FERPA for Faculty and Staff. Leslie Sutton-Smith University Registrar June 2014. FERPA, What is it? .
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FERPA for Faculty and Staff Leslie Sutton-Smith University Registrar June 2014
FERPA, What is it? • The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education • FERPA gives parents certain rights with respect to their children’s education records. These rights transfer to the student when he or she reaches the age of 18 or attends a school beyond the high school level. Students to whom the rights have transferred are “eligible students”. Parents or eligible students have the right to inspect and review the student’s education records maintained by the school.
What does it mean for us? • Schools must have written permission from the parent or eligible student in order to release any information from a student’s education record. However, FERPA allows schools to disclose those records, without consent, to the following parties or under the following conditions (34 CFR § 99.31)*: • School officials with legitimate educational interest; • Other schools to which a student is transferring; • Specified officials for audit or evaluation purposes; • Appropriate parties in connection with financial aid to a student; • Organizations conducting certain studies for or on behalf of the school; • Accrediting organizations; • To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena; • Appropriate officials in cases of health and safety emergencies; and • State and local authorities, within a juvenile justice system, pursuant to specific State law.
“Legitimate Educational Interest” • As a member of the Drew faculty or staff in the context of your employment, you will likely have “legitimate educational interest” and need to view academic records. • You are required to act as a guardian of these records and not release them to anyone (even the student him/herself) without written permission.
Keep that information private • Grades: Students' scores or grades should not be displayed publicly. Grades, transcripts or degree audits reviewed for purposes of advisement should not be placed in plain view in open mail boxes located in public places. Take care to cover your computer screens if a student might otherwise see another student’s Ladder information.Papers: Graded papers or tests should not be left unattended on a desk in plain view in a public area nor should students sort through them in order to retrieve their own work. This includes graded items left outside of offices that the public can access.Athletes: The education records of student athletes are protected by FERPA. Members of the athletic staff including coaches are named as school officials and have the right to access their athletes' educational records that pertain to athletic eligibility. Any athlete who has requested a full FERPA block from display of his/her “Directory Information” may not be listed on a team roster or any other publicized list. A student who has such a block in place will show a “confidential” tag on his/her Ladder account.Class Rosters/Grades Sheets: These and other reports should be handled in a confidential manner and the information contained on them should not be re-disclosed to third parties.
And also… • Don’t discuss another person’s record with anyone else except that student or a university official who also has “legitimate educational interest”. • Don’t discuss the student’s record with a parent/guardian or spouse, unless the student has completed the PROXY option on Treehouse.
PROXY access • Students who desire to approve the discussion of their academic progress, grades, as well as the discussion and release of financial information as it pertains to their enrollment at Drew to their parents, guardians, or spouses may grant these permission online through TREEHOUSE ( “PARENT/GUARDIAN PROXY ACCESS”)
PROXY ACCESS • If the student has set up proxy access, you will see it in Ladder for faculty, and in Banner for staff. • You will need to ask the caller/visitor for the “passphrase” and only reveal information as designated.
FULL FERPA BLOCK • On rare occasions a student will visit the Registrar’s office in the Fall and fill out a request for a non disclosure of “Directory Information”. • “Directory Information” per FERPA and at Drew means that without the student’s permission we may release to the public a student’s name, dates of attendance and graduation, degrees earned and photograph
If a student requests non-disclosure of directory information: • Drew cannot acknowledge the student’s presence • The student may not be listed on team rosters, commencement or other programs • The Registrar’s office cannot verify graduation to potential employers
How do I know if a student has a full FERPA block? For faculty, see below
Questions • All questions should always be referred to the University Registrar, Leslie Sutton-Smith at ext 3243 or lsuttonsmith@Drew.edu When in doubt, ask, don’t make assumptions.
Other issues • Verifications, transcripts should all be handled by the Registrar’s office and may not be given out anywhere else on campus. • Any notes you may keep on a student are subject to subpoena.