There are too many ways to cheat, so new policy is needed

It’s a universal challenge for educators.

Advances in technology are tempting more and more students to try to seek an easier way out on tests, essays, reports and term papers.

In these technological times, students are being more and more tempted to cut corners, and many are willing to shell out cash to do so.

That has led to development of an academic honesty policy at Taft College that will go into effect next fall.

The policy was crafted by the college’s Academic Senate and endorsed last week by the Board of Trustees.

“With the extension of the Internet sweeping the world, there are a lot of techniques students can utilize to cheat,” said English professor Bill Devine, who is president of the faculty senate.  “There is a million dollar business out there to help students (cheat).”

Devine said the Internet has spawned entrepreneurs selling ways to cheat.

It also has created tools teachers can access to catch the cheaters.

The TC policy defines academic dishonesty as “any act (such as cheating on exams, quizzes, projects, plagiarism, fabrication, or falsifying documents) by any student that would gain that student or any other student an unfair advantage or disadvantage (sabotage) in grading, graduating from the college, or qualifying for entrance into any academic program.”

Academic dishonesty or academic misconduct can include:

Plagiarism (representing the ideas of another as your own; not giving credit to the source for words presented as being your own work).

Fabrications (faking the data in an academic exercise; presenting false information in an assignment; deliberately deviating from the truth).

Deception (giving fabricated information to an instructor in regard to academic work; providing a false reason for missing a deadline or lying about submitted work).

Cheating (attempting to obtain an unfair academic advantage by violating accepted rules or standards).

Sabotage (stopping others from completing their work; a deliberate act of destruction to academic materials or disrupting an experiment or assignment.

Disciplinary action can include a warning, reprimand, disciplinary probation, suspension, disciplinary suspension, or expulsion.

Supt./Pres. Willy Duncan said the new policy will be inserted next fall in the college catalog/student handbook, which is distributed free to all students.