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Northwest Missouri State University


Privacy Issues

FERPA: Student Records | FERPA: Faculty | GDPR

What Students Should Know About FERPA

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 your education records nor will the institution disclose any information from those records without your written consent. There are exceptions, of course, as noted below. Northwest Missouri State University complies with FERPA, which also gives you certain rights with respect to your education records. They are:

  1. The right to inspect and review your education records within 45 days of the day the University receives a request for access.

  2. The right to request the amendment of your education records that you believe are inaccurate of misleading.

  3. The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in your education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.

  4. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by Northwest Missouri State University to comply with the requirements of FERPA.

 

View full FERPA policy »

What Faculty Should Know About FERPA

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.

What You Should Know About GDPR

What is it?

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a legal framework that sets guidelines for the collection and processing of personal information of individuals within the European Union (EU).  The EU put these guidelines into effect on May 25, 2018 to replace and enhance previous legislation that regulated privacy. The GDPR affords individuals certain rights as to how their data is used and processed, and may give them rights to access, correct, or delete their data.  The GDPR may apply to some personal information held by the University because, in some circumstances, we engage in activities that collect or process the personal data of individuals residing in the EU, such as EU resident applicants and students, or students studying abroad in the EU.

Learn more about the GDPR on the European Commission website.

A list of the Countries of the European Union (EU)


Who manages it?

At Northwest Missouri State University, the Data Protection Officer for GDPR is our Registrar. All faculty and staff receive annual training for awareness of Northwest procedures adhering to GDPR rules and regulations.


What data are collected?

The University will process your personal information as part of the admissions process.  If you become a student, the University will keep and create a range of records containing your personal information as part of your student experience at the University.  These records will include information submitted with your application for admission to the University or to particular programs; test results or other information that you authorize to be shared with the University; and records created in evaluating and processing your application.  The University also will create, receive, and keep records about your studies at the University and about your use of the academic and non-academic facilities and services offered by the University. 

The types of personal information in these records will include items such as your name, address and other contact information, date of birth, Social Security Number, student ID number, emergency contact information, demographic information, course of study, fee payments and other financial transactions, and information about your conduct and academic performance. 

The University also may create, receive, and keep other records depending on your use of specific facilities or services.  These records may include financial information related to financial aid applications and aid offered; information about your application for and use of University housing; and information about any disabilities you identify and related accommodations considered and offered.  The University may create, receive, and keep records containing health or mental health information related to your use of student health or counseling services.  Those records will be subject to restricted use and protection based on laws concerning privacy of personal health and mental health information.

Some of your personal information processed may include sensitive personal data that you supply to the University, such as race, ethnicity, health, mental health, or disability information that is used to comply with legal obligations or to provide you with particular services that you request.


What is the purpose and basis of the processing?

The University will process your personal information for purposes pertinent to your application for admission, your status as a student (if you enroll), and the operations of the University.  These will include identifying you; processing your application for admission; verifying information; deciding whether to offer admission; communicating with you; communicating with others in the event of emergency; delivering and administering your education; recording the details of your studies; determining/confirming your academic achievements; monitoring, evaluating, and supporting your research activities (if any); administering financial aspects of your relationship with the University; delivering facilities to you (e.g., information technology, libraries, recreation); enable your participation at events; operating security, law enforcement, governance, conduct, complaint, audit, and quality assurance processes and activities; support your training, welfare, wellness, and safety needs; provide accommodations (if any); evaluation and improvement of policies and processes; research and statistical purposes consistent with applicable laws and policies (provided that information that could identify you will not be published); preventing or detecting fraud; carrying out responsibilities required by law. 

The processing of your personal information for these purposes is necessary for multiple reasons.  With regard to your application, processing of your personal information is necessary to take steps at your request prior to entering into a contractual relationship with you (e.g., to fulfill your request that you be considered for admission to the University).  As a student, processing of your personal information is necessary for performance of contractual relationships with you (e.g., to provide you with educational services and manage your student experience).  In addition, processing of your personal information as an applicant or a student is necessary for compliance with legal obligations; performance of tasks carried out in the public interest; and/or pursuit of legitimate interests of the University. 

If the University requires your consent for any specific use of your personal information, we will collect it at the appropriate time. 


Who will my personal information be shared with?

Your personal information will be created, stored, and transmitted in a variety of paper and electronic formats.  Your personal information may be accessed by appropriate University personnel with legitimate educational interest and with others permitted by University policy in compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. 


How is my personal information used after I graduate?

After you graduate a core record of your studies is retained indefinitely so that the details of your academic achievements can be confirmed, for statistical or historical research, and for process evaluation and improvement.  Your contact and core personal details may be provided to your campus development / advancement office while you are still a student so that you can be added to the alumni database.


How long is my personal information kept?

Your personal information will be retained according to applicable University policies.


Data Breaches

In the event of a data breach, Northwest has 72 hours to report the data breach to all who are affected.