A faculty member will frequently interact with FERPA-protected data which can take the form of grades, date of birth, SSN and more. The following guidelines will act as a starting point to provide best practices for acquiring, storing and utilizing that data at Emporia State.
EMAILING PROTECTED DATA
FERPA protected data should not be sent via email. If you receive an email with possible protected information included, do not reply or forward it. Delete it. If you are authorized to engage in email communication that include FERPA data, you must use ESU's encrypted email service. If you have been charged with acquiring FERPA-protected information, our Secure Upload service may be viable option. Please contact IT for more information.
Learn more in our FAQ Section!
STORING PROTECTED DATA
Other than our Secure Upload service, FERPA-protected data should not be stored anywhere outside of ESU computing systems. This includes storing data on your desktop, mobile device, USB drives, external hard drives, Google Drive, etc. You may use ESU's SharePoint and OneDrive cloud storage services, but avoid removing or copying protected data from systems such as Banner or Canvas.
Once a student enrolls at ESU, FERPA privacy rights move to the student. All student education records are considered confidential and may not be release to any third party, including parents, without written consent of the student. ESU provides services including Proxy access for grades and a similar service for online billing to allow third parties (ex. parents) permission to view select data. Faculty should check with Registration to verify if the student has provided consent.
Public posting of grades using a student's name, eNumber, SSN or other personally identifiable information is a violation of FERPA. Grades should only be made available in Canvas or in Hornet 365 via Banner.
RETURNING GRADED ASSIGNMENTS
As with the scenario of posting grades, distributing graded assignments with personally identifiiable information is a FERPA violation. Student work can be distributed in a class setting, using Canvas, or by asking students to pick up their assignment from a departmental assistant who can verify their identity (ex. show the Hornet Card).
SPECIAL CASE USES OF DATA
SUBPOENAS - Any subpoena requests for educational records should be sent to the Office of the General Counsel.
CRISIS/EMERGENCY USE - In the case of a crisis or emergency situation, ESU may release information if it is determined that the information is necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or other individuals. Contact Police & Safety, Office of the Provost, Student Wellness or Dean of Students as appropriate to the given situation.
LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION - Written permission from the student is required if a letter of recommendation will include any specific part of the student record (ex. a grade, their GPA, etc.) or any performance assessment (ex. rank in class). Personal observations do not require a signed release from the student.
If you have questions about FERPA, please contact the Office of the Registrar.