FERPA and Confidentiality
Two types of records are kept for students: 1) the cumulative folder containing background and demographic data (including application and transcripts from other schools), and 2) the permanent academic history record showing work completed by the student at LBCC.
The faculty and staff have access to these records on an educational need-to-know basis and can make a request for information from the Admissions and Registration Office. Policies governing access to records and maintenance of records are contained in “Students’ Rights, Responsibilities and Conduct.” Release of information is governed by the FERPA (Family, Educational Rights and Privacy Act) as amended.
FERPA restricts the manner in which confidential records are handled. There is some information about students that is generally considered public (student’s name, address, telephone listing, major field of study, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of athletes, dates of attendance, school or division of enrollment, degrees and awards received). All other information about a student must be kept confidential; this is something for which you are legally responsible. The most common situation you will encounter is parents requesting information about how their child is doing in your class. You cannot share that information with them, so politely tell them so and refer them to the Dean with questions.
Students are able to request all information be kept confidential, and these students will be flagged in your course roster. Forms to request restriction of the release of directory information are online or are available in the Registration Office.
There can be confusion about what technology can be used to communicate with students privately. You may email students information about their course performance via their Linn-Benton email. You should not email them private information using another email account. If a student gives you a private telephone number to reach them, you may call them at that number and leave a message.
Please do not leave assignments in a public place to be picked up by students. The only exception is non-graded assignments that do not include personal information about the student (beyond the directory information listed above). If you really want to post grades publicly or leave graded assignments to be picked up, you must use a random identifier rather than the students’ name.