Distance Education

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Identity Verification

Accreditation:

Rowan College at Burlington County (RCBC) is fully accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) with authorization to offer courses and programs via Distance Education.

Legal Basis for Identity Verification:

The United States Federal Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA), Public Law 110-315 requires our accreditation agency (the MSCHE) to confirm that RCBC has processes in place through which we establish that the student who registers in a distance education or correspondence education course or program is the same student who participates in and completes the course or program and receives the academic credit.

The RCBC Office of Distance Education meets this requirement as per the Code of Federal Regulations Chapter 34 Section 602.17 Paragraph (g) in that we --

  1. Verify the identity of a student who participates in class or coursework by using at least one of the following options in all Distance Education courses or programs --
    •  A secure login and pass code;
    • Proctored examinations; and
    • New or other technologies and practices that are effective in verifying student identification; and
  2. Make clear in writing that we use processes that protect student privacy and notify students of any projected additional student charges associated with the verification of student identity at the time of registration or enrollment.

RCBC Policy Related to Identity Verification:

RCBC Board Policy #201 "Establishment of Standards for Granting Degrees and Certificates" adopted on May 22, 2013 explicitly references 34 CFR 602.17(g) and goes on to state, in part, that: "...Students and instructors are only permitted to access classes for which they are enrolled..." and "...Any tampering, sharing or access to user names, passwords or distance education courses by unauthorized individuals shall be considered a violation of the Student Code of Conduct and result in disciplinary sanction."

How Identity is Verified:

institution and continues through their graduation, transfer or withdrawal from study.

Procedures related to student identity verification include but are not limited to: our registration, advising and transcript procedures and our course management system login and security functions wherein we create a unique username and password for each individual student every semester, which is then re-set every semester. This unique set of login credentials consists of data which the student is likely to know, and which others are unlikely to know. The student is forced to use these credentials to access our course management system and reset their password to one which is entirely confidential. Data transmission of login information is secured using standard encryption technology.

Privacy of Personally Identifiable Information:

The college does collect personally identifiable information from students and employees.  Personally identifiable information is routinely stored in a secure fashion using a variety of systems, including the current learning management system licensed by the college. RCBC adheres to the provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), uses industry standard techniques to protect this information and requires the vendors of systems licensed directly by the college to have similar safeguards in place.

Personally identifiable information collected by the college may be used, at the discretion of the institution, as the basis for identity verification. For instance, a student requesting that their learning system password be reset may be asked to provide two or more pieces of information for comparison with data in our records, such as their date of birth and the last four digits of their Social Security Number, or other similar information as determined by college staff members in the performance of their duties. However, with the exception of established "Directory Information" no such data will be disclosed without the consent of the student. Please use the following resources to learn more about privacy policies at the college:

User Responsibility:

Users with access to the learning management system are responsible for maintaining the security of usernames, passwords and any other access credentials assigned to them. Access credentials may not be shared or given to anyone other than the user to whom they were assigned for any reason. Users are responsible for any and all use of their account. RCBC recommends that all users change their password upon first login and regularly thereafter to maintain security. Strong passwords at least eight characters long, containing upper and lowercase letters, number and special characters are recommended. Users are held responsible for knowledge of the information contained within the most recent RCBC catalog as well as the RCBC Student Handbook. Failure to read and comply with college guidelines, requirements and regulations will not exempt users from responsibility.  It is particularly important that you follow the standards of academic honesty and integrity as outlined in the Code of Conduct, as well as the User Agreement and Procedures for Use of College Communication and Information Technology.

Costs to Students:

Students in designated Hybrid and Distance Education course sections pay a minimum $25 course fee in addition to any other tuition and fees charged by the institution.

Academic Integrity:

The RCBC Code of Conduct applies fully to college activities and courses held online, as well as those held on-campus.  Students are expected to abide by the standards established for academic integrity in all course sections at the college.

However, since technology and personal accountability alone are not, and it are unlikely to ever be able to fully verify identity or ensure academic integrity, instructional design which replaces high-stakes objective testing with individualized and authentic assessment techniques are utilized wherever possible. RCBC best practices for course design require the use of a varied grading matrix in our courses and employ several built-in features of the course management software to reduce any opportunity for someone other than the student to be successful in the course.

Public Notice:

This document is publicly available online to all students and potential students at rcbc.edu/distance-education/identity.

Questions:

Questions regarding this document should be directed to Martin Hoffman, Dean of Learning Resources at mhoffman@rcbc.edu.