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3.9.2 Student Records PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 07 September 2009 05:13
3.9.2 Student Records

The institution protects the security, confidentiality, and integrity of all student records and maintains adequate security measures to protect the data.

Responsible Unit: Registrar's Office

Compliance Judgment

Compliance

Narrative

North Carolina A&T State University (A&T) has a plan in place to protect the security, confidentiality, and integrity of its student academic records. The Office of the Registrar manages and secures student academic records. Using the Banner System for all student and personnel data, the university’s Banner Data Standards Manual [1] sets forth the standards and uses of student information and records. These guidelines define the responsibilities of everyone accessing and managing the data. Banner usage and authorization is not granted to all personnel nor do they have access to all screens. A protocol has been established by the Division of Information Technology (DoIT). Offices may have individual guidelines that supplement, but do not supplant or contradict, this statement. Data entrusted to the university by other organizations (e.g., foundations and governmental agencies) is governed by terms and conditions agreed upon with those organizations. Specific issues not governed by such agreed terms shall be governed by the guidelines set forth in Banner Data Standards Manual. These guidelines are to ensure database integrity and the goals relating to easy, professional, and cost-effective communication for the A&T community.

The policies and practices of all academic records are based upon Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) regulations. [2] FERPA is a federal law also known as the Buckley Amendment which protests the privacy of a student’s educational records. FERPA applies to all educational agencies or institutions that receive funds under any program administered by the U.S. Secretary of Education. These regulations are made available to faculty and staff during new hire orientations, workshops, and through department chairs and deans. Before new faculty and staff are provided access to Banner, they must also take the Student Banner training session where they are taught to use the system and reminded of FERPA regulations regarding academic privacy, integrity and security of records. In addition, employees who have access to any of the student, financial, business, or human resources systems in Banner (SIS, FRS, AIS or HRS) or to special accounts or special network drives must first complete a Banner Student account request form with the Office of Information Technology [3] and receive appropriate signatures and clearance from upper administration, i.e., vice chancellors. With the implementation of the Banner system, the university no longer uses a Social Security numbers unless required on federal employment forms.

Beyond the front counter, the work area of the Office of the Registrar is only accessible to authorized personnel by combination entry lock. PowerFiles are used to keep records locked and secured in addition to a vault. PowerFiles are hybrid storage appliances engineered to promote security and high availability of data within dedicated or mixed UNIX and Windows® environments by integrating both Common Internet File System (CIFS) and Network File System (NFS) protocols. Electronic systems are protected by automatic locks on the password protected computers. Each staff member is required to keep back up files in addition to the main back up provided by the Department of Information Technology (DoIT). The Registrar’s Office also does not provide student information via telephone as outlined in the request procedure [4]. Students interested in obtaining a transcript must submit a request form [5], along with photo ID, to the Office of the Registrar. The information on the form is cross checked against records on file before transcripts are released. The registrar’s staff is trained to observe security measures such as not leaving confidential documents on their desks. They also use a locked paper shredder. DoIT works to secure all electronic data by providing a secure technological environment and publicizes the university’s Information Security Plan [6]. This plan is available to all faculty and staff and is a practical guide to securing information.

FERPA guides the entire campus on matters related to the confidentiality of student education records. In addition to the other means of notification, A&T students are notified annually of their rights pursuant to FERPA by official communication from the Division of Academic Affairs and the Division of Student Affairs, i.e., semester course catalogs and the Student Handbook. Units within the Division of Student Affairs also maintain individual student records in a secure environment that includes “staff only” databases, locked file cabinets, and special storage rooms with locking devices . These units include the Office of the Dean of Students, Student Health Center, Student Counseling Center, International Students and Scholars, Career Services, Veterans and Disability Services, Student Support Services, and Housing.

Dean of Students: Confidential discipline records are maintained in the Office of the Dean of Students [7]. The dean’s staff receives FERPA training annually. Paper records are kept in locked file cabinets inside a locked room. Only authorized personnel are issued keys to the room and the cabinets. Electronic logs are kept in a secure folder on a secure computer drive that has permissions set such that only authorized personnel may access the area or the date therein.

Office of Career Services: Student records are maintained through a resume databank set-up by the Office of Career Services and Experiential Learning [8]. Access is granted through AGGIELINK and C3M Tracking Software. The website is secured by username and password generated by the office and e-mailed to each student and/or company/government/agency. Access is governed by the student’s Banner ID number for the C3M Tracking Software.

Active student internship/co-op files are maintained in a locked file cabinet in the office. Inactive student internship/co-op files are also maintained in a similar manner, and all such forms are used for internal purposes only. Further information regarding the policies and procedures [9] of the office can be found online.

Housing and Residence Life: Current documentation regarding student housing applications is retained by the Office of Housing and Residence Life in a secure environment. These records are maintained in accordance with the procedures as outlined in the office’s policy and procedures.[10]

The institutional compliance program includes a variety of monitoring areas related to the privacy and protection of student information. Additionally, each unit within Housing and Residence Life manages its operations with regard to the monitoring of (FERPA, Social Security number (SSN) and Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) provisions. In partnership with DoIT, all of these areas are considered high-risk and are therefore monitored very closely [1].

International Students and Scholars: The International Students and Scholars Office closely follow guidelines pursuant to the privacy, security and confidentiality of international student records as outlined by Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) regulations and Homeland Security [11]. Each student is required to complete all INS federal forms authorizing that person’s presence in the country [12][13]. Additionally, requests for information from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security are referred to the Office of the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and the vice chancellor for Student Affairs for review and approval.

Sebastian Health Center: In addition to protecting paper records in locked file cabinets, the Student Health Center functions on a database that houses electronically the records of current and new students. Student record requests are documented and filed according to policies outlined in the unit. [14] The Center requires students to complete the information release form [15] prior to granting the requests and requires that the privacy protection form be completed to verify student understanding and compliance with the regulations. [16] A new medical records unit was built and opened in fall 2008 with state of the arts facilities and operations. It is a primary directive of the Student Health Center to protect records under the guidelines as outlined by Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and FERPA.

Counseling Services: Student records are maintained in the Student Counseling Services in accordance to procedures as outlined in the center’s policy and procedure manual [17]. According to State of North Carolina regulations for professional counselors, client records must be maintained for a period of seven years [18]. Consistent with these regulations, the Office of Counseling Services keeps both their paper and electronic records within a locked structure for the designated time period. At the end of this period, the individual client’s records are shredded and appropriately discarded.

Veterans and Disability Support Services: Student records are maintained in the Office of Veteran and Disability Support Services in accordance with the procedures as outlined in the center’s policy and procedures located online [19][20][21][22].

Supporting Documentation

[1] Banner Data Standards Manual, pp 51-52

[2] Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

[3] Banner Student User Account Request Form

[4] Request Transcript Procedure

[5] Request Transcript Form

[6] DoIT Information Security Plan

[7] Dean of Students Office webpage

[8] Office of Career Services Student Services & C3M Tracking Link

[9] Office of Career Services Policies

[10] Housing & Residence Life Policies, Student Handbook pp 82-86

[11] Office of International Students and Scholars, Student Handbook pp 87-89

[12] Office of International Students and Scholars website homepage

[13] Council of Advisors to Foreign Students & Scholars (FAFSS) – New SEVIS Resources

[14] Sebastian Health Center Medical Records

[15] Sebastian Health Center Authorization to Obtain Information Release Form

[16] Sebastian Health Center Additional Privacy Protection Form

[17] Counseling Services, Student Handbook, pp 80-81

[18] NC Disposition of Records Policy

[19] Office of Disability Services Policies & Procedures

[20] Office of Veteran Support Web Home Page

[21] Office of Veteran Support Forms & Resources

[22] Office of Veteran Support Compliance Form

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Last Updated ( Friday, 29 January 2010 15:17 )
 

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