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Student Privacy - FERPa

ATSU's FERPA Policy Statement : FERPA Information for Faculty & Staff : FERPA Presentation : FERPA Web Course and Assessment

ATSU's FERPA Policy Statement

A.T. Still University is committed to protecting the privacy rights of its students. The following information covers the basic privacy issues related to student records, under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Questions concerning FERPA should be directed to the Office of the Registrar.

EDUCATION RECORDS

An education record is any record maintained by the University or agency or party acting for the University from which a student can be personally identified. Records may be in any form and include, but not limited to: written documents, computer media, video or audio tape, photographs, microfilm, microfiche, and electronic files.

Education records do not include:

  • Sole possession records – a record kept by a faculty or staff member if it is kept in the sole possession of the maker of the record and is not accessible or revealed to any other.
  • Law enforcement records
  • Employment records
  • Medical records
  • Alumni records

STUDENT RIGHTS

The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, also known as the Buckley Amendment, is a federal law designed to protect the privacy of educational records and guarantees students the following rights:

  • The right to inspect and review their education records.  Students who wish to review their education records should complete the “Request to Review Records” form and submit it to the Student Affairs Office, for ATSU-Mesa students, and to the Office of the Registrar for ATSU-KCOM & SHM students. The Office of the Registrar or an appropriate University staff person will make the needed arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. Access must be given 45 days or less from receipt of the request.

When a record contains information about more than one student, the student may inspect and review only the records which relate to him/her.

A.T. Still University is not required to provide copies of educational records, unless distance prevents the student from access. Reasonable fees for copies of records may be charged by the University.

  • The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records to ensure that they are not inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy or other rights.

Students may ask the University to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate or misleading.  They should write the University official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading.

If the University decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the University will notify the student of the decision and advise the student of his or her right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. 

Upon request, the University will arrange for a hearing, and notify the student, reasonably in advance of the date, place and time of the hearing.

The student may have an adviser present at the hearing. If the student desires to have an adviser present, he/she must notify the hearing panel of this fact, in writing, no less than two working days prior to the hearing. Advisers must be members of the A.T. Still University community (i.e. current students, faculty, staff). This adviser serves as a support person to the student and may not speak for the student, nor address the hearing panel. If the student requests to have private legal counsel present, the hearing panel may reschedule the hearing so that A.T. Still University legal counsel may be present.

The student shall be afforded a full and fair opportunity to present written evidence relevant to the issues raised in the original request to amend the student’s education records.

The hearing will be conducted by a three-person panel comprised of University officials who do not have a direct interest in the outcome of the hearing. The panel will be appointed by the Vice President for Student and Alumni Affairs.  The hearing panel will prepare a written decision, within 10 business days of completion of the hearing, based solely on the evidence presented at the hearing. The decision will include a summary of the evidence presented and reasons for the decision. If the University determines that the challenged information is inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the student’s right of privacy, it will amend the record and notify the student, in writing, that the record has been amended.

If the University determines that the challenged information is not inaccurate, misleading or in violation of the student’s rights of privacy, it will notify the student or their right to place with the record a statement commenting on the challenged information and/or a statement setting forth the reasons for disagreeing with the decision. The statement will be maintained as part of the student’s education records as long as the contested portion is maintained. If the University discloses the contested portion of the record, it must also disclose the statement.

Grades and academic performance evaluations may be challenged under this procedure only on the basis of the accuracy of their transcription.

  • The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.

One exception which permits disclosure without consent is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests.  A school official is a person employed by the University in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person or company with whom the University has contracted (such as the National Clearinghouse, an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); a person serving on the Board of Trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official performing his or her tasks.

A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility. 

  • The right to file with the U.S. Department of Education a complaint concerning alleged failures by University to comply with the requirements of FERPA.  The name and address of the Office that administers FERPA is:  Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, DC  20202-4605
  • The right to obtain a copy of the University’s student records policy.  A copy of the policy can be obtained from the Office of the Registrar.

FERPA rights apply to all students in attendance and former students. FERPA rights do not apply to deceased students or persons who have applied but not attended. Request for records of a deceased student will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. The University reserves the right to deny the request.

FERPA rights begin on the first day of enrollment in an ATSU academic program.

ANNUAL NOTIFICATION

Students will be notified of their FERPA rights via the ATSU website at www.atsu.edu and during their orientation session. A copy of the policy can also be obtained by contacting the Office of the Registrar.

RIGHT TO REFUSE ACCESS

A.T. Still University reserves the right to deny transcripts or copies of records not required to be made available by FERPA, if the student has unpaid financial obligations to the University or if there is an unresolved disciplinary action against the student.

DIRECTORY INFORMATION

A.T. Still University has identified the following items as Directory Information: Name, address, telephone number, email address, dates of attendance, class, full-time/part-time status, name of spouse, previous institutions(s) attended, major field of study, awards, honors, degree(s) conferred (including dates), class roster, class schedule, and photographs.

These items may be released without the prior written consent of the student. However, it is our policy not to do so, unless it is deemed to be in the best interest of the student.

Students reserve the right to request in writing that directory designated items be restricted from public disclosure. If they wish to do so, students may fill out a Nondisclosure of Directory Information Form. The nondisclosure restriction will remain in effect until the Office of the Registrar is notified in writing by the student to remove the FERPA restriction.

A.T. Still University assumes no liability if honoring the nondisclosure request has a negative effect for the student.

NON-DIRECTORY INFORMATION

Non-directory information is any information considered personally identifiable, such as social security number, student ID, race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, academic standing, and any information not identified as directory information. This type of information cannot be released without the prior written consent of the student, except under the following:

  1. To schools in which the student seeks or intends to enroll
  2. To federal, state, and local authorities involved in the audit or evaluation of compliance with educational programs.
  3. To comply with a judicial order or subpoena
  4. In connection with financial aid, as necessary to determine the eligibility, amount or conditions of the financial aid, or to enforce the terms and conditions of the aid.
  5. To organizations conducting studies for or on behalf of educational institutions
  6. To accrediting organizations
  7. To the parents of a student, who are considered a dependent student under the Internal Revenue Code.
  8. When a health or safety emergency is apparent
  9.  To an alleged victim of a crime of violence, the results of a disciplinary hearing may be disclosed.
  10. To school officials with a legitimate educational interest.

RECORD OF REQUESTS FOR DISCLOSURE

The Office of the Registrar will maintain a record of all requests for and/or disclosures of non-directory information from a student’s education records, as required under FERPA regulations. The record will indicate the name of the party making the request, any additional party to whom the information may be re-disclosed (if any), and the legitimate interest the party had in requesting or obtaining the information. 

STAFF & FACULTY

All employees of ATSU are required to read and sign the ATSU Staff Handbook which addresses FERPA.  Annually employees are asked to review FERPA and the online FERPA tutorial during the annual employee training.  In addition, the Registrar's Office will periodically send FERPA reminders and information through a variety of distribution methods.

GRADING POLICY

A.T. Still University adheres to the grading practices recommended under FERPA.  Grades are not posted in a public manner either by student name, social security number, or student identification number. FERPA permits the posting of grades only if the student is assigned a unique identifier known only to the student and the faculty member.

PARENTAL ACCESS

If a student is not a dependent for tax purposes, the parent has no right to access student record information about the child unless the parent has the child's written permission. However, if the student is claimed by the parent as a dependent for income tax purposes on their most recent Federal Income Tax form, then student record information may be released at the discretion of the University to the parent, as long as a copy of the applicable page from the parent's most recent income tax return is provided to the University and it verifies dependency. Full rights are given to either parent, regardless of who claims the child as a dependent, unless the institution has been provided with evidence that there is a court order, state statute, or legally binding document limiting those rights, such as divorce, separation or custody orders.

TYPES, LOCATIONS AND CUSTODIANS OF EDUCATION RECORDS

The following is a list of the types of records maintained by A.T. Still University, their locations and custodians.

Record Type

Custodian

Location

Admission Records upon matriculation and Cumulative Academic Records

Office of the Registrar

ATSU - Kirksville, Mo.

Financial Assistance & Work Study Records

Financial Services & Human Resources

ATSU - Kirksville, Mo.

Criminal Background Check  

Office of the Registrar

ATSU - Kirksville, Mo.

Student Health Insurance

ATSU Students

Office of the Registrar

ATSU - Kirksville, Mo.

Immigration Records

Office of the Registrar

ATSU - Kirksville, Mo.

Tutoring Records

Director of Student Resources

ATSU - Kirksville, Mo.

Counseling Records

Director of Counseling Services

ATSU - Kirksville, Mo.

Financial Records ( i.e. tuition billing and payments)

Controller’s Office

ATSU - Kirksville, Mo.

Student Conduct Records

ATSU-Kirksville Students

ATSU Vice President for Student and Alumni Affairs - Kirksville

ATSU - Kirksville, Mo.

Student Conduct Records

ATSU-Mesa Students

Asst. Vice President for Student Affairs - Mesa

ATSU - Mesa, Ariz.

Student Conduct Records

ATSU-SHM Students

SHM Dean’s Office

ATSU – Kirksville, Mo.

Student Employment Records

Human Resources

ATSU - Kirksville, Mo.

Immunizations

ATSU-KCOM  students

Immunization Coordinator

ATSU - Kirksville, Mo.

Immunizations

ATSU-ASDOH  students

ASDOH Dean’s Office

ATSU - Mesa, Ariz.

Immunizations

ATSU-ASHS students

Academic Departments; OT, PT, PA, AuD, AT

ATSU - Mesa, Ariz.

Veteran’s Assistance Records

ATSU- KCOM & SHM students

Office of the Registrar

ATSU - Kirksville, Mo.

Veteran’s Assistance Records

ATSU-Mesa students

Student Affairs - Mesa

ATSU - Mesa, Ariz.

Questions concerning this policy should be addressed to:

A.T. Still University
Office of the Registrar
800 W. Jefferson
Kirksville, MO  63501
660.626.2356 or registrarsoffice@atsu.edu