an online quiz question and writes “I need help with this one #3.” – Academic Misconduct Violation

David posts “The answer is 125.” – Academic Misconduct Violation

Andrea posts “Thank you” – Potential Academic Misconduct Violation

Sam posts  Image result for thumbs up – Potential Academic Misconduct Violation

Our advice?

  • First, make sure you have a clear understanding of if collaborating and/or discussing any assignment with other students is OK with your professor. Each professor defines collaboration differently and has different expectations.
  • Second, make sure that the discussions going on are actual discussions, not sharing of test answers and asking for quiz answers. Collaboration might be acceptable by your professor, but sharing direct answers without any discussion is most likely not.
  • Third, don’t just join the group to join the group. If academic misconduct occurs and your name is in the group, you could be considered guilty by association.
  • Fundamentally, if you are receiving a grade, usually the expectation is for students to complete a quiz or test on their own.


Some professors want collaboration and others do not. Find out how you can navigate collaboration in a confident and honest way.

Every professor in every course has a different definition of collaboration and when students can and cannot work together. It is important to have a clear understanding of what is deemed acceptable, what boundaries are in place, and when it is appropriate to collaborate with others. There is not a University definition of what constitutes collaboration.

The only way to know is to ask your Professor. Professors not mentioning collaboration in their syllabus as a “do” or “don’t” does not mean that they approve of it.