Where do I go to find out whether a student has a FERPA waiver on file?

To access whether a student has a FERPA Waiver on file, you will need to access the Condensed Student Information link in AggieAccess, under the Student Info Tab.  Once you have looked up the student, there will either be a “On File” or “-” under the Quick Info Section next to the FERPA Waiver?.  If it is marked “On File”, scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the view hyperlink under FERPA Waivers Report.

How do I know if a student has a restriction releasing of directory information (Buckley Flag)?

To access whether a student has a privacy restriction on file, you will need to access the Condensed Student Information link in AggieAccess, under the Student Info Tab.  Once you have looked up the student, there will either be a “Y” or “-” under the Quick Info Section next to the “Privacy?”. 

Under FERPA, to which student records do I have access?

All employees (both faculty and staff) are normally considered “school officials.” Under FERPA, school officials may obtain access to only those education records in which they have legitimate educational interests. “Legitimate educational interest” is defined as an interest which results from the duties officially assigned to a school official and which are related to such a school official’s responsibility for facilitating the student’s development. In other words, an employee should only access those student education records that are needed to perform their job as an official of the University. Any other access is a violation of FERPA.

What student information may I release?

FERPA protects the privacy of education records. As an employee you have a responsibility to protect educational records in your possession. You may not disclose personally identifiable information about students or permit inspection of their records without written permission from the student, unless such action is covered by certain exceptions permitted by FERPA.

Information that is defined as “directory information” may be released without student consent unless the student has directed the University to withhold such information.  If such a hold is in place (called a “Buckley flag”), then no information may be released about that student, including no verification whether or not the individual is a student at Cameron University.  If a student has a Buckley flag, there will be a Y next to the Privacy? under the Quick Info section of the student’s Condensed Student Information in AggieAccess. This screen indicates that information release is restricted at the request of the student.  

The Office of Public Affairs handles most requests for directory information from entities outside of the University.

Protection of student privacy is crucial, and the consequences of mishandling of student information are significant. When in doubt, do not release student information—consult your department head, college administrators, or the Registrar’s Office.

Am I required to verify the identity of the student or others to whom I disclose education records?

Yes. FERPA requires that institutions use “reasonable methods” to verify the identity of students, school officials, parents and others to whom information from education records is disclosed. The use of “widely available” information to verify identity, such as name, date of birth, social security number, is not considered reasonable or sufficient.

FERPA does not preclude an institution from disclosing non-directory information from a student's record to the student over the phone. The University is, however, responsible for implementing the necessary procedures to verify the individual's identity before any information is released. In person, the student must present either their official University or government issued I.D.  The University can disclose FERPA protected information to students via email, but only to their university provided email account.   When in doubt, don’t give out information.

The following is a list of questions that can be asked in any combination by university officials to verify a student’s identity, prior to releasing any information to a student over the phone:

  • Student identification number
  • Emergency contact information
  • High school attended and graduation date
  • Major program
  • Class level
  • Recent courses taken
  • Current enrollment
  • Year of first attendance

Only the following information can be released over the phone:

The student’s

  • Class schedule
  • Cameron ID
  • Financial student account balance
  • Refund amount
  • Specific charges

How should I handle letters of recommendation?

As an employee, you may be asked to write a letter of recommendation on behalf of a student. If the letter includes information that falls within FERPA’s definition of educational records, such as grade point average or other non-directory indicators, the student’s written consent to disclose this information would be necessary. Unless the student has waived the right of access to the letter, they would have the right to read it, because it is part of the student's educational record.

  • The written release from the student should:
    • specify the records that may be disclosed
    • state the purpose of the disclosure, and
    • identify the party or class of parties to whom disclosure may be made

Statements in a recommendation that are based on the employee’s personal observations about a student do not require a written release from the student.

Where are FERPA-related forms, policy, and information?

All of this information can be located at www.cameron.edu/ferpa.  Student Request to Share & FERPA waivers can be printed out online or accessed in most departments across campus.

Questions or concerns?

If you encounter a situation where you are uncertain on how to respond to a request for protected student information, please ask your supervisor for assistance. General questions may be directed to the Office of Student Services  or any other office that serves as an official custodian of student records. Comments or suggestions about this website should be addressed to the Office of Student Services, 324 North Shepler or 580-581-2244 or email studentservices@cameron.edu.

May I post my class grades?

The public posting of grades by the student’s name, CUID, or social security number, without the student’s written permission, is a violation of FERPA.  If necessary, instructors can assign students unique numbers or codes that can be used to post grades, but the order of the posting must not be alphabetic.

What are acceptable methods for returning assignments and exams?

Leaving personally identifiable, graded papers (exams, homework, etc.) unattended for students to view is a form of publicly posting grades.  If these papers contain personally identifiable information, then leaving them unattended for anyone to see is a violation of FERPA.  If papers cannot be returned personally and individually during class, an alternative would be to leave the graded papers with an assistant who would ask students for proper identification prior to releasing them.

What are the limits in working with parents?

At the elementary and secondary school level, FERPA gives parents the right to access education records. When a student reaches 18 years of age or is attending an institution of post-secondary education, FERPA rights transfer from parent to student. Therefore, at the post-secondary level, parents have no inherent rights to access their student’s education records.

Information such as a student’s enrollment in a course, class attendance, or progress/grades in a course is personally identifiable information that constitutes part of the student’s education record that is protected under FERPA. Parents may not have access unless the student has provided written authorization. If a student has filed a consent form to give parents access to student records, this would be indicated on the student’s record. With this form on file, faculty members may release information to parents, provided the identity of the parents has been authenticated.

Parents of a dependent student may challenge denial of access to educational records by providing to the Office of the Registrar evidence that they declare the student as a dependent on their most recent Federal Income Tax form (Form 1040).

Even if no specific information can be released about a student, faculty members may be able to assist parents by providing general information that does not violate FERPA. Course requirements, a copy of the course syllabus, and other similar information may be helpful. FERPA does not mean parent can take the place of a student in meetings.  FERPA does not require faculty to explain assignment to parents.

What are the limits in working with parents?

At the elementary and secondary school level, FERPA gives parents the right to access education records. When a student reaches 18 years of age or is attending an institution of post-secondary education, FERPA rights transfer from parent to student. Therefore, at the post-secondary level, parents have no inherent rights to access their student’s education records.

Information such as a student’s enrollment in a course, class attendance, or progress/grades in a course is personally identifiable information that constitutes part of the student’s education record that is protected under FERPA. Parents may not have access unless the student has provided written authorization. If a student has filed a consent form to give parents access to student records, this would be indicated on the student’s record. With this form on file, staff members may release information to parents, provided the identity of the parents has been authenticated.

Parents of a dependent student may challenge denial of access to educational records by providing to the Office of the Registrar’s evidence that they declare the student as a dependent on their most recent Federal Income Tax form (Form 1040).  In this case, staff members may release information to parents, provided the identity of the parents has been authenticated.

Even if no specific information can be released about a student, staff members can often assist parents by providing general information that does not violate FERPA. Enrollment procedures, academic calendar information, policy information, and other similar information may be helpful.  FERPA does not mean parent can take the place of a student in meetings. 

May I release information to fraternities and sororities?

Many fraternities and sororities maintain scholarship committees, academic excellence awards, and related types of activities that are based upon personally identifiable information. However, fraternity and sorority members in charge of these activities are not “university officials” and may not have access to student record information, unless the student has provided written authorization.

How are subpoenas handled?

Subpoenas for student education records are directed to the Office of Public Affairs.  Legal Counsel is consulted when a subpoena is received.

Contact Student Services
North Shepler, Room 324
2800 W. Gore Blvd.
Lawton, OK 73505
(580) 581-2244 voice
(580) 581-2352 fax
studentservices@cameron.edu

FERPA Forms