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FERPA Quiz

Question 1 of 9:

You get a frantic phone call from an individual who says that he is a student's father and must get in touch with her immediately because of a family emergency. Can you tell him when and where her next class is today?

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No
For the safety of the student you cannot tell another person where a student is at any time. Inform the caller they should contact the Dean of Students or the Office of the Registrar  for more information.

When this situation arises, follow prescribed University procedure.

 

Question 2 of 9:

You receive a call from a recruiting firm asking for names and addresses of students with a GPA of 3.0 or better. They say they have good job information for these students. Can you help these students get jobs by giving out this information?

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No
While we all want to help students to get good jobs, the request should be sent to the appropriate office.

Do not give out student information that pertains to grade point average to anyone without prior written consent of that student. All outside requests for information must be referred to the Office of the Registrar. Information about the recruiting firm, however, could be provided to students and should be forwarded to the Center for Career Development.

 

Question 3 of 9:

A student asks you for grade information because there is a hold on his or her record. Do you give the grade to him or her? 

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Yes
Yes, it is allowable but discouraged.

By law, students may view records but institutions may withhold official copies of documents when money is owed to the institution. Therefore, if a student has a hold they most likely have an outstanding balance with the University and are being prompted to make arrangements for payment by being directed to a business associate to resolve the matter. Holds may also be applied for reasons other than finances, and are effective only when the student goes through appropriate channels to get access to the record. (FERPA allows us to withhold access for up to 45 days.).

 

Question 4 of 9:

You receive a phone call from the local police department indicating that they are trying to determine whether a particular student was in attendance on a specific day. Since they are in the middle of a investigation, are you allowed to give them this information?

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No
The police should first be directed to the Dean of Students Office.

Information about whether or not a student was enrolled in a particular semester is directory information and can be obtained through the Office of the Registrar. If the police require more information, a subpoena may be required. Additionally, FERPA requires notification be sent to the student, unless it is specifically stated on the subpoena that the student must not be notified.

 

Question 5 of 9:

If a student's parent calls asking how a student is doing in a class, can you give out that information?

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No
Even though the person inquiring may be the student's parent, FERPA recognizes students in higher education as adults, regardless of age. Therefore, you cannot give out that grade, or any other non-directory information unless the student has granted access to his parents which can be confirmed by contacting the Registrar and Student Financial Services office. Be particularly careful if the student has graduated or is no longer at the College. You can ask the student to grant you permission to talk to a parent if appropriate.

The law states colleges may, but are not required to give parents information even if the student is a dependent. Most students allow this, but some have requested that access be restricted. Therefore, it is important to confirm that this is allowable.

 

Question 6 of 9:

A faculty member requests a copy of a student's record so that he may write a recommendation for the student.  Can he access the student's record for this reason?

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Yes
The faculty member is a "school official" as defined by the FERPA policy.  The "legitimate educational interest" would be in fulfilling his professional responsibility of writing an accurate letter of recommendation for the student.

 

Question 7 of 9:

An unauthorized person retrieves information from a computer screen that was left unattended. Under FERPA, is the staff member or institution responsible?

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Yes
Information on a computer screen should be treated the same as printed reports.

The medium in which the information is held is unimportant. No information should be left accessible or unattended, including computer displays.

 

Question 8 of 9:

You have been granted access to certain educational records in accordance with your duties at Dominican. Since this is information you are entitled to under FERPA can you redisclose this information to any party?

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No
FERPA states that you may not redisclose information without prior consent.

There are some occasions when this is allowable, such as release to organizations conducting educational studies, accrediting agencies, and judicial orders. Check with the Registrar before releasing information.

 

Question 9 of 9:

You are facing an emergency situation where you fear the health and safety of people are in jeopardy if you do not release certain protected information to a third party. Can you exercise judgment and release the information?

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Yes
The health and safety of members of the Dominican Community is paramount and FERPA is not intended to increase the risk of individuals' safety in an emergency situation.

There is a provision in FERPA which states that you may release information from an educational record to an appropriate person "in connection with an emergency if knowledge of the information is necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or other individuals."