- Confidentiality of Student Records
It is Wesleyan policy to keep the records of Wesleyan students confidential. Information about students is shared within the University only as needed for legitimate educational purposes. In order to qualify as legitimate and educational, an interest must be related in a clearly discernible way to the conduct of the normal business of the institution, or to the educational welfare of the individual student, or of other students. If the interest bears exclusively on the educational welfare of students other than the one whose record is sought, the director of
institutional research should be consulted before access to the record is granted.
Wesleyan will not disclose educational records other than “directory information” (see following) about students to people outside the University without the student’s written consent unless the disclosure is 1) compelled by law, a court of law, an emergency, or some other extraordinary circumstance; 2) is in furtherance of a legitimate educational interest; 3) is required by an accrediting agency; 4) or otherwise specifically allowed by FERPA. For instance, should it be impractical to obtain a student’s prior written consent, the University may nonetheless send a transcript to a school to which the student has applied for admission. Whenever exceptional action is called for and as appropriate, an effort will be made to notify the student as soon as possible. As described, one exception which permits disclosure without consent is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the University in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position; a person or company with whom the University has contracted (such as attorney, data service provider, auditor, or collection agent); a person serving on the Board of Trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or a person assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility.
In accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act and the federal regulations pertaining thereto, a record will be kept of requests from outside the University for personally identifiable non-directory information from a student’s record and of disclosures thereof that occur without the student’s consent. The record of access and disclosure will be available to the student for inspection. Such disclosures, whether made with or without the student’s consent, will contain a notice to the recipient that the information is being disclosed on condition that, except as allowed by the Act, it not be revealed by the recipient to any other party without the student’s consent. The disclosure, student notification, consent, and record keeping provisions of the Act are subject to exceptions provided for in the Act and other applicable law, including the USA Patriot Act. Per the USA Patriot Act, if a U.S. assistant attorney general, or similarly ranked federal official obtains a court order relevant to a terrorist investigation, the law requires that an educational institution must turn over the requested records without the student’s consent and the institution cannot inform the student.
- Directory Information
Disclosures of directory information may normally be made without the student’s consent. Directory information includes the student’s name, local address, local telephone number, home address, Wesleyan e-mail address, photo images, date and place of birth, major field of study, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, height and weight of members of athletic teams, dates of attendance, enrollment status, degrees and awards received, and the most recent previous educational agency or institution attended by the student. A student who wishes to have
directory information withheld must notify the Registrar’s Office in writing by the first day of classes. Note that the instruction to the Registrar’s Office should be made at the beginning of each academic year and is valid for that year only.
- Access by Students to their Records
Students at Wesleyan may have access to most of the information about them in their records. The exceptions include letters of recommendation received on a confidential basis and filed before January 1, 1975; letters of recommendation to which the student has specifically waived access; private records made by individuals within the institution, which are kept in their sole possession and shared only with a temporary substitute; records of Wesleyan’s Office of Public Safety; alumni records; financial information about parents; and employment information about students whose employment has not resulted from their status as students.
Except as noted in the preceding paragraph, students may inspect and review the education records maintained by the following offices:
ADMISSION (70 WYLLYS AVENUE)
The information about students in attendance at Wesleyan that has been collected by the Admission Office during the admission process is transferred to the Deans’ Office when the student matriculates. The information that is transferred includes the secondary school record, standard test scores, letters of recommendation, information submitted by the student, and correspondence with the student.
WESLEYAN CAREER CENTER (41 WYLLYS AVE.)
Maintains career counseling records, and files of résumés and letters of recommendation. The director of the Career Resource Center is responsible for the records.
OFFICE OF THE VICE PRESIDENT FOR STUDENT AFFAIRS/DEANS' OFFICE (NORTH COLLEGE)
Maintains information on students’ academic activity. Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs/Deans’ Office records also includes the following types of information: secondary school record; admission information; standard test scores; letters of recommendation; information submitted by the student; memoranda from faculty about the student; correspondence with the student; documentation of a student’s disability and any reasonable accommodations; and reports of action taken in regard to the student by the Student Judicial Board, other standing or ad hoc university committees, and the deans. The vice president for student affairs is responsible for the records.
OFFICE OF FINANCIAL AID (NORTH COLLEGE)
Maintains a file of information submitted by students and their parents in regard to financial aid, a record of financial aid actions taken by Wesleyan and others, and the employment records of students receiving financial aid. The director of financial aid is responsible for the records.
OFFICE OF GRADUATE STUDENT SERVICES (EXLEY SCIENCE CENTER)
The Office of Graduate Student Services is the main administrative office for all master of arts and doctor of philosophy candidates. The office maintains the academic records of the candidates for graduate degrees. These records include, but are not limited to, admission information, student biographical information, coursework and research toward the degree, correspondence, housing/residential life, immigration, health insurance, degree maintenance, departmental/research advisor information, assistantship information, and graduation information.
OFFICE OF COUNSELING AND PSYCHOLOGICAL SERVICES (DAVISON HEALTH CENTER)
Maintains records of mental health care. These records are not available within the University to other than the staff of the Office of Counseling and Psychological Services without the informed consent of the student.
The director of counseling and psychological services has overall responsibility for these records, but in practice, the psychotherapist who created the record takes responsibility for its security.
OFFICE OF RESIDENTIAL LIFE (NORTH COLLEGE)
Maintains records of the housing history of undergraduate and graduate students and information gathered in connection with the selection of head residents and resident advisors, including letters of recommendation and staff evaluations. The director of residential life is responsible for the records.
OFFICE OF INTERNATIONAL STUDENT SERVICES (NORTH COLLEGE)
Maintains records related to a student’s immigration status and any supporting material needed for the U.S. government’s SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System) documentation.
INSTITUTIONAL RESEARCH (NORTH COLLEGE)
Maintains records of the first-year student testing program and information from other university offices that is to be used for institutional research purposes. The director of institutional research is responsible for the records.
OFFICE OF THE REGISTRAR (NORTH COLLEGE)
Maintains academic records of currently enrolled students. Maintains the Deans’ Office records of former students, except that upon graduation reports of disciplinary actions and other information not needed for the permanent record are destroyed. The registrar is responsible for the records.
OFFICE OF STUDENT ACCOUNTS (NORTH COLLEGE)
Maintains documents, including correspondence, pertaining to financial transactions with students and their parents. The director of student accounts is responsible for the records.
GRADUATE LIBERAL STUDIES PROGRAM (74 WYLLYS AVE.)
Maintains records of candidates for the degree of master of arts in liberal studies and the certificate of advanced study and of other students enrolled in courses sponsored by the summer school. The records include the following types of information: information submitted for admission, correspondence with the student, reports of academic performance, counseling notes, financial information submitted by the student, and letters of recommendation. The director of the Graduate Liberal Studies Program is responsible for the records.
ACADEMIC COLLEGES, DEPARTMENTS, AND PROGRAMS (see phone directory for locations)
Maintain records of graduate students enrolled in the department and undergraduates majoring in the college, department, or program. The records include the following types of information: academic performance reports; correspondence with the student; letters of recommendation; and reports of action taken in regard to a student by the college, department or program. The records are the responsibility of the director of the college, chair of the department, or chair of the program.
THE HONOR BOARD AND STUDENT JUDICIAL BOARD (NORTH COLLEGE)Maintain records of adjudicated cases. The vice president for student affairs is responsible for Honor Board records. The dean of students is responsible for Student Judicial Board records. Students have the right to inspect their records related to Student Judicial Board proceedings. Upon request, a student may view case materials in the Dean of Students Office.
Various ad hoc committees and groups maintain files of information about students in connection with such matters as the awarding of prizes and grants and students’ participation in special programs (foreign study, independent study, etc.). The chair of the committee or group is responsible for the record.
INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY SERVICES (EXLEY SCIENCE CENTER)
Information Technology Services (ITS) processes and stores information for many of the offices listed in this statement. The security of the information while it is held at ITS is the responsibility of the director of information technology services. Access to the information remains under the control of the responsible person in the office that forwarded the information to ITS.
- Inspection of their Records
Students have a right to inspect their educational records. To inspect a record, a student should make an appointment at the appropriate office. Students who, having inspected a record, wishes to challenge its content because they believe it to be inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of their privacy rights, may submit the challenge informally to the person responsible for the record. If the results of the submission are not satisfactory to the student, he/she may ask the vice president for student affairs (undergraduates) or the vice president for academic affairs (graduate students) to review the challenge. If the decision of the dean or the vice president is not satisfactory to the student, he/she may submit the challenge in writing to the president, whose decision is final. A student who challenges a record also has a right to prepare a statement in support of the challenge that will remain a part of the challenged portion of the record as long as that portion is maintained. The conduct of the hearing will be in accordance with the constitution of the Wesleyan Judicial System and applicable federal regulations.
Students may obtain copies of material in their permanent records that pertain to them unless they have not paid all their university bills. The fees that will be charged for copies are $5 per official transcript of the academic record and not more than 10 cents per page of other material. Students have the right to inspect their records related to Student Judicial Board proceedings. Upon request, a student may view case materials in the Dean of Students Office.
Students who feel that their rights under the act have been abridged may file a complaint with The Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Ave., S.W., Washington, D.C. 20202-4605.
“Information” means personally identifiable data that includes (a) the name of the student, the student’s parent or other family member; (b) the address of the student; (c) a personal identifier, such as the student’s Social Security number; (d) a list of personal characteristics that would make the student’s identity easily traceable; or (e) other information that would make the student’s identity easily traceable.
The use of the following terms in this policy statement conforms to the definitions in the federal regulations issued pursuant to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act: act, attendance, directory information, disclosure, education records, financial aid, parent, party, record, student.