the Z grade will haunt the cheater’s transcript

University of Central Florida gets serious about deterring cheating.  The University says that this move is a part of an effort “to increase the quality and standards of degrees earned at UCF.”

More than a year removed from a cheating scandal that involved 600 students and one professor, UCF has begun identifying undergraduate students who have been caught cheating, and students can be penalized by indicating academic dishonesty with a “Z Designation” on the student’s official transcript.

Reading UCF’s website on this Z grade policy, the Z grade tells the students that the institution means business.  Of course, it is only effective to the degree to which faculty actually report suspected cheating incidents.  The students do have a process to have this designation removed but it seems that the burden of proof will fall on the student.

Based on my experience in working in higher education, I know how difficult it is to bring about this kind of change to a campus.  It’s huge.  I can’t even begin to fathom the kind of work, the leadership, and the effort on the part of those championing that must have gone into making this change.

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