For more than three decades, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) has helped to protect the privacy of student education records. As new legislation affects the rights and responsibilities mandated under the original act, SMU community members can stay up to date through the University Registrar’s new FERPA website.
“What was true before is still true today – a student’s education records are protected under [FERPA],” says Joe Papari, director of information systems in Enrollment Services. “However, while FERPA’s goal is to protect the privacy rights of students, it shouldn’t infringe on the classroom experience nor limit university officials’ ability to communicate student information with each other.”
Some highlights of the recent changes:
- Students now may use Access.SMU to provide their consent for parents to receive information from the student’s education records.
- Parents may view some academic and financial information through Access.SMU, if their student provides his or her consent.
- Faculty and staff members may use Access.SMU to view a student’s consent status before releasing information.
- The FERPA website provides detailed FERPA information, plus a tutorial for faculty and staff.
- The site also provides information for students, faculty, staff and parents on how to give and use online access to information.