SOCAT

Privacy and FERPA

Student Outreach and Support staff are not counselors. Case management, although supportive and personal, is not the same as psychotherapy; therefore confidentiality guidelines that apply to medical or professional counseling situations are different for case management.

Student Outreach and Support operates within the confidentiality rules outlined in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). This means that without a FERPA release provided by the student, Student Outreach and Support staff can not share educational records with a parent, or anyone outside of the University, unless there is concern for the health and safety of the student. Within the rules of FERPA, Student Outreach and Support staff can share information with college officials on a need-to-know basis. When sharing information with other staff or faculty, Student Outreach and Support will only share information that is vitally important and always works to respect a student's privacy by discussing what will be share with the student beforehand.

Many University employees do not realize that FERPA does allow them to disclose information about students when there is an educational need to know.  This means that if a University employee is concerned about a student, they are allowed to share information with the Office of Student Outreach and Support in order to coordinate assessment and support for the student.  

For a further explanation of FERPA, and to review the full policy, please click here