Academic Integrity | Ashford Students Take a Stand on Day of Action Against Contract Cheating

Academic Integrity | Ashford Students Take a Stand on Day of Action Against Contract Cheating

With the rise of online learning, upholding academic integrity has never been more important. In recognition of the need to promote integrity, on October 16, Ashford joined roughly 100 institutions across the globe in the 4th annual International Day of Action (DoA) against contract cheating. 

Hosted by the International Center for Academic Integrity, the event is meant to draw awareness to the issue of cheating and shed light on just how easily students can do it – in some cases without even knowing they are doing so.

Contract cheating occurs when one person completes academic work for another person who then submits that work as his/her own, such as purchasing a paper, borrowing a friend or coworker’s paper, or cutting and pasting the words, data, or ideas from sources and submitting them as their own. 

To help Ashford students become aware of the cause and become more familiar with the threats of contract cheating, we asked members of the Facebook community to post a photo of themselves and tell us why upholding academic integrity is important to them using the hashtag #MyWorkMyDegree. Participants were invited to also enter for a chance to win some fun and fresh Ashford gear. Read what some of the lucky random winners had to say about upholding academic integrity below.

1. Beth Williams: “Academic integrity is critical to my career journey to become a juvenile correctional treatment specialist. This career requires substantial knowledge of an array of different fields. It is with this knowledge that I will create individualized action plans for each juvenile I am assigned. Academic integrity is important to me because I may be the only one advocating for these children. If I do not study, learn, and submit my own work, I will not have the knowledge and skills that it will require to reshape juvenile criminals into upstanding citizens. The latter is an injustice to the juveniles I encounter, the justice system as a whole, and injustice to society. My empathy is innate; my knowledge is learned.  … Successful reentry efforts begin on day one of their incarcerations. Their future will depend on me. #myworkmydegree #theirfutureourfuture”

2. Chessica Lynn: “I am doing this for my daughter. I am going to Ashford for my degree in education. I am a single mother who works full time, so most nights, I’m up till 3 o’clock in the morning studying and typing. My daughter has since told me that she wants to be a teacher, too. I want her to know that you can accomplish your dreams no matter the obstacles that are in front of you. Also, I am the one paying for my education. If I am wanting to be the best teacher I can be, then how is paying someone going to help me be better?” 

3. Hayden via @YeahThatHayden on Twitter: “I believe in my own work because that’s where the real learning happens. It’s the process that teaches us not the information.”

4. Deborah Bell: “Everyone works hard to get where they are. With that said, the only way to get what you want is to be original. This is so important because I want to show that it was time spent to make sure the work that is posted gets a good grade. When work is copied or plagiarized it only says that you never honestly took the time to ask for help. Gaining a degree is a huge step that will only be one time for many. It will tell a lot of people hard work pays off, especially when it's yours.”

5. Ronald Neil Howdeshell: “I am over 50 and a veteran. I do not have much in this world, but I do have integrity. I have worked hard all of my life. I am not going to throw it away. Not because I might get caught, but because I want to get graded on my thoughts and work.” 

6. Melanie Hernandez: “If I don't do the work, then it is not my degree. Living by my values and upholding my integrity is key.”

7. Tim Collins: “Don't be that person! if you cheat, you're really cheating yourself of the education you're already sacrificing money and time for. It just isn't worth it and actually reduces the overall value of that degree.”

8. Ro Lin: “Academic integrity is important because I am setting myself up to accomplish amazing things, and if I choose to cheat my way toward my goal, then I haven't really achieved anything. I want to hold my head up proudly when I walk across that stage for graduation, and that can only be done when I know I am the one who put in all the effort, time, and energy into my work, that I am the one who earned that degree and not some random person copied by using contract cheating.”

9. Lane Hagerdorn: “One of the first things that stood out to me when I jumped feet first into this academic journey as an adult was the statement, ‘The purpose of collegiate research is to continue the academic conversation’ said by a friend and mentor. You can't carry on or extend a conversation by repeating someone else's words!” 

10. Tony Sgarkatti: “You are only hurting yourself by cheating. One of your educational goals is to be a good writer, and the only way to accomplish that is by doing the work yourself!” 

Do you uphold academic integrity? Join the conversation today, and tell us why it is important to you!

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Written by Ashford University staff

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