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Distance Education Policy

Procedures to Verify the Identity of the Distance Learning Student

Purpose and General Information 

Both Federal Requirements and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on 
Colleges (SACSCOC) require that: 
The institution that offers distance or correspondence education demonstrates that the student who registers in a distance or correspondence education course or program is the same student who participates in and completes the course or program and receives the credit by verifying the identity of a student who participates in class or coursework by using, at the option of the institution, methods such as (a) a secure login and passcode, (b) proctored examinations, or (c) new or other technologies and practices that are effective in verifying student identification.

Piedmont College outlines the following policy to effectively provide this verification: 

Piedmont College issues each student a seven-digit student identification number at the time of initial registration.
This student ID becomes the unique identifier for the student throughout his/her academic career at the college.
The student ID is required to access all college resources.

Additionally, a secure email address is assigned to each student upon enrollment. This email address is unique in that it consists of the student’s first letter of the first name, last name, plus a four-digit numeric component which is the student’s birth month and day. The student creates an eight-digit, alphanumeric password that uniquely identifies and provides access to college resources. Once established, these credentials act as a student’s credentials for all of Piedmont’s online resources (student email, Canvas, PilgrimNet, etc.). Students accept responsibility for the security of their passwords.  

Procedures for Assuring Distance Learning Student Identity: 

Secure Email and Password: Each distance learning student gains access into the Canvas system by using their pre-established credentials mentioned above. Course instructors assign students to their courses, and upon successfully logging in, a student has access to the appropriate courses for the current term.   

New techniques or technologies intended for distance learning student verification must be reviewed and approved by the Chief Information Officer (CIO) prior to the implementation of the process. 


Piedmont College protects the privacy of all students, including distance learning students, through strict adherence to the rules of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA). The official FERPA statement is available for student and public view through the college web site. College employees receive annual training in FERPA regulations.


There are no additional charges associated with verifying student identity.