FERPA for Students
Additional information for students can be found in the Student Rights and Confidentiality section of the student handbook.
What are FERPA rights?
Students have three primary rights under FERPA. They have the rights to: inspect and review their education records; have some control over the disclosure of information from their education record; and seek to amend their education records, under certain circumstances.
When do FERPA rights begin?
A student's FERPA rights begin when the student registers and attends his/her first class.
What are education records?
Under FERPA, education records are defined as records that are directly related to a student and are maintained by an education agency or institution or by a party acting for the agency or institution. Education records can exist in any medium, including: typed, computer.
Withholding the release of information
At Hartwick, students who wish to restrict the release of directory information about themselves must complete a "Request to Prevent Disclosure of Directory Information" form, available in the Office of the Registrar. The completed form must be submitted in person to the Office of the Registrar and must be accompanied by a photo I.D. Students will be required to renew the request at the beginning of each academic year.
Students who wish to restrict directory information should realize that THIS ACTION COULD HAVE NEGATIVE CONSEQUENCES. The names of students who have restricted their directory information will not appear in the Commencement bulletin and other College publications. Also, employers, credit card companies, loan agencies, scholarship committees, and the like will be denied any of your directory information and will be told: "I'm sorry, but we have no information available about this person's attendance at Hartwick."
Parent's access to a student's records
At the post-secondary level, parents have no inherent rights to access or inspect their son or daughter's education records. This right is limited solely to the student. At Hartwick, records may be released to parents only if they have been given a written release by the student or are in compliance with a subpoena.
If non-directory information is needed to resolve a crisis or emergency situation, an educational institution may release that information if the institution determines that the information is "necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or other individuals." Factors considered in making this assessment are: the severity of the threat to the health or safety of those involved; the need for the information; the time required to deal with the emergency; and the ability of the parties to whom the information is to be given to deal with the emergency.
The federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) considers "Teaching Assistants" or "TAs"- whether graduate students or undergraduates - to be an extension of a faculty member, and, as a result, TA's are afforded access to protected student information. Any TA who is provided access to protected grade information for other students (scores on quizzes, homework, etc.), must by law be familiar with FERPA regulations that apply to faculty and staff. As a TA, that individual assumes responsibility for adhering to all applicable FERPA laws.
To remove the burden of such training from faculty members, and for liability purposes, all TAs who have access, or will be provided access, to student grade information must attend a required FERPA training session with the Office of the Registrar, and must sign and date a memorandum of understanding of FERPA before accessing any grade information.
These roughly 30 minute training sessions are available by appointment; students should the Office of the Registrar at (607) 431-4435 to schedule an appointment. At the conclusion of the training, the student will sign a Memorandum of Understanding, a copy of which will be placed in the student's education record and provided to the course instructor.
Who to contact with questions/concerns
Comments or suggestions should be addressed to the Hartwick Office of the Registrar at 607-431-4460.