What constitutes “directory information?”
Directory information is basic information about a student such as name, hometown, dates of attendance, major, athletic team participation, graduation dates, degrees, honors and awards.
Under FERPA, the College is authorized to release this information unless the student restricts it. A complete list of what Washington College considers directory information and instructions for restricting the release of that information are available on WebAdvisor on the “Restrict Release of My Directory Information” under “Information Forms.”
How does FERPA affect my student?
FERPA protects the privacy of students’ educational records and prohibits access to, or release of, educational records or personally identifiable information contained in such records (other than directory information) without the written consent of the student. Without the student’s permission the College cannot release any information about a student to anyone except those employees of the College who have a legitimate educational need to know it. For parents and families, this means that no one at the College can discuss any element of your student’s academic record with you unless the student has given us permission to do so. To give the College permission to release this information, students must log in to WebAdvisor and click on “Allow Release of My Educational Records (FERPA)” under “Information Forms.”
It is important to note that a student’s authorization of information release under FERPA does NOT automatically grant parents and families access to WebAdvisor. And a student’s granting parents or family access to WebAdvisor does NOT constitute a FERPA release. The two are independent – a student can authorize a FERPA release but not give parents WebAdvisor access, give parents WebAdvisor access but not authorize a FERPA release, do neither or do both. We suggest you discuss these options with your student and decide together what access he or she will give you.
How can I track my student’s academic progress?
Your student must give you access to WebAdvisor, which includes your student’s information about housing, billing, financial aid and academic information, including their current course schedule and transcript with all final grades.
Students must log in to WebAdvisor and click on “Add/Change Parental Access” under “Miscellaneous Options.” When the student enters a parent’s email address, the parent receives an email the next day with log-in information. Students can change parents’ access to WebAdvisor at any time; if your student changes your access, you will get an email telling you so.
For students who receive midterm grades – all first-year students and students on academic probation or continued academic probation – these grades are posted on WebAdvisor. But students receiving midterm grades also get interim progress reports from their professors, which are emailed to them at their washcoll.edu email address. If you would like to review midterm grades and progress reports with your student, you can access the grades on WebAdvisor or ask your student to show you those grades, and you can ask him or her to show you the interim progress report emails.
Are my child’s medical records protected?
Students’ medical records, including the medical forms new students are required to fill out for the College’s Health Services, are protected by federal HIPAA regulations and state confidentiality laws. No information disclosed to Health Services will be released to anyone else, including other College offices and personnel, without the student’s written permission (release authorizations are available from Health Services). Parents should note that the Health Service does not honor blanket releases of information to parents as this may keep students from seeking assistance. Release must be specific to an illness or visit.
Health records privacy protection also means that disclosures of disabilities eligible for accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act or the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 must be made separately from Health Services to the Director, Office of Academic Skills. More information on the disclosure of learning disabilities and support for students with disabilities, please visit the Office of Academic Skills.