Colleges around the nation are increasingly facing a threat facilitated by technology: cheating. For Ivy League schools that offer medical programs, this issue is becoming an insurmountable obstacle that's prompting administrations to make rash decisions. But for students, these overzealous actions are causing more harm than good. As a result, innocent students confess to acts they did not commit, preferring lesser sanctions instead of expulsion.
The Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth College recently announced that it caught 17 students cheating on their exams after monitoring their online activity. The college's trackers found that the students used Canvas, an online course platform, to access unauthorized material while taking an open book test.
The Ivy League school later confronted students on Zoom about their actions. Some students alleged that the school encouraged them to admit to their cheating to receive lesser penalties, sparking outrage across campus. Some students, fearing sanctions, admitted to the charges to stay enrolled.
This move is causing outrage throughout campus, especially after students admitted to cheating, although they did not. For example, the administration flagged those logged onto their phones as cheaters, even if they did not participate in unauthorized activity.
Losing Placement Over Cheating Allegations
Medical students work hard to maintain acceptable grades and behavioral conduct that are the hallmarks of their future profession. As a result of the allegations, some students are reporting suicidal ideation and panic attacks.
To defend its actions, Dartmouth released a statement indicating that it used students' previous testing behavior to ensure that their procedure was fair to students. However, some claim that the school's flawed methodology and lack of transparency are placing innocent students at risk of receiving sanctions and, in worst-case scenarios, expulsion.
To date, three students accused of cheating received permanent discharge from their medical programs, and others received suspensions and lesser sanctions. Despite the public outcry and a petition for accountability, Dartmouth asked students who feel unfairly treated to appeal through the university's official process.
Fighting Allegations of Academic Misconduct
Medical programs are notoriously complex and rigorous. These programs prepare students for the profession they plan to enter, calling for high standards and ethical conduct. However, with false accusations, innocent medical students are at risk of losing placement, rendering their time and effort lost.
It can be challenging for expelled students to re-enter a new medical program, especially with a note on their permanent record that involves a cheating scandal. Some become discouraged to the point where they drop out of medical school and pursue a different degree.
Without a proper defense strategy and the help of an attorney advisor, students are at the mercy of overzealous panels that are quick to enforce sanctions.
If you or a family member face allegations of cheating, don't wait until it's time to appeal. Call Joseph D. Lento from the Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686.