Data Security

California Community Colleges to Join InCommon Federation

All 112 community colleges in the state of California will soon have systemwide single sign-on and privacy protection for online applications. The California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office has signed an agreement with Internet2 establishing that the state's community college districts will join the InCommon Federation.

Operated by Internet2, InCommon provides a means for the use of one set of credentials to access multiple resources. Membership in the federation enables "a secure approach to access management for online resources internally throughout the system and to services provided over the Internet," according to a press release. "Participating InCommon institutions provide their users single sign-on convenience to on-campus, off-campus and cloud resources, while still allowing the resource owner to make the final authorization decision."

In the case of the California Community College system, for example, students and faculty affiliated with more than one college will benefit from single sign-on no matter which campus they are visiting or which online service they are using. And services developed and hosted by one CCC campus can now be made available to any other colleges in the system, with no need to issue new IDs to existing faculty, staff or students. With the addition of new members from the CCC system, the InCommon Federation's work could extend to about 800 Internet2 participants, comprising about 600 higher education institutions and nonprofit research centers and 200 corporate sponsor partners — a total of more than 10 million individual users.

"InCommon will help provide millions of California Community College students convenient and secure access to our statewide technology initiatives in Online Education, Common Assessment and Education Planning," said Tim Calhoon, executive director, California Community Colleges Technology Center, in a statement. "We are pleased to have Internet2 as a partner in this transformative effort across our system."

About the Author

About the author: Rhea Kelly is executive editor for Campus Technology. She can be reached at rkelly@1105media.com.

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