Honor Council

Honor Code


Santa Monica College became the first California Community College to formally adopt an Honor Code. Faculty, students, and administrators are committed to uphold an environment conducive to learning characterized by academic integrity.

Honor Code Mission Statement

Santa Monica College is committed to the academic, social, and ethical development of our students. We strive to create a learning environment that is challenging and supportive of the community at-large. We are committed to upholding fundamental values of honesty, trust, fairness, respect, responsibility, civility, and community. In recognition of this effort we hereby establish this Honor Code and Honor Council.

Honor Code Principles

General principles guiding the Honor Code and Honor Council include the following:

  1. Honesty: means fairness and straightforwardness of conduct; implies a refusal to lie, steal, or deceive in any way.

  2. Integrity: implies that one is true to a trust; one adheres to a code of moral values.

  3. Social Responsibility: is demonstrated by adherence to policies of the institution, departments, labs, libraries and individual classes.

  4. Respect and Civility: implies that one will conduct oneself in a courteous and respectful manner in our communications and actions toward members of the campus community.

    In the pursuit of the high ideals and rigorous standards of academic life, I commit myself to respect and uphold the Santa Monica College Honor Code, Code of Academic Conduct, and Student Conduct Code. I will conduct myself honorably as a responsible member of the SMC community in all endeavors I pursue.

    At the direction of a faculty member or testing officer, students may be requested to affirm or re-affirm their commitment to the Honor Code as they participate in any given examination, paper submission, or any other academic exercise.

    AR 4412 Honor Code/Honor Council

Upholding Academic Integrity

By Former Microbiology Professor & Ombudsperson Lucy Kluckhohn-Jones

  • Scholarship is a useful and lifelong skill.  Be a scholar. 
  • Maintain the appearance of scholarship—especially if an instructor has been the victim of academic dishonesty. 
  • Use the rest room before the exam.
  • Be prepared.  Bring the correct materials to the exam.
  • Sit apart from your friends and lab partners.
  • For inspiration, look at the ceiling, look at the floor, look anywhere but at your classmate’s paper.
  • Cover your own paper to prevent borrowing by roving eyes.
  • Direct any questions to the instructor, not the student in the next chair.
  • Be patient.  There’s one instructor, and there are lots of students.


  • Make it easy for your students to be scholars.
  • Make it clear what is to be done individually and what is group work.
  • Learn the names of your students, and something about each one.
  • Provide more than one version of an exam or quiz.
  • Vary the type of questions; consider placement on the page.
  • Number each and every copy of the test (including extras if any).
  • Hand out each exam to each student in person.
  • Have students put books and notes out of sight, out of reach.
  • Allow a page of notes (with instructed limitations).
  • Provide a calculator for student use (no cell phones or fancy calculators).
  • Remind students to keep silence in the exam room before and during the exam.
  • Remind students to use the restroom before the exam; leave the room and the exam must be turned in.
  • Remind students before the exam that they are expected to keep their eyes on their own papers.
  • For electronically submitted papers, run them through EVE software before grading. Show students the results.
  • If academic dishonesty is detected, file an academic dishonesty report form within 10 days of the discovery.