ConceptKCTCS/KCTCSConcept FERPA FAQ | Bluegrass Community & Technical College

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FERPA FAQ

An academic department is preparing a mailing list to departmental students about a critical academic deadline. Should the mailing list include the name and address of students who has requested that all information be suppressed?

Suppressed information may be used by college officials to meet the direct educational needs of the student in question.

An unauthorized person obtained private student information from a computer screen that was left unattended. Is this a violation of FERPA?

Yes. Measures must be taken to prevent inadvertent release of educational records, and this includes information available on a computer screen. Carefully protect information on computer screens as well as system passwords and access.

Can I include non-directory information in a letter of recommendation for a student?

ONLY if the student has provided written permission to the person writing the letter.

Can I send non-directory information (e.g. grades) to my students using email?

This must be outlined in your syllabus, and the student must be given the opportunity to request that this method of delivery not be used.

Can student grades be posted by social security number or name?

No. This can only be done if each student provides written permission to do so. Even with permission from the students, this is not recommended. A unique number assigned to each student is a preferred method

I have a stack of midterm papers for students to pick up. Is it acceptable to leave the papers in a location where students can look through the stack to locate their own paper?

No. Leaving the papers in a location where students can look through the stack would violate the confidentiality of each individual student, since students can see the names and grades of their classmates.

If a parent calls to ask how his/her child is doing in class and none of the student's directory information has been suppressed, can I give them information on their child's grades?

No. FERPA recognizes secondary education students as adults who are entitled to privacy. Although a student's directory information is not suppressed, grades are non-directory information and may not be released. Q.) If I receive a call from the police asking for a student's class schedule in order to assist them in investigating a crime, may I give out the information? A.) No. A student's class schedule is non-directory information. Law enforcement authorities must provide a court order or subpoena to obtain private educational records. Please refer these individuals to the Registrar's office for further information.

If my department head asks for a list of names and addresses for students who are enrolled in a specific course for the purpose of mailing a course quality survey, may I give it to her/him?

It is permissible to supply the list because the information is to be used by a college official to carry out responsibilities that are related to the educational interests of the students.

You receive a call from the parent of a registered student for whom all directory information is suppressed. The parent wants to know if the student is registered for the current semester. What is the correct response?

The correct response is "no information is available for anyone by that name."