FERPA facts at your fingertips with new website

FERPA website graphicFor 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:

  1. Students now may use Access.SMU to provide their consent for parents to receive information from the student’s education records.
  2. Parents may view some academic and financial information through Access.SMU, if their student provides his or her consent.
  3. Faculty and staff members may use Access.SMU to view a student’s consent status before releasing information.
  4. The FERPA website provides detailed FERPA information, plus a tutorial for faculty and staff.
  5. The site also provides information for students, faculty, staff and parents on how to give and use online access to information.

>> Not all records available online, says Enrollment Services

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Sound off on IT needs in 2008 Customer Satisfaction Survey

Information Technology Services wants to know if your technology needs are being met – and you can tell them what’s working (and what isn’t) through the department’s 2008 Customer Satisfaction Survey. The feedback ITS gathers now will inform its planning and project schedule for 2008-09.

Past ITS improvements that resulted from survey feedback included larger mailbox quotas and more network drive space, expansion of the University’s wireless capabilities, and implementation of new blogging software – which has made possible redesigns of SMU Forum and the University’s popular Student Adventures site, among others.

The survey takes about 10 minutes and will remain open until April 27. Participants can also register for a chance to win one of ten iTunes gift certificates. For more information, visit the survey site.

GeekBrief TV to share podcasting know-how at SMU

Cali Lewis and Neal Campbell, the host and producer/editor of the popular gadget podcast GeekBrief TV, will share their Netcasting knowledge with the University community at 1 p.m. March 26 in the Hughes-Trigg Ballroom East. The event is open to anyone who is interested in podcasting or producing media for the Net.

The event is sponsored by the SMU Mac User Group and is part of 2008 MacWeek @ SMU. Refreshments will be served, and a prize drawing will follow the presentation. For more information, contact Ian Aberle.