The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) regulates the release of educational records, defined as all records which are related to a student’s education and maintained by the institution. Students must give written consent to release their records unless a legitimate educational interest is present.

Understanding FERPA and how it applies to student’s education records is an important aspect of an online facilitator’s position.

  • Educational Records May Be:
    A computer printout in your office
    A class list on your desk
    A computer display screen
    Notes you have taken during an advisement session
  • Legitimate Educational Interest Includes:
    Performing a task that is specified in his or her position or contract
    Performing a task related to a student’s education or discipline
    Providing a service or benefit to the student
    Maintaining safety and security on campus
  • Directory Information is Public and Includes:
    Name, Address, Email, Telephone Number, Date of Birth, Major field of Study, Dates of Attendance, Participation in officially recognized activities and sports, Degrees and awards received, The most recent previous educational agency or institution attended

Is it ok to release a student’s contact information to a potential employer?

For any marketing purpose?

Can you discuss a student’s grades with a potential employer?

Family members would like to know about  educational records, ok to release?

Is it ok to post student’s grades within a discussion forum behind a private CMS?

Internships are available for students is it ok to release the names of students and their addresses to a company offering them?

Is email between professors protected under FERPA?

Are discussion forum posts protected under FERPA?

Maria Guillily, PhD