FERPA for Faculty, Staff and Student Workers

Rules to Live By

The following basic rules should be followed by UW-Milwaukee faculty, staff, and student workers:

Rule #1: FERPA recognizes a person enrolled in post-secondary education as a “student” and provides that individual certain rights, regardless of age. Therefore, a parent does not have an inherent right to access his/her child’s education records.
Rule #2: Faculty, staff and student workers have access to education records for the sole purpose of performing their jobs professionally and responsibly. They have a responsibility to protect the confidentiality of education records in their possession, regardless of the medium in which the records are presented.
Rule #3: Education records are considered confidential and may not be released without the written consent of the student, with the exception of unrestricted Directory Information. It is the responsibility of faculty, staff and student workers to verify that student Directory Information is not restricted before releasing it.
Rule #4: School officials, including field supervisors for student teachers and student interns, must protect the privacy of education records and not disclose personally identifiable information about a student or permit inspection of the student’s records without his or her written consent. The student’s written signed consent must contain three elements:

  1. Specify the records to be released
    Examples: grades; notes based on observations; general assessment of performance of student in a class or in a field-based experience
  2. Identify the party or class of parties to whom the records should be released
    Examples: prospective employer, non-UW-Milwaukee school official, scholarship committee member
  3. Indicate the reason for the release
    Examples: as part of an application for employment, admission into a graduate program, application for a scholarship or grant

Note: A letter of reference written on behalf of a student by a cooperating teacher, supervisor, or other person does NOT provide that person with the authorization to disclose educational records or to discuss the student’s performance even if the letter welcomes telephone calls or other inquiries about the student. The FERPA Student Consent form must be completed by the student prior to the disclosure of this information.

Official transcripts of student academic records may be released only through the Enrollment Services Information Center.

  • Posting education records (e.g. grades) using the student’s name, student ID number or any portion of the social security number violates FERPA.
  • In an emergency situation, a student may be reached through the Dean of Students Office in Mellencamp Hall 118, 414-229-4632.
  • Any questions regarding FERPA guidelines should be directed to the Records and Grades Office in Mellencamp Hall 212, 414-229-4269.

Electronic Access to Student Information System

Before receiving electronic access to student records within PAWS, UWM faculty and staff are required to complete Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) training. Both online and in-person sessions are available. Faculty and staff who interact on a regular basis with student data are encouraged to attend an in-person session. Supplemental materials are also available.


Online FERPA Training

The online FERPA tutorial and quiz require approximately 15 to 25 minutes to complete. (requires Macromedia’s Flash plugin, available for free here)

Have FERPA will Travel

FERPA training sessions are available on a traveling basis. We are willing to provide training to your staff at a time and place designated by your office. The only requirements are a room set up for a Power Point presentation (including computer and screen) and at least a week’s notice. E-mail the FERPA Coordinator for more information.