Confidentiality of Student Education Records
- Students enrolled in Concordia University, St. Paul are required to give certain information in order that the University may make reasonable judgments about them, provide services, and give informed advice regarding courses to be followed. Such personal data and information may become part of the student education record. Students may make the justifiable assumption that the University, as custodian of this data, will preserve the data’s private nature. By requiring or requesting such information, Concordia University gives assurance that the information will be protected against improper disclosure.
- Concordia University observes the following principles as outlined in FERPA:
- Appropriate Concordia University officials are held directly responsible and accountable for the careful protection of student education records against possible misuse.
- Within Concordia University, student education records will be used only for appropriate research, educational, and administrative functions. Access to those records is allowed only to those members of Concordia University community whose designated responsibilities reasonably require access or to persons to whom the student has given written permission for access.
- Concordia University officials responsible for the use of student records require that there be no communication of such records outside of Concordia University except under proper written authorization or as provided elsewhere in this policy statement.
- Students have the right to access, inspect, and obtain copies of all information in their student education records except:
- Financial information submitted by parents
- Confidential letters and recommendations collected under established policies of confidentiality or to which the student has waived in writing the right of inspection and review.
- As outlined in specific procedures required for access to judicial records (see below).
- Additionally, the University may deny access to private records of instructors, administrators, or other staff kept for their own use; and alumni records that contain only directory information and information collected after the student has left the University.
- Students have the right to request amendment of the contents of student education records, to have a hearing if the result of the request for amendment is unsatisfactory, and to include a statement for inclusion in the record if the decision resulting from the hearing is unacceptable to the student.
- Concordia University notifies students annually in this document of their privacy rights, their right to file complaints concerning alleged failures of Concordia University to comply with their privacy rights, and where copies of the Concordia University policy and procedures on access to student records may be obtained.
- For the steps to access an academic record, students contact the Registrar.
- For the steps to access a judicial record, students contact the Judicial Officer or Dean of Students (see details below).
- To file a complaint concerning alleged failures of Concordia University to comply with FERPA requirements, individuals contact the Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Dept. of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Washington, D.C. 20202-4605.
Certain information in the student record, termed “directory information,” may be released in answer to inquiries without requiring authorization from the student. This information is outlined in two categories below. Students may choose to have the University withhold directory information from the public at any time during their enrollment. To request withholding, students complete the Student Information Suppression/Release Form, available from the Registrar’s office. After this form is processed, the entire student record is suppressed until the student submits the Student Information Suppression/Release to release information. Possible repercussions of student record suppression are listed on the form.
- Category I
The student’s name, address, gender, ethnicity, date of birth, electronic (E-mail) address, home town, telephone number, dates of enrollment and enrollment status (full time, part time, not enrolled, withdrawn and date of withdrawal), major, minor, adviser, photo, college and class, academic awards and honors received (including dean’s list recognition), curricular and co-curricular activities, and (in the event of the student’s graduation) the degree(s) received/conferred (including dates), are matters of public record or directory information.
- Category II (For Athletes Only)
Past and present participation in university sponsored sports, physical factors (height, weight of athletes), and birth date are considered directory information for athletes only.
Student education records, in addition to directory information, include, but are not limited to: transcripts, test scores, college advising records, disciplinary files, financial aid information, housing records, and records of educational services that are provided to students. Such records are not disclosed to anyone except:
- The student and others on written authorization by the student;
- Persons within Concordia University who need access to the information to carry out their employment responsibilities for educational, administrative, or research purposes;
- Other educational institutions in which the student seeks to enroll, provided the disclosure is limited to official copies of student transcripts or test scores from the appropriate Concordia University office;
- Other organizations conducting educational research studies provided the studies are conducted in a manner that will not permit identification of students and the information will be destroyed when no longer needed for the purpose for which the study was conducted;
- Persons in compliance with a court order or lawfully issued subpoena, provided that a reasonable attempt is made to notify the student in advance of compliance thereof;
- Appropriate persons in connection with an emergency, provided the information is necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or other individuals;
- Accrediting organizations and state or federal education authorities when the information is needed for auditing, evaluating, or enforcing legal requirements of educational programs, provided the accrediting organizations and authorities protect the data in a manner that will not permit the personal identification of students and personally identifiable information is destroyed when no longer needed;
- Appropriate persons or agencies in connection with a student’s application for or receipt of financial aid to determine eligibility, amount, or conditions of financial aid;
- Parents of a dependent student, as defined under the Internal Revenue Code. (Each time a parent requests access to records the parent must submit a current tax statement listing the dependent student.)
The University maintains a file in the office of Judicial Affairs for each person found to be responsible for a Code of Conduct violation. Judicial Affairs may, under FERPA exception, disclose information related to student conduct records to Concordia University officials with legitimate educational interests. This includes academic and extra-curricular departmental programs and it may affect eligibility for programs. The Office of Judicial Affairs may, at the student’s request, reveal the contents to other University departments, employers, schools and others. The Judicial Officer is required to provide access to a student’s file when subpoenaed by a court or federal agency, or as otherwise required by law.
A student wishing to view his or her conduct file should contact the Office of Judicial Affairs to schedule an appointment. Federal Law requires that the requested file be reviewed and information on any other student be redacted. The requesting student will be permitted to view his or her prepared file, but will not be allowed to copy, take pictures, or otherwise record the documents. This request will be fulfilled within 45 days of the written request. Student judicial files are normally kept for seven (7) years.
Concordia University maintains other records that contain information about students.
- Information in medical or psychological counseling records, including results of examinations or assessments by Concordia University personnel, is afforded greater protection and is governed by State and federal laws regarding records of that nature. Concordia University obtains such information with a commitment as to its highly private nature. Such records will not be disclosed to anyone, including other University personnel, except (a) under direct written authorization by the student, (b) pursuant to a court order signed by a judge, or (c) as otherwise required by law.
- Concordia University Security and Human Resources records contain information about students, but are not student education records and are not covered by this policy. University offices which are responsible for such records observe information release policies which protect the subjects of such records against improper disclosure and are consistent with applicable laws.
Student Consumer Information
Concordia University fully complies with Public Law 101-542 The Student Right-to-Know and Campus Security Act, as amended by Public Law 102-26, the Higher Education Technical Amendments of 1991. Under these laws, retention and completion rates for entering students are kept by the director of institutional research and are available to all current and prospective students. The Safety and Security office makes available to all students various policies and statements regarding campus security, including statistics on various types of crime that may have occurred. A copy of the campus Alcohol and Drug Policy can be found in this handbook.
Last modified: January 25, 2018