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FERPA: Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.

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Presentation on theme: "FERPA: Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act."— Presentation transcript:

1 FERPA: Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

2 Academic honesty Confidentiality Record keeping Fairness Students with disabilities Avoiding the perception of harassment Dealing with challenging students Responsibilities of a TA…

3 FERPA (“Buckley Amendment”): What is it? A federal law administered, interpreted and enforced by the Family Policy Compliance Office (FCPO) in the U.S. Department of Education Enacted in 1974 Privacy of student records Continually amended as higher education evolves

4 FERPA (“Buckley Amendment”): To whom does it apply? All educational institutions (e.g., universities) that receive funding under any program administered by the Department of Education Eligible students (mutually exclusive): – have reached 18 years of age – attending a postsecondary institution

5 FERPA (“Buckley Amendment”): What does it afford eligible students? The right to review and inspect educational records within 45 days of request The right to seek to have their records amended The right to have control over the disclosure of personally identifiable information from their records The right to file a complaint with the Department

6 FERPA (“Buckley Amendment”): What are education records? Those records that contain information directly related to a student and which are maintained by an educational agency or institution or by a party acting for the agency or institution – enrollment records, transcripts, course assignment grades, attendance rosters, examinations, student papers, student evaluations, class rosters, advising notes

7 FERPA (“Buckley Amendment”): What are not considered education records? Notes used as a memory aid and not shared with anyone else Observations Data compiled in the aggregate

8 FERPA (“Buckley Amendment”): What does this mean for you as a TA? You must keep student records confidential – No disclosure of any personal identifying information of any student – No discussion of a student’s performance in your course with anyone other than the course professor

9 FERPA (“Buckley Amendment”): What does this mean for you as a TA? Any emails sent on behalf of a faculty member should be sent to the student’s email only All materials pertaining to a student must be kept secure at all times on all devices where these records are kept in any medium Return records when they are no longer needed Grades should never be posted in a public setting by student name or number, SSN, examination number Graded exams should never be passed around in class

10 FERPA (“Buckley Amendment”): Additional Resources Clifford Ramirez, 2008. FERPA: Clear and Simple. Jossey-Bass, San Francisco (available in the CTE Lending Library) U.S. Department of Education: ml ml Suffolk Law School: icies/family.cfm

11 Case Studies Case Study # 1: You are TAing for a course where you know several of the students and have socialized with them in the past. One weekend after the midterm, several of you go out to a local bar with some other students and various partners and spouses. While Joe is in the bathroom, his wife, Jane, pulls you aside concerned about Joe’s midterm grade. Jane is a year ahead of Joe in school and wants to help him study, so she asks you about the areas of the course where he needs the most help. What do you do?

12 Case Study # 2 – Part 1: You are two weeks into TAing for a course and several students have approached you very upset about Professor Smith. The students feel that Professor Smith is rude to them in class, dismissive of their questions, and generally unapproachable. One student in particular, after complaining at length, challenges you by saying, “you see it too, right?” What if you agree with the student complaints based on your first-hand experience? What if you disagree with the student complaints because you feel that the students need to toughen up if they want to be lawyers? How do you respond?

13 Case Study # 2 – Part 2: Since five different students have approached you about Professor Smith with similar concerns about rudeness and his response to students’ questions, you feel that you should say something to Professor Smith. How do you approach Professor Smith about this issue?

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