Higher Education Opportunity Act: Distance Education Information

The HEOA requires that institutions offering distance education courses or programs have processes in place to ensure that the student registering for a course is the same student who participates in the course or receives course credit. 

The Act requires that institutions use one of the following three methods:

  • A secure login and pass code;
  • Proctored examinations; and
  • New or other technologies and practices that are effective in verifying student identification.

Secure Login and Pass Code

The University of St. Francis meets these requirements by assigning a secure login and pass code to each student.  All registered students are assigned unique identification numbers, which correspond with a specific username for each student.  These accounts use the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) to authenticate the user.  Students establish their own password and are required to change their password every 180 days. In addition, three security questions need to be answered by students before a password can be voluntarily changed.

To further ensure compliance, online instructors use randomized test questions and timed exams.

For more information about the Higher Education Opportunity Act, please visit the U.S. Dept of Education site found at:  http://www.ed.gov/policy/highered/leg/hea08/index.html.

Adopted June 2010

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