Southern Methodist University Private Research University Fall 2010 Enrollment 10,938 Undergraduate 6,192 Graduate/Professional 4,746
Outline FERPA Information at SMU Students Authorize Release & Place Restriction Faculty/Staff View of FERPA Authorization Training and online Tutorial
FERPA Information for Students, Parents, Faculty & Staff
The intent of the legislation is to protect the rights of students and to ensure the privacy and accuracy of education records. The Act provides students with the right to inspect and review education records, the right to seek to amend those records and the right to limit disclosure of information from the records. School officials may not disclose personally identifiable information about students nor permit inspection of their records without consent unless such action is covered by certain exceptions permitted by the Act. Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA)
What are Considered Educational Records? from which a student can be personally identified and maintained by the university With certain exceptions, an education record is any record electronic handwritten print magnetic tape file diskette, etc Education records include any records in whatever medium in the possession of any school official
When do FERPA rights begin? Students FERPA rights begin when they enroll at the university, regardless of their age.
Who Must Comply with FERPA? Faculty: Permanent and Adjunct Staff: Permanent and Temporary Student Employees Student Organizational Leaders Contractors, Consultants and Volunteers (whose job roles have given them access to educational records) All University employees including:
How Do Students Authorize Release of Their Educational Records? Access.SMU Self Service Student Center Release of Education Records
Defining Access Granted for Education Records View financial aid awarded and accepted within Access.SMU. Discuss financial aid situation with SMU Officials. Financial Aid View all holds applied to student within Access.SMU. Discuss Holds, including why the Hold was placed and how to remove it, with the administering SMU business office. Holds View account balances and Campus Essentials selections within Access.SMU. Discuss account balances and Campus Essentials with SMU Officials. Student Financials The student has specifically stated not to release data to this relation. Do Not Release Discuss all Disciplinary Records/Information with the Student Conduct and Community Standards Office. Students can choose to grant partial access to Disciplinary Records by not selecting the All Disciplinary check box but instead by submitting a form to the Student Conduct and Community Standards Office. All Disciplinary Records View class enrollments, grades, and unofficial transcript within Access.SMU. Discuss student Academic Records (including class enrollments, grades, degree progress, class performance, and academic advising) with SMU faculty, staff and academic advisors. Academic Records
Students may grant others access to view their confidential information for various areas.
Students may add access for any of their relationships. First, they must create a new relationship before access can be granted.
Students may create as many new relationships as they want. A relationship can be a friend or any other person the student wishes to grant access.
Students have the right at any time to edit their account and adjust who can view their confidential information.
FERPA Releases Available to Faculty/Staff Releasable Directory Information Non-Releasable Directory Information Releasable Enrollment Releasable Participation
Opens the University Registrars FERPA website Releasable Directory Information SMUs Definition of Directory Information NOT Releasable Directory Information Faculty & Staff are provided information about students releasable directory information....
Full Directory Restriction … and are also provided information when students restrict their directory information for release.
View Releases by Student Inquire Release of Education Records Access.SMU How Do Administrative users Know Students Have Granted Access? View Releases by Student Class Roster Faculty Center Self Service Access.SMU How Do Faculty Members Know Students Have Granted Access?
Faculty/Staff View for Students FERPA Authorization Faculty/Staff should always check a students authorized access so they know to whom the student is granting access and what information is authorized for release.
How Does FERPA Apply to Faculty? Grades Returning Assignments Recommendation Letters Talking with Parents
Posting Grades Even with names obscured, numeric student identifiers are considered personally identifiable information and therefore violates FERPA. However, it is permissible to use unique, confidential, instructor assigned identifiers that are NOT tied to the students SSN, SMU ID, DOB or other personal information. The public posting of grades either by the students name, SMU ID number or Social Security Number (whole or part of it), is a violation of FERPA.
Returning Assignments and Examinations Its a violation of FERPA for faculty to leave graded exams where students can see their classmates grades and work. Leaving personally identifiable, graded papers or examinations unattended for students to view is no different from posting grades in the hallway. A students right to privacy of education records should be honored at all times.
Permission for Recommendation Letters Students requesting letters of recommendation or professional references must provide faculty with written authorization if personally identifiable information obtained from the students education records is included in the letters of recommendation, such as grades. The authorization must be requested from the student prior to writing a letter of recommendation. Retaining the letter of recommendation is not required, but it is suggested that faculty retain the permission letter for six months. The sample permission letter includes a waiver statement that the faculty may or may not choose to use.
Student Name and SMU ID# Include name and address of the specified third party requesting the recommendation letter. List of specific student Education Record information that you want included in the letter. Circle one of the two options Faculty name It is suggested that faculty keep a copy of the permission letter for at least six months.
Talking with Parents If contacted by parents (and others) requesting information regarding a students progress in a course, deficiencies in a subject area, final grades, grades on exams, or other information about academic progress you will need to verify that the student has consented to the release of that information to that specific requestor.
How SMU Keeps Faculty Current with FERPA Regulations Email Letter Newsletters Online Tutorial
A newsletter is sent out electronically each fall and spring before the term begins and contains a reminder about FERPA.
An electronic letter is mailed at the end of term in the fall and spring reminding faculty of FERPA guidelines.
An online tutorial and quiz are provided on the FERPA website for all faculty.
DO refer requests to the Registrars Office when you are uncertain how to respond. DO release a students information to him or her when you can positively identify the student. Remember telephone and e-mails are not reliable methods to make positive IDs. DO post grades on Access.SMU. DO check Access.SMU to verify students consent prior to releasing information. DO feel comfortable to contact the Registrars Office for assistance including the one time parental release for dependent students. DO shred unneeded confidential documents. DO hide confidential information on computer screens from unauthorized individuals. DO NOT display student scores or grades publicly in association with names, student ID numbers (even the last 4 digits of the SSN) or other personal identifiers. DO NOT put exam papers containing student names and grades in publicly accessible places. Students should not have access to the scores and grades of the other students in class. DO NOT share by phone or e-mail information from student education records, with parents or others outside the institution, including letters of recommendation, without written permission of the student. DO NOT circulate a class Roster and/or Grade Roster since it will have the students names and students IDs. DO NOT view education records for personal reasons. DOs DO NOTs When In Doubt, Dont Give Out
SMUs Caring Community Connections and FERPA Caring Community Connections (CCC) is an online program established for faculty and staff to register concerns about students who may be in distress.
If a faculty member has a concern about a student, an online form is completed for follow-up by the Office of Student Life.
The Office of the Provost sends out an e-mail to all faculty and staff reminding them about our Caring Community Connections along with important contact information.
Tools Available to Faculty Advisee Lists Authorized Access Screens Faculty Center FERPA Website Gradebook Roster - Class Roster - Grade