FERPA Information - Tutorial & Quiz
To be allowed access to student records, you must carefully review the material presented here. Maintaining confidentiality of student records is everyone's responsibility, whether you are faculty, staff, or student. Why? Because it's the right thing to do and, more importantly, it's federal law.
The tutorial is designed to give you base-level knowledge of the rules governing release of student information. After you've carefully reviewed the tutorial, test your knowledge by taking the online FERPA Quiz.
What Is FERPA?
FERPA stands for the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (sometimes called the Buckley Amendment). Passed by Congress in 1974, the act grants four specific rights to the student:
- The right to see the information that the institution is keeping on the student
- The right to seek amendment to those records and in certain cases append a statement to the record
- The right to consent to disclosure of his/her records
- The right to file a complaint with the FERPA Office in Washington
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The Basic Rules
- Student educational records are considered confidential and may not be released without the written consent of the student.
- As a faculty or staff member you have a responsibility to protect educational records in your possession.
- Some information is considered public (sometimes called "Directory Information"). This info can be released without the student's written permission. However, the student may opt to consider this info confidential as well. Directory Information is: your name, class standing, school/division, major field of study, dates of attendance, degrees and awards, recognized student activities, sports, athletics information, and current enrollment status; your address and telephone number are also public information unless you have filed a Registrar's form to keep these private.
- You have access to information only for legitimate use in completion of your responsibilities as a university employee. "Need-to-know" is the basic principle.
- If you are ever in doubt, do not release any information until you contact the Office of the Registrar at 260-481-6815 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The Office of the Registrar is responsible for student record information.
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What Is a Student Educational Record?
Just about any information provided by a student to the university for use in the educational process is considered a student educational record, including:
- Personal information
- Enrollment records
The storage media in which you find this information does not matter. Student educational record may be contained in the following media:
- Documents in the Registrar's office
- Computer printouts in your office
- Class lists on your desktop
- Computer display screens
- Notes you have taken during an advisement session
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Special “Dont's” for Faculty
To avoid violating FERPA rules, do not at any time:
- Use a part of or the entire Student Identification Number or Social Security Number of a student in a public posting of grades
- Link the name of a student with that student's identification number or Social Security Number in any public manner
- Leave graded tests in a stack for students to pick up by sorting through the papers of all students
- Circulate a printed class list with student name and student identification number or Social Security Number or grades as an attendance roster
- Discuss the progress of a student with anyone other than the student (including parents) without the consent of the student
- Provide anyone with lists of students enrolled in your classes for any commercial purpose
- Provide anyone with student schedules or assist anyone other than university employees in finding a student on campus
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