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Sunday, May 19, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

College Lets Students Cheat, Prof Says

LAS VEGAS (CN) - To "maximize revenue" by ensuring that students don't flunk out, profit-seeking Carrington College posts test questions online so students can memorize them, and it fired a nursing professor for complaining about it, the nurse claims in court.

Cheryl Moreland sued Carrington College in Clark County Court.

"As a private, for-profit college, Carrington's mission is to maximize revenue by maintaining student population and the consequent tuition they pay," Moreland, a registered nurse, says in the complaint. "If students don't pass and are forced to quit, Carrington suffers financially.

"Accordingly, Carrington's policies force teachers to make their courses as easy as possible by using standardized tests for which answers can be found on the Internet, downloaded and memorized by students. This process enables students to pass even though they don't learn the material they are obligated to learn before become licensed professional RNs."

Moreland claims she discovered in February 2001 that students in her class were cheating by using "test-bank" answers they had got on the Internet for the standardized test she was giving.

When she brought this up to her supervisors, "rather than punish her students for cheating, Carrington administrators forced Moreland to submit her resignation, thereby terminating her," according to the complaint.

"Carrington chose to terminate Moreland rather than punish the cheating students because it would cost Carrington money if the students were expelled or flunked," the nurse says in her complaint. "Putting corporate profits ahead of student honesty and integrity violates Nevada's strong public policy which encourages nurses and other professionals to promote ethics and report ethical violations."

Moreland, who as a nurse is a "mandatory reporter," says the decision to fire her violates her obligations "which require that she report illegal and unethical activity that violate nursing laws, regulations and ethical rules."

She seeks $50,000 in damages for wrongful termination.

Carrington College, formerly known as Apollo College, is a subsidiary of DeVry.

The Government Accountability Office blistered 15 profit-seeking college chains in an August 2010 report, which alleged chicanery in recruiting, accreditation problems, and generally more concern for getting colleges' hands on student loans than on students' education. The GAO report did not name names, but Apollo acknowledged that it was one of the schools the GAO investigated.

DeVry alone has been sued more than 200 times on a variety of claims, according to the Courthouse News database.

Moreland's complaint echoes some of the GAO charges.

Apollo changed its name to Carrington in 2010 - before the release of the GAO report.

Moreland is represented by Richard Segerblom.

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