The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974, also known as the Buckley Amendment (Statute: 20 U.S.G. 1232g; Regulations: 34 CFR Part 99), protects the privacy of a student's academic record. It applies to all institutions that receive federal funding and applies at the point an applicant becomes a student. Students can inspect and seek to amend their education records. They can designate who has access to their education records. And they can file a complaint with the FERPA Office in Washington, DC.
Whether you are faculty, staff or student, maintaining confidentiality of student records is your responsibility.
Who is a student?
Anyone who have ever taken a class at Clarkson University is considered a student; FERPA does not expire when a student graduates, withdraws, or otherwise leaves the University.
What is an educational record?
An education record is any record which contains information that is personally identifiable to a student, and is maintained by the University or by a party or organization acting on behalf of the school.
The following information is NOT part of an education record:
Newly hired faculty and staff must complete FERPA compliance training prior to gaining access to systems containing student information (such as myCU, Moodle, etc). To complete FERPA compliance training:
Log into mycu.clarkson.edu
If you have not completed the training, you will be redirected to the training page upon log-in. If you are not redirected, or simply want a refresher, select the FERPA Training tile to access the content.
For detailed information and a step-by-step overview of how to complete the training and update your account access once complete, please click here.
FERPA protects a student’s record once an individual becomes an actual Clarkson student: the first day of classes of the term in which they enroll.
Some student information is considered public information. This information includes name, address, phone, dates of attendance, degrees received, major program, student ID photo and height and weight of athletes. This information may be released without the student's written permission. However, the student may opt to consider this information confidential as well. PeopleSoft employs a flag system to ensure you know if a student has placed restrictions on their record.
The confidentiality of a student's educational record is everyone's responsibility. So what does one do if there are inquiries made by parents or members of law enforcement? If you are ever in doubt, call Student Administrative Services. You must treat each student as an adult who is entitled to privacy, even from their own parents. You cannot give out grades, schedules, or any other personal information. You can simply refer the parent to the student's Student Administrative Services Representative. Campus Safety can handle issues surrounding the location of a student. If you are issued a subpoena, contact the Registrar in Student Administrative Services for further instruction. The University is required to notify the student if any subpoenas are served. You never have to make the decision on your own. To protect students, Clarkson University and yourself, call Student Administrative Services whenever you are unsure.
It is inappropriate for students to have access to other students' private information. Therefore, exams, papers, etc should not be left in public areas for students to pick up. Likewise, grades should be posted in a manner that does not link the grade with social security numbers. However, unique numbers may be assigned to students for one class only that would be privately shared with students for this purpose. Information on a computer screen should be treated the same as printed reports. Private information should not be left accessible or unattended.
Finally, when you are granted access to personal data, it is with the trust that you will be a responsible user of the data, you will store data that you have access to under secure conditions and you will make every effort to maintain privacy of data.