The Catholic University of America

Student Records Policy: Graduate and Undergraduate

Approved by: President
History: Issued    -- April 4, 1974  
  Revised  -- February 6, 2013  
  Additional History
Related Policies: Records and Transcripts Policy; Information Security and Assurance Policy
Additional References: OGC FERPA resources; FERPA Q & A; FERPA Publications and Tutorials;

CUA FERPA Awareness Training Modules

Responsible Official: VP for Enrollment Services and Unversity Registrar tel. (202) 319-5311

I.    Introduction

The Catholic University of America recognizes that the protection of the rights of persons requires adherence to clearly formulated institutional policies governing the maintenance of student records. As provided more fully below, the privacy and confidentiality of all student records shall be preserved. Officers of administration, members of the faculty and staff of the University are morally bound to respect the rights of a student to good reputation and privacy by holding in confidence information they acquire in the course of their work.

II.    Definitions

A.     A student: any person who attends or has attended the University.

B.     Education records: any records (in handwriting, print, tapes, film, computer or other medium) maintained by The Catholic University of America or an agent of the University which are directly related to a student except:

1.  A personal record kept by a faculty or staff member if it is kept in the sole possession of the maker of the record, is not accessible or revealed to any other person except a temporary substitute for the maker of the record and is not used for purposes other than a memory or reference tool.

2.  Records created and maintained by Catholic University law enforcement unit for law enforcement purposes.

3.  An employment record of an individual whose employment is not contingent on the fact that he or she is a student.

4.  Records made or maintained by a physician, psychiatrist, psychologist or other recognized professional or paraprofessional if the records are used only for treatment of a student and made available only to those persons providing the treatment.

5.  Alumni records which contain information about a student after he or she is no longer in attendance at the University and which do not relate to the person as a student.

III.     Federal Student Records Law

Annually, The Catholic University of America informs students of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974 (20 U.S.C. 1232g and 34 C.F.R., 99.1-99.67). This act, with which the institution endeavors to fully comply, was designed to protect the privacy of education records, and to establish the right of students to inspect and review their nonprivileged education records. The act also provides guidelines for the correction of inaccurate or misleading data through informal and formal hearings. Students have the right to file complaints with the Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, concerning alleged failures by the institution to comply with the act. An informal complaint may be filed within the institution by contacting the Registrar. This University policy statement explains in detail the procedures to be used by the institution for compliance with the provisions of the act. Questions concerning the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act may be referred to the Office of the Registrar or the Office of General Counsel.

In 2003, CUA adopted an Information Security Program as required by the Gramm Leach Bliley Act. This program requires a periodic assessment of security and privacy risks with regard to covered data and information and corrective action as necessary. While this law has a different focus than the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, it is expected that the CUA Information Security Program will enhance the security and privacy of both digital and paper student records.