SAN ANTONIO, TX--(Marketwire - Feb 26, 2013) - Software Secure, the recognized leader and pioneer in secure, computer-based testing solutions and the International Center for Academic Integrity (ICAI) today announced at the 2013 Annual ICAI International Conference, the formal launch of The Trusted Seal™ program and has awarded its first Integrity Excellence Certification to the University of West Alabama (UWA). The Livingston, Alabama-based institution's distance learning program took the first step towards achieving institutional integrity excellence certification with two of its distance learning courses being successfully reviewed for academic integrity standards. The integrity excellence certification, or The Trusted Seal™, is a set of standardized criteria with which the integrity practices of online courses can be evaluated. The Trusted Seal will be awarded to online courses that meet a set of core criteria to educate, promote and protect academic integrity in the online learning environment. While the seal cannot ensure the integrity of a course, it is evidence that the instructor has designed the course according to "best practices" as recognized by leaders in educational integrity.
As the first academic institution to gain this certification, the University of West Alabama is substantiating its focus on quality in its distance education program. "Through continuous expansion and improvement, UWA strives to become a quality leader in online education -- earning this certification is part of our strategic initiative to provide quality to our students and community," said Dr. Kathy Chandler -- Dean of the College of Education at UWA. "This certification is an affirmation of the stringent standards we hold to as an institution of higher learning, as well as the hard work and integrity of our faculty and students."
"One of the key benefits of the Trusted Seal Certification is that it assures all stakeholders that there are quality standards being applied to our online program that are being audited annually, and confirmed effective by an outside company," added Michael Pratt, UWA's Director of Information Technology. "This communicates to our audiences that we are using the best-in-class standards and technologies to ensure we're protecting the integrity of our distance education programs. UWA's gaining of this certification demonstrates that our commitment to integrity and quality doesn't end at UWA's campus, but extends worldwide."
"I am so pleased to play a part in the development of the Trusted Seal Program, a revolutionary way for us to advance the academic integrity agenda in online education. For any online educator out there who wants to know how to do more to protect the integrity of their courses and then be known for the good work that they do, like UWA, this Program is the answer," said Dr. Tricia Bertram Gallant, ICAI Board Member and international academic integrity expert, "Along with our partner at Software Secure, we are pleased to provide this service and look forward to expanding the integrity standards of the Trusted Seal Program globally as well as potentially into the arena of brick and mortar classes".
For information about The Trusted Seal and application process -- institutions and individuals can visit http://www.softwaresecure.com/about/TrustedSealProgramAbout.aspx for FAQs and program details.
About Software Secure, Inc.
Software Secure is a leading provider of secure and cost-effective computer-based testing solutions for traditional and distance learning environments in higher education, K-12 and certification programs. With award-winning solutions that provide robust authentication and scalable security, institutions can now achieve secure, convenient exam integrity wherever or whenever exams are administered. Software Secure has won numerous industry awards for its Remote Proctor technology, including the 2011 CODiE Award in the Best Mobile Education category, a 2012 CODiE Finalist for Best Postsecondary Enterprise Solution and the 2012 Winner of eSchool Media's Reader's Choice Award for Remote Proctor NOW. Visit: www.softwaresecure.com
About the International Center for Academic Integrity
The International Center for Academic Integrity (ICAI) is a consortium of over 250 colleges, universities, and schools working together to promote integrity and combat cheating, plagiarism, and academic dishonesty in education. The Center works to create and sustain cultures of integrity at all educational levels and welcomes members from academic communities throughout the world. ICAI offers assessment services, resources, and consultations to its member institutions. Visit: www.academicintegrity.org
About the University of West Alabama
Founded over 175 years ago, the Livingston, Alabama, institution has been a leader, first in women's education, then as a highly-regarded teacher's college. Today, UWA is an academically diverse institution with an enrollment of over 5,000 students pursuing undergraduate, Master's and Ed.S. programs through its five colleges and divisions. Visit: www.uwa.edu