Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
Pursuant to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), West Texas A&M University has established procedures relating to the accessibility of student information in the custody of the University.
Disclosure of Education Records and Directory Information
West Texas A&M University requires written consent of a student before disclosing personally identifiable information from that student's education records other than directory information and information requested for official use. Those who may obtain personally identifiable information may include:
- WTAMU university officials with a legitimate educational interest
- Officials of other schools where the student seeks or intends to enroll
- Certain representatives of the federal government
- State educational authorities
- Governmental representatives in connection with financial aid for which a student has applied
- Organizations conducting studies for or on behalf of educational institutions or agencies for testing purposes, student aid programs, and instructional improvement
- Accrediting organizations
- Those responsible for ensuring compliance with a judicial order
- Appropriate parties in a health and/or safety emergency
*Education records are those records, files, documents, and other materials which:
- Contain information directly related to a student and
- Are maintained by an educational agency or institution.
Directory information means information contained in the education record of a student that would generally not be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed. The following types of student information at WTAMU are considered "directory" for the purposes of this policy:
- Local and permanent address
- WTAMU e-mail address
- Telephone listing
- Date and place of birth
- Major field of study
- Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
- Weight and height of members of athletic teams
- Dates of attendance
- Enrollment status (e.g., undergraduate or graduate; full-time or part-time)
- Degrees, awards, and honors received (including selection criteria)
- Most previous school attended
To prohibit directory information from being disclosed the student must submit the Request to Prevent Disclosure of Directory Information form to the Office of the Registrar by 5pm of the Census Date for the semester. Check the Academic Calendar for Census Dates. The request to prevent disclosure remains in effect permanently or until the student chooses to remove the request to withhold directory information.
Procedures for Protecting Student Privacy
FERPA applies to all education records regardless of the storage or delivery method. All University policies regarding student privacy and information security apply to students in all courses regardless of the mode of instruction (on-line, hybrid, classroom). All Faculty and staff are expected to follow certain procedures in protecting student information:
- Use the University's email system - or Blackboard's communication system - for all official, confidential communication such as feedback on assignments, releasing grade information, responding to requests from students to provide information, etc.
- Keep student information such as grades, important papers, transcripts, etc confidential. Computer monitors will information related to other students should be protected from public view and papers should not be left unattended or in easy view of others.
- Do not share login information to university computer systems with anyone.
- Follow FERPA and University guidelines for sharing educational record information with other faculty, staff, parents or others outside the University.
WHEN IN DOUBT, DON'T GIVE IT OUT!
Contact the Registrar (FERPA Compliance Officer) with questions.