About the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA)
Clarification for Instructors and Faculty
As a faculty member at the School of Engineering, you may have access to certain student information which is protected by the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), as well as by the Institute’s Policy. Below is some key information you should know about the School of Engineering's Policy:
1) A student’s personally identifiable information is not to be disclosed or displayed publicly.
2) Personally identifiable information includes, but is not limited to:
- ID Numbers
- Email addresses
- Contact information (telephone and address)
3) The following documents which you might acquire contain personally identifiable information:
- Class lists or Grade rosters
- Other Institute documents
In more specific terms, these policies mean:
1) As a course instructor, you are not entitled to access your student's academic records (transcript, degree progress, etc.). This information may be accessed by the student's adviser, but not by instructors. You should not request student information from the Registrar without a legitimate educational interest and the appropriate authority to do so. If you are unsure whether your interest qualifies as “legitimate educational interest” please contact the Registrar (x3486 or email@example.com).
2) You should not pass around a single sheet of paper in class for all the students to write their contact information (phone, email address, etc.). Collect the contact information on individual sheets or cards. Students should share their personal information with each other only voluntarily and on their own.
3) You may discuss a student’s personal information only with (a) the student, or (b) Institute officials who have a legitimate educational interest in having that information. Unless the student has given you expressed permission, don’t provide student information to a parent, legal guardian, or spouse of a student. If an employee has a relative that is a student, that employee should not access that student’s information without “legitimate educational interest” pertaining to his/her official Institute responsibilities, or unless the student has waived disclosure rights. Also avoid discussing student information in public areas (hallways, elevators, etc).
4) Don't leave papers, tests, or other assignments in a pile to be picked up. Instead, they must be put in individual envelopes or in a secure place where the secretary has to retrieve the specific paper for a student (who, if not known, should show an ID).
5) If using an anti-plagiarism service, you must remove the student's name, ID number, or any other personally identifiable information before submitting the paper.
6) Don't post grades publicly by name, social security number, or Student ID Number.
7) When you are no longer a student’s instructor, you should destroy the personal information you have about him or her. Keep only those individual student records necessary for the fulfillment of your professional responsibilities. Private notes of a faculty member concerning a student and intended for that person’s own use are not part of the student’s educational records. However, be aware that in some cases ‘private' notes and records may be subpoenaed under different federal or state regulations.
8) Change faulty information regarding grades and performance in a student's educational records when the student is able to provide valid documentation that information is inaccurate. The substantive judgment of a faculty member about a student’s work expressed in grades and/or evaluations is not within the purview of student’s right to challenge their education records.
9) When in doubt, do not release student educational information, including grades, GPA or letters of recommendation. Contact the Registrar if you have questions.
10) Refer requests for student information (including subpoenas and judicial orders) of educational records and directory information to the Registrar (x3486 or firstname.lastname@example.org).
View the complete the School of Engineering FERPA guidelines.