Chegg stands out as one of the most popular education technology innovations that provides a platform for former teachers and students to share information. Where it has also gained ground is Wall Street as a publicly-traded company on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), presenting a lucrative financial vehicle for a portfolio.
Chegg, however, is no stranger to controversy. As the company added to the rolls of its subscription-based tutoring service, alleged incidents of academic misconduct linked to the provider skyrocketed nationwide. Chegg's investors are under additional scrutiny, which reveals an ethical dilemma.
Cashing in With Chegg
Millions of former public education employees rely on their state's pension fund to handle their retirement contributions. Funds are typically invested in publicly-traded entities to offer clients a better return. Still, those relying on government pensions don't often have the chance to understand the state institution's investment.
According to a report from The Chronicle of Higher Education, at least four state-run pension funds—California, Kentucky, Ohio, and Texas—have teacher money invested in Chegg. With investments from millions of individual account contributions, over $64 million in Chegg shares are owned across the four funds. Although other public pension funds hold Chegg shares, educator-backed contributions present a potential conflict of interest by subsequently funding the alleged misconduct they are contractually obliged by their school to stop.
Why Do Students Use Chegg?
As higher education continues to alter traditional learning structures and introduce online options to promote flexibility, students may be disadvantaged as in-person learning temperaments suffer in the absence of a classroom. Students are left with little help in completing online coursework.
Chegg's pledge to assist students via their own educational resources—user submissions of old tests, for example—provided students with an opportunity for the extra help they needed. InsideHigherED reports that nearly seven million college students across the U.S. use Chegg's services. However, colleges and universities were not prepared to deal with the repercussions.
Chegg's Gateway to Academic Misconduct
As helpful as it is, Chegg can lead students straight into an academic career-ending misconduct charge if they're not careful. While studying tools are ubiquitous to prepare for exams, almost all institutions of higher education have policies governing the use of these materials for cheating.
Sometimes there is a miscommunication between the professor and students on what is considered cheating, both at the college and in that specific professor's classroom. For instance, seeking out old quiz answers on Chegg even for a non-graded homework assignment can be grounds for academic misconduct at some schools.
Consequentially, students may become suspicious that the teacher who accused them of academic misconduct is earning money from the service they used. As they stand in front of their school's disciplinary board, there is little doubt they will feel unfairly treated.
How Can a Student Defense Advisor Help You?
Students don't generally have the investigation and negotiation skills of a professional. Your local attorney may threaten unwanted litigation, so choose a student defense advisor with the finesse to broker a beneficial resolution on your behalf.
If you or a loved one has been accused of academic misconduct, call Joseph D. Lento at 888-535-3686 or visit the online form today. He and his team at the Lento Law firm will ensure that you are protected from the ramifications of potential conflicts of interest.