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FERPA for faculty and staff

Maintaining the confidentiality of students’ records is everyone’s responsibility—because it’s the right thing to do and because the federal government requires it through FERPA (the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, also known as the “Buckley Amendment”).

WHAT ARE "EDUCATION RECORDS"?

Education records include any information directly related to the student whether stored on paper or in an electronic file, on a computer or other media (microfilm, CD, etc.).

WHAT ARE THE BASIC RULES?

Students’ education records are confidential and may not be released without the written consent of the student. 

In practical terms, this means that students’ class schedule, grades, progress in a class or program should not be shared with others, including family members.  Grades should not be posted (by name or ID number or other personal identifiers); graded materials (papers, tests, lab reports, etc.) should not be put in places where others can see the grades; class lists should not be shared with others outside the college.  Faculty and staff have access to students’ education records only if they have a legitimate need to know.

If you post grades on Moodle, students can see only their own grades and ID numbers (this is not a breach of confidentiality since others cannot see their grades or ID numbers).   However, if you have designated any student workers (paper graders, TAs, etc.) as “teachers” or “non-editing teachers,” it’s important that they understand these basic rules of confidentiality.

Faculty and staff are responsible for explaining the basic rules of confidentiality to students they hire to do any grading (papers, quizzes, lab reports, tests, etc.).

If you have doubts about disclosing information, do not release anything until you contact the Registrar’s Office (x7760).  The Registrar’s Office is responsible for maintaining student records.