Oregon Institute of Technology, in compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), is responsible for monitoring access to and release of information from student education records. Staff and faculty with access to student education records are legally responsible for protecting the privacy of the student by using information only for legitimate educational reasons to instruct, advise, or otherwise assist students. FERPA also assures certain rights to students at the university regarding their education records. These rights do not transfer to parents, guardians, spouses or other family members without the specific written permission of the student.
Definition of Education Records
Education records are those records directly related to a student maintained by the university or by a party acting for the university.
Only those records defined as “Directory Information” may be released without the express written permission of the student. Each university has its own directory information. Below is Oregon Tech Directory Information that can be released about a student:
- a student’s full name
- current address and telephone number
- a student’s hometown
- dates of attendance by term
- degree program/major field of study
- date of graduation
- most recent/previous school attended
- participation in official activities/sports
- age, height, and weight of athletic team members
Below is a quick reference of frequently asked-for data, and whether it is or is not Oregon Tech Directory Information.
|Student’s full name||X|
|Oregon Tech ID number||X|
|Date of Birth||X|
|Current mailing address and telephone number||X|
|Parent names and/or addresses||X|
|Dates of attendance by term||X|
|Degree program/major field of study||X|
|GPA or grades||X|
|Date of graduation||X|
|Current term credits or class schedule (CRNs, meeting times, locations)||X|
|Full-time, half-time or less than half-time enrollment status||X|
|Information on academic standing (probation, disqualification, etc.) or whether a student is eligible to return to school||X|
|Whether student has applied for graduation||X|
|Most recent/previous school attended||X|
|Participation in official activities/sports||X|
|Age, height, and weight of athletic team members||X|
|Accounts receivable balance||X|
|Financial records of parents||X|
|Student employment records||X|
|Copies of transcripts from other schools or colleges||X|
|Psychiatric or psychological records||X|
A student may request to be coded as confidential by submitting paperwork in the Registrar’s Office. This request will be processed in a timely manner and take effect immediately. Once a student is coded as confidential, the fact that he/she is currently a student, or have ever been enrolled at Oregon Institute of Technology, will not be released. No information – including directory information – is to be released by anyone, including persons claiming to be the student, parents, relatives, friends, other students, or prospective employers, who may wish to contact the student or verify their status at the university.
Once a student becomes “confidential”, in order to conduct any business with the university, he/she will need to go in person to the office involved, or via mail or fax, provide a written request for release of information.
Confidential student Directory Information is made available only where an emergency is involved, at the direction of a court order, or to Oregon Tech staff and faculty with a legitimate educational need to know.
Duration of Confidentiality
The duration of confidentiality is permanent until the student requests, in writing, that it be removed. The restriction of directory information will remain in place even after you have stopped attending or have graduated.
Faculty and Staff Responsibility
You are responsible for maintaining the security of your workstation or computer monitor. This includes the responsibility for all transactions that occur under your username and password, and for all information that is released about university students. Do not leave your workstation or computer unattended while logged in to Banner or Web for Faculty. Do not give your password to another employee or student. Violation of this regulation may revoke your access privileges.
University staff and faculty members performing instructional, supervisory, advisory, or administrative duties for the university are considered to have a legitimate educational need for access to student data for students for whom they are performing these functions. Individuals without legitimate educational interest must present EITHER an appropriate written signed and dated authorization for release from the student, which must include: 1) the specific information to be released; 2) the person or class of persons to whom the information is to be released, and 3) the purpose for which the information is to be released, OR a valid subpoena or court order. If presented with a subpoena or court order, faculty and staff are to contact the University Registrar immediately. The University Registrar determines validity of and extent of compliance with subpoenas and court orders. You have the authority and responsibility to deny any request for data that you feel is not legitimate. If you are in doubt, it is always wiser to err on the side of caution than to release information that may constitute a FERPA violation.
When responding to an inquiry about a student, staff and faculty must determine whether the student has placed a restriction on his/her record. If a student has filed a restriction, records are marked **CONFIDENTIAL** next to the student’s name in Banner and Web for Faculty records include the note **CONFIDENTIAL** under the Student Status menu. An appropriate response to an inquiry about a confidential student is “I’m sorry, I have no information for a person (or individual) by that name.” Note: Use of the terms “student” or “his/her” in your response is not permitted under FERPA regulations. You may not respond to the inquiry by indicating that the person has restricted the release of his/her directory information.
Posting of Grades
Faculty and staff are responsible for protecting the identity of students and keeping student grades confidential. Grades or evaluations linked to personal identifiers (names, Oregon Tech ID numbers, or social security numbers) may not be publicly disclosed without specific permission from the student as described above. Without student permission, grades or evaluations may be posted, whether on office doors or in class rosters, only by using the last 4-digits of the student ID number or other randomized number/code.
Requesting Letters of Reference or Recommendation from Faculty or Staff
Students who request letters of reference or recommendation from Oregon Tech faculty or staff members need to do so in writing. Such letters or statements are most effective if they contain specific information about academic or work performance of the student; this type of information is considered “non-directory” information and cannot be released without the signed written consent of the student, according to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. Information to be included in the written consent:
- What information is to be released (be as specific as possible)
- To whom the information is to be released (name, address)
- The purpose of the release of information Student signature and date
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
FERPA was enacted by the U.S. Congress in 1974 and has since had many amendments. Responsibility for oversight of FERPA compliance rests with the Department of Education’s Family Policy Compliance Office.