• Procedures for Protecting Student Privacy in Distance Education

    Coastal Bend College (CBC) is committed to protecting the privacy of students enrolled in all courses regardless of the mode of instruction (online, hybrid, or face to face). All college policies regarding student privacy and information security apply to all courses, including those delivered through distance education. Specific polices regarding privacy protection include CBC Board Policy CS (Legal), CBC Board Policy CS (Local), and CBC Board Policy FJ (Legal). All CBC employees are required to uphold these policies and follow these procedures to protect student privacy in all courses including distance education:

    • CBC uses the Blackboard LMS as the system to deliver all distance education courses. This system has protocol and in place that ensure the privacy of students. This protection is extend to include student assignments (including exams), communication, and grades. All CBC faculty are required to use Blackboard to post course material, send announcements, facilitate collaboration among students, collect student work, deliver tests and quizzes, and post grades.

    • Secure CBC user names and passwords are generated through the admissions application process. Once a student application to CBC has been processed and entered into the college Student Information System (Colleague SIS), a username and password is generated by Colleague SIS and students are notified. This username and ID become unique to the student. The password may be changed by the student at any time. The credentials, created in the Colleague SIS, are carried over to the Blackboard LMS for use with all courses, including all teaching modality platforms: face-to-face, online, hybrid, and video conferencing. These systems are on the SSO (Single Sign-On) platform. These credentials allow students private access to Blackboard, email, grades, transcripts, and all other student services through the secure student portal (Cougar Den). Students self-created password is encrypted and stored in the institution’s active directory. Other than the user, no one on campus, including the information technology (IT) department, has access to the new password.

    • Students are additionally assigned an official college email address at the time of admission, and the college email system is required for all official communication with students.

    • Faculty (including adjunct faculty) are required to follow all privacy policies and procedures and required to keep all student information, including student user names, assignments (including exams), communication, and grades confidential. Students in distance education courses do not have access to other students’ work or grades. Students are instructed not to share login and password information with others.

    • College personnel are required to follow the college and FERPA guidelines for sharing student educational record information with other faculty, staff, parents, or others outside of the college.