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Caught cheating at this major college? You're in luck. Program lets students wipe records clean.

University of Minnesota students guilty of scholastic dishonesty (i.e., cheating) can wipe their records clean thanks to the school's Academic Integrity Matters program. (Image source: YouTube screenshot)

University of Minnesota students guilty of scholastic dishonesty (i.e., cheating) can wipe their records clean thanks to the school's Academic Integrity Matters program, the Minnesota Daily reported.

How does the program work?

  • Students who accept responsibility for their actions can talk through their offense with volunteer students and faculty and decide the next steps, the paper said.
  • Charges will be expunged from students' records after participating in the program, the Daily added.
  • Prior to Academic Integrity Matters, students caught cheating had only the following sanction guidelines at their disposal, the paper said, which typically meant a lower grade for a first offense, disciplinary probation for a second offense and a suspension for a third offense.
  • Now AIM gives first offenders a chance at "redemption," the Daily reported.
  • However, students who commit further offenses aren't eligible for the program.

What's the thinking behind it?

  • “If a student engages in behavior that is in violation with our policy, we want them to be able to understand the impact of that,” Jessica Kuecker Grotjohn, assistant director of the school's Office of Community Standards, told the paper.
  • She said the idea for AIM came after observing its success in K-12 schools, the Daily reported.
  • “We want [students] to learn and be accountable," Kuecker Grotjohn added to the paper. "We want them to walk away being a better person."

What do others say?

  • “A lot of times, if a student is caught cheating, the focus is on punishment … there ought to be a lot more educational approaches,” Jason Stephens, a University of Auckland professor who researches academic cheating, told the Daily.
  • Stephens told the paper that educational programs like AIM help students understand the consequences of their actions and can create a culture of integrity on campus.

(H/T: The College Fix)

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