Records Manual: Student Records
The Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) restricts public access to most student records and information without consent from the student. However, University officials who have a demonstrated need to know as part of their official duties may have access to relevant student records.
"Directory" information may be released without a student's consent. Directory information may include:
- Student name
- Current address (home and campus)
- Telephone number (home and campus)
- Class standing
- Date and place of birth
- Academic college
- Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
- Dates of attendance
- Date and type of degree
- Degrees and awards received
- Most recent previous educational institution attended
Students may request in writing to the Office of Registration and Records that all directory information be kept confidential. The restriction remains in effect until revoked by the student, even if the student leaves the University or graduates.
A student academic record is defined as a record of academic work pursued and includes grades, course evaluations, and competency assessments, etc.
It is the responsibility of all University employees who have access to student academic records, to keep them safe and private. Faculty members handle their grade records in different ways. Some may have a handwritten grade book, while others may have the information on their personal computer, but whatever method is chosen, those records must be protected.
The best protection for the records is to keep the information only until it is no longer needed. As far as the actual grades are concerned, once you hand-carry the bubble sheets to Registration and Records, you no longer need the information. The basis for the grades, e.g. scores for tests or papers, needs to be kept until midway through the following semester, in the event of a grade appeal.
Faculty members receive requests from former students for references. Working with so many students makes it difficult sometimes for a faculty member to remember details about individual students from the past. There are three ways to access student records without keeping the individual grades and PO numbers:
- The academic office, academic advisor, or college will have files on students that you may view;
- The student may provide you with a copy of her/his transcript obtainable through Registration & Records;
- Create a substitute for a grade book after each semester to write general notes about students that could be used in potential reference letters
If you printed the student roster from your Blackboard course shell, you should shred it after the semester has ended. Having student information on a laptop, PC, or external drive such as a flash drive puts that information at risk. Laptop thefts are common, as is the loss of flash drives. Convenience is hardly worth the price to the student, the University or yourself of the loss of that information.