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Records - Confidentiality (FERPA)

 

FERPA-A Student’s Right to Privacy


Release of Directory Information

The University of Maine has designated certain information contained in the education records of its students as directory information for purposes of FERPA.  Such directory information may be publicly shared by the University unless the student has taken formal action to restrict its release.  Directory information includes:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Phone
  • Email Address
  • Date of Birth
  • Program of Study
  • Dates of Attendance
  • Degrees and Awards received (including dates)
  • Most recent previous educational institution attended
  • Participation in sports and activities
  • Class Level
  • Enrollment status (full/part-time)
  • Appropriate personal athletic statistical data

Students have three choices pertaining to the release of directory information:

  • Do not release any directory information
  • Release all directory information
  • Release all directory information except address

The default setting is set to “Release all directory information,” if you wish to change the setting you may do so in your MaineStreet Student Center.  A quick guide is available which describes this process.

Considerations to be made when selecting “Do not release any directory information:”

  • No employee at the institution can acknowledge a student’s existence at the university without written permission for each request stating the exact circumstance and person(s) with whom to share the directory information.
  • Directory information requested by insurance and loan companies will not be provided without written permission.
  • A student’s existence will not be acknowledged for verification of degree or degree earned which may be requested for employment.
  • Students will have their names withheld for distribution to any publication or newspaper which may affect announcements of recognition to local community news outlets.


Student Information Release

The Student Consent To Release Information Form (PDF) form allows students to give access to their educational records to specified individuals. This access remains in effect until the student revokes permission in writing.  Once the Office of Student Records receives the completed form, the information will be documented in MaineStreet.If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact The Office of Student Records at 581-1290.


Guidelines for Faculty and Staff

FERPA Indicator

Students have the option to restrict the release of all of their directory information or just their address.  Instructions for staff on determining the information release restrictions and to whom a student has given permission to release information are available in PDF format:


Tips on Managing Student Records

Do Not

  • Post students’ grades using any part of their social security number or MaineStreet ID.  Please contact Test Scoring Services for instructions on creating a unique identification number for the purpose of posting students’ grades.
  • Leave papers, graded exams books, or lab reports containing student names and grades in publicly accessible places.  Students are not to have access to the scores and grades of others in their class.
  • Request information from the education record custodian without a legitimate educational interest and the appropriate authority to do so.
  • Share education record information, including grades or grade point averages, with other faculty or staff members of the University unless their official responsibilities identify their “legitimate educational interest” in that information for that student.
  • Release GPA information for any reason i.e. Academic Reference.  This information is not Directory Information and cannot be released to anyone without a signed Student Authorization for Academic Reference form.

Do

  • Check for a FERPA Indicator and for the Student Information Release in MaineStreet before discussing a student’s record or releasing any information about the student.
  • Keep only those individual student records necessary for the fulfillment of your teaching and advising responsibilities.  Private notes of a faculty member concerning a student and intended for the faculty member’s own use are not part of the student’s education records.
  • Keep any personal professional records relating to individual students separate from their educational records.  Private records of instructional, supervisory, and administrative personnel and ancillary educational personnel are to be kept in the sole possession of the maker and are not to be accessible or revealed to any other person, except a substitute.
  • Change factual information regarding grades and performance in an education record when the student is able to provide valid documentation that information is inaccurate or misleading.  The substantive judgment of a faculty member about a student’s work, expressed in grades and/or evaluations, is not within the purview of students’ right to challenge their education records.
  • Contact the Office of Student Records for guidance and when in doubt, err on the side of caution.

 


Take the FERPA test

Follow the instructions below to take the FERPA test.  A FERPA Pop Quiz is also available for test preparation.

1. Click here to login to the testing site.

2. Login using your UMS (MaineStreet) credentials.

3. Click on the “Take a Test” link.

4. Under “Available Tests”, click on the “FERPA 101″ link.

5. Make sure to answer all the questions and then click on the “Grade Exam” button at the bottom of the page. You may retake the exam if necessary.

Questions about FERPA can be addressed to the Office of Student Records, 581-1290.

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