Know your rights and responsibilities.
FERPA deals specifically with the education records of students, affording them certain rights with respect to those records. For purposes of definition, education records are those records which are:
FERPA gives students who reach the age of 18 or who attend a post secondary institution the right to inspect and review their own education records. Furthermore, the right to request amendment of records and to have some control over the disclosure of personally identifiable information from these records, shift from the parent to the students at this time.
FERPA applies to the education records of persons who are or have been in attendance in post secondary institutions, including students in cooperative and correspondence study programs, video conference, satellite, internet or other electronic forms. FERPA does not apply to records of applicants for admission who are denied acceptance or, if accepted, do not attend an institution.
As a student at the University of Colorado Denver (CU Denver), you have certain rights concerning your education records under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). These rights include:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-5920
FERPA generally requires the University to obtain your consent prior to disclosing your education records or personally identifiable information contained in your records. One exception, which permits disclosure without your consent, is information about you that the University has designated as “directory information.” The following items are designated "directory information" and may be released at the discretion of the University of Colorado unless a student files a request to prevent their disclosure:
Although these items are designated by UC Denver as directory information, only a limited amount of this information is routinely disclosed by UC Denver officials and the University retains the discretion to refuse to disclose directory information if
it believes such disclosure would be an infringement of your privacy rights.
Forms to prevent disclosure of directory information can be obtained at the Registrar's Office in Education II North, or visit the Registrar’s website. Questions regarding your rights under FERPA should be directed to the Registrar's Office:
CU Anschutz Medical Campus
Campus Box A054
Those records directly related to a student and maintained by the institution or by a party acting for the institution are considered education records. The term "education records" does not include the following:
This means the demonstrated need to know by those officials
of an institution who act in the student's educational interest,
including faculty, administration, student employees, clerical and
professional employees, and other persons who manage student records
Any school official who needs information about a student in the course of performing instructional, supervisory, advisory, or administrative duties for the University of Colorado Denver has a legitimate educational interest.
This includes contractors, consultants, volunteers and other outside providers used by the University of Colorado Denver, such as the University of Colorado Foundation and the National Student Clearinghouse.
FERPA directory information is information contained in a student’s education record that generally would not be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed. Under current CU Anschutz policy, the following information is designated as directory information:
Student name. If provided, a preferred name will be
used when there is not a documented business or legal reason to provide a
student’s primary name. Students may also select a diploma name for
graduation and commencement materials.
*Campus email addresses are only disclosed to requestors who agree not to use them for solicitation.
Although these items are designated by CU Anschutz as directory information, only a limited amount of this information is routinely disclosed by CU Anschutz university officials. The university retains the discretion to refuse disclosure of directory information if it believes such disclosure would be an infringement on student privacy rights.
Students may ask the University not to publicly disclose directory
information. Be aware, however, if you are seeking employment, the
Registrar's Office cannot release your enrollment, degree status or
major to anyone unless you come to the Registrar's Office with a photo
Forms to prevent disclosure of directory information can be obtained at the
CU Anschutz Medical Campus
FERPA allows the institution the right to disclose student
records or identifiable information without the student's consent under
the following circumstances:
Concerns for Student Behavior, Health and Safety in
Relation to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
Across campuses nationwide, there has been a great deal of discussion related to the privacy of student records in relation to tragedies on college campuses. Most Denver Campus faculty and staff know that FERPA protects student rights to view their educational record, access and amend records, and control what disclosures can be made from these educational records. However, many University employees do not realize that FERPA does allow them to disclose information about students who they perceive to be behaving out of character, perceive the student to have a disturbing change in their normal behavior, or generate concerns about the safety of the student or others. It is important for faculty and staff to understand that FERPA does not prohibit the disclosure of personal observations of students. FERPA allows us all the discretion to release this information under specified circumstances, and through proper channels, to appropriate personnel on campus.
What are the “specified circumstances”?
FERPA allows the disclosure of information from the educational record, without the written consent of the student, under the following: “Persons in an emergency, if the knowledge of information, in fact, is necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or other persons”. The Department of Education interprets FERPA to permit institutions to disclose information from education records to parents if a health or safety emergency involves their son or daughter. For clarification purposes, the Department of Education recently proposed to amend the language of a “strictly construed” interpretation, and replace it with language that states the institutions have far “greater flexibility and deference” to “bring appropriate resources to bear on a circumstance that threatens the health or safety of individuals”.
Some concerns have been expressed by faculty and staff on campus that they are reluctant to share any information with the appropriate personnel on campus if the student advised them, verbally or in writing, that they were seeing a mental health or other medical professional. Note that anything expressed verbally by a student is not part of the “educational record”, and can be shared. If the student has advised a staff or faculty member of this in writing, it can still be shared with someone with “an educational need to know” as described by FERPA regulations, which would include those listed as the “appropriate personnel on campus” below.
Again, the bottom line to recall: FERPA does not prohibit disclosure of personal observations to appropriate campus personnel about students of concern. You do not have to determine if this is an emergency that will be considered a threat of health or safety. You can consult with other appropriate personnel on campus for additional perspective, suggestions, resources, referral or assistance.
Who are the “appropriate personnel on campus”?
There are a variety of offices and personnel on campus who can be of assistance when you are faced with a student of concern. Some of these resources are listed below:
Department Chair/Associate Dean/Director – in many cases these individuals are excellent resources and can help you to support the student and/or find additional support and resources on campus.
CU Denver Student and Community Counseling Center – located in Tivoli 454 and available by phone at 303.556.4372. The Center is open from 10am to 8pm Monday through Thursday for walk-in or phone-in crisis consultation, intakes and counseling.
The Campus Assessment Response & Evaluation Team (CARE) – is a multidisciplinary team that reviews and evaluates student behavioral concerns and intervenes as appropriate. Contact the CARE Team to submit a concern online 24 hours a day on their website and learn much more about recognizing and responding to students in crisis.
Community Standards and Wellness Office – located in Tivoli 259 and available by phone at 303.556.2444. This office responds to student behavior, disruption and violations of the Student Code of Conduct. Staff is available to consult regarding disruptive behavior and concerns.
These offices are available for phone consultation to you or to meet with you if you want to bring a group of staff or faculty together to problem-solve about a particularly complex student situation. Or we can refer you to other appropriate resources.
Finally, in an urgent situation, never hesitate to call
Police and Security 303.556.3271, or for emergency calls, 911. (On the
UC Denver campus this would be 303.556.5000 for Auraria Campus Police)
For more information about CU student mental health resources, you can check out these websites:
Some faculty think they should not reveal the name of the student and keep the consultation anonymous. However, this is key information for the consulting party as that professional may already have some information about the student of concern that should be added into the information for the best way to proceed. Some of these professionals may already have had contact with the individual and you may be providing key information which the professional would need to know to be effective. Licensed mental health professionals have strict confidentiality laws to follow which restricts their ability to inform you. FERPA allows you great discretion in informing the mental health professional of your own professional observations, as well as allows you to share information about a student with a person who has an “educational need to know”.
In conclusion, it is important for all of us to understand that FERPA does not prevent you from contacting others on the Denver Campus if you have concerns about the behaviors about a student on this campus. However, only those who are identified as the “appropriate personnel on campus” should be contacting the parents or other relatives of students. These trained individuals are most knowledgeable in human behavior, and can best determine if further concern is warranted.
Brief Description: Establishes procedures for making and responding to requests for access to and amendment of education records, consistent with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA).
Making and Responding to Requests for Access to Education Record
Access Request and Review Procedure
The university official who has custody of the records will assemble the requested records and review them to determine whether they are eligible for access.
CU Anschutz Medical Campus
Campus Box A054
Making and Responding to Requests for Amendment of Education Records
Procedure for Amendment of Education Records
Right to Hearing and Related Procedures
CU Anschutz Medical Campus
Campus Box A054
At the post secondary level, parents have no inherent rights to inspect a student's education records. The right to inspect is limited solely to the student. Records may be released to the parents only under the following circumstances:
Students who have ceased attendance or have graduated from an institution of higher education have basically the same FERPA rights as students currently attending the University of Colorado Denver, including the right to:
Once students leave the university they do not have the right to request a privacy code (non-disclosure) be placed on their records.
FERPA's prohibition on disclosure of personally identifiable information from an education record of a student applies to any kind of non-directory information (e.g., performance in class, grades, attitude, motivation, abilities, background) conveyed in writing, in person, or over the telephone to third-parties.
Although such information is usually conveyed by faculty members at the informal request of the student and is usually positive, the better practice would be to request a written consent form, meeting the FERPA requirements, before providing the information.
Students may release their academic records to their
parents, a prospective employer, insurance companies, etc., by providing
written consent. The notice of written consent must include the
Campus Box A054