Whereas, The Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) reports that the Higher Education Act Update "requires agencies that accredit institutions that offer distance education programs to have processes through which the institution establishes that the student who registers in a distance education course or program is the same student who participates in and completes the program and receives the academic credit'';
Whereas, ACCJC Standard II.B. requires that "[t]he entire student pathway through the institutional experience is characterized by a concern for student access, progress, learning, and success";
Whereas, Equitable standards for the treatment of students suggest that students should not be treated differently based on the mode of instruction they receive, and the Higher Education Act appears to make no requirement for verifying the identify of face-to-face students through methods not subject to forgery (fingerprinting, retinal scanning); and
Whereas, All California community colleges provide secure password-protected environments for students enrolling in and gaining access to courses and programs delivered via distance education and all are required to maintain "regular effective contact between instructor and students" (Title 5 55204), as well as to demonstrate how distance education will be delivered in a means consistent with the course outline of record via the separate approval process;
Resolved, That the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges build on the Spring 2007 adopted paper Promoting and Sustaining an Institutional Climate of Academic Integrity to recommend processes that assure a means of demonstrating the consistency of student work and employ approaches to authenticate the identity of students enrolled in distance education courses and programs that are no more invasive of personal privacy than those commonly used in face-to-face classes; and
Resolved, That the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges work with the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) to develop language mutually acceptable to the Academic Senate and the ACCJC that meets the requirements of the Higher Education Act Update.
Disposition: Accrediting Commission, Local Senates
There was a breakout on this resolution at the 2009 Curriculum Institute. The committee felt that this resolution belongs with the Distance Learning Committee (Reassigned to DE).