skip to main content

Technology Policies and Guidelines for Students

The Community College of Allegheny County provides computing and networking services to members of the College community and other specified clients. Access to and use of computing and networking resources are privileges limited to authorized users and for approved purposes only.

Students using college network computers and applications should be aware of CCAC policies regarding network access and technology use. Please refer to the following policy resources:

Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) Compliance Plan for Combating Unauthorized Distribution of Copyrighted Materials

The Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) was signed into law on August 14, 2008. Final regulations were issued on October 29, 2009. Enforcement of the HEOA provisions formally begins July 1, 2010 and all colleges and universities are required to make a good-faith effort at compliance. Several sections of the HEOA deal with unauthorized file sharing on campus networks, imposing three general requirements on all U.S. colleges and universities:

  • An annual disclosure to students describing federal copyright law and college policies related to violating copyright law.
  • A plan to "effectively combat the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials" by users of its network, including the use of one or more technology-based deterrents.
  • An agreement to offer alternatives to illegal downloading.

The following is CCAC's plan for complying with HEOA and for combating the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials on the campus network.

Part 1: Informing the Community

  • Within the first few weeks of the Fall and Spring terms, CCAC's Office of the Registrar posts a "Policy Reminder" message to all students which contains a reminder that the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials violates federal copyright laws as well as institutional policies. This message also contains links to where students can read more about FERPA and other institutional policies and sanctions.
  • CCAC has developed online orientation videos, which include an informational video on the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials. In this video you can learn more about the laws associated with file sharing.
  • As a Community College, we have a number of non-credit students. To communicate with non-traditional students, CCAC's ITS Department has posted signs in all areas with student computers stating that unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials violates federal copyright laws.
  • Add the links to all websites with appropriate information

Part 2: Effectively Combating Copyright Infringement

Technology deterrent(s) used: Currently, CCAC has implemented URL filtering which will be actively blocking tools utilized for illegal downloads. The tool is configured to block the ability to download software or other materials, serial numbers, key generators, and tools for bypassing software protection in violation of copyright agreements. 

Periodic review of plan: The current approach and plan will be reviewed annually during the summer term.
Plan Review Completed: August 2021 

Part 3: Offering Legal Alternatives

CCAC provides a link to the EDUCAUSE maintained webpage listing of Legal Downloading resources.