RECORDS ACCESS POLICY (FERPA)Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 as amended (FERPA)
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 defines, who may or may not see educational records. The law grants students guaranteed access to their educational records, but does not allow universities to disclose them to other persons.
FERPA sets forth these main requirements:
1. It allows a student access to each educational record that a university or college keeps on himself or herself.
2. It requires the institution to establish a policy on how students can access specific records.
3. It requires the institution to inform all students as to what rights they have, how they can act on these rights according to school policy, and how they can see a copy of the policy.
4. It requires the institution to seek student permission, in writing, before disclosing any personally identifiable record to individuals other than professional personnel employed in the university or college and others who meet certain specified requirements.
The University of Southern Mississippi may release directory information on students to any interested member of the public unless the student requests in writing that it be withheld. Directory information is defined as the following: student’s name, address, telephone number, email address, major, dates of attendance, classification, degree(s) earned, previous educational institutions attended, participation in university-recognized organizations and activities, weight and height of athletic team member, honors, awards, student's photo and Dean's/President's List.
The University has developed and put into writing a policy for handling requests from students and for disclosing personally identifiable information about students. Students’ rights under the law are set forth in the University policy (STUA-REG-002) which is located at www.usm.edu/institutional-policies/policy-stua-reg-002 and is linked from the Office of the Registrar’s website at www.usm.edu/registrar.
Individuals have the right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the University to comply with the requirements of FERPA, by contacting the Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Washington, D.C. 20202-4605.
Individuals have the right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the college to comply with the requirements of FERPA. Students should contact the Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Washington, D.C. 20202-4605.