Policies, Strategies, and Procedures

The District currently has numerous policies, strategies, and standards that address, govern, and guide instructional and information technology. These policies will be maintained to ensure accurate and appropriate content.

Below is a list of the available policies and plans.

Computer and Network Use Procedure

Board Policy 3720 (opens PDF) and Administrative ​Policy 3720 (opens PDF):

These policies provide the rules an​d regulations for the use of the district’s technology equipment. It is applicable to all college employees, volunteers, and students.

DE Plan and the Online Education Initiative (OEI)

Administrative Policy 4105 (opens PDF):

Per Title 5 Section 55200, distance education means instruction in which the instructor and student are separated by distance and interact through the assistance of communication technology. All distance education is subject to the general requirements under Title 5 as well as the specific requirements of articles 55200 and 55204. In addition, instruction provided as distance education is subject to the requirements that may be imposed by the American with Disabilities Act (42 U.S.C. Section 12100 et seq.) and section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (29 U.S.C. Section 794d).

Information and Communication Technology Accessibility and Acceptable Use

Board Policy 3725 (opens PDF) and Administrative Policy 3725 (opens PDF):

​College of the Desert will ensure equal access to instructional materials and information and communication​ technology (ICT) for all and particularly for individuals with disabilities, in a timely manner.

Provisions for Reliability, Disaster Recovery, Privacy, and Security

College of the Desert has support and maintenance contracts for all critical production systems including the phone system, firewall, core switch, Colleague, Canvas, and College portal. The IT Department maintains a security monitoring, analysis, and response firewall that allows the IT staff to monitor network traffic and block known security threats and attacks. The College has an authentication system to validate and authorize wireless access for all users. The College has a service-level agreement to ensure the reliability of Internet connectivity.

Backups and disaster ​recovery of College of the Desert’s network and server systems are performed nightly by a variety of applications and appliances. Primarily, the majority of server backups reside on two Barracuda appliances. A Symantec Backup Exec Server performs backups on the email system. The SharePoint web/portal server is stored to either tape or the EMC Network. In addition, multiple servers perform local backups as failover to the primary backup services.

Backup services report daily via email to the network administrator with a success or failure message. Failures are promptly addressed and repaired.

Backup storage include Barracuda appliances, the EMC N.A.S., the NetApp S.A.N., a Dell 2000TL tape drive system and local location. The Barracuda and EMC storage systems have redundant units at the Indio site where backup data is copied from the primary backup device. COD has approximately 40 terabytes of storage available. Tape backups are also stored offsite at Union Bank.

Backup protocols ​use both incremental and full backup scenarios. Critical systems are also imaged which allow recovery of the entire server in the event of total loss of data or hardware. Retention periods vary depending on the system being backed up. Duplication and compression techniques are used to reduce the size of backup space.

Redundancy is a key component for many systems in order that automatic failover may occur in the event of failure of ​hardware resources. This allows services to remain online 24/7 without requiring immediate attention by staff. The email servers are clustered in a database access group. In the event of failure of an entire server, email databases are transferred to other available servers automatically. The use of virtualization also allows failover of host servers where virtual servers can be automatically moved to adjacent servers in the event of hardware failure. There are a number of IT policies and procedures to ensure the access and security of the technology resources, including social media procedures.

IT maintains multiple backup servers located throughout Desert Community College District that are additionally backed up to tape. These tape backups are currently stored at an offsite location to ensure safety and availability in the event of an emergency that may occur on campus. Backups occur daily and on weekends with redundancy built into all servers.

Required upgrades​ to hardware and/or software are scheduled to minimize downtime for faculty, staff, and students. Significant down time is scheduled in advance, coordinated with impacted offices, and communicated to impacted constituents.

Each building has an intermediate distribution frame room where network cables are connected to a network switch that has an attached uninterruptible power supply. In case of a power failure, network equipment, including voice over internet protocol phones, remain functional for varying periods of time.

The Network Operation Center is a state-of-the-art facility created with Measure B Bond funds in 2013. It is physically secured and is accessible to only IT and Public Safety staff. The Network Operation Center is connected to a series of backup batteries. These batteries keep the servers and network appliances up and running for 20–30 minutes. In the event of a power failure, this is more than enough time than the two to three minutes needed for the backup generator to activate. The generator keeps all equipment up and running until power is restored.

College of the Desert uses a​ robust and secure learning management system (LMS). The LMS, Canvas, is outsourced. Through a secure connection, the District uploads all account information into the LMS on a regular basis based on current enrollments.

Technology Surveys – Feedback on Technology Needs

The District, through combined efforts of Information Technology and the Institutional Research Office, will create and publish the results of a yearly technology survey for faculty and staff in order to better identify and address technology training and needs on campus.

COD Webpage, Social Media, and Web 2.0

The college’s internet page, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter accounts are managed by the Office of Public Relations.​

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