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Northwest Missouri State University

Privacy Issues

Faculty | Student Records

What You Should Know About FERPA
(Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) a Faculty Member at Northwest Missouri State University

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended (commonly known as the Buckley Amendment), is a federal law which provides that colleges and universities will maintain the confidentiality of student education records. Basically, the law says that no one outside the institution shall have access to a student's education records nor will the institution disclose any information from those records without the written consent of the student.

Good practice by faculty members requires that you maintain, report and make available information included in student educational records in compliance with FERPA:

  1. DO NOT display student scores or grades publicly in association with names, student identification numbers (919#) or other personal identifiers. If scores or grades are posted, use only a code known to you and the individual student.
  2. DO NOT put papers or lab reports containing student names and grades in publicly accessible places. Students are not to have access to the scores and grades of others.
  3. DO NOT share educational record information, including grades or grade point averages, with other faculty or staff members of the University, unless their official responsibilities identify their "legitimate educational interest" in that information for that student.
  4. DO NOT share educational record information, including grades or grade point averages, with parents or others outside the institution, including letters of recommendation, without written consent from the student. Questions regarding release of grades should be referred to the Registrar.
  5. DO NOT request information from the educational record custodian without a legitimate educational interest and the appropriate authority to do so.
  6. DO refer requests for information from the educational record of a student to the proper educational record custodian.
  7. DO keep only those individual student records necessary for the fulfillment of your teaching or advising responsibilities. Private notes of a faculty member concerning a student and intended for the faculty member's own use are not part of the student's educational record.
  8. DO keep any personal professional records relating to individual students separate from their educational records. Private records of instructional, supervisory and administrative personnel are to be kept in the sole possession of the maker and are not to be accessible or revealed to any other person, except a substitute.
  9. DO change factual information regarding grades and performance in an educational record when the student is able to provide valid documentation that information is inaccurate or misleading. The substantive judgment of a faculty member about a student's work, expressed in grades and/or evaluations, is not within the purview of students' rights to challenge their educational records.