Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1976
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended is a federal law that controls the confidentiality of, and access to, student education records Additionally, Marquette University has a policy statement that explains how the federal law is applied locally. Please note that FERPA may contain additional applicable provisions not referenced in the Marquette policy.
The Marquette policy referred to above is a five-page document that contains definitions, notification policies, procedures and many other details. Additional information can be obtained in the Marquette University Guidelines for Student Education Records Release, which also provides guidelines for posting of student grades.
Overall, FERPA allows students access to their official school records and places limitations on the access of their records by others, including their parents. Thus, it is very important when we are talking to the parents of our students (or anyone other than the student) to not disclose detailed information concerning the student's grades, academic progress, test or homework results, and so forth. These regulations are different from those that govern students in high school. The government website contains the following statement:
There are times when a student's parents may contact you as the student's adviser and ask questions concerning their child's progress. You must be very careful in what information you disclose. In most cases, it would be best to refer the parent's to the associate dean for academic affairs who, in turn, may forward information requests to the registrar's office for further consideration.
If you have any questions concerning FERPA, please refer to the above websites for detailed information. If you have any concerns when talking to the parents of our students, please err on the side of safety and refer them to the college office.