A new study found that American youth are cheating less.
According to a survey conducted by the Josephson Institute of Ethics published early this month, about 50 percent of the 23,000 students surveyed said they cheated on an exam in the past year. That’s down from 59 percent in 2010.
However, cheating incidences have not declined for UF students or prospective UF students.
UF’s Student Honor Code Administration reviews potential students’ admissions if they have a conduct or honor code violation, which includes cheating.
In the last three years, the amount of admission reviews has remained consistent, said Assistant Dean of Students Chris Loschiavo.
He said there are about 300 admission reviews each year, and about 75 of those deal with the honor code.
Student Honor Code Administration Chancellor Shian Knuth said the administration makes a recommendation to the Dean of Students Office whether to accept them. The 21-year-old history senior said that when reviewing a student, the most important thing to consider is if the student’s history shows that he or she may be a danger to UF.
“We take into account everything students have said — what happened, what they have learned and what sanctions were given,” Knuth said.
Loschiavo said the purpose of the reviews is to talk to the prospective students and turn it into an education opportunity.
Enrolled students who have violated the honor code go to the Student Conduct Committee, which hears mediations between students and teachers regarding incidences.
When Loschiavo started working at UF five years ago, about 150 cases of cheating were reported. That number has increased steadily, and last year, about 450 cases were reported, Loschiavo said.
However, this number is still below the national average, which is based on students’ self-reports.
“UF students cheat at the same rate as other colleges,” Loschiavo said. “Faculty attitudes are what has changed.”
He said faculty often doesn’t report cases of cheating, but that’s changing.
In a survey conducted by the Academic Integrity Task Force in 2011, 46 percent of the faculty who teach undergraduate courses did not report an incident of cheating to the Dean of Students Office. But 70 percent of the 958 faculty members surveyed said they witnessed academic dishonesty in their classroom in the past three years.
The survey also found that about 82 percent of faculty said they would be dissuaded to report the incident if they believed it was unintentional.
Loschiavo said that the university takes honor code violations as opportunities to educate students. Most cases are because students improperly cite something, which results in plagiarism, or they panic and do something dishonest.
“We understand students are going to make mistakes, and we want them to learn,” Loschiavo said.
Contact Samantha Shavell at [email protected].