The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) protects the privacy of student records. The Act provides for a student’s right to review education records, the right to seek to amend those education records, and to limit certain disclosures of information from education records.
If you are asked about student performance in your classes by a parent or family member, make sure you check with Student Records to see if the student has signed Release of Information Authorization Form. Without this waiver you are not able to discuss the student’s performance with them.
Also, FERPA requires that you refrain from talking about students with people other than those with a legitimate right to know this information. At Peru State, you can talk with their athletic coach, advisor, Dean and certain CATS staff members about students in your courses or your advisees. If in doubt, contact the VPAA or the Registrar for additional guidance on FERPA.
Resources and References
Who is protected under FERPA?
- Any student who is or has been enrolled in Peru State College. This includes those students who are under 18 years of age. Educations records continue to be protected by Peru State College after students’ deaths, exceptions will be made by the Registrar.
- The window shade icon in myPSC indicates that a student has a FERPA restriction in place. If you see this, DO NOT RELEASE ANY INFORMATION on the student.
- Only directory information (per Board Policy 3650) should be released on any student without the FERPA restriction in place.
- Student’s name
- Permanent address: limited to the identification of city, state and country
- Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
- Weight, height and photographs of athletic team members
- Degrees, honors, and awards received
- Major field of study
- Dates of attendance (only beginning and end dates of semesters)
- Year in school
- Enrollment status (full/part time)
- The most recent previous education agency or institution attended
- Please note that any information relating to the specific physical location in the permanent address (i.e. street number, PO Box, etc.), grades, GPA or hours are not included in directory information and are not to be released.
- Law enforcement records, employment records and personal notes are not considered education records.
- Information not on the list of approved directory information, cannot be released without written and signed consent from the student. Students have a right to withhold their directory information.
- Do not display or create lists of student scores or grades publicly in association with names, student ID numbers or even the last four digits of the social security number or other personal identifiers.
- Do not use a student’s social security number as the primary means of searching for information without written and signed consent.
- Your access to education information must befor legitimate use only in order to meet your work responsibilities. Curiosity is not a legitimate reason to access a student’s record.
- Do not share student education record information with other faculty or staff members of the college unless they have legitimate educational interest. If you are uncertain about a request, ask your immediate supervisor or the Registrar’s Office for assistance.
- Personally identifiable information such as a student ID number or a social security number, cannot be released without the student’s written and signed consent unless disclosure is to a school official with a legitimate educational interest.
- Parents and spouses do nothave access to a student’s education information unless the student has provided written and signed consent or another FERPA exception has been met such as a health or safety emergency.
- For example, an irate father calls you demanding education information about his son and believes he is entitled to the information because his son “filled out a form.” What should you do? Your next step should be to contact the Registrar’s Office to confirm what kind of information may or may not be released and to whom.
- When sending communications, be mindful of all recipients and ensure that private information is not shared.
- Use caution when storing non-directory information in the cloud (e.g. Dropbox).