September 21, 2023

Policy Update: Final Examination Proctor Policy

Please note that CSU’s policy regarding final examination proctor policy will be effective Feb. 5,2014 and will be updated in the CSU Student Handbook.

Columbia Southern University degree programs contain a variety of assignment types and methodologies. Comprehensive sets of questions or exercises are used to evaluate knowledge, skills, and mastery of subject matter prior to and during the final examination. Numerous courses within a program of study may require a final examination; for which, an approved proctor is required.  An approved proctor is defined as a credentialed organization, center, or individual, who verifies student identity and supervises examination integrity.  CSU approves two, flexible proctoring options:  a standard proctor, who is chosen by the student and approved by the University, or Remote Proctor Now (RP Now), an on-demand, third-party, virtual proctor. Students may elect to choose one or a combination of both available proctoring options based upon individual final examination needs.

The following are important facts concerning proctored final examinations:

  • Students may retain up to three (3) approved standard proctors on file with the University, in addition to RP Now.
  • Students should request to sit for a final examination during the last two (2) weeks of the course by submission of the “Request to take Final Exam Online Form” located in the myCSU Student Portal. Students must be enrolled in their course a minimum of three (3) weeks before the request can be processed; the Academic Course Load Policy may be reviewed for further information.
  • Final Examinations must be submitted for grading by 11:59pm, Central Standard Time (CST), on the last day of class.
  • Valid, government-issued photo identification, such as a driver’s license, is required for identity verification prior to examination administration.
  • Compliance with all identified final examination violations is required, as noted in the Exam Violations section of this policy
  • Students are allotted 4-hours for examination completion. The time allotment is cumulative; therefore, a total of 15 minutes in short breaks may be taken during the examination administration and are included in the time allotment. No materials are allowed to leave or re-enter the testing area.
  • Use of examination materials includes only a writing utensil, blank scratch paper, a course textbook, and a calculator. Online calculators may be utilized, with the approval of the course professor. Other materials are not permitted unless specified in the examination instructions or course syllabus.
  • Access to MS Office Suite software or equivalent. All documents should be started without any previous formatting.
  • Fees incurred by use of proctoring services are the responsibility of the student.
  • Final Examinations should be taken in an environment which the student is not likely to be interrupted during examination administration

Standard Proctoring

A standard proctor is an unbiased, qualified individual, selected by the student and approved by the University, who agrees to supervise an examination by verifying student identity and ensuring examination integrity. Upon approval, the proctor will remain active with the University unless proctoring qualifications change, the student or proctor requests discontinuation, or the proctor is disqualified due to a violation of any applicable academic policies including Final Examination Proctor Policy and/or Academic Integrity (AI) Policy.  CSU reserves the right to verify proctor qualifications, require additional evidence of eligibility, or require an alternative proctor be selected. Falsification of proctor information is a violation of CSU Academic Integrity Policy and could result in proctor revocation and/or other sanctions identified in the AI policy.

The following are important facts and responsibilities concerning standard proctoring:

Students will:

  • Select a qualified individual and submit the “Proctor Information Request Form” located in the Student Portal.
  • Refrain from disorderly, lewd, lascivious, indecent or otherwise inappropriate acts during exam administration.

The following are examples of qualified and unqualified proctors:

Qualified Proctor

Unqualified Proctor

  • College or University Professor, Dean, Director, or  university official
  • School Principal or Vice-Principal
  • University/College Testing Center
  • Private Testing Center
  • Personnel Officer, Human Resources Manager, Training Officer or Training Facilitator
  • Commissioned Officer or Senior Non-Commissioned Officer in the Armed Forces, or police/fire service equivalent
  • Educational Services Officer (ESO)
  • Educational Services Specialist (ESS)
  • Military Base Testing Offices
  • Library / Librarian
  • Teacher or School / Guidance Counselor
  • Minister, Priest, Rabbi or other  Religious Leader
  • Remote Proctor Now : $20 fee
  • Any individual that poses a conflict of interest
  • Co-worker
  • Employer and/or Supervisor
  • Tutor
  • Friend
  • Neighbor
  • Relative
  • CSU Student
  • Individuals paid for a personal service (doctor, attorney, consultant, etc.)

Proctors are required to:

  • Present valid credentials for proctor certification and have a valid e-mail address, preferably from the organization which employs the proctor.
  • Submit a completed “Proctor Agreement Form” to CSU for consideration of approval, along with credential certification. Approved credential certification includes:
    • Professional business card listing company name and title
    • Work badge notating title (excluding military identification card)
    • Teachers identification or copy of a teaching certificate
    • Letter from proctor’s supervisor or human resource manager, on company letterhead, stating proctor’s position and relationship to the student.
  • Maintain examination integrity through concealment of the final examination password. The password is delivered to the proctor who enters it into the examination on behalf of the student. At no time is the student allowed to view the password.
  • Verify student identity through valid, government-issued, photo identification, prior to examination administration.
  • Remain in proximity of the student through final examination completion.
  • Confirm adherence to the four (4) hour examination time limit.
  • Verify use of materials includes only a writing utensil, blank scratch paper, a course textbook, and a calculator. Online calculators may be utilized, with the approval of the course professor. Other materials are not permitted unless specified in the examination instructions or course syllabus.
  • Confirm the student begins all documents without any previous formatting within MS Office Suite software or equivalent
  • Certify copies of the final examination are not distributed to the student and are destroyed upon the completion of the examination.

Standard Proctoring/Testing Procedures:

  • From the myCSU Student Portal, send the “Proctor Information Request” to the desired proctor.
  • An e-mail containing a link is delivered to the prospective proctor. The individual will complete the request, attach credential certification, and submit.  Please note the link provided is only valid for 14 days.
  • Student Services notifies both the student and proctor of approval/denial, via email.  2-3 business days should be allowed for notification.
  • Upon approval, the student will submit the “Request to take Final Exam Online Form” located in myCSU Student Portal.
  • Student Services will send the final examination password to the proctor within 2-3 business days upon receipt of the request.
  • The student and proctor will meet at a pre-determined, mutually convenient time and location for examination administration.
  • The proctor must verify student identity by viewing a valid, government issued photo identification and ensure only permitted materials are used during the examination.
  • The student will login to Blackboard and click on the “Final Exam” link within the course.
  • The proctor will enter the password, guarding against student view.
  • The student can begin the examination online or print the final examination and work offline.
  • The student will complete the examination within the four (4) hour time allotment.
  • Printed copies of the examination must be destroyed upon completion of the examination.

Remote Proctor Now (RP Now)

RP Now is an on-demand, third-party, virtual proctor which allows students to sit for an examination anytime, anywhere through use of video technology. Students choosing RP Now must have an operational webcam with audio, a high-speed internet connection, and appropriate system rights required to download and install software. During examination administration, RP Now will access the student’s webcam microphone, and desktop in order to record the examination for academic integrity review.

The following are important facts and responsibilities concerning RP Now:

Students are required to:

  • Access a computer, the internet, a microphone and a webcam for examination administration; the university does not provide this equipment. Download and install RP Now software.
  • Register through RP Now, initialized during the first final examination.
  • Submit payment to RP Now for each final examination administered through this proctoring option.
  • Provide a clean desk in a lighted area, free of disruptive noises, including music and other people entering and leaving the room.
  • Present valid, government-issued photo identification for identity verification purposes prior to examination administration.
  • Refrain from printing the final examination, as this is prohibited.
  • Refrain from disorderly, lewd, lascivious, indecent or otherwise inappropriate acts.

RP Now Proctoring/Testing Procedures:

  • Students will request RP Now by submitting “Request to take Final Exam Online Form,” located in the myCSU Student Portal.  This process should be initiated when the student is ready to sit for the final examination, no later than the last day of class.  A confirmation email will be sent to the student containing a direct link to RP Now.  Examinations must be submitted for grading by 11:59pm, Central Standard Time (CST), on the last day of class.
  • The student will follow the instructions provided by RP Now to effectively register.
  • During registration, permissible materials as previously stated in policy are to be present in the examination area prior to scanning the area with the webcam.
  • Upon successful registration, students will be directed to the login page for Blackboard.  Four (4) minutes is provided to login and access the final examination.  In the event the time allotment is exceeded, the registration process begins again.
  • A password will be required to access the examination. Therefore, the student will need to click   ”Insert Exam Password” and then ”Submit.”
  • The final examination will begin. During the examination administrations, students need to ensure they are visible throughout the duration of the exam, as it is being recorded.
  • Upon completion of the examination, the student will click ‘Submit’ and exit RP Now browser window to discontinue examination recording.

Exam Violations

The following final examination violations are subject to sanctions identified in the Academic Integrity and Student Code of Conduct Policies:

  • Failure to presenting a valid, government-issued photo identification card
  • Failure to scan the testing area
  • Use of materials or unapproved software/technology, other than a writing utensil, course textbook, and calculator or examination specific materials.
  • Use of the Internet to access any site other than the Blackboard Learning Management System or RP Now Proctoring System.
  • Speaking with another individual during examination administration.
  • Use of a cellphone or technology other than the computer being used for examination administration. (Students encountering technical difficulty are allowed to access a cellphone to call technical support.)
  • Materials exiting or re-entering the testing area.
  • Exceeding the four (4) hour testing time limit.
  • Displaying disorderly, lewd, lascivious, indecent or otherwise inappropriate acts

Should any circumstances develop before or during a final examination, including natural disasters, emergencies, power or internet outages, etc., the student and/or proctor should contact Student Services immediately at 800-977-8449, ext. 6525 or Helpdesk Technical Support 877-399-1063. In the event the call is placed after standard operating hours, please leave a message or e-mail .