The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, commonly referred to as FERPA or the Buckley Amendment, was passed by federal legislators to require educational institutions and agencies to conform to fair practices regarding the release of information about students.
This means students have the right to know that information is collected about them; to know what data are collected; to know the data will be used only for the purposes for which they are originally collected; to be able to correct, amend, or qualify those data; and to be assured the individuals responsible for the data will ensure appropriate use of the information.
Some pieces of information have been defined by the college as “directory information” and may be released without the written consent of the student unless the student has filed an annual request for privacy in the Office of the Registrar. This request must be filed by August 1.
Items defined by Ohio Wesleyan as directory information are name; addresses (including email); telephone numbers; date and place of birth; major or minor fields; academic advisor; participation in activities; classification such as first-year, sophomore, junior, or senior; degrees and awards received; most recent educational agency or institution attended; weight and height of athletes; and photographs.
Letters of academic ineligibility will be sent to the student and parent. Letters of academic probation will be sent to the student with a copy enclosed for the parent.
Certain other educational records may be released to parents only if the student requests in writing that the parent receives a copy of the student’s record or if the parent submits evidence that the student is declared as a dependent on the parent’s most recent Federal Income Tax Form. Students who want their parents to receive a copy of the student’s final grades must complete a release from the Office of the Registrar.
Certain individuals at the college are permitted to have access to all records on individual students without student permission. These individuals include members of the faculty and staff acting in the student’s educational interest and within the faculty member or staff’s need to know that information; clerks and secretaries responsible for the maintenance of the data; officials at other schools at which the student may enroll; and federal, accrediting, and research agencies, providing the materials are not identified by individual.
Other information and records are wholly exempted from access by students. Such information includes records in the sole possession (in other words, not a part of a general folder or collection) of a professor, physician, counselor, psychologist, psychiatrist, or administrative staff member; financial information about parents; and recommendations for which the student has waived access.