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Academic cheating is a no-go!

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Cheating and academic dishonesty are an increasing problem in higher education. In my opinion, it comes down to integrity. Cheating to any degree, in any fashion ultimately is wrong, affecting you and those around you. Sure, cheating is a quick fix to solve whatever problem, or seemingly the easy way out. Although no matter the reason, cheating is a no-go; robbing you of knowledge and experience.

Whew! I have the most interesting stories when it comes to overcoming the ultimate hurdles. College has been quite the roller coaster ride. I can attest to times when I have been under extreme stress, approaching work and school deadlines. Pile on being a mother, and you’ve got a recipe for anxiety and disaster.

There were so many times that I just needed the answers, or didn’t have the time to study. The answers to the test for sure would get me a good grade, or partnering with a fellow student on a solo project; both forms of cheating would have helped me a great deal.

I have faced many challenges in my short college career, all unique and never predicted. Yet, I’ve found there is help available to me–to all of us. In most cases it just took honesty, a little bravery and simply explaining my situation. I sought out assistance by looking for and asking for the help in whatever capacity necessary.

It’s interesting when I looked for an answer as to why students cheat I was given some very blah responses. Perhaps the findings would make a great read from a psychological standpoint. I stumbled upon the most ridiculous conclusions as to why students cheat. Cheating by research has been associated with a certain “type” of student; gender, social class, even members of sorority and fraternities were found to be most likely to cheat. The most absurd of my findings was the poor are most likely to cheat. Well that statistically takes care of about 80 percent of all college students. It has been said that the attitudes, views and habits of cheating are developed as a high school student, and something that carries on with us through higher education. Even in Q & A research, the various reasons that students gave for cheating could be instructive in obtaining a picture of academic dishonesty.

In hindsight, I didn’t find an answer that satisfied my curiosity or was remotely relative to my experiences as to what causes students to cheat; so, here’s my conclusion. Today’s generation of students have less of an attachment to the institution so cheating is more impersonal because of the detachment. The lack of communication through student, staff and administration seems to be subpar or lacking, so students feel less informed and ultimately just want a degree so they can get a great job. On that note, the job market poses its own difficulties in some cases placing a premium on a high grade-point average.

So, students are taking the “by any means necessary” approach to achieve and maintain good grades. Cheating being one of those things. It seems that new students may have it the hardest; not knowing whom or where to go for help. Enrolling in courses beyond their capabilities, they resort to cheating to succeed in the course. Many students don’t know how to navigate a campus or know who to ask for assistance.

As a newbie, it too took me a while to figure it out, and unfortunately it was a trial and error process, but it doesn’t have to be. The Academic Support Center is an underutilized and under-emphasized resource, even teachers can offer some guidance with finding tutors, financial assistance, grieving; all the things in my opinion that may cause cheating.

I understand there’s pride to be kept once you make it to college. People expect you to have it all figured out. I mean you are a college student. To the contrary, new students in most cases don’t know who to ask for tutoring or general assistance, so they resort to cheating to succeed in the course. College proves to have its own path, although the road traveled during the journey does not have to be taken alone, nor blindly.

Despite the research, statistics or the phenomenal findings, it starts with the student wanting to succeed and the institution offering a plethora of information, and open guidance to help its students. Life happens and takes precedence, and although our intentions are good, bad things happen to good people and can prohibit or slow down our progress. Yet the mantra of the struggling student with good intent does not pertain to all.

Some students may have developed cheating habits in high school or simply in life, and have carried the terrible cheating cycle into their life and college career. I hope for their own good they develop new healthy habits, refrain from that behavior for their own good so they may uphold their name and its integrity. For those students that are truly seeking the tools necessary to succeed, I have provided a list of links below that will take you to some pertinent information, or aid you in a crisis situation that may prevent your success. These programs have helped me as a student starting my college career, and continue to assist me:

Academic Resource & Tutoring Services:

https://guides.matc.edu/ASC/overview

Admissions & Student Registration:

https://www.matc.edu/student/Admissions/regi.cfm

Student Emergency Assistance grants:

https://www.matc.edu/student/resources/financial_aid/emergency_assistance_grants.cfm

Home Energy Assistance services:

http://www.matc.edu/_cs_apps/upload/EnergyAssistFlyer2013_1.pdf

Personal Counseling Services:

https://www.matc.edu/student/resources/Counseling/personalcounseling.cfm

As a student, it is my duty to keep my fellow students in mind. I’m in no way condoning cheating, although I am aware of the reasons why, or the things that may cause a student to feel the need to cheat. Cheating is wrong! No ifs, ands, or buts about it. No matter why it’s done it’s unacceptable. Cheating can be prevented and avoided. Utilize not only your institution, but your friends and family as assets. I align with the student who doesn’t have all the answers. Rest assured help does exist! You know what they say, “If you seek, you shall find.” Of course, you know the infamous saying, “Winners never cheat and cheaters never win!”

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Academic cheating is a no-go!