Privacy and FERPA

Student Outreach and Support (SOS) 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 services provided by SOS.

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, SOS 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, SOS staff can share information with college officials on a need-to-know basis. When sharing information with university officials SOS will only share information that is vitally important.

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 coordinat support.