FERPA On-Line Tutorial

Notice of FERPA Protection

All student information is protected by the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act and, in most cases, cannot be released to anyone other than the student. In addition, persons with access to university records may also come in contact with information about university personnel that must also be treated as confidential. Unauthorized access, release, or use of information other than what is necessary to complete work assignments, and/or failure to maintain security precautions are grounds for student or employment discipline.

Restrictions on access to student information create pressure from the public to obtain student information from various university officials and departments. It is very important that a person with access to student or employee records follow proper guidelines when dealing with requests for release of information. All requests for student records or employee information from anyone other than that student or employee should be referred to the appropriate supervisor.

Information on individual students, such as address, phone number, class schedule, grades, etc. may be used by college personnel only for legitimate educational purposes and should be protected from other uses. Persons with access to this information must take all necessary precautions to protect its privacy in the use of printed reports and on-line Student Information Management Systems/Relational (SIMS/R). This means that SIMS/R screens may not be left unattended, and reports may not be left where unauthorized persons can view them. Additionally, information that is obtained by a person with lawful access may not use that information for any purpose outside the business tasks that have been assigned.

Any user who has access to the San Diego State University Student Information Management Systems/Relational (SIMS/R) must agree to do the following:

  • Your signed confidentiality agreement must be on file with Business and Financial Affairs.
  • You will only use your own account and password when accessing SIMS/R.
  • You will not disclose your assigned account and password to anyone.
  • You will keep account passwords in a secure location.
  • You will not release student information, in any form, to anyone other than the student, except in accordance with FERPA.
  • You will require proper identification before discussing information pertinent to a student’s records.
  • You will ensure that any discussion of confidential student information with others be for educational purposes, and exercise care to keep conversations private.
  • You may only disclose personally identifiable information on an individual student to faculty and staff who have a legitimate need for such information. Personally identifiable information will not be disclosed to other campus or off-campus individuals. Please direct such requests to Enrollment Services.
  • You will not leave reports and other confidential information lying about where unauthorized persons can gain access.
  • You will not knowingly include or cause to be included in any record or report a false, inaccurate or misleading entry.
  • You will not seek personal benefit or permit others to benefit personally by the user’s access to SIMS/R or by information that has come to the user by virtue of the user’s work.
  • Students cannot be given access to faculty or staff accounts.
  • College coordinators or non-academic department directors should submit a request to cancel an account should responsibilities change in such a way as to no longer require access to SIMS/R.

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