FERPA for Faculty
Generally, share student specific information only with the individual student.
As rule of thumb, presume that all student information is confidential, and do not disclose information to a third party without a student’s written consent except to College officials who have a legitimate educational interest in the information. Consult with the Registrar’s Office to understand which information the University can properly disclose. (To verify if a student is listed as confidential, please enter the Banner Web/MyInfo site, and under the Faculty Services tab, choose the Detailed Class List and look for the word "Confidential" next to the student's name.)
IF you are sure that a student’s record is not marked confidential, THEN you may share Directory Information.
During a semester if you want to allow students to pick up homework unattended or to share other course-specific, FERPA-protected information you may create a section-specific unique number to be shared only between the student and faculty of a particular course-section you may use that number as section-specific-identifier for submitting and returning graded material via public-posting.
Be advised that the number used as a section-specific-identifier must be assigned by the faculty, should be “randomly” generated to avoid deduction (no easily-discernable patterns of assignment) and may not be used for any other purpose. The number may not be used in other course sections this semester or future semesters. There can be no other personally identifiable information on the graded material.
Avoid inadvertently disclosing information from student records by following these examples.
- Do not place graded, identifiable student work in the hallway or an un-monitored area for students to pick up.
- Do not post or display grades either publicly or to other students, in print or electronic form, if grades are linked to a student ID number, name, or other identifier. For larger classes, grades can be posted for exams only if a unique ID or number is used that is known only to the instructor and a student.
- Avoid requiring students to post identifiable homework assignments or projects in a publicly accessible online forum (e.g., Facebook, YouTube, and other social media spaces).
- Instead of requiring students to participate in a publicly accessible online blog, allow students to opt out, create a private blog, or, preferably, consider using the campus learning management system.
- If Doodle or a similar system is used to solicit or share calendar or schedule information, create a private poll so student information is not disclosed to other students.
- Obtain consent from new students before sharing any of their personal information, biographical or academic, with other students, faculty, or others.
- Do not circulate or post a class roster of student names or one that includes photographs or student ID numbers.
- The cloud computing environment offers many handy and inexpensive applications. However, placing any information about students at a website not under contract with the College may raise FERPA issues. Make the use of these sites optional, or allow students concerned about privacy to provide their information to you in a secure manner.
- In letters of recommendation, faculty, teaching assistants, and readers can discuss their personal observations, but they should not disclose information from student records, such as grades, without the student’s consent.