A Word About FERPA

A Word About The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

 As Mason employees, it is important that faculty members abide by the regulations required by FERPA.  All employees should complete the FERPA training provided by the Registrar’s office.  Individuals can register for this training by visiting https://registrar.gmu.edu/ferpa/.  This includes not sharing information with individuals who do not have an educational need to know unless the student has signed a release authorizing the sharing of said information.  Academic Integrity records require a separate FERPA waiver that is different than the general waiver students may sign upon admission with the Registrar’s office.  For information to be shared outside of this qualification, the student must sign a waiver indicating who the information should be released to.  Only a student has the authorization to release their information.

Sometimes there are questions about who is defined as an individual who has “an educational need to know.”  At Mason with regard to Academic Integrity records, individuals who fall into this category include:

  • The referring parties
  • If applicable, the course coordinator for the course in question
  • Department Chairs/Deans who have to sign off on decisions/grade changes
  • Individuals in the academic department who are responsible for grade updates and record keeping

Individuals who do not fall into this category include but are not limited to:

  • Academic Advisors
  • Other professors in the department not linked directly to the course
  • Potential employers (any questions about a student’s conduct background from an employer should be directed to the Office of Student Conduct and the Office of Academic Integrity at 703-993-6209)
  • External parties who may be the source of information for a referral (for example, off site internship coordinators)-you can request information to supplement your referral but cannot provide case updates to these individuals.

If you have questions about a case and who can have access to the information, please contact our office at 703-993-6209 or oai@gmu.edu before taking any action.