Make Sure People Earn Their Degrees

Many people find ways to cut corners to obtain their degrees and graduate without the ability to meet the basic expectations of their employers.  Even many students from the nation’s leading colleges and universities find ways to cut corners to obtain their degrees.  What’s going to happen to you when you get hired and don’t have the slightest idea about how to do the job your degree implies you can do?  It’s going to result in you having more than shame—you’re going to have a useless piece of paper that you call a degree.

You cannot get people to complete all or most of your assignments, especially the most difficult ones, and expect to be ready for a job in your degree field.  If you lack the ability to perform beyond basic reading and writing tasks, you will inevitably be exposed.  A time is going to arrive when your weaknesses in reading and writing is going to cause your performance in the workplace to be less than satisfactory.

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with seeking assistance with things you don’t understand.  Smart people understand that when they need help to seek it.  This does not mean, however, that you should have to receive assistance with all major assignments.  If you’re a person truly fit to be an undergraduate or graduate student, you should be able to execute the majority of the tasks assigned to you in your degree program.

If people have to complete, edit, and/or revise all of the work you do for school, are you really deserving of receiving a degree?  Is it fair to potential employers for you to waste their time when you know you have not obtained the essential skills they are looking for when they hire someone with the degree you have or are pursuing?  If you have ever submitted work that someone has completed for you, then you have not earned your degree.  If you have ever purchased a paper from an online website and turned in that paper, then you have not earned your degree.

Colleges and universities have academic honesty policies for real reasons.  Academic honesty policies help colleges and universities to ensure that they are awarding degrees that are worth more than the paper they are printed on.  If you submit work that is you not your own, then you have evinced an unwillingness to do the work necessary to learn what your professors desired of you to satisfactorily complete the course requirements.  If you have completed work that is not completely your own, then you have committed academic fraud.  For those who commit academic fraud, your degree is in jeopardy of not being awarded to you or being taken away from you.

The American workplace needs to be populated with individuals who are truly ready for the challenging demands of the 21st century.  If you have to cheat to obtain your degree, then you’re not ready for the 21st century workplace.  The reality is college is not for everyone.

For those of us who worked hard and earned our degrees, we need to report academic fraud when we see it.  People who commit academic fraud and pretend that they are ready to enter the workforce in their degree field do us all a great disservice.  Too many important positions are being filled by people who are not prepared to execute the duties of these positions.  Many of these positions are filled by those lacking the competency to perform even the most basic duties of the positions, thus putting the lives of innocent people in danger.

Many individuals who cheated their way through undergraduate and graduate study are too arrogant to seek and accept help from people who they work with to help them to overcome their lack of understanding of critical aspects of their job.

Why waste a significant amount of time in school by letting people do your work and graduate with no knowledge to perform the duties of jobs in your degree field?

Ensuring academic honesty is a matter of public safety.

We should not allow people who lack the competency to perform jobs, especially in positions where lives are at stake, to be eligible to be hired for those jobs.  For example, we don’t want people who have committed academic fraud going into the healthcare industry where they can endanger the lives of so many people.  Therefore, if you know people who are committing academic fraud and/or have committed academic fraud and they are going into the healthcare industry or another area where they could risk the lives of numerous Americans, you need to report them.  By reporting them, you could not only help to save the lives of many Americans, you may just save your own life.

Let’s take a stand against those who cheat while in college because we will have to pay severely when these people get positions in fields where they can do us all great harm.

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

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2 comments

  1. I’ve think you’ve shared a few stories with me about this. I agree, people should do THEIR own work (or HIS or HER). I also blame the universities for not ensuring this is going on. I know I’m always trying to make sure my work is original for many reasons, outside the fact I’m black, I still try to make sure that everything I do is my own work. I don’t want any questions asked later.

    Somehow I think education won’t be worth much soon…

    1. Drew, colleges and universities can do a much more improved job of ensuring academic honesty, but they are going to need much more help from their students to improve academic honesty. Students are going to have to do a better job of reporting cases of academic dishonesty. Yes, institutions need to make greater investments in ensuring academic honesty. Our degrees need to mean something and when institutions increasingly graduate students who lack serious understanding of the expected knowledge their degrees suggest that they know, then the value of degrees for all people are compromised. People who have legitimately earned and are legitimately earning their degrees must stop cheating for other students. American higher education is greatly threatened by increased academic dishonesty. I have conducted new empirical research on this issue at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the findings have been sad and important for the current and future state of American higher education. Having a degree will not mean much soon if institutions and their students don’t take academic honesty much more seriously. Thanks for reading and your response!

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