FERPA Info for Employees

SCU Faculty/Staff FERPA Information

FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act), also known as the Buckley Amendment, was passed by Congress in 1974. It grants four specific rights to a post-secondary student:
• to see the educational information that the institution is keeping on the student.
• to seek amendment to those records and in certain cases append a statement to the record.
• to consent to disclosure of his/her records.
• to file a complaint with the FERPA Office in Washington at the address below:

Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue SW
Washington, DC 20202-4605

FERPA applies to all educational agencies or institutions that receive funds under any program administered by the Secretary of Education. (Most financial aid is administered by the Secretary of Education.

Generally, schools must have written permission from the parent or eligible student in order to release any information from a student's education record. However, FERPA allows schools to disclose those records, without consent, to the following parties or under the following conditions (34 CFR § 99.31):

  • School officials with legitimate educational interest;
  • Other schools to which a student is transferring;
  • Specified officials for audit or evaluation purposes;
  • Appropriate parties in connection with financial aid to a student;
  • Organizations conducting certain studies for or on behalf of the school;
  • Accrediting organizations;
  • To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena;
  • Appropriate officials in cases of health and safety emergencies; and
  • State and local authorities, within a juvenile justice system, pursuant to specific State law.

Student Information Types
Student educational records include information provided by a student for use in the educational process such as the following:

  • personal information (name, etc.)
  • enrollment records
  • student’s exams or papers
  • grades
  • schedules

Storage for an educational record varies and can include one or more of the following:

  • document in the registrar’s office
  • electronic document or e-mail
  • computer printout in your office
  • computer display screen
  • notes taken during an advising session
  • electronic database

Directory/Public Information
“Directory information is....information contained in an education record of a student which would not generally be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed.” (FERPA Regulations, Code of Federal Regulations, Title 34, Part 99.3)

Directory/Public Information is considered public and can be released without the student’s written permission. However, the student may opt to keep this information confidential in writing.

Directory information at SCU

  • Student's First, Last, Middle Names
  • DOB
  • Location of birth provided by student
  • Home Address
  • Telephone number
  • SCU Assigned email address
  • Dates of Attendance
  • Academic Program
  • Degree/s conferred
  • Anticipated and/or actual graduation date/s
  • Commencement participation date
  • Honors
  • Awards
  • Participation in officially recognized school-related activities and/or groups
  • Enrollment status (full-time, part-time, probation, suspension)
  • Photograph
  • Most recent educational institution attended
  • Athletic statistics

What Faculty and Staff Members Need to Know

What does FERPA mean for the classroom?
Faculty should be careful to...

  • identify students publicly in a way that other than using any portion of the Social Security Number or student ID number.
  • distribute graded work in a way that prevents other students from seeing other students' grades.
  • limit discussions of academic progress with the specified student, a school official with legitimate educational interest, or anyone else (including parents) the student has approved through written consent.
  • keep class rosters and enrollment information private.
  • direct persons to the student affairs office who may be trying to find a student's schedule or location on campus.
  • provide anyone with student schedules or assist anyone in finding a student on campus. access the records of any student for personal reasons.
  • refrain from accessing records of any student for any reason other than to perform job duties.

What must I do if I receive a subpoena concerning student educational records?
A copy of any incoming subpoena should be sent immediately to the SCU Provost/VP for Academic Affairs for review. You should also send the Provost’s office with a short description of how and when the subpoena was received. The Provost and cabinet will determine whether and how to comply with the subpoena.

Can student directory or public information always be released?
NO! Before releasing any information about a student, check CAMS for a student’s suppression status. If the student has requested that directory information be withheld (suppressed his/her information), no information can be released. If the student does not have a suppression on the release of directory information, directory/public information may be released.

Note that FERPA does NOT require that directory information be released. University faculty and staff who have a need-to-know may obtain directory information for a student who has suppressed his/her information, but must not release this information.

How can a student withhold release of directory information?
Students may request suppression of their information by notifying the student affairs office in writing within 14 days of the start of an academic calendar semester at 405-789-7661.

What are parental rights under FERPA?
FERPA allows parental access to student’s educational records if the student requests in writing that private information be released to the parent(s), or if the parent claims the student as a dependent for Federal income tax purposes. A parent who wants to request grades or other academic information for a dependent should submit a written request to the registrar, Sherri Hendrix, 7210 NW 39th Expwy., Bethany, OK 73008, along with a copy of the parent’s most recent federal income tax return (section with dependents listed). FERPA does not allow parental access to post-secondary student educational records without student permission if neither parent claims the student as a dependent for Federal income tax purposes.

How are HIPAA and FERPA related?
Medical documentation in the student education record is private information and is covered by FERPA. HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) regulations do not apply

What must I do if someone contacts me about an emergency?
If someone needs to contact a student regarding an emergency, DO NOT release the class schedule of a student. Take the contact information of the caller and contact the registrar or vice president for student development and we will contact the student to give him or her the caller’s information.

For more information or for questions about FERPA, please contact the SCU registrar, Sherri Hendrix, 405-789-7661 ext. 3458 or sherri.hendrix@swcu.edu.