FERPA and Student Record Storage
Do you know your rights under federal law as a student or as the parent of a student with protected student records? Which organizations have you authorized to handle your protected records? If those organizations are not in compliance with federal laws, your records could be mishandled, altered, stolen, or otherwise compromised. Student records are protected personal information, and the organizations that handle those records must comply with federal law to ensure their security.
Most people understand how crucial record storage and compliance is for the legal industry and medical field. FERPA, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, is just as important for data security, but far less well-known when it comes to compliance for student record storage. If you are a student or the parent of a student, you should know the rights FERPA affords you when it comes to the privacy of your student records. If you operate any type of organization that handles student records, compliance with the act is a necessity.
What Is FERPA?
FERPA is a federal law that protects the privacy of student records. Many students must approve the transfer of their student records to secure placement in other educational institutions, start internships, or even to apply for certain jobs. The act exists to ensure safe transmission and preservation of student records and set guidelines for proper handling of student records.
The provisions of FERPA establish how all parties who handle student records must treat and store those records. The act also enforces guidelines for publishing of student directory information, such as student names, addresses, and contact information, and schools must notify students if they intend to publish any directory information.
FERPA dictates when, how, and why records may be transferred between parties. Generally, FERPA ensures that any organization in possession of student records may not publish, share, or transmit those records to any other parties without express written consent of the student or the student’s parents.
Why Invest in Student Record Storage Services?
If you operate any kind of organization that handles protected student records, FERPA compliance is an absolute requirement. Failure to abide by FERPA guidelines or even unintentional mishandling of protected records can lead to severe legal penalties and civil liability for affected students’ damages.
In addition to legal penalties, your organization may also suffer a serious blow to its professional reputation for failing to abide by FERPA guidelines. It is not only essential to follow all FERPA regulations for student record handling but also ensure you have a solid system in place for meeting increasing digital security requirements.
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.
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