Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act Updated March 2011
What is FERPA? • It stands for the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (sometimes called the Buckley Amendment). • Before FERPA was enacted in 1974, students didn’t have the right to access their records, but just about everyone else did. • The Act protects the confidentiality of student’s records and grants four specific rights to the adult student.
Who has FERPA rights at Palmer? Students • The definition of student is a person who attends or has attended Palmer. • "In attendance" is the day the individual first attends a class at Palmer. • FERPA rights do not apply to prospective students or students who have applied, but have not enrolled at Palmer.
What are student rights under FERPA? • The right to inspect and review “educational records” • The right to request an amendment to “educational records” • The right to consent to control the disclosure of their “educational records” • The right to file a complaint concerning the College’s compliance with FERPA
What are Educational Records? • Information recorded in any form that is directly related to a student and maintained by the College and by those acting for the College. • This includes, but is not limited to: • Grades • Course transcripts • Class schedule • Test scores • Advising records • Education services received • Disciplinary actions • Security records • Clinical Education related records • Work study employment records
What does an educational record look like? • The storage medium in which you find this information does not matter. • A student educational record may be: • Documents in the Registrar’s office • A computer printout or fax in your office • Class lists displayed on your desktop • Electronic information archived on your computer • On a computer display screen
What is not an educational record? • Records of instructional, supervisory and administrative personnel kept in the sole possession of the maker of the record and not revealed to anyone other than the maker’s substitute; • Employee records of an individual, whose employment is not contingent on the fact that he or she is a student, provided the record is used only in relation to the individual's employment at Palmer.
What is not an educational record? • Counseling records which are created or maintained by a physician, psychiatrist, psychologist, or other recognized professional or paraprofessional, acting in his/her professional capacity or assisting in a paraprofessional capacity, used solely in connection with the provision of treatment to the student and not disclosed to anyone other than individuals providing such treatment, so long as the records can be personally reviewed by a physician or other appropriate professional of the student's choice.
What is not an educational record? • Health records maintained by Palmer's Clinics, if the records are used only for treatment of a student and made available only to those persons providing the treatment. • Alumni records containing information about a student after he or she is no longer in attendance at Palmer and which do not relate to the person as a student. • Undocumented general, i.e.; observations of out of the ordinary behavior
When may a parent access a student’s educational records? • Law allows parental access if the student is claimed as a dependent for Federal income tax purposes. • Access is granted to both the parent who claims the student, as well as, the parent who is not claiming the student. • Parent must complete and submit Consent to Release Information Form each time information is requested.
Parental Access • What if the student is not being claimed by either parent for Federal income tax purposes? • Parent can have access only if the student is willing to release information. • Student must complete Consent to Release Information Formeach time information is to be released.
What is directory information? • " . . . information contained in an educational record of a student which would not generally be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed." (1988 Final Regulations)
What IS NOT directory information? • Information that COULD be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy and generally should NOT be disclosed • Social security number or • Student identification number • Race • Ethnicity • Nationality • Gender
Examples of Directory Information Unless otherwise instructed by the student, the College can generally disclose the following information Personal Information • Student’s name • Addresses • E-mail address • Telephone numbers • Date of birth • Weight and height, if an athletic team member Academic Information • Student’s name • Class level • Dates of attendance • Full- or part-time status • Institutions previously attended • Degrees, honors and certificates received • Eligibility for membership in College honoraries • Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
How can a student withhold directory information? • A currently enrolled student may instruct the College to withhold directory information by submitting a request form to the Registrar • Consent to Release Information Formmay be obtained and filed at the Registrar’s Office and must be submitted prior to the end of the fifth day of instruction for a term.
The law allows disclosure without consent to: • College officials who have a legitimate educational interest • Other schools, upon request, in which a student is seeking or intending to enroll • Accrediting organizations
The law allows disclosure without consent to: • Organizations authorized to do certain studies for or on behalf of the College • Appropriate parties in connection with financial aid to a student to determine eligibility, amount or conditions of financial aid, or to enforce the terms and conditions of aid. • Parents when a student over 18 is still a dependent
The law allows disclosure without consent to: • Certain government officials of the U. S. Department of Education and state and local educational authorities, in connection with an audit, authorized representatives of the U. S. Attorney General for law enforcement purposes or state or federally supported education programs • Individuals who have obtained a judicial order or subpoena • College officials who have a need to know concerning disciplinary action taken against a student
The law allows disclosure without consent to: • Appropriate parties who need to know in cases of health and safety emergencies when necessary to protect the health and safety of the student and/or others • State and local authorities, within the juvenile justice system, pursuant to specific state law
The law allows disclosure without consent to: • Alleged victim of a crime of violence the results of a disciplinary proceeding with respect to that crime • Parent or legal guardian of a student under the age of 21, information regarding any violation of College policy or state, federal or local law, governing the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance • Those requesting directory information on a student provided the student has not requested his or her information be withheld
Health and Safety Emergencies • “FERPA is not intended to be an obstacle in addressing emergencies and protecting the safety of students.” • Disclosure may be made by College officials only to “appropriate parties” and must be limited to “information [that] is necessary to protect the health and safety of the student or other individuals.” • Law enforcement • Consultants • Family members • Mental health professionals • Other individuals who may assist in providing or evaluating the need for protection
What are institutional policy and notification requirements? • Students have the right to inspect and review their education records within 45 days of the day request for access is received. • Students should submit to the Registrar or other appropriate College official, written requests that identify the record(s) they wish to inspect. • The Registrar or other appropriate College official will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected.
How can I avoid FERPA violations? • DO NOT: • use Social Security Numbers of students when publicly posting grades. Grades may be posted by matriculation number, but only when student consent to post by matriculation number is received • leave graded tests, quizzes, assignments, etc. unattended • circulate a printed class list with student name and social security number or matric number or grades as an attendance roster. • provide anyone with lists of students enrolled in your classes (refer the requestor to the Registrar’s Office). • provide anyone with student schedules or assist anyone other than College officials in finding a student on campus.
How can I avoid FERPA violations? • DO: • Obtain a signed and dated written consent from allrelevant students, BEFORE, disclosing educational records, specifying: • The records that may be disclosed • The purpose for which they may be disclosed • The persons or classes to whom they may be disclosed • Attach or enclose the College’s confidentiality statement to all email and facsimile communications (on next slide)
College’s confidentiality statement • CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE: This E-Mail communication (including attachments) is covered by the Electronic Communications Privacy Act 18, U.S.C 2510-2521, is confidential and/or legally privileged and is protected from disclosure. If you are not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any retention, disclosure, dissemination, distribution, copying or use in any way of the contents of this communication is strictly prohibited. Please reply to the sender that you have received this message in error, and then delete it. Thank You. • FERPA NOTICE: Additionally, these records are protected by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act and are provided to the intended recipient under an exception to the Act found in Section 99.32. These records must be maintained confidentially and may not be redisclosed. They must be destroyed when your legitimate educational interest no longer exists.
If a former student has applied for a position in your department... • Can you view his or her educational records? • No. Accessing a Palmer College’s student record for non-educational purposes, such as potential employment, is not permissible. • Tip: Instead, request a transcript from the student as part of an employment process.
A student calls on the phone and asks for his/her GPA. • Do you tell them? • No. Even if they give you their name, DOB, LIN, SSN (you actually can’t ask that one). You can never be sure who is on the other end of the line.
A student comes to your office and asks for copies of transcripts you have used for advising purposes. • Can you give them copies? • No. Students have the right to view, not the right to a copy of their records. • Refer the student to the Registrar’s Office.
A co-worker asks for your help to gain access to a student’s educational record. The co-worker claims to have a legitimate educational interest. • What do you do? • Refer the co-worker to the Registrar’s Office where he or she can make a formal written request • This way access to the student’s information can be granted (or denied) with appropriate documentation and justification.
What can happen if we don’t follow the law? • There are serious obligations under FERPA, with the most serious being loss of Federal Financial Aid for all students.
What if I have a question about FERPA? • Remember, when in doubt, don’t give it out! • Call the Student Administrative Services office on your campus with questions: • Davenport Campus – 563-884-5647 • Florida Campus – 386-763-2785 • West Campus – 408-944-6065
Where can I find paperwork necessary to release information? • Consent to Release InformationForm– find under “Tools and Resources” on FERPA training page or contact Student Administrative Services on your campus