(To view our FERPA policy for students & parents, click HERE)
Manhattanville College’s faculty and staff with access to student educational and/or personal records (electronic or paper-based) are responsible under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act ("FERPA") to protect the privacy of such records and use the record information only for legitimate educational or student support purposes. Discussing or sharing a student's record with any person who does not have a “legitimate educational interest” (including, but not limited to parents, guardians, spouses and non-college employees) is a violation of FERPA.
FERPA covers all forms of record transmission, whether it be through verbal conversations, emails, electronic data or printed media. FERPA affords students certain rights with respect to their educational record privacy. However, FERPA also respects the need for educational institutions to share student data across the enterprise to conduct their normal business operations. As long as the “need to know” has been established in relation to a student’s educational record, faculty-to-faculty or faculty-to-staff communications regarding a student may occur freely. Faculty and staff should respect the FERPA guidelines below when record sharing situations arise:
- DO NOT release a student’s academic or non-directory personal information to parents, guardians or non-Manhattanville employees unless the student is present to provide permission for the release or the student has provided the College with a waiver to discuss their specific records with properly identified individual(s). Consult first with these offices:
to find out if a student has a FERPA waiver on file. The waiver will identify individual(s) that the student has granted the College permission to share academic or financial data with.
- Undergraduates: Registrar or undergraduate Academic Advising
- School of Ed majors: School of Education office
- School of Business majors: School of Business office
- ELI students: ELI office
- DO NOT release a student's class schedule or known whereabouts on campus to parents, guardians or non-Manhattanville employees. This information is protected under FERPA. Check a student's FERPA waiver status first or refer inquiries to the Registrar or Advising area. *EXCEPTION: In the event of an emergency that involves a student, a group of students or the campus, you may cooperate with law enforcement, fire, medical or other safety personnel. The Department of Education’s Family Policy Compliance Office (FPCO) states that student record disclosures can be made if “there is an articulable and significant threat to the health or safety of the student or other individuals.” See: FERPA Disaster Guidance Policy
- DO NOT post student grades or other academic information in any location, even if such lists contain only names without other personal identifiers (ID numbers, social security numbers, etc.). Student can access their final grades online in WebAdvisor. Use Blackboard’s Grade Center or Mville email to privately share other academic benchmarks and grades with individual students directly.
- DO NOT circulate a printed class list that displays student names and ID numbers for attendance or ask students to declare themselves present by “writing their names and ID numbers” on a blank sheet of paper. THIS IS AN IMMEDIATE FERPA VIOLATION! Use WebAdvisor to view the real-time status of students on your class roster(s). Then use Starfish, Blackboard or your own private system to track student attendence. If you need to collect a name list, you may only ask for first and last names.
- DO NOT leave a computer unattended in a classroom or office while files are open to student records.
- DO NOT leave printed documents, assignments or exams in an unattended location that contain student names, grades or other personal data.
- Safeguard and secure all devices such as computers, laptops, PDA’s, smart phones and thumb drives that contain student data. If such devices are used to hold student data, password-protect the device AND password-protect the directory folders that contain the data. Contact the Information Technology Department for guidance on information security and best practices.
- DO NOT share login credentials to any Manhattanville College system or software application that allows privileged access to student records. This includes Colleague, WebAdvisor, Blackboard or other systems.
- DO NOT provide student non-directory information to third parties such as prospective employers, associations, other colleges, outside organizations, etc., without the student’s written consent. *EXCEPTION: Conversations and communications with an employer to manage a student’s internship are allowed under FERPA because such discussions are required for the management of the internship. Be sure the outside employer is made aware that once they have been provided privileged student information, they too are subject to FERPA policy!
- Refer requests for student information to the proper educational record custodian. This would be the office recognized as the appropriate "record custodian":
- Registrar’s Office – Academic records, transcripts, grades
- Financial Aid – Aid award amounts, loans, FASFA verification, etc.
- Student Account Services – Tuition billing, account balances, etc.
- Student Health Center - Immunization and health/counseling records
- If you or your office is served a subpoena by a legal entity to provide student record information, forward the subpoena to the President’s Office immediately.
- Personal notes on students: If you maintain personal notes on students, be sure they are only necessary for the fulfillment of your teaching, advising or administrative responsibilities. NOTE: The personal notes of a professor or staff member concerning a student that are intended for that individual’s own use are NOT a part of the student’s educational record. They may NOT be included as part of a student’s request for a FERPA record inspection.
- Shred all unneeded documents that include personal information (i.e. social security numbers, grades, contact data, etc.) on any member of the College community (students, faculty and staff). Proper document security protects everyone and keeps Manhattanville in compliance with FERPA and other nationally recognized privacy policies.
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