FERPA Training Guide - VCOM
Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine FERPA Training Guide
FERPA Training Guide
Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine
By the end of this presentation, the learner should be able to understand FERPA rules and regulations as they are applied to student data at Edward Via Colllege of Osteopathic Medicine.
What is FERPA? FERPA is an acronym for the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (20 U.S.C. 1232g, 34 CFR 99). Congress enacted FERPA, also referred to as the "Buckley Amendment," in 1974. FERPA mandates that schools, including colleges and universities, maintain students' records in a certain way. Students must be allowed to inspect and review their education records and request the amendment of records that are inaccurate or misleading. Schools are also restricted from disclosing student records except in limited circumstances which will be described later in this tutorial.
Who’s protected under FERPA? The rights under FERPA apply to eligible
students. An eligible student is an individual who is, or has been, in attendance at VCOM.
FERPA rights begin on the first day of class in the academic term for which the student is accepted. Applicants who are denied admission or who never attend are not covered under FERPA.
What are education records? Education records are records directly related to a student and maintained by an educational agency or institution or by a party acting for the agency or institution. Note: The storage medium in which you find the record does not matter. Printed documents, handwritten notes, e-mails, electronic documents and web pages can all contain education records covered by FERPA. Continued next slide…
Education records continued… Education records may include but are not limited to: Student folders in Admissions/Registrar/Financial Aid/Advisors/Clinical & Medical Education offices (including any notes made in the folder) Student classroom activity that is maintained by the institution as part of the student's permanent school record Reports and records -- computer generated or other Class rolls, papers and tests Application forms for student organizations/activities Memos between school employees Photographs Most student disciplinary records Former student records
What is NOT an education record? FERPA has a number of key exceptions to the definition of education records. Those include: Law enforcement or campus security records (different from judicial records) Employment records where employment is not connected to student status Medical and mental health records used only for the treatment of the student. However, other statutes may prohibit the disclosure of these records Alumni records that do not relate to the person as a student Records made by instructional, administrative and educational personnel not shared with others
What is considered directory information by FERPA? FERPA permits institutions to specifically define some education record information as "directory information" not confidential under FERPA. This is information that is generally not considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed. Note* The South Carolina Family Privacy Protection Act (FPPA) prohibits public agencies from disclosing name, address, telephone number and other contact information to third parties who plan to use the information for purposes of commercial solicitation. If you receive a request for this type of information, please contact the Office of Institutional Research or the General Counsel's Office.
Continue on next slide…
Directory Information Continued…
The definition includes:
Address (permanent & mailing)–internal use
Telephone numbers (land & cell)-internal use
VCOM e-mail address
Date and place of birth
Social Security Number for COMLEX and USMLE testing registration and internal use only.
Major field of study
Name of undergraduate college(s) attended
Residency program matched
Participation in student activities
Dates of attendance, degrees and awards received
Photographs Under FERPA, if a student wants to suppress this information, VCOM must allow a student to opt out of the release of directory information.
Student rights under FERPA Under FERPA, students can: Inspect and review their education records Request the amendment of inaccurate or misleading records Consent to disclosure of personally identifiable information contained in their education record File a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by VCOM to comply with this law Parent/Spouse and FERPA When a student reaches the age of 18 or begins attending a postsecondary institution regardless of age, FERPA rights transfer from the parent to the student (Students at this level of education are considered independent) The spouse of a student has no rights under FERPA to access the student's education record without the student's written consent
Access is NOT granted to ALL Records FERPA does not grant the student rights to access: Educational records (such as print-outs of class request logs and class rosters) that contain information on more than one student. (The student may review only the specific information about him/herself) Confidential letters of recommendation, for which the student has signed a waiver, and which are related to admission to the Institution & ERAS
Consent to disclosure
The student can provide a written release to the institution giving specific consent to the disclosure of the student's education records. The release needs to be dated and signed and should describe the records, the purpose for the release, list to whom the records can be given and indicate the length of time for which the release is effective Letters of Recommendation Faculty and other agents of the college may generate letters of recommendation without the students written consent ONLY if the letter is limited to the writers personal observations or knowledge of the student. If personable identifiers such as GPA, class rank, etc. are included the writer MUST obtain a signed release from the student. The signed release should Specify the records/data that may be disclosed States the purpose of the disclosure Identifies the party/parties to whom the disclosure can be made The form, Authorization to Release Information, that can be found under important forms on the Registrar webpage may be used if desired.
Disclosure of records without consent Obtain signed, written permission from the student before sharing educational record information, including grades and grade point averages, with parents or others outside the institution Only disclose education records to school officials who have a legitimate educational interest Never post students' papers, scores or grades in a public place on which names, VCOM PID, social security numbers, or other personal identifiers are displayed. If posted, use a code known only to you and the student Never release information about a student disciplinary matter without conferring with Student Services The office of the Registrar is the first stop for any questions about FERPA
Disclosure of Education Records in Health and Safety Emergencies If VCOM determines that there is an articulable and significant threat to the health or safety of a student or other individuals, FERPA allows disclosure of information from education records to appropriate parties whose knowledge of the information is necessary to protect the health and safety of the student or other individuals. In making a determination to disclose information, VCOM may take into account the totality of the circumstances pertaining to a threat to the safety or health of the student or other individuals. An emergency can be related to the threat of an actual, impending, or imminent emergency, such as a terrorist attack, a natural disaster, a campus shooting, or the outbreak of an epidemic such as e-coli. An emergency can also be a situation in which a student gives sufficient, cumulative warning signs that lead the school official to believe the student may harm himself at any moment. In the event of a health or safety emergency contact the Office of Student Services, who will determine the state of emergency and what may be disclosed.
Who is a school official? A school official is a person employed by VCOM in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research position. What is a legitimate education interest? Legitimate educational interest does not include simply having a curiosity about the academic record or disciplinary proceedings with regard to a student without some legitimate academic reason. Thus, all records of all students are not open to all faculty or staff at VCOM. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his/her professional responsibilities for VCOM.
Sanctions or Liability risk for FERPA violation FERPA provides for a complaint procedure to the United States Department of Education with an ultimate sanction of withholding of federal funding. Faculty, staff, administration or students who violate VCOM FERPA policy may be subject to corrective or disciplinary action, depending on the individual circumstances.
Guidelines to Ensure FERPA compliance Obtain signed, written permission from the student before sharing educational record information, including grades and grade point averages, with parents or others outside the institution Only disclose education records to school officials who have a legitimate educational interest Never post students' papers, scores or grades in a public place on which names, VCOM PID, social security numbers, or other personal identifiers are displayed. If posted, use a code known only to you and the student Never release information about a student disciplinary matter without conferring with VCOM Student Services The office of the Registrar is the first stop for any questions about FERPA
Responsibility of ALL School Officials School Officials have access to student information only for legitimate use in the completion of their responsibilities as College employees. The “Need to Know” is the primary principle – not curiosity. All VCOM employees have a legal and ethical responsibility to safeguard confidential student information in their possession. Suggestions to ensure student record confidentiality Don’t leave student information out on desks or tables where others can easily see Don’t distribute grades, transcripts, enrollment eligibility letters or other sensitive information in plain view or in open mailboxes located in public places. Secure computer screens so that people who enter your work area can’t easily see NEVER share your personal or system passwords.
FERPA Summation The definition of Education Records is very broad. You can assume that any document related to a student is an Education Record. Directory Information as defined by VCOM may be disclosed to third parties. However, if the third party is going to use that information for purposes of commercial solicitation, the disclosure may be prohibited by SC state law (Family Privacy Protection Act). If you receive this type of request, please contact the Registrar’s Office of the appropriate campus for assistance before making the disclosure. Students only have the right to review their own education records. If a document contains information regarding more than one student, the part of the document unrelated to the student requesting the information cannot be disclosed.
In case of emergency after hours contact the Assistant Vice President of Student Services of the appropriate campus. After Hours Emergency FERPA Quiz The quiz is a requirement that must be completed annually by all faculty & staff. Human Resources will be keeping a record of who has completed this training. Please follow the link below that corresponds with your campus.
Virginia Campus : https://virginiatech.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_ctCTcXIUzKnlCJL Carolinas Campus : https://virginiatech.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_8we81kr1eFaCi7H Auburn Campus : https://virginiatech.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_7VQt7LkL8H0Fr0N
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