Seattle Pacific University is committed to meeting the provisions established in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), which protects the right of parents of dependent students and of students who are attending or have attended the University.
Information specific to faculty members is included below, but note that there is more complete information at spu.edu/depts/sas/resources/ferpa.asp.
All faculty members represent SPU and have responsibilities regarding access to personal information. Certain information is considered “private” and cannot be disclosed without the written permission of the student. This information includes grades, student schedules, and rosters.
The following guidelines ensure students’ privacy rights are protected:
The University allows any enrolled student the option of becoming confidential in the computer system in order to protect his or her identity from outside sources. When an SPU student requests their records and identity to be flagged as confidential, the following ramifications may apply:
Q: A parent of one of your students is asking for a progress report in your course. Do you release that information?
A: Grades are considered confidential and should never be released without the student’s consent. Personal observations of the student do not require written consent.
Q: When emailing my class roster, is it OK to include student ID#’s and email addresses?
A: If you’re emailing more than one student, the ID#/SSN/grades should never be included. Email addresses are considered directory information and can be distributed without the student’s consent.
Q: A student has asked me to write a recommendation. May I request access to the student’s record?
A: SAS would see this as a “legitimate educational interest” of you, the professor, and grant you access to the student’s records. The student may need to provide written consent if you are requested to include the student’s transcript, GPA, and other nondirectory information in the recommendation. Your personal observations do not need the student’s written consent.