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FERPA Info for UCM Faculty and Staff

University employees may access and use private educational records only as necessary to conduct official business that is related to the educational interests of the student. University employees may not access the records of any student for personal reasons or for any reason other than to perform their job duties.

University employees may not share information from student educational records, including grades or grade point averages, with other faculty or staff members unless their official responsibilities identify their legitimate educational interest in that information for that student. This information also may not be shared with parents or other third parties without written permission from the student.

If in doubt, do not release information about a student. Refer requests to the Registrar’s Office at 660-543-4914 or

 General Information for All University Employees

What can I do to protect student educational records?

You are responsible for making sure that student data in your possession is secured. Take these measures to protect student date from unauthorized access:

• Use password protection on computer files
• Keep files, papers, flash drives, and other storage media in a secure, locked location
• Restrict access to your computer
• Never leave student data displayed on your computer screen
• Shred printed material that contains restricted data

I have access to computerized education records. Does this mean I am authorized to view all of the available records?

No. The confidentiality provisions of FERPA apply. A university employee may access a student’s education record only if a legitimate educational interest exists with respect to that student and that record.

How to E-mail Individual Students

The official means of communication is via the UCM issued e-mail address (example: Please use only this account to communicate with current students. If a student is unable to access their campus e-mail account, refer them to the Technology Support Center (660-543-4357 or for assistance. All students are expected to use this account regularly. If a student writes to you from a different e-mail account and is requesting information about their educational record (grades, etc.) inform them that you can only send that information to their campus e-mail address.

The Registrar’s Office recommends this “canned response” for this situation:

I notice that you are using an off campus e-mail address. In order to protect the privacy of your academic records, I can only discuss your record with you if you correspond with me from your UCM e-mail account. 

Please remember that the university’s official means of communication to students is via the account. Make sure that you are either checking this e-mail account every few days or are having it automatically forwarded to this account. Instructions for e-mail forwarding are available at this link. 

If you are experiencing problems with your UCM e-mail account, please contact the Technology Support Center (TSC, aka Help Desk) at or 660-543-4357 or visit them in WDE 0800).

How can I e-mail groups of students?

If you have the need to e-mail a group of students, put the student e-mail addresses in the Bc line and address the e-mail to yourself or office e-mail account. Be careful not to include information or attachments with the e-mail that compromise the privacy rights of other students.

Does the student’s right to amend educational records include requests to change grades?

The substantive judgment of a faculty member regarding a student’s work (expressed in grades and/or evaluation) is not within the purview of FERPA. The act does not give the right to challenge their education records in this regard. However, the university must change factual information regarding grades and performance in an education record when the student is able to provide valid documentation that information is inaccurate or misleading. Students who wish to seek a grade appeal should be directed to follow the guidelines outlined in the UCM Student Planner/Handbook. 

How can I determine if a student has an Authorization to Release Educational Records form on file?

University employees who have access to Internet Native Banner (INB) can find notes regarding the Authorization to Release Educational Records form on SPACMNT. If no note exists, there is not a release on file. University employees who do not have access to INB can direct questions to the Registrar’s Office at 660-543-4914 or

How can I determine if a student has a directory suppression on file?

Students who wish to have their directory information suppressed (no information can be released about the student to anyone except the student without written permission) are designated as such on the SPAIDEN screen in Internet Native Banner (INB). University employees who have INB access will see a confidential warning when viewing screens in Banner. University employees who do not have access to INB can direct questions to the Registrar’s Office at 660-543-4914 or

How do I respond to a request for information for a student that has a directory suppression on file?

Students who request suppression of directory information usually do so because of serious, even dangerous, circumstances. It is critical that their absolute privacy be protected in every situation. Information is only to be released with written permission of the student. 

If a student has elected to suppress directory information, the University will respond to inquiries as follows: “There is not information available for any student by that name.”

Students who have requested that all records be withheld may not be listed on posted class lists or in departmental staff or student directories. Their names should not appear on departmental web sites, newsletters, or other departmental communications.

What if someone needs to reach a student because of an emergency?

Do not release student information. Direct such inquiries to Public Safety (660-543-4123).

What do I do if I receive a subpoena or court order concerning educational records?

Do not release student information. Direct such inquiries to General Counsel (660-543-4730).

A registered student organization has asked me to provide a list of student names and addresses to send out an informational mailing. Can I provide this information?

No. Even though addresses are considered directory information, all such requests for student lists should be referred to the Office of Student Experience and Engagement (660-543-4114 or 

What do I do if I am aware of a data breach or unauthorized disclosure of FERPA protected information?

Contact the Registrar’s Office at 660-543-4914 or immediately.

Where can I learn more about FERPA?

Read UCM’s detailed guidelines, “Policy Implementing the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act at the University of Central Missouri”, to learn more about how FERPA is handled at UCM. Copies of this document may also be obtained in the Registrar’s Office in Ward Edwards, suite 1000.

Visit the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officerswebpage. 

Visit the U.S. Department of Education’s FERPA webpage.

 Information for Faculty and Teaching Staff

What do I do when a parent calls to find out how a student is doing in my class?

You may not discuss a student’s performance or grade in your class with the student’s parent unless you have written permission from the student or there is an active FERPA waiver on file. 
If you are unsure, contact the Registrar’s Office (660-543-4914 or 

If I receive a request for information about a student from a prospective employer or a faculty or staff member in program to which the student has applied for admission, are there restrictions on what I can say? What about writing references/recommendations for students?

Personal observations do not require a written release, but any disclosure of an educational record does. You may not provide a verbal or written reference for a student that includes confidential information about educational performance, such as grades or GPA, without the written consent of the student.

How does a student’s directory suppression affect student identification and communication in the classroom?

A student’s opt-out from directory information does not include a right to be anonymous in the classroom or to impede routine classroom communication and interactions.

Can I share a class e-mail list with the entire class?

This is permissible as long as the faculty member does not share the email address of any student who is classified as confidential. Before the release of student email addresses, please contact the Registrar’s Office (660-543-4914 or to verify there are no students enrolled that have requested non-disclosure of directory information.

Does the use of peer-grading as a teaching method violate FERPA?

No, as ruled in Owasso v. Falvo, 534 U.S. 426 (2002), peer grading does not violate FERPA. FERPA regulations exclude grades on peer-graded papers, assignments, and tests before they are collected and recorded by a teacher. Grades are not covered under FERPA until the teacher has collected and recorded them in a grade book.

Are there restrictions on how I can pass out graded assignments?

Yes. Do not put papers or other assignments containing student names/student numbers and grades in publicly accessible places. In particular, do not put papers into a common box where students must go through everyone else’s papers to find their own. Do not pass back papers by circulating an entire set for individuals to pull out their own. No one should have access to the scores or grades of others in the class.

May I use social media or blogs for my class?

Yes. Please remember that information posted to such media is public and may be viewed by others. You must inform students of this fact and should consider it if requiring students to use them. Students should not be required to release any personal information on a public site. Instructor comments or grades on student material should never be made public.


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