FERPA for MSU Denver Staff and Faculty
As a staff or faculty member at MSU Denver, it is your responsibility to oversee and uphold the rights that FERPA grants to our students. These basic guidelines should be used when working with all MSU Denver students:
- Student educational records are considered confidential and cannot be released without the student’s prior written consent.
- As a student worker, staff, or faculty member, you are given access to student educational records for the sole purpose of performing your job. It is your responsibility to protect educational records whenever they are in use and regardless of the medium in which they are accessed.
- As a school official, you are able to share directory information with credible third parties without prior written consent. However, students can request for nondisclosure which keeps their entire record private—including directory information.
- If you ever have any questions about sharing student information, please do not hesitate to call the Office of the Registrar at (303) 556-3991.
The following links help to explain FERPA in greater detail:
- Personal notes written by staff and faculty
- Employment records
- Financial records of a parent or spouse
- Medical and counseling records used solely for treatment
- AHEC Police Department records
- Confidential letters and statements of recommendation for admission, employment or honorary recognition for which the student has waived the right to inspect and review
Otherwise, a student’s 900#, grades, GPA, class schedule, residency status, marital status and all other information we have on file are considered educational records and, thus, protected by FERPA. As a school official, you are granted access to this information as long as you have a legitimate educational need to know. Yet, it is your responsibility to protect this information whenever you access it.
What is considered Directory Information at MSU Denver?
Directory information is part of a student’s educational record; however, school officials are permitted to share this information with credible third parties. MSU Denver considers the following as directory information:
- Student name, address and telephone number
- Student classification
- Major and minor fields of study
- Telephone number
- Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
- Weight and height of members of athletic teams
- Dates of attendance at MSU Denver
- Degrees and awards received
- Last educational institution attended
All other personal information is considered private and cannot be disclosed to third parties unless we have prior written consent from the student.
What is a Confidentiality Hold, and when do I need to look for it?
Students can request to keep their entire educational record private—including directory information—by completing a nondisclosure request form in which a confidentiality hold will be placed on their account. If a student has requested nondisclosure, a window indicating confidentiality hold will appear in the Banner System each time you try to access their record.
If this window does appear, you cannot disclose ANY part of the student’s record to anyone. The only time you can discuss the record with the student is when (s)he comes to your office and presents a valid photo ID.
What information can I include in a letter of recommendation?
When writing a letter of recommendation for a student, you cannot disclose information from the student’s educational record (e.g., GPA) without the student’s written consent. However, you can disclose directory information as long as the student does not have a Confidentiality Hold on their account.
What must be included in a student’s written consent?
In order to release private, personally identifiable information, we must obtain prior written consent from the student. A statement of written consent must contain the following:
- Specific records to be released
- Purpose for releasing the records
- Names of the individuals or groups to whom the records should be released
- Student signature and Date
Can I release a student’s 900#?
You can release a student's 900# to the student if you are able to verify their identity. The best way to verify an identity is to ask for a photo ID (e.g., MSU Denver Student ID, driver's license, passport). If the student does not have a photo ID, please use the FERPA Authentication Guidelines ( 289 KB) 289 KB developed by the Office of the Registrar.
- Do not link a student’s name with their Social Security or 900 numbers in any public manner.
- Do not use any portion of a student’s Social Security or 900 number when publicly posting grades.
- Do not leave graded assignments in a stack for students to sort through and pick up.
- Do not circulate class lists with Social Security or 900 numbers or grades as an attendance roster.
- Do not provide anyone with student schedules, addresses, phone numbers, or assist anyone other than MSU Denver employees in finding a student on campus.
- Do not discuss a student’s progress with anyone other than the student, unless you have written consent from the student.
- Be cautious to discuss academic progress, GPA, etc. when multiple students are present. If you need to discuss individual grades, GPA or other private information with a group of students, you should obtain written permission from each student.
What FERPA training resources are available to my colleagues and me?
Contact the Office of the Registrar for a workshop or one-on-one training.