Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act

 
 
Document Number:
REGR-0001
Revision #:
v3.0
Document Owner:
Registrar
Status:
Approved

General Description

Policy Summary:

All Trinity University students, faculty, and staff.

Purpose:

To define the process by which the University will protect the privacy and records access rights that apply to records maintained by or for the University about its current and former students in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA”).
Policy Content
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA”), 20 U.S.C. §1232g and 34 CFR Part 99 are a federal law and regulations that provide students with the following rights with respect to their educational records:
It is the policy of Trinity University to protect the privacy and records access rights that apply to records maintained by or for the University about its current and former students by complying with FERPA at all times.
The University will provide Annual Notice to each Student of his/her/their rights under FERPA and this policy by publishing the information that is provided in this policy as Appendix A, Notice of Student Rights under FERPA and Notice Concerning Directory Information, in this policy, in all general information University’s catalogues for undergraduate and graduate Students published by the University.
The University will maintain with the Student’s Education Records a record for each disclosure request and each disclosure, except disclosures:
A Student who believes that an Education Record maintained about the Student is inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights under FERPA, may request amendment of the record. However, substantive judgment of a faculty member about a student’s work, expressed in grades and/or evaluations, is not within the purview of this right.
The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the University to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the Office that administers FERPA is: Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., Washington, D.C. 20202-8520. Questions regarding Student Rights under FERPA may be directed to the Registrar.
With the exception of disclosures permitted by FERPA, education records will not be released without the prior consent of the student. Parents or guardians who would like to receive grade reports or access to other protected education records should request that their student sign a Student Consent to Release Educational Records form (available online  or in the Office of the Registrar). If this form is completed, parents may receive grade reports and other information, but a separate written request from the parent or guardian is required each time. Although certain exceptions apply under 
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), a federal law, affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. (An “eligible student” under FERPA is a student who is 18 years of age or older or who attends a postsecondary institution.) These rights include:

1. The Right to Inspect and Review the Student’s Education Records.
2. The Right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes is inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights under FERPA.
3. The right to provide written consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the text that FERPA authorizes a disclosure without consent.
4. The Right to be notified of the student’s privacy rights under FERPA.
5. The Right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the University to comply with the requirements of FERPA by contacting the office that administers FERPA:

Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202
FERPA permits the disclosure of personally identifiable information (PII) from students’ education records without consent of the student if the disclosure meets certain conditions found in § 99.31 of the FERPA regulations. Except for disclosures to University Officials, disclosures related to some judicial orders or lawfully issued subpoenas, disclosures of directory information and disclosures to the student, §99.32 of FERPA regulations requires the institution to record the disclosure. Eligible students have a right to inspect and review the record of disclosures.

The University Official Exception permits disclosure without consent when disclosure is to University officials with legitimate educational interests. A University Official is:
  • any person employed by the University in an administrative, supervisory, academic, or support staff position, including law enforcement unit and health staff;
  • a person or company with whom the University has a contract to provide services on behalf of the University or an affiliation (such as a System attorney or auditor, or a clinical facility where a student is participating in an internship) for the provision of services;
  • a person employed by Trinity University Administration; or another person assisting another University Official in performing his or her tasks (such as a System attorney or auditor, or a clinical facility where a student is participating in an internship).
A University Official has a “legitimate educational interest” in an education record if that person or contractor requires access an education record in order to fulfill his or her official duties on behalf of the University

The University may also disclose PII from a student’s education records without obtaining prior written consent of the student in the following situations as permitted by FERPA:
  • To officials of another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll or is already enrolled if the disclosure relates to purposes of enrollment or transfer.
  • To the Comptroller General of the United States, the Attorney General of the United States, the United States Secretary of Education, and other state and local educational authorities who are authorized by law to audit and evaluate Federal or State supported education programs, or to enforce Federal law which relates to such education programs may access an Education Record as required for the audit, evaluation or enforcement purpose, or their authorized representatives.
  • To organizations conducting studies for or on behalf of the school to: develop, validate, or administer predictive testing; administer student aid programs; or improve instruction.
  • To accrediting organizations to carry out accrediting functions.
  • To parents of an eligible student if the student is a dependent for IRS tax purposes and the student has notified the University that the student agrees to the release of his/her education records under this exception.
  • To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena.
  • To appropriate individuals in connection with a health or safety emergency.
As described in the Notice of Student Rights under FERPA, above, the University, with certain exceptions, is required to written consent from a student prior to publishing or disclosing of personally identifiable information from student education records. However, the University may publish or publicly disclose the information listed below as “directory information” without the student’s consent, unless the student has notified the University, using the process described below, that the student wishes to opt out of such disclosures.

The following information about a Student has been designated by University as Directory Information:
  • Student name;
  • Trinity ID number;
  • Local, permanent and temporary addresses;
  • Telephone numbers;
  • Electronic mail address;
  • Date and place of birth;
  • Photograph;
  • Video of participation in University activities or events;
  • Major/minor field(s) of study;
  • Class schedule;
  • Dates of attendance;
  • Previous educational institutions attended;
  • Degrees and awards received;
  • Enrollment status;
  • Participation in officially recognized activities and sports; and
  • Height and weight of members of athletic teams.
The University will consider your Directory Information to be publicly available unless you affirmatively opt out of the Directory Information exception. If you do not want the University to disclose directory information from your education records without your prior written consent, you must opt out by submitting a written request to the Office of the Registrar.

Directory information may appear in public documents and may otherwise be disclosed under the Directory Exception unless the opt out request is received, as applicable, within the first thirty (30) days of the fall semester. If no request is filed, directory information may be released.

A request to opt out of the release of Directory Information about you will remain in place until you affirmatively rescind it. Upon graduation or termination of your enrollment for any reason, the directory information selection in place at that time will remain in place unless you notify the University. A request to opt out of the Directory Information exception does not affect the University’s ability to disclose information from your education records under another exception permitted by FERPA.
Terms & Definitions

Terms and Definitions:

Term:

Definition:

Annual Notice
The notices that Trinity University will provide each Student in attendance at the University at least annually of their rights pursuant to FERPA and the procedures for exercising their rights; information about the Directory Information Exception and the process by which a Student may elect to opt out of the Student’s Directory Information under that exception. The Annual Notice is attached as Appendix A to this policy.
Consent
Written or electronic consent, signed by the Student or otherwise verified by the Student if electronic, that is dated and specifies the specific records to be disclosed, the party to whom the recordsare to be disclosed, and the purpose of the disclosure.
De-identified Record
An Education Record that has been stripped of all identifiers and/or aggregated such that it is not possible to re-identify an individual who is the subject of the record. An Education Record that has been de-identified is no longer an Education Record and is not subject to this policy or FERPA.
Directory Information
Information in a Student’s Education Record that would not generally be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed. The following information has been designated by the University as Directory Information:
  • Student name
  • Trinity ID number
  • Local, permanent and temporary addresses
  • Telephone numbers
  • Electronic mail address
  • Date and plate of birth
  • photograph
  • Video of participation in University activities and events
  • Major/minor field(s) of study
  • Class schedule
  • Dates of attendance
  • Previous educational institutions attended
  • Degrees and awards received
  • Enrollment status
  • Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
  • Height and weight of members of athletic teams
A student may request in writing that directory information be withheld. This option may be exercised by filing a written request to the Office of the Registrar; please note that such requests are binding for all information to all parties other than for those exceptions allowed under the Act. Students should consider all aspects of a Directory Hold prior to filing such a request. The request will remain in effect until revoked by the student. The student's name, addresses, telephone numbers, and e-mail address may be published in the Faculty, Staff and Student Directory if the Registrar has not received a request to withhold the information within the first 30 days of the fall semester. If no request is filed, directory information may be released upon inquiry.

Education Records
Records directly related to a Student that are maintained by or on behalf of the University. Education records do not include:
  • Records of instructional, administrative, and educational personnel that are: in the sole possession of the maker (i.e. file notes of conversations); used only as a personal memory aid; not intended to be accessible or revealed to any individual except, in the case of an instructor, a temporary substitute;
  • Law enforcement records of the University campus police;
  • Medical records and mental health records, including counseling records created, maintained, and used only in connection with provision of medical treatment or mental health treatment or counseling to the student, that are not disclosed to anyone other than the treatment facility.
  • Employment records unrelated to the student’s status as a student; or
  • Alumni records.

Personally Identifiable Information
Information obtained from or contained in an Education Record that may be alone, or in combination with other information known to or available to the requestor, or that would permit the requestor or a member of the University community with reasonable knowledge, to identify a Student or another Student. Unless the context of this policy indicated otherwise, a reference to an Education Records includes Personally Identifiable Information contained in or obtained from an Education Record.
Student
An individual, regardless of age, who is or who has been in attendance at University. It does not include persons who have been admitted but did not attend University. For the purposes of this policy “Attendance” includes attendance in person, or by correspondence or on-line or distance learning and the period during which a person is working in a position that requires student status, such as a under a work study program position.
University Official with a Legitimate Educational Interest
Any person employed by the University in an administrative, supervisory, academic, or support staff position, including law enforcement and health staff; a person or company with whom the University has a contract or affiliation; or a person assisting another University Official in performing his/her tasks (such as a volunteer or committee member), if that person or contractor requires access to an Education Record in order to fulfill his/her official responsibilities on behalf of the University.
Related Documents

Related Content:

All Registrar's Office forms can be found here.
Revision Management

Revision History Log:

Revision #:

Date:

Recorded By:

v3.0
6/15/2022 2:37 PM
Holly Warfel
v2.0
5/13/2022 12:10 PM
Holly Warfel
v1.0
8/15/2019 2:25 PM
Holly Warfel
 

Vice President Approval:

Name:

Title:

Megan Mustain
Vice President for Academic Affairs