Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)




The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their educational records. They are:

  1. Directive

    The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA”) and California State University Executive Order 796 (“EO 796”) afford students the right to inspect and review their education records; request amendment of an education record believed to be in error or misleading; limit disclosure of personally identifiable information contained in an education record; and file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the University to comply with FERPA. Should a conflict arise between FERPA or EO 796 and this directive, FERPA or EO 796 will take precedent.
  2. Authority

    The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, 120 U.S.C. 1232g, 34 CFR 99 and CSU Executive Order 796.
  3. Scope

    This directive applies to the records of any student who is attending or has attended the University. They do not apply to records of applicants for admission who are denied acceptance or if accepted, do not attend the University.
  4. Definitions

    1. Directory Information. A student’s name, date and place of birth, permanent and local address, University-recognized e-mail address, telephone number, class level, enrollment status, major(s), minor(s), dates of attendance, degrees and awards received, previous educational institutions attended and past and present participation in recognized activities. Directory information also includes weight and height if student is an athletic team member.
    2. Legitimate Educational Interest. A school official has a “legitimate educational interest” if the official must review an education record to fulfill their professional responsibility. The University faculty or staff member responsible for maintaining the requested record is responsible for determining whether a school official has a legitimate educational interest.
    3. School Official. A University or CSU system employee or volunteer in an administrative, academic, research or staff position, including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff; an individual or entity with whom the University has contracted to act for the institution or to provide services the institution would otherwise perform for itself, such as an attorney, auditor or collection agent; an individual, including a student, serving on a CSU System or University committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee or assisting another school official in performing their professional responsibility.
  5. Implementation

    1. School officials with a legitimate educational interest may access student records. In addition to school officials with a legitimate educational interest, the University may disclose Directory information (defined in Section IV.A.) depending on the nature of the request and depending on the release category selected by a student. Students may choose to limit the release of their Directory information as described below:
      1. Permit release of all Directory information. Unless restricted by a student, the University may release a student’s Directory information at any time to any requesting party, including the military and for the development of University-affiliated marketing programs. This is the default category for release of information.
      2. Permit release only “Verification” information. This sub-category of Directory information consists of a student’s name, class level, enrollment status, major(s), minor(s), degrees and awards received, dates of attendance and University-recognized e-mail address. The University may release this information in response to requests, including but not limited to those from campus auxiliaries, financial lenders, employers, the military or insurance companies for verification of degree and enrollment information; for inclusion in Commencement and honors materials. Students who release only “Verification” information will be excluded from all University directories, printed or electronic, that the University may produce or publish.
      3. Withhold release of all Directory information. Withholding the release of all Directory information means that the student will be excluded from all University directories and publications that the University may produce or publish, including Commencement and honors materials and the University will not verify degree, dates of attendance or enrollment information without the prior written consent of the student. There will be no release to the military or for marketing programs.
    2. Students wishing to review their education records must make a written request to the Vice President for Student Affairs. Requested education records as defined by FERPA will be made available for review within 45 working days of the request. Reasonable charges for copy costs will be applied.
    3. The University notifi s students of their FERPA rights in its course catalog, university website and annually via electronic mail.
    4. Students who believe their rights have been abridged may make a request in writing seeking assistance from the Vice President for Student Affairs, Langsdorf Hall 805 or The Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Ave., S.W., Washington, D.C., 20202-4605.
  6. Accountability

    1. The University will review bi-annually its information practices concerning student records to assess its compliance with FERPA, CSU Executive Order 796 and this directive. The Vice President for Student Affairs is responsible for ensuring the completion of these reviews.
    2. Any school official requiring access to student records must meet all training requirements established. This training must be completed prior to access being granted.
    3. Individuals who violate this directive are subject to appropriate disciplinary action pursuant to the applicable collective bargaining agreement and/or administrative policies or procedures.
    4. The contact for questions concerning this Directive is the Vice President for Student Affairs or his/her designee.

Reviewed and approved by President Milton A. Gordon on March 17, 2011.