Teaching Policies & Resources — Student Records
Keeping Records of Student Work
Course materials not returned to students should be held by the instructor (or the department if the instructor leaves a unit) for at least one subsequent semester. A file of course grade records should be kept for at least five years in the departmental office for reference in the case the instructor is no longer available. Final course grades are held by the Registrar and may be accessed through OSIRIS.
Term papers, assignments, and projects are the property of the student who prepared them. Students should be told in advance if the instructor plans to keep copies of student work. Examinations (questions and answers) are the property of the instructor.
Ideally, graded assignments, papers, and examinations should be returned to students before the end of the semester. Final examinations, final papers, and capstone projects that are graded after the end of the semester should be kept at least until the end of the subsequent semester so that students can refer to them or retrieve them. Materials from a spring semester should be kept at least until the end of the next fall semester and fall semester materials should be kept until the end of the next spring semester. Materials from a summer session should be kept at least until the end of the following fall semester and materials from the winter term should be kept until at least the end of the following spring semester.
Never leave student materials in boxes outside of office doors for students to pick up. All student documents should only be available to the students to whom they belong.
Confidentiality of Grades and Other Student Records
Under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, commonly known as the Buckley Amendment and/or FERPA, student records may not be released to faculty members or others without the written permission of the student. This restriction does not alter the access that faculty members have to departmental records of advisees or of majors in the department, if that access is in accord with departmental policy. All instructors should take FERPA training, available online from the Office of the Registrar.
Instructors and advisors should observe the following precautions in order to protect the confidentiality of student records:
Students should never have access to the scores or grades of others. Do not leave graded work in publicly accessible places. Do not ask students to look through graded assignments in search of their own; do not return a graded assignment to anyone other than the student who submitted it.
- Grades are available to students online as soon as they have been posted by the Registrar.
- Instructors who provide a web site for classroom instruction must ensure that the site protects student records, particularly student grades.
- Information from student educational records may not be given by phone or in correspondence, even to parents or in a letter of recommendation, without written permission from the student.
- Only directory information may be publicly shared without written permission from the student. Directory information includes name, residing address, telephone number, hometown, dates of attendance, college and class status, major, degrees earned, and enrollment status. Students may formally request the University Registrar to restrict disclosure even of directory information.
- Information from student educational records may be shared only with those who have a "legitimate educational interest" in the information.
- Requests for records for other purposes should be directed to the Office of the Registrar (1 Jessup Hall, 335-0217), which will evaluate whether such requests are in accord with federal law and institutional policy.
The Office of the Registrar's "FERPA for Faculty and Staff" document provides a wealth of information.