Colleges and universities throughout the United States handle a huge amount of data, much of it on paper, in the form of applications, enrollment records, student transcripts, human resource forms, financial documents and much more. Any educational institution that receives a certain type of funding from the U.S. Dept of Education is required by federal law to protect the privacy of student education records. These institutions need solid document management systems to keep track of the vast number of documents they handle each and every day. A records management company like Armstrong Archives can help colleges and universities meet their compliance requirements and develop new document management systems that work for them.
What is FERPA?
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is the federal law that protects the privacy of all student records and gives certain rights to parents regarding their children’s educational records. When a student reaches the age of 18 (and is attending an educational institution above the high school level) these rights transfer to the student. FERPA grants the parents or eligible student the right to view student records, and colleges may require a fee for printed copies of such records. The parents or eligible student also have the right to request that an educational institution correct errors or inaccuracies in those records. If a school refuses to correct a record for a specific reason, the parents or student have the right to a formal hearing. FERPA also requires schools to obtain written permission from students (or parents of students under 18) before releasing any information from any student’s educational record.
A strong document management system will help an educational institution maintain FERPA compliance and minimize the chances of mistakes or inaccuracies. Document management services like Armstrong Archives can also help with the multitude of other document-related concerns most educational institutions face.
Other College and University Document Management Concerns
Virtually every college and university in the United States receives thousands of applications every year. While many educational institutions now offer digital applications, many hopeful high school graduates still apply with paper-based applications, and some universities require written applications. Handling and managing these applications are crucial – it helps universities find the brightest young minds and those most likely to succeed in their curricula.
Colleges also field lots of requests from students about university living, clubs, Greek societies, major and minor changes, and class registrations. Managing these documents is crucial to maintaining positive experiences for tuition-paying students. Hiccups in these processes are frustrating, and some have the potential to impact a student’s academic career. It’s essential for colleges and universities to develop functional document management solutions for all aspects of student life.
Armstrong Archives offers a full range of document management services including file storage, scanning, document destruction, distribution and logistics. These services are scalable to any size. For educational institutions who need help creating their records management program, we offer complete records management consulting services to assist in every phase, from assessing your needs, to design and implementation of a solution.
Posted By: Sherri Taylor – President/Managing Partner
Sherri Taylor is the Managing Partner and President of Armstrong Archives, one of the largest independent records and information management companies in the Dallas/Ft Worth area.