Beware! FERPA Ahead

Volume 4, No. 22

Following are a few tips to help in honoring FERPA mandates:

Verifying a student's identity  

·It is important to verify a student's identity before releasing non-directory information to that student.
·You should  always require an ID card or other form of picture ID when  working with a student in person. 
·When working with a student via email or over the phone, you should require something that only the student/user knows such as a PIN, password or answer to a personal question.
(An example would be to request the student's birth date and the name of one of the courses the student is currently taking.)
·The ID number or social security number should not be used alone to identify the student.

Some basic reminders

·Check a  student's directory restrictions before you answer any questions.  
·Information may be released with a signed consent from the student.    
·Information viewed on a computer screen should be treated with the same confidentiality as paper records.    

What about parents?

·At the post-secondary level, parents have no inherent rights to inspect a student's education records.       
·The right to inspect is limited solely to the student. 
·Parents of students who are under the age of 25 and who were claimed as dependents on the most recent tax return may request access to the educational record.  Contact the Registrar or Associate Registrar with any questions.
·When one parent obtains access by claiming the student as a dependent, both parents receive access.  This is true, even if in the case of a divorce, separation or non-custodial situation.


·Access to WebAdvisor does NOT authorize unrestricted use of student data!
·Records should be used only in the context of official business in conjunction with the educational success of the student.
·As a faculty member, having a student enrolled in one of your courses does not automatically give unrestricted access to that student's data.
·Curiosity does not qualify as a legal right to know.

Check our these FERPA Links for more info:

 *This Issue’s Techno Term:
Term: ANSI (American National Standards Institute)
Definition: An organization whose goal is to enhance both the global competitiveness of U.S. business and the U.S. quality of life by promoting and facilitating voluntary consensus standards and conformity assessment systems, and safeguarding their integrity.
Example in a sentence: The original standard implementation of the computer programming language “C” was standardized as ANSI X3.159-1989, becoming the well-known “ANSI C” language.
Source: and

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