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78 Air Force Academy cadets accused of cheating

Cadets stand in formation at the Air Force Academy in Colorado.

U.S. AIR FORCE

By MATT STEINER | The (Colorado Springs) Gazette | Published: June 7, 2012

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The Air Force Academy announced Wednesday that 78 cadets have been accused of cheating during an online calculus test.

Academy officials said the cadets used “unauthorized resources — a web math program” that was only to be used for homework, not exams.

Lt. Col. John Bryan, AFA director of public affairs, said most of the cadets involved were freshmen, but there were a few sophomores.

Bryan said many involved have admitted to cheating on the test and have begun a six-month probationary period. Each will undergo a cadet-led review to determine if their violation of the academy’s Honor Code warrants more serious punishment.

“It is possible to have disenrollments,” Bryan said.

The Honor Code, adopted in 1956 by the first graduating class (1959), represents a “minimum standard of conduct” and says cadets “will not lie, steal or cheat, nor tolerate among us anyone who does.” The academy’s honor directorate states that each cadet is “expected to report themselves for any violation.”

With the code and directorate in mind, Bryan said those who are found to have lied about using the unauthorized program could face harder penalties than those who have admitted to cheating.

“Every case is individual and every case is different,” Bryan said. “We want to give these kids a learning environment and a chance to succeed.”

The academy learned of the violations just after final exams, which were held during the week of May 9. According to Wednesday’s release, academy officials believe each cadet acted individually and no evidence of collusion has been found.