Student Identity Verification in Distance Learning

Purpose and Scope

This policy applies to all credit-bearing online courses or programs offered by the Bay Path University, beginning with the application for admission and continuing through to a student’s graduation, transfer or withdrawal from the University. The purpose of this policy is to ensure that Bay Path University operates in compliance with the provisions of the United States Federal Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) concerning the verification of student identity in distance education and the expectation of the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).

The HEOA requires that institutions offering distance education or correspondence 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 HEOA 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.


Bay Path University employs a secure login and pass code for student accounts. Upon enrollment, each Bay Path student is assigned a sequentially generated nine-digit student identification number. All Bay Path University students are provided credentials for secure access to University systems, including for distance learning. Students are responsible for providing their complete and true identity information in any identification verification process. Bay Path students are required to follow the acceptable use policy, which includes stipulations that they may not provide someone their password or allow others to use their account.

Students use their unique credentials, including their Bay Path email address and a password, to access the My Bay Path portal, which is the gateway to a number of information systems and resources including Canvas, the University’s learning management system. Canvas integrates with University authentication services to ensure appropriate and secure student access to course materials. All users of the University’s learning management system are responsible for maintaining the security of login information and passwords and any other access credentials as required. Attempting to discover another user's password or attempts to gain unauthorized access to another person's files or email is prohibited.

In the event that an exam for a distance course must be proctored, the instructor is required to make arrangements in advance with students. These arrangements must include advance notification of any fees associated with proctoring.

Bay Path University complies fully with the provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), 20 U.S.C. 1232g, which protects the privacy of student information in distance education by requiring, with certain limited exceptions, that the student's consent must be obtained before disclosing any personally identifiable information in the student's education records.