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FERPA Compliance Best Practices

What is FERPA?: “The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education.” https://www2.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/ferpa/index.html

We have a legal obligation to protect student information under FERPA. Below are some best practices guidelines:

  • Return graded notebooks, projects and/or papers during class time or office hours. Do not leave them outside offices for student pick up.
  • Student papers and tests should be delivered to and kept in a secured location (such as your office) until returned to the student. Do not leave them in your mailbox or ask students to deliver them to your mailbox. These mailboxes are open and are accessible to anyone, and the main office is not staffed every minute of the workday.
  • Student work can be confidentially recycled after one term (ie: you may recycle work from winter 2018 at the end of spring 2018). Office staff can assist you with recycling large volumes of student work confidentially. Do not recycle student work in common/open recycling bins or office cleanout barrels. Additionally, transcripts, rosters and other papers with identifiable student information can be confidentially recycled as soon as you are finished with them.
  • Discuss student performance (grades, GPA, progress, other assessment) out of hearing of others, including the student’s boyfriend/girlfriend, family, etc. Keep private grades and evaluative comments for tests, papers, projects, and anything else that identifies the student and do not post.

More information about FERPA compliance is available on the UO Registrar’s website: https://registrar.uoregon.edu/records-privacy