New edition of the rules
During the SACSCOC annual meeting in 2011, held every December -- this year in Orlando, Florida -- a new edition of the Principles of Accreditation was voted on by the SACSCOC membership and passed. We will have to use this new edition of the Principles to form our report due in September 2012. New standards to understand and respond to, with a short turnaround time!
Many of the revisions are clarifications of wording, which make it slightly easier to understand. In other cases, though, there is a completely new standard. Two of the standards are based on new federal requirements passed into law last year. Principles 4.8 and 4.9 fall into this category. The text of those two standards I'll paste here. These are responses we're working on right now:
4.8 An institution that offers distance or correspondence education documents each of the following: (Distance and correspondence education)
4.8.1 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 pass code, (b) proctored examinations, or (c) new or other technologies and practices that are effective in verifying student identification.
4.8.2 has a written procedure for protecting the privacy of students enrolled in distance and correspondence education courses or programs.
4.8.3 has a written procedure distributed at the time of registration or enrollment that notifies students of any projected additional student charges associated with verification of student identity.
4.9 The institution has policies and procedures for determining the credit hours awarded for courses and programs that conform to commonly accepted practices in higher education and to Commission policy. (Definition of credit hours)