Purpose and Scope

The policy is written to ensure that Columbia College complies with the provisions of the United States Federal Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA), Public Law 110-315, concerning the verification of student identity in distance education.

All credit-bearing courses and programs offered through distance learning methods must verify that the student who enrolls/registers for a distance education course or program is the same student who submits assignments, exams (and any other elements of the grading criteria) and completes the course or program and receives academic credits/hours.

One or more of the following methods must be used:

  1. A secure login and pass code;
  2. Proctored examinations; and/or
  3. New or emerging technologies and practices that are effective in verifying student


Secure Login and Password
Students are either sent a course invitation (to their email) so he/she can create his/her own username and password, or username and password are provided by program staff to access the College’s learning management system (CANVAS).

All methods of verifying student identity in distance learning must protect the privacy of student information. Currently Columbia College does not charge any fee for student verification, but if the College plans to charge in the future, this will be indicated in the updated school catalog (section of tuitions and fees).

Personally identifiable information collected by the College may be used, at the discretion of the institution and in compliance with applicable state and federal laws, as the basis for identity verification.

All users of the College’s learning management system (CANVAS) shall maintain the security of usernames and passwords and this information must not be shared or given to anyone other than the assigned user for any reason. It is against Columbia College’s policy for a user to give someone his or her password or to allow others to use his or her account. Users shall be responsible for any and all use of their account.

Program Directors/staff and instructors are collectively responsible to ensure that students comply with the identity verification standard. Technology and personal accountability are not absolute in determining a student’s identity, so course assignments and evaluations are encouraged to be used to support academic integrity.