11. Access to Student Records

Purpose

This policy is intended to specify the conditions under which students have access to any and all official records, files and data directly related to them as individuals in order that they know the basis of decisions that affect them and to protect them from unwarranted invasions of their privacy.

Definitions

Official records and files

  1. The student’s official School record folder contains admissions application and supporting documents, correspondence pertaining to the student’s experience while enrolled, notification of leave and return from leave (e.g. health care provider’s letter), clinical evaluations, final transcript, and summary of any grievance review.  This file becomes the alumna/us file.
  2. Financial aid file includes Institutional Student Information Record (ISIR) form, need access report forms (if applicable), financial award forms, and supplementary information provided in application for loans or scholarships.
  3. The academic portfolio contains student resume upon graduation, student clinical sites, examples of scholarly writing, and summary log of de-identified patient encounters and clinical hours.

Student: 

A student is a person currently enrolled in the School, including one on leave of absence.  In practice, the same rules of access to files will also pertain to those who graduate after May, 1975.

Custodians:

The custodians of the records are as follows:

  1. The official academic record: Assistant Dean for Student Affairs and Financial Aid Officer.
  2. The financial aid file: Financial Aid Officer
  3. The academic portfolio: Assistant Dean for Student Affairs.

It is assumed that the Dean is the overall custodian and has delegated the responsibilities above.

Student Access

Since December 1, 1974, when Family Education Rights & Privacy Act (FERPA) went into effect, students may have access to all records as defined above upon written request (allowing for the convenience of the custodians in drawing records out of the file).  Files are to be examined in the Student Affairs Office.  Copies will be made upon written request (again, allowing for the convenience of the custodians).

Students whose parents have requested that their own financial data not be shared with their child may not have access to that portion of the file.

Henceforth, as soon as an individual officially becomes a student, he/she may have access to the files as above.

Access by Others

Any faculty member who has a legitimate educational purpose may request access to the student’s individual record files.  No files may leave the Office of Student Affairs.

No one except those faculty who comprise the Financial Aid Advisory Committee and custodians of financial records, may have access to the financial aid file.

It is understood that no one outside the School or the University’s General Counsel’s Office may have access to student records at any time.

Faculty who require general information on enrolled students for research/evaluation purposes may request that such information be pulled from a group of records at the convenience of the Student Affairs Office staff.  No identifying data will be pulled; students’ names and clinical specialties will be coded.

The same procedures will follow for alumnae/i files, that is, alumnae/i after the Class of 1974 may have access to their files upon written request.  After five years, files will be condensed to the application face sheet and essay, final summary or other references requested by the student, GRE score reports, final transcript, and correspondence related only to requests for transcripts post-graduation.

Admissions Material

The reference form has been altered to solicit non‑confidential references, available to be inspected if an applicant becomes an enrolled student.

The worksheets completed by members of the Admissions Committee and faculty interviewers are not considered “files” under the intent of this policy and are in any case unavailable except for research/evaluation purposes. Admissions materials on candidates not admitted will be destroyed after five years.

Grievance Committee “Files”

At the conclusion of the grievance procedure, one copy of material submitted in the course of a grievance procedure will be retained in the Dean’s (or her designate’s) confidential file. A brief summary of the grievance solution will be filed in the student’s permanent record.

Challenge Procedure

The student may challenge the inclusion of any material to insure that the records are accurate, comprehensive and in compliance with his/her privacy or other rights. It is understood that, with respect to grades, the student may question whether the grade shown is the same as the grade actually awarded, but may not, under this procedure, challenge the grade itself.

If a student questions any material in the folders (with the exception of grades [see above]) she/he may communicate in writing with the faculty member who provided the information and a copy to the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs. If in this discussion, by mutual agreement, a change should be made, the record will be promptly updated with the instructor’s initials. If the problem is not resolved in this first instance, the student should bring it to the attention in writing to of the Specialty Coordinator or Program Director, then the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs. If further discussion does not resolve the issue, the student may activate the grievance mechanism already in existence.  (See Policy #4.)

Release of Information Outside the University

Unless the student has requested otherwise, the only information released by the Office of Student Affairs  will be the student’s name, birthplace and date, date of graduation or dates of attendance, degree or certificate received, and major field of study.

In general, no personal information about a student, including faculty references, other than that already a matter of public record will be released outside the School except at the written request or with the written consent of the student, or in response to judicial process.

Revised Executive Committee 10/25/89
Administrative Update 6/30/04
pmc 3/28/99
Approved by Executive Council 2016-01-20