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TCC officials place holds on international students' transcripts


TULSA, Okla. (AP) _ Tulsa Community College officials have placed holds on the transcripts of 53 students who may be involved in a grade tampering scheme.

Officials hope the tactic will pressure students to reveal who was responsible for altering grades at the school's northeast campus. Most of the students whose grades were changed electronically, possibly by TCC staff, are international students of Middle Eastern descent.

Last year, the International Student Services Department at the northeast campus oversaw the enrollment of 426 foreign students from 73 countries.

Electronic holds keep students from enrolling in classes and place the students involved in danger of losing their rights to stay in the United States.

Tom McKeon, executive vice president and chief operating officer for the college, said investigators are hoping that some of the students will come forward with information about their alleged involvement in the grade changes.

``We don't want to accuse anyone wrongly, but we want to be thorough,'' McKeon said. ``The intent at this time is to complete the investigation and have the record reflect the students' accurate grade.''

McKeon said a few students have come forward seeking transcripts to possibly transfer to another school during the summer break. He said persistent students might be able to enroll at another school without their TCC transcripts.

Police at the school began a grade-tampering investigation in mid-May after responding to a tip that someone had been altering electronic records at the northeast campus.

TCC President Dean VanTrease has called for criminal charges to be filed against individuals involved in the ``breech of academic integrity'' at the school. But he said TCC's security force may not have the manpower to fully investigate the matter.

In addition to registrar employees, workers in the counseling and testing center at the northeast campus have been questioned about their possible role in the alteration of records.

VanTrease said ``corrective measures'' have been put in place at the northeast campus to restore academic credibility.

Such measures include the changing of computer access codes and limiting the number of people with access to electronic files involving course grades.

``No system is fool-proof, but we have tightened the process up,'' VanTrease said.
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