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FERPA: UPDATE ON THE FAMILY EDUCATIONAL RIGHTS AND PRIVACY ACT Presented by Brenda V. S. Selman University Registrar-MU University of Missouri-Columbia.

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Presentation on theme: "FERPA: UPDATE ON THE FAMILY EDUCATIONAL RIGHTS AND PRIVACY ACT Presented by Brenda V. S. Selman University Registrar-MU University of Missouri-Columbia."— Presentation transcript:

1 FERPA: UPDATE ON THE FAMILY EDUCATIONAL RIGHTS AND PRIVACY ACT Presented by Brenda V. S. Selman University Registrar-MU University of Missouri-Columbia

2 Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 A Federal law designed to protect the privacy of educational records, to establish the rights of students to inspect and review their education records, and to provide guidelines for the correction of inaccurate and misleading data through informal and formal hearings.

3 FERPA bottom line for you You may not disclose information about a student without a students written consent (with few exceptions.) Students may file complaints with the U.S. Department of Education If a complaint is found to be valid, the institution may lose Department of Education funds unless compliance, for instance federal financial aid.

4 Primary Rights of Students Under FERPA To inspect and review their educational records. To seek to amend their educational records. To have some control over the release of information about their educational records.

5 Definition of Educational Records Educational records are all records that contain information that is directly related to a student and Are maintained by an educational agency or institution or by a third party acting on the behalf of the agency or institution.

6 What is a record in practical terms? Handwritten notes Computer files/generated information Printed information Video or audio tapes Film Microfilm or microfiche Photos Any information maintained in ANY WAY about a student

7 What are the types of information? Directory information may be shared Information that is generally not considered harmful if released No requirement to release it Non-directory information may be shared only with: The student Those to whom the student has given written (not ) permission stating to what, why and to whom Other exceptions as specified by law Considered to be PII (Personally Identifiable Info)

8 MUs directory information (Updated): Name Address Telephone number Field of study Dates of attendance Enrollment status (e.g. full or part time) Degrees and awards received Most previous school attended Grade level (e.g. freshman, sophomore, etc.)

9 What can I not release?* Grades Social security number Student number Date of Birth Race/ethnicity/nationality Gender Photos of students Students work Other personally identifiable information without written consent or when covered by an exception. *See exceptions on next slide.

10 Non-directory information may be released to without written consent to the following: School officials with legitimate educational interest (as defined by institution within FERPA guidelines) To Federal authorities involving an audit or evaluation of compliance with education programs To State authorities involving an audit or evaluation of compliance with education programs PROVIDED there is a legal agreement. To parents of dependent students To comply with a judicial order or subpoena (Well discuss this separately.) To the student To organizations conducting studies of or on behalf of educational institutions (provided the institutions research board has cleared the research.) To accrediting agencies In health or safety emergencies See website for full list

11 Is everyone at an institution a school official? School officials are individuals employed by the institution A person serving on an institutional governing board A person employed by or under contract to the institution to perform a specific task such as an attorney or auditor

12 What is a legitimate educational interest? Perform a task related to a students education Perform a task related to the discipline of a student Provide a service or benefit relating to the student or students family, such as health care counseling, job placement or financial aid Perform appropriate tasks that are specified in his/her position description or by a contract agreement Each institution may refine/interpret these statements. Check with your campus counsel.

13 Internal Research Must be school official Must be institutions exclusive use to improve services or teaching; may share aggregate to public if publication was not primary purpose/ intent If an organization or third party to conducts then may only be for Develop, validate, or administer predictive tests Administer student aid programs Improve instruction

14 Must following IRB and Division of IT protocols Have a signed release from the student or Must have a legal agreement Approved by General Counsel Signed by authorized signer of the University Agreement must include: Specific purpose of study Scope of study and specific information to be provided Duration of study Destruction of PII data required and timeline set Consequences of not adhering to agreement (e.g. fines, loss of access, etc.) Continued on next slide External Research

15 Research Agreement Basics Cont. Limit Personally Identifiable Information use for the purpose stated in agreement PII Data must be handled as we would, i.e. PII data will be restricted to individuals with a need to know Confidentiality is guaranteed and specified (i.e. password protected, etc.)

16 Audits To Dept. of Education or Attn. General To State or Local Agencies only if: Signed student release or Legal agreement Approved by General Counsel Signed by an MU authorized signer

17 What are frequent ways we violate FERPA? Posting grades outside offices Leaving student work out to be picked up in not-secure environments References: Signed release needed if sharing non-directory information Photos or videos shared at conferences: Signed releases needed Web sites featuring student work without signed releases Students grading each others work: If it has not been recorded, you are okay. Otherwise, you need a signed release Talking to parents: Unless claimed on most recent income tax, signed release needed Believing we are being helpful by providing information when not authorized by the student to do so

18 Resources on FERPA: _Regulations/ferpa_index.htm

19 Questions Brenda Selman University Registrar-MU Office of the University Registrar (573)


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