Privacy, Confidentiality and Education Records
The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal statue designed to protect the privacy of students and parents. FERPA deals with privacy and confidentiality and destruction of educational records. FERPA applies to all agencies and institutions that recieve federal funds, including elementary and secondary schools, colleges and universities. The statute is in the United States Code at 20 U.S.C.1232. The regulations are in the Code of Federal Regulations at 34 C.F.R. Part 99.
FERPA Exclusions for Accrediting Organizations
There are two types of educational records as defined under FERPA: Directory and Non-Directory.
ACARET only requests information that is defined by FERPA as 'Directory'. Educators are asked to document their teaching experience via class rosters with student names and phone numbers.
FERPA provides that schools may disclose this type of information without the written consent of the student. Therefore it is important for faculty and staff to know the type of educational record that is being considered for disclosure. Directory information includes basic information such as name, phone number and email address.
In addition, FERPA permits disclosure of personal information to an accrediting organization if it is
needed to carry out the accreditation. Federal regulations require that the disclosure is allowable on the condition that only the representatives of the organization see the original records, the studies produced do not identify any particular student, and the information is destroyed after it is no longer used.
Only the ACARET Board of Directors accrediting committee has access to the information on class rosters submitted by applicants; once the status of application is completed, student rosters are not needed and will be destroyed to comply with the FERPA statute.
Compliance to FERPA by the Teaching Body
FERPA directs the teaching institution to provide a written policy to students informing them of the exclusions for releasing information without their consent. For further reference and compliance details for FERPA third-party access to educational information: