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Values. Honesty. Kindness. Caring. Work ethic. We spend much of our children’s lives teaching them – overtly or through example – about the values that we hold dear. It’s part of what raising a child is all about.
So, by the time that our students reach college, we may assume that we’re done. We’ve put in the work over the years to teach and show them what we believe and now they’re on their own to put it into practice. If they haven’t gotten it by now, there’s no use doing more talking.
While it’s true that we’ve been teaching and modeling values all through our children’s lives, it’s important that you continue having conversations with them about academic integrity. It matters, and your student’s college career could depend on a solid understanding of what it is, why it matters, and how to prevent getting into “integrity trouble.”
What do we mean by “Academic Integrity?”
Academic Integrity is the code of ethical standards and honesty in academic institutions. The standards and values provide an educational environment in which all students can learn and take responsibility for their work, as demonstrated in the Missouri S&T Honor Code. According to the International Center for Academic Integrity, this includes a commitment to the values of honesty, trust, fairness, respect, responsibility, and courage.
Academic integrity includes avoiding plagiarism, but it includes many other things as well. Many students may not realize how inclusive the definition is. Academic integrity includes avoiding the following behaviors:
Why is understanding academic integrity so important?
Most schools and professors take academic integrity very seriously. Many schools have a zero-tolerance policy, which means that, depending on the seriousness of the violation, students who violate the school’s policy are subject to failure on the assignment, failure in the course, or dismissal from the institution. A claim of “I didn’t know” is rarely accepted.
Schools view integrity as vital to the code of ethics in the academic world. Academic honesty is important in fairness to all students, and also to protect the value of a student’s degree. If an institution gains a reputation for lack of integrity, a student’s degree from that institution loses value. Many schools also take seriously their charge to teach students important moral lessons.
For students, learning about the ethics of academic integrity is also important as they prepare for their future career. Most businesses also function with a zero tolerance for dishonesty. Learning the ethics of integrity early provides an important life lesson.
Why do students engage in academic dishonesty?
Most students have been taught from early in their educational career that it is wrong to cheat or to copy others’ work. Why, then, would a student participate in academic dishonesty?
There are many reasons students might make unwise decisions regarding integrity. Some of the explanations that students often share include:
Can you help your student avoid academic dishonesty?
The good news is that you may be able to help your student avoid violating the Academic Integrity Policy. It begins with a conversation. This may not be a conversation that your student is anxious to have with you, but remind them that you simply want to help them avoid problems. Of course, your student must make their own decisions, but you can help lay the foundation of understanding.
Academic integrity is a student issue. Colleges teach students the important elements and stress its importance. But as a parent, you can reinforce its value. You can help your student understand what it is, why it matters, and how to prevent it. Your student will be another step on the road to not only a successful college experience, but also a successful life and career.
Author of Article: Vicki Nelson. Article adapted from collegeparentcentral.com. Please Note: Missouri S&T does not endorse or have a relationship with SOURCE and articles are provided for information purposes only. Missouri S&T and SOURCE do not assume responsibility for error or omission in materials.
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