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Dean of Students Office

Alternative Dispute Resolution FAQ

Please see some of our most frequently asked questions below, and their respective answers. This is not an exhaustive list of questions that are asked of the office, and we encourage you to reach out to the Dean of Students Office (DOS) should you have other questions.
  • Are my student's records protected by any law?
    Yes. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law which affords students certain rights in respect to their educational records. The intent of this Act is to protect the privacy of students and their records.
  • What is required under FERPA?
    • Maintaining confidential student educational records in an appropriate manner.
    • Limiting access to student education records to those with a "legitimate educational interest."
    • Annual notification to students via printed material and the web through One-Stop Student Services.
  • What does FERPA mean to me as a parent/guardian?
    FERPA safeguards your student’s records privacy rights. Most important to you is that FERPA specifies that the University faculty and staff, in most circumstances, may not disclose personally identifiable information about a student or release educational to third parties without receiving the student's written and signed consent.
  • Who has a legitimate interest?
    A school official who has a need to review the educational record to fulfill their job duties.
  • When does FERPA not apply to student records?
    • When the record is not an educational record.
      • Examples include: medical records, employment records, counseling records, police reports, etc. However, these records may be covered by other privacy laws and may be maintained by other University areas.
    • Once a student is deceased, although the University continues to respect the rights of the student. These situations are handled on a case by case basis.
  • May I review the documents contained in my student's file?

    No. Students must independently authorize other individuals, such as parents or guardians, to review all of their educational records except as allowed under certain allowances. Such as:

    • If your student is under the age of 18 years old.
    • Your student has expressly advised our office with signed authorization to release to a specific group or person.

    For additional information on FERPA please review One-Stop Student Services FERPA page

  • Can the University disclose my student's records without their written or signed consent?

    Yes, under the following circumstances:

    • To a school official where there is a "legitimate educational interest",
    • To another institution where the student is seeking to be enrolled,
    • To the Department of Education or state/local educational authorities (to meet legal requirements)
    • For the receipt of financial aid,
    • To state/local officials as specified by law,
    • To organizations doing studies on behalf of the University to improve instruction, administer student aid or develop predictive tests,
    • To accrediting agencies,
    • To parents of dependent students (as defined by the IRS),
    • To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena,
    • For a heath or safety emergency,
    • To the alleged victim of a crime of violence (information from a disciplinary proceeding),
    • To parents of any student under 21 for violation of substance abuse law or policy and
    • Disclosure of "directory information" when the student has not restricted access to this information.
  • Where can I learn more about FERPA?