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76. Additional DoEd Regulations: Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (34 CFR 99) (FERPA)

FERPA is the abbreviation used for DoEd regulations (at 34CFR99) that apply to the protection of academic records for educational institutions receiving funding from the DoEd.

The University's FERPA policy may be found in the General Course Catalog under Disclosure of Student Education Records and Directory Information.

Comprehensive information about FERPA may be found online at the US Department of Education website: Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

Overview of FERPA Requirements

  • FERPA requires written authorization from the student (if over 18), or parent or guardian of minor-students before schools may release identified student academic information.
  • FERPA requirements apply to investigators conducting research involving academic information even when this information is obtained from or about their own students.
  • University and affiliate investigators conducting research invoking FERPA must identify the specific information that will be requested or obtained including

o   directory information such as name, address, attendance, and degrees received; and

o   academic or education records such as standardized and classroom tests, and classroom assignments.

  • Academic or education records include the following formats:

o   handwriting,

o   print,

o   computer media,

o   video or audio tape,

o   film, and

o   microfilm and microfiche.

  • Investigators using student records for research must provide the following information:

o   the purpose and use of the student records,

o   justification for including personal identifiers among the data set (if applicable),

o   identification of the parties to whom the information will be disclosed,

o   description of the process for obtaining written parent or adult-student permission for the use or disclosure of student educational records, and

o   description about how the investigators will obtain access to the data.

Obtaining Permission from the University to Use Education Records for Research

University and affiliate investigators wishing to conduct research involving student records, including directory information, must abide by the University's policy regarding use of same (see Disclosure of Student Education Records and Directory Information in the General Course Catalog).

University and affiliate investigators are advised to

  • specify in the exempt or IRB application the student information that will be requested and used for research;
  • describe in the exempt or IRB application how signed permission will be obtained for student information other than directory information;
  • obtain IRB approval for the project; and
  • provide the Registrar's Office with a copy of the IRB approval letter, list of the information requested, and summary of the purpose and use of the information.

The registrar will review the request and approve the use of the information for research purposes. NOTE: The registrar may require additional information or clarification before approving the request.


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