Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

FERPA Information for Faculty and Staff

Information for Faculty, Staff and other School Officials

Student records and directory information are accessible to members of the faculty and staff who have a legitimate need to know this information. School officials may not disclose personally identifiable information about students nor permit inspection of education records without written permission from the student, unless such action is covered by certain exceptions permitted by FERPA.

Many people have a “confidential” indicator on their directory information.  You cannot release directory information to third parties (parents, spouses, partners, friends, employers, or others) unless the student gives written consent to do so. If a student has requested confidentiality, you have a responsibility to protect this information.  In fact, if a student has asked for confidentiality, you should not acknowledge that this person is even a student to outside inquirers. 

If a student has not asked for confidentiality, you are allowed to release the items defined as directory information.  All other information requires written consent of the student.  Evaluations, program and course registration, schedules of programs and courses should not be released to anyone other than the student since it is not defined as directory information.

Details regarding student records at The Evergreen State College are available on the College's Student Affairs policies web site.

FERPA Do's and Don'ts

DO NOT release directory information on a student without checking Banner or the Office of the Registrar to see whether the information has been flagged for non-release.

Do check with the Office of the Registrar before disclosing any student educational record information to third parties outside the institution.

Do refer all subpoenas or IRS summons or other legal process requests for education records to the Office of the Registrar.

Do obtain signed, written permission from the student before sharing educational record information with parents or others outside the institution.

DO NOT request information from an education record custodian, or access the student’s records by computer, unless you have a legitimate educational interest to access the information.

DO follow the confidentiality provisions of FERPA by not sharing education records information with your colleagues unless a legitimate educational interest exists.

DO NOT put purely personal notes (for example, from a committee meeting or faculty recommending students for a particular program) in the student’s file, because those notes will become accessible to the student.  Such records can be kept confidential only if they are kept in the sole possession of the maker and are not accessible or revealed to any other person.  Official committee minutes are likely to be considered accessible.

DO NOT post students’ papers, scores or evaluations in a public place on which names, Social Security numbers, or other personal identifiers are displayed.  If posted, use a code known only to you and the student.

DO remember that medical, mental health and law enforcement records should not be in the student’s file with the student’s education records.  Medical and mental health records supporting an accommodation for a disability should be forwarded to Access Services for Students With Disabilities in an envelope marked confidential, and law enforcement records should be kept in the Office of Public Safety.

DO NOT release information about a student disciplinary matter without conferring with the Vice President for Student Affairs office.