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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 What is FERPA? It stands for the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974. Also known as the Buckley Amendment. FERPA is enforced by the Family Policy Compliance Office of the U.S. Department of Education.

3 FERPA is not: A law that only pertains to public institutions. A law that is only applicable to offices that handle grades.

4 Rights granted to Students under FERPA include:
The right to inspect and review their own education records. The right to request to amend their education records. The right to have some control over the disclosure of information from the education records. The right to file a complaint with the Dept. of Ed. These are the main issues addressed in the FERPA policy. We will go into the specifics to clarify this further

5 What are Education Records?
All records that directly relate to a student and are maintained by an institution. These records can be in any media form: handwritten, print, tape, film, electronic, etc.

6 What Education Records are not:
“Sole Possession Records”– personal notes kept by a faculty/staff member as a memory aid if not shared with anyone else Law Enforcement Records – maintained solely for law enforcement purposes & revealed only to law enforcement agencies. Employment Records – of those whose employment is not contingent upon being a student.

7 What Education Records are not: continued
Medical Records - created by a health care professional used only for the medical/health treatment of the student. Alumni Records – most information collected after the student has left the institution (donations, etc). Classroom activity and homework that does not become part of the student’s permanent record.

8 Why Comply with FERPA? It’s the Law!
Failure to comply could result in the withholding of federal funds including student Financial Aid. Lawsuits caused by violations cost time and $$$. It is our ethical responsibility to hold student records in confidence in order to protect their privacy. Why comply? It’s the Law. Being an institution of integrity – we want to maintain our witness to our students as well as the world at large. Failure to comply could result our losing the ability to participate in federal financial aid programs. By not complying lawsuits could arise which would cost the college time and money. It gives the college credibility when we are able to handle student information in a confidential and professional manner.

9 Who is and is not covered under FERPA?
Students who are or have been in attendance at a postsecondary institution and for whom the institution maintains education records are covered under FERPA. Applicants who are denied admission or who never attend are not covered under FERPA.

10 When do FERPA rights begin for a student?
When the student is “in attendance” as defined by the institution. For Regent University that means the student is registered for at least one class at 12:01 a.m. on the first day of the student’s first term, as determined by the official university academic calendar. Our definition changed this year. Because of how we define “in attendance” you admissions folks probably do not need to worry too much that you may inadvertently violate FERPA.

11 What information might need to be handled in a secure way?
Any part of a student’s record that is not listed as “directory” information. Registration forms Financial Information Social Security Numbers Transcripts Student information displayed on your computer screen Grades Student schedules Class assignments Class Rosters

12 What information can be released?
Directory Information (unless the student has placed a confidentiality block on his/her record). Information that the student has given written consent to release. Information needed by employees who have a legitimate educational interest. Information needed by certain government agencies. Forward all requests for student information to the Registrar’s Office! You’ll hear this phrase many times – we don’t want you to have to be responsible for making the decision about whether or not it’s OK to give it out. Let us handle that!

13 What is “directory information”?
It is information that may be released without the student’s written consent (unless they have placed a confidentiality hold on their record). Institutions determine what they will classify as directory information.

14 Directory Information at Regent University includes:
Name Address address Telephone number Date and Place of Birth Major Field of Study Dates of Attendance Degrees and Awards Received Most Recent Previous Institution Attended Photograph Participation in Officially Recognized Activities Remember that FERPA says institutions MAY release directory information. At Regent we take a very conservative approach – we don’t provide lists to anyone. It’s part of our job to verify enrollment and provide transcripts, etc. but we only do this with proper authorization.

15 Providing Directory Information
In order to protect the privacy of our students, Regent University generally does not provide lists of directory information to outside parties. Please forward all requests for such information to the Registrar’s Office.

16 Who can access Non-Directory Student Information?
ONLY Regent University employees who have a legitimate educational interest. Legitimate Educational Interest: A school official’s “need to know” information from a student’s education record in order to fulfill job responsibilities

17 Who else can access Non-Directory Student Information?
FIRST, Remember to forward all requests for student information to the Registrar’s Office! Financial Aid Lenders. Agents of the court when the college has been issued a subpoena or court order. Schools in which the student seeks to enroll

18 Access to Non-Directory Student Information, continued
Certain State & Federal Agencies. Appropriate individuals in an emergency in order to protect the health & safety of the student or other persons. Under the Solomon Amendment – military recruiters.

19 Access to Non-Directory Student Information, cont.
Under FERPA parents may obtain non-directory information (grades, GPA, etc.) if the child is a legal dependent or the student gives written consent; however… At Regent no one, including parents and spouses, may obtain non-directory information without written consent from the student.

20 TAKE NOTE: Access to student records via Genisys or other computer software does not authorize unrestricted use of that information. Information on a computer should be treated with the same confidentiality as a paper record. Curiosity is not a valid reason to view student information. Records should only be used in the context of official business.

21 When in doubt – don’t give it out
When in doubt – don’t give it out! Forward all requests for student information to the Registrar’s Office! REMEMBER!

22 IMPORTANT REMINDERS!!!! Do not leave confidential information displayed on an unattended computer. Cover or put away papers that contain confidential information when you step away from your desk.

23 Verify identity before discussing protected information with a student by phone. (see FERPA FAQs document to learn how) Only use students’ Regent address when ing protected information. Hide recipients’ names using the Bcc field when ing non-directory information to groups of students. (see FERPA FAQs document

24 Record Disposal Records containing Social Security Numbers, grades or any non-directory information about a student should be shredded, not just thrown in the trash.

25 Special Hints for Faculty
To Avoid FERPA Violations – Please: Do Not use the SSN/Student ID to post grades. Do Not leave graded tests in a stack for students to sort through. Do Not circulate a printed class list with the Student Name and SSN/Student ID.

26 Faculty Hints, continued ….
To Avoid FERPA Violations – Please: Do Not provide anyone with student schedules. Do Not provide anyone with lists of students enrolled in your classes. Do Not include confidential information (i.e. grades, #of credits) in a recommendation letter without the written consent of the student.

27 Thank you for your attention and cooperation in protecting the privacy of our students!
If you have further questions, please contact the Registrar’s Office at

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