FERPA for Faculty and Staff

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974 as amended requires that students be advised of their rights concerning their educational records, and of certain categories of public information which the University has designated as "directory information".  This resource should  help provide an understanding of FERPA and assist you in understanding what UW-Parkside faculty and staff are required to do to protect student information and privacy.

Notification of  Rights under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) 

UW-Parkside  and all institutions of higher education are required to notify enrolled  students at least annually of their rights under FERPA. See the full annual disclosure text. 

Educational Records 

Educational records are all the records maintained by the University of Wisconsin-Parkside about individual students, with seven exceptions: 

  • Personal notes from faculty and staff
  • Employment records
  • Medical and counseling records used solely for treatment
  • Campus Police records
  • Financial records of a parent or spouse
  • Confidential  letters and statements of recommendation placed in your records before January  1, 1975 
  • Confidential  letters and statements of recommendation for admissions, employment or honorary  recognition placed in your records after January 1, 1975, for which you have waived the right to  inspect and review

Directory Information (Public Records)

The University of Wisconsin-Parkside, in accordance with  FERPA, has designated the following categories of information about individual  students as public, or directory information. This information is routinely released to any inquirer unless a student specifically requests that a FERPA hold be placed on your record. The following is a list of directory information:  

  • Student  name, address, telephone number and email address
  • Date of birth
  • Initial Registration date, Enrollment  status (full/part-time) and withdrawal dates, dates of attendance
  • Major  field of study
  • Participation  in officially recognized activities and sports
  • Height  and weight of members of athletic teams
  • Degrees  and dates of graduation including anticipated graduation dates
  • Awards  received including academic awards
  • Most  recent education institution attended

Non-Directory  Information (Private Records)

The  following categories of information are considered private, or protected, by  the University of  Wisconsin-Parkside: 

  • Social  Security Number (or other national ID number)
  • SOLAR  identification number
  • "P  number" (from Ranger Card)
  • Place  of birth
  • Residency status
  • Marital status
  • Married name or previous name
  • Parents'  name(s) and address(es)
  • High  school units
  • Transfer  credits
  • Courses  completed
  • Grades Credits  and grade points
  • Grade  point averages
  • Current  class schedule
  • Advisor's  name(s)
  • Academic  actions
  • Current  disciplinary actions 

Private  Records are releasable only to the following parties:

  • Individual  students
  • Dean's  Office
  • University  of Wisconsin-Parkside departments
  • Individuals  with an educational need to know 

Who Can Request  Access?

Under  FERPA, prior written consent** must be obtained before your educational record may be disclosed to a third party, unless they are exempted from this  provision. Information will be released without your prior written consent to  the following groups or individuals: 

  • UW-Parkside faculty and staff with legitimate educational need to know.
  • Representatives  of agencies or organizations from which you have received financial aid,  including banks or other lending agencies from which you have guaranteed  student loans.
  • Officials  of other educational institutions in which you intend to enroll.
  • Individuals  or groups specifically exempted from the prior consent requirement.
  • Federal  and state officials and organizations conducting studies on behalf of  UW-Parkside and accrediting organizations

Note: UW-Parkside student  organizations seeking student information must contact the Registrar to request  student directory information.

Instances  in which prior written consent is not required: 

  • Requests  in connection with an emergency, if such information is necessary to protect  the health or safety of students.
  • Requests  in accordance with a lawful subpoena or court order.
  • Requests  for public records information (see above), if not restricted by a student through a FERPA hold.

Location of Records

Educational  records are not stored in a central location on campus. Requests to review your  records must be made in writing and presented to the appropriate office. That  office will have up to 45 days to honor a request to review "official records,  files and data directly related to them". For most students these offices will  include the Office  of the Registrar, college dean, major department,  Student Financial Services, Dean of Students or Residence Life. 

Correction of  Information   

A  student may request to have records corrected that they believe to be  inaccurate, misleading or in violation of their privacy rights. Requests to change  and to challenge the information deemed erroneous or misleading should be made  in writing and directed to the dean or director of the appropriate office so  that a hearing can be scheduled. In most cases, the decision of the dean or  director will be final. If the student finds the decision unsatisfactory, they may  place a statement in their file setting forth any reasons for disagreeing with  the decision. A student's right to challenge information of records does not  extend to review of grades received unless the grade assigned by the professor  was inaccurately recorded in the student's records. 

FERPA Rules for  Faculty, Staff and Student Employees  

The following basic rules should be followed by UW-Parkside faculty, staff and  student employees:   

Rule  #1: FERPA recognizes a person enrolled in post-secondary education as a "student"  and provides that individual certain rights, regardless of age. Therefore, a  parent does not have an inherent right to access his/her child's educational  records. 

Rule  #2: Faculty, staff and student workers have access to educational records for  the sole purpose of performing their jobs professionally and responsibly. They  have a responsibility to protect the confidentiality of educational records in  their possession, regardless of the medium in which the records are presented.   

Rule  #3: Educational records are considered confidential and may not be released  without written consent of the student, with the exception of unrestricted Directory Information. It is the responsibility of faculty, staff and student employees  to verify that student Directory Information is not restricted (with a FERPA hold) before releasing  it.   Student records with a FERPA hold will display this privacy shade in SOLAR. 

Rule  #4: School officials, including field supervisors for student teachers and  student interns, must protect the privacy of educational records and not  disclose personally identifiable information about a student or permit inspection  of the student's records without his or her written consent. 

The student's  written, signed, and dated consent must contain three elements:   

  • Specify the records  to be released (e.g. grades; notes based on  observations; general assessment of performance of student in a class or in a  field-based experience )
  • Identify the party or  class of parties to whom the records should be released (e.g.: prospective employer,  official, scholarship committee member)
  • Indicate the reason  for the release.(e.g.: an application for  employment, admission into a graduate program, application for a scholarship or  grant)

Note:  A letter of reference written on behalf of a student by a cooperating teacher,  supervisor or other person does NOT provide that person with the authorization  to disclose educational records or to discuss the student's performance even if  the letter welcomes telephone calls or other inquiries about the student.

Key things to remember:

  • Official  transcripts of student academic records may be released only through the  Office  of the Registrar.
  • Posting  educational records (e.g. grades) using the student's name, student id number  or any portion of the social security number violates FERPA.
  • In  an emergency situation, a student may be reached through either the Dean of  Students Office (Wyllie Hall 340, 262-595-2598) or through University Police (Tallent  Hall 188, 262-595-2455).

900 Wood Road · P.O. Box 2000 · Kenosha, WI 53141-2000 P 262-595-2345

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