Student failed assignment because her professor believes ‘Australia is not a country but a continent’

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  • Ashley Arnold is pursuing an online sociology degree at Southern New Hampshire University
  • For one of her classes (which cost $1,000) she was assigned to write a paper comparing a social norm in the US and another country —  and she chose Australia
  • She wrote the paper and turned it in but her professor  gave her an F because according to the professor “Australia is a continent; not a country.”

Southern New Hampshire University has replaced an online adjunct professor and apologized to the student after the professor gave the student a failing grade because the professor thought Australia wasn’t a country.

Ashley Arnold is pursuing an online sociology degree at Southern New Hampshire University.

For one of her classes (which cost $1000) she was assigned to write a paper comparing a social norm in the US and another country. Arnold chose Australia. She wrote the paper and turned it in. Her professor gave her an F. Reason: “Australia is a continent; not a country.”

Lauren Keane, assistant vice president of communications for the Manchester-based university, acknowledged that the story about what happened to SNHU online student Ashley Arnold of Idaho, is true.

“Following an investigation, we have replaced the instructor as we strive to adhere to the highest standards of integrity and accuracy in educating our students,” Keane said in an email via Union Leader.

“We deeply regret the interaction between our professor and our student and have apologized to the student and refunded her for the class,” she wrote.

Arnold eventually got a revised grade of B+.

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