2019-2020 Course Catalog

Access to Student Educational Records FERPA

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 ("FERPA") was enacted to protect the privacy of a student's educational records, to establish the rights of students to inspect and review their educational records, and to provide procedures for the correction of inaccurate or misleading data through informal and formal hearings. Chatham University has adopted an institutional policy regarding FERPA. Copies of this policy may be found in the Office of the University Registrar. The Office of the University Registrar also maintains a Record Retention policy that lists the types of education records maintained by the University. FERPA affords students certain rights with respect to their educational records. Those rights are:

  1. The right to inspect and review the student's educational records within 45 days after the University receives a request for access. Students should submit to the University Registrar or other appropriate University official a written request that identifies the record(s) they wish to inspect. Forms for such a request are available from the Office of the University Registrar. The University Registrar or other appropriate official will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the University official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall advise the student to whom the request should be addressed.
  2. The right to request the amendment of the student's educational record(s) that the student believes to be inaccurate or misleading. Students may ask the University to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate or misleading. They should write the University official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading. Forms for such a request are available from the Office of the University Registrar. If the University decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the University will notify the student of the decision and advise the student of his or her right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.
  3. The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student's educational records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. One exception which permits disclosure without consent is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is defined as a person employed by the University in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff ); a person or company with whom the University has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); a person serving on the Board of Trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee; or a person assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks.
    A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an educational record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility. Upon request, the University may disclose educational records without consent to officials of another school in which the student seeks or intends to enroll.
  4. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by Chatham University to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the office that administers FERPA is:Family Policy Compliance Office
    U.S. Department of Education
    400 Maryland Avenue, SW
    Washington, D.C. 20202-5920

Another exception in FERPA which permits disclosure without consent pertains to disclosure of "directory information" unless the student has taken steps to withhold "directory information" from disclosure. Directory information is defined by Chatham University to include the following:

  • Name, local address, permanent address, Chatham e-mail address, local telephone number, permanent telephone number, date and place of birth, major field of study, honors and awards (e.g. Dean's List recognition), participation in and photos of officially recognized activities and sports, height and weight of members of athletic teams, photograph, class year, enrollment status (including current enrollment, dates of attendance, full-time/part-time, withdrawn), degrees conferred, dates of conferral, graduation distinctions, and the institution attended immediately prior to admission to Chatham.

Please contact the Office of the University Registrar for more information concerning the release and/or withholding of "directory information." The following documentation is provided by Chatham so that a student may ascertain his or her progress:

  1. Student grades can be accessed via the Web. This grading page is considered an official document from Chatham University from our secure website that is password protected. Students who are not currently enrolled and whose student accounts are past due will NOT be able to access the grading page.
  2. The student's advisor has access to the student's academic record via the Web. This academic record page is from our secure website that is password protected. Access is granted for advising purposes only, and the record is not to be released to a third party.

Under unique circumstances, the disclosure of a student's educational or health information is permissible and protected by FERPA, including to the following:

  • To persons in an emergency if necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or other persons.
  • To parents, if the student is dependent under the Internal Revenue Code.
  • To parents, regarding a student's use or possession of alcohol or controlled substance if the students is under 21, and has committed a disciplinary violation due to such use possession or being present when underage drinking is taking place.
  • To victims of a crime of violence or sex offense, the final results of an internal disciplinary proceeding relating to such crime or offense.

Treatment records and privileged communications with doctors, psychologists, or counselors may be disclosed if:

  • The patient or client presents a serious and imminent danger to himself or herself.
  • The patient or client has explicitly threatened to kill or inflict serious bodily injury upon another person and has the apparent intent and ability to carry out the threat.
  • The physical or emotional abuse or neglect of a child under the age 18, or an elderly or handicapped person is suspected.