Privacy Of Information
Under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, the following data are designated as directory information and may be made public unless the student desires to withhold it: student’s name, mailing address, major field of study, military service status, dates of University attendance, degrees and academic honors received, student type, classification, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, and the most recent previous education agency or institution attended. Any undergraduate or graduate student wishing to withhold this information should, by the 12th class day (Census), complete the Tarleton State University Information Release Restrictions form and submit it to the Registrar's Office for processing.
FERPA stands for Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended. It is commonly known as FERPA, the Privacy Act or the Buckley Amendment. It is a federal law designed to protect the privacy of educational records, to establish the right of students to inspect and review their educational records and to provide guidelines for the correction of inaccurate and misleading data through informal and formal hearings.
FERPA allows release of specified items but does not require it. Items that may be released are called directory information. Tarleton State University has classified these items as directory information: student’s name, mailing address, major field of study, military service status, dates of University attendance, degrees and academic honors received, student type, classification, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, and the most recent previous education agency or institution attended.
Students may place a directory hold on any or all of this information by completing the Information Release form and turning it in to the Registrar's Office. It is also available on the Registrar's web page. After this information is entered, a message block will appear on the monitor screen and indicate that the student's records are confidential. "Confidential" will also appear in the top left hand corner of the screen when that student's records are pulled up.
Items that can never be identified as directory information are a student's social security number or institutional identification number, financial information, tuition and fees balance or statement, race/ethnicity, citizenship, nationality, gender, grades, GPA, or class schedule.
A student educational record is any record, with certain exceptions, maintained by an institution that is directly related to a student or students. This record can contain a student's name, or students' names, or information from which an individual student, or students, can be personally (individually) identified. These records include files, documents and materials in whatever medium (written, print, monitor, screen, tapes, disks, film, microfilm, microfiche or notes) that contain information directly related to students and from which students can be personally identified.
If ever in doubt whether information may be released, school officials should not release any information. Tarleton employees may contact the Registrar's Office at 254-968-9417 or firstname.lastname@example.org to determine if a student has given written consent to restrict their directory information as well as determine if the information is an educational record.
A legitimate educational interest shall mean any authorized interest, or activity undertaken in the name of the University for which access to an education record is necessary or appropriate to the proper performance of the undertaking.
School officials have a legitimate educational interest if the information requested is necessary for that official to (a) perform appropriate tasks that are specified in his/her position description or in the performance of regularly assigned duties by a lawful supervisor; (b) fulfill the terms of a contractual agreement; (c) perform a task related to a student's education; (d) perform a task related to the discipline of a student; (e) provide a service or benefit relating to the student or student's family, such as health care, financial aid, job placement, or former student-related activities; or (f) perform a task related to the health and safety of the campus community. Information relating to a student's educational record as well as directory information should not be released to a third party if that party does not have a legitimate educational interest.
Parents wishing to gain access to their son or daughter's academic information must file a Certification of Dependency form with the Office of the Registrar, before they can have access to this information. Until this form is filed, parents are not entitled to this information.
In post-secondary institutions, the student "owns" his/her educational record from the first enrollment. Age is not considered in determining ownership of a student's academic record.
Students have a right to file a complaint with the U. S. Department of Education concerning a possible failure of a school 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, DC 20202