Procedure 5.4.3.4 - Student Identification and Authentication


Montgomery Community College adheres to the North Carolina Community College Institutional Information Processing System (IIPS), Chapter 020106: Securing the End User: Managing Passwords. This standard states a combination of a unique user credential and a valid password shall be the minimum requirement for granting access to an information system when IDs and passwords are used as the method of performing identification and authentication. The Information Technology department at MCC is responsible for adhering to this standard.

At Montgomery Community College each student, upon application, is issued a unique 7 digit student identification number. This student identification number is generated from and housed on the MCC Datatel/Colleague System.

This number is provided to students on registration forms, payment forms, email accounts, student identification badges, and other forms issued by Student Services. The student is given this information to access College resources; specifically, the learning management system (Blackboard) using a secure login and password that is a combination of the student’s name and student identification number.

Upon registration for a specific course, the student login is systematically tied directly to the corresponding class in Blackboard. The student uses the secure login information to sign in to the distance learning system for verification of identity, to verify attendance and participation in registered classes and for reporting and turning in assignments. In order to protect student privacy, students are instructed to change their unique password upon initial login and then required to change password every 90 days.

The Distance Learning department is responsible for student password maintenance to insure ongoing student information security. If a student needs to reset their password two options are provided under the Tech Trail link for password resets. Multiple methods are used to confirm their identity. The student is required to provide this information before any release of password or identification is changed.

Montgomery Community College utilizes Blackboard as its web based learning management system for hosting distance learning classes and to use online materials and activities to complement face-to-face instruction. Blackboard is used for all online, hybrid and web enhanced courses. Faculty use Blackboard to post course lectures, handouts, and other files; deliver secure student communications via messages and announcements; collect assignments; facilitate student collaboration via discussions board assignments, administer secure online exams; and post grades securely.

In order to verify that students enrolled in a distance learning course are the same ones who are completing and accessing course work, each student must access online courses offered through Blackboard via a secure portal where he or she must enter a unique username and password. The Blackboard user ID is based on the student name and student ID number. MCC students are instructed to keep this information private and not to distribute this login information to anyone else under any circumstances.