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Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

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Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

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  1. Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act Office of the Registrar 010 Medical Sciences Library Building 862.3430 freund@tamhsc.edu

  2. What is FERPA? • FERPA stands for Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (sometimes called the Buckley Amendment) • Passed by Congress in 1974 • The act grants specific rights to adult students concerning their student educational records

  3. Why should I care about FERPA? • Maintaining confidentiality of student records is everyone’s responsibility • The federal government requires us to do so • Because it is in the best interest of our students and the institution to protect our student population

  4. Implications of FERPA • The Good News • FERPA legislation has NO power to take punitive actions against any individual • The Bad News • FERPA legislation does have the power to revoke federal funds to the university for proven FERPA violations

  5. What is an educational Record? • An educational record is an official and confidential document • As defined by FERPA, all records which are related to a student and maintained by the HSC are educational records • Educational records can be in any media (electronic, paper, film, etc.)

  6. What is not an educational Record? • Personal notes which are not shared with others • Law enforcement records • Employment records where employment is not connected to student status • Health records used only for medical/psychological treatment of a student that are only accessible to the student and the provider of the treatment • Records created after a person is no longer a student

  7. Test for an educational record • Is the record kept because of the person’s status as a student?AND • Does anyone besides the creator have access? IF BOTH ANSWERS ARE “YES”, THE RECORD IS AN EDUCATIONAL RECORD

  8. A Student has rights protected under FERPA • The right to inspect and review education records • The right to seek the amendment of education records • The right to consent to the disclosure of education records • The right to obtain a copy of the schools Student Records policy • The right to file a complaint with the FERPA Office in Washington, DC

  9. Right to Inspect, Review, and Seek to Amend Education Records • Students must have access to review their educational record • If a student believes that any information is inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of their privacy rights, they may request that the office which contains those records amend them

  10. The TAMUSHSC Student Records Policy • Paper copies can be obtained from the Office of the Registrar • Also available at www.tamhsc.edu/academics/registrar

  11. The right to consent to the disclosure of education records • At the HSC, directory information can be released without written consent of the student. UNLESS the student has chosen to have directory information suppressed.

  12. Name Local and Permanent Address Telephone Numbers Date and place of birth Level and School Student Classification Field of Study Photographs/other media taken at HSC events Enrollment Status (full-time, etc.) Dates of attendance Degrees, Certificates and other Awards received The types of awards received Most recent educational institution attended by the student Medical residence location and specialization Directory Information at the HSC

  13. Students can request that directory information be withheld • Students can request that directory information be withheld by completing a Student Privacy Notice Form • Obtained from the Office of the Registrar http://www.tamhsc.edu/academics/registrar/forms/studentprivacy.pdf

  14. How do I tell if a student has restricted his directory information? • In OASIS, a student who has requested confidentiality will have the public information fields printed in blue. • If you do not have access to know if a student has requested privacy, you should not be giving out directory information at all.

  15. The right to consent to the disclosure of education records • Permission must be obtained before releasing non-directory information. Exceptions to the rule include: • Officials or faculty of the University who have a legitimate educational interest • Officials of other schools where the student seeks to enroll • Certain federal and state educational authorities • Financial Aid personnel in conjunction with an application for financial assistance

  16. The right to consent to the disclosure of education records-Other Exceptions • Parents or legal guardians of dependent students (written record of grades only) • Persons presenting an official judicial order or subpoena • Appropriate individuals in connection with an emergency if knowledge is necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or others • An outside contractor who is a party acting for the institution and is performing a service that the institution would otherwise perform. • Individuals requesting information for deceased students

  17. Who has a legitimate educational interest? • A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an educational record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibilities

  18. Who are school officials? • Faculty, Staff, Student Employees (with proper clearance) • People with whom the HSC has contracted services we would otherwise perform ourselves • Members of the Board of Regents • Students (with proper clearance) serving on an official committee or assisting another school official in his or her tasks

  19. The Right to file a complaint • Students have the right to file a complaint with the Family Policy Compliance Office in Washington, D.C. • Students should contact the Registrar’s Office for information related to filing a complaint

  20. FERPA Good Practices • DOrefer requests for information from the educational record of a student to the proper educational record custodian. When in doubt about the proper custodian, contact the Office of the Registrar.

  21. FERPA Good Practices • DO keep only those individual student records necessary for the fulfillment of your job responsibilities

  22. FERPA Good Practices • DO keep any personal professional records relating to individual students separate from their educational records Remember that a personal record must NOT be accessible to anyone besides the creator, except a designated substitute.

  23. FERPA Good Practices • DOhave a student contact the Office of the Registrar to change information in an educational record when the student is able to provide valid documentation that the information is inaccurate or misleading.

  24. FERPA Good Practices • DO NOT display student scores or grades publicly in association with names, SSN, or other personal identifiers.

  25. FERPA Good Practices • DO NOT place papers, graded exams, any type of record with student identification on it in publicly accessible places.

  26. FERPA Good Practices • DO NOT access or request information from the OASIS without a legitimate educational interest and the appropriate authority to do so.

  27. FERPA Good Practices • DO NOT share student educational record information with other school officials unless they have a legitimate educational interest in the same information.

  28. FERPA Good Practices • DO NOT share student educational record information including grades or grade point averages with others outside the HSC without written permission from the student.

  29. FERPA Good Practices • DO NOT allow students to sort through graded papers or tests in order to retrieve their own work.

  30. FERPA Good Practices • Remember to check a student’s restriction before you answer any questions. Written in Blue

  31. FERPA Good Practices • Never circulate a class roster with student name and SSN as an attendance roster.

  32. FERPA Good Practices • In general, do not release any directory information to off-campus inquires. Refer off-campus inquiries to the Office of the Registrar

  33. FERPA Good Practices • Remember to close any programs on your computer that contain student information when not at your desk. It is a good practice to have a strong password on your screen saver so others can not access your computer when it is on.

  34. FERPA Good Practices • When in doubt, err on the side of caution and contact the Office of the Registrar for guidance.

  35. FERPA Quiz Professor Smith is asked by Sally to write a letter of recommendation for her to a prospective employer. Professor Smith includes in the letter Sally’s GPA and the classes that she was enrolled in that he instructed. Has Professor Smith violated FERPA? ? FERPA VIOLATION!!!! Professor Smith released non-directory information to a third-party without written permission from the individual to do so.

  36. FERPA Quiz Professor Smith comes to the Office of the Registrar and would like to know how one of his students in his Epidemiology class is doing in Biostatistics. Should the office release this information to him? NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ? Professor Smith does not have a legitimate educational interest in how any of his students are doing in another class. How a student is doing in other coursework has no bearing on his professional responsibilities.

  37. FERPA Quiz You receive a phone call from the local police department indicating that they are trying to determine whether a particular student was in attendance on a specific day. Are you allowed to give them this information? NO!!!!!!!!! ? Information about whether or not a student was enrolled in a particular semester is directory information, and can be obtained through the Office of the Registrar. If the police require more information, a subpoena may be required. Additionally, FERPA requires notification of the student, unless it is specifically stated on the subpoena, that the student must not be notified

  38. FERPA Quiz True or False: Authorization to the Student Records Information System grants you unlimited access to student records. FALSE!!!!!!!!!! ? Authorization only grants you access to records that you need to complete your professional responsibilities. Just because you might be able to look at someone’s record, does not mean that you should.

  39. FERPA Quiz You get a frantic phone call from an individual who says that he is a student's father and must get in touch with her immediately because of a family emergency. Can you tell him when and where her next class is today? ? NO!!!!!!!!!!! For thesafety of the student you cannot tell another person where a student is at any time. If the individual needs to get in contact with the student right away, refer them to the Office of the Registrar and we will contact the student.

  40. FERPA Quiz An attorney calls you wanting to know some information about a student for a case that he is working. Should you answer his questions? NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ? It is always a good practice to refer lawyers or any issues relating to legal matters to the institutions legal counsel. If legal counsel requires additional assistance from you, they will be in touch with you.

  41. FERPA Quiz A student needs the local telephone number of another student in their microbiology class. Can you give the number? YES!!!!!!!!! ? Local telephone numbers are directory information at the HSC. If the student has not requested privacy, you can release the phone number.

  42. For More Information….. Please contact the Office of the Registrar 979.862.3430 freund@tamuhsc.edu