What is directory information?
Directory information may appear in public documents and may otherwise be disclosed by the University for any purpose in its discretion, without the student’s consent. The following categories of information have been designated as directory information at Missouri State University:
- Telephone number*
- Campus email address
- Field of study, including majors, minors, certifications, and pre-professional areas of study
- Classification (e.g. sophomore)
- Enrollment status (full-time, part-time, or less than part-time)
- Participation in officially recognized activities and sports, including photographs of athletes
- Dates of attendance, including matriculation, drop, and withdrawal dates
- Degrees and certificates received including date awarded
- Awards received, including Dean's list, scholastic honors, departmental honors, memberships in national honor societies, athletic letters, and University-funded scholarships (excluding those that are need-based)
- Previous education institutions attended
* The University maintains a number of different address and telephone types for students. Three (residence hall, current mailing, and primary/permanent) are considered directory information. General requests for student addresses (e.g., requests for an "address directory of current students") will be fulfilled by providing one address for each student based on availability according to the following hierarchy: (1) residence hall; (2) current mailing, and (3) primary/permanent. General requests for student telephone numbers will be generated in similar fashion.
All non-University contact information provided for purposes of the emergency notification system is not considered directory information. Cell phone numbers, unless provided as a residence hall, current, or primary/permanent telephone number, are not considered directory information.
What information should never be released to a third party without written consent from the student?
All information about a student that is not directory information (http://www.missouristate.edu/registrar/ferpanotification.htm) should not be released to a third party without a student’s consent. Some examples of non-directory information are below.
- Social security number: A student’s social security number may not be used either alone or in combination with other data to identify a student when disclosing or confirming directory information, unless the student has provided written consent. Instead, other directory information should be used to identify students. When a person submits a student’s social security number along with a request for directory information, the person should be informed that the University has not used the social security number to locate the student’s records and that the University’s response does not confirm the accuracy of the social security number supplied with the request for directory information.
- Religious preference
- Daily class schedule: This is very important. Local police authorities may be trying to find your student. Parents may be asking what classes the student is in today. You can't give that out. This even means to parents who are paying the bills. If it is a health or safety related emergency, contact the Registrar, Dean of Students, or General Counsel to determine if an exception for disclosure can be made.
May an instructor send a sign-in sheet around class for his or her attendance record?
There is no problem with this practice so long as only the names are on the sheet, with no numbers or dates, and it is only used in the classroom; it cannot be posted outside the classroom, physically or online, for students to sign or view. Additionally, past sign-in history should not be available on any daily sign-in sheet. The regulations specifically provide that a student, even if he or she opts out from directory information disclosures, cannot prevent an institution from displaying the student name, institutional email address, or electronic identifier in class.
If a representative from an agency is doing a security clearance check, how should I handle the request?
- Review the release to ensure it indicates authorization of educational records; a generic release or medical release is not sufficient in order to release information from the student’s educational record.
- Check ID of the person to make sure the release is valid.
- It is recommended that you keep a copy of the release and ID for one year.
Can I disclose non-directory information in an email to the student?
- Yes, if the email is sent directly to the Missouri State student email account.
- No, if the email address is one other than an Missouri State account (e.g. Hotmail, Yahoo, etc); only directory information should be released in this case (unless you have the student’s written consent.)
Is a student’s attendance record in a specific class considered directory information?
No. If a third party asks an instructor about a specific student’s attendance in his/her class, the information should not be released without the student’s written consent.
Can I release information to any third party if the student is deceased?
Deceased students are not covered under FERPA; however, it is the University's policy not to release educational records of deceased students for a period of 25 years after the student's death. We recommend that anyone requesting information on a deceased student be referred to the Office of the Registrar.
Is it a FERPA violation if an instructor or department leaves graded papers/exams in a stack outside of an office for students to pick up?
Yes, anytime non-directory information such as grades, student ID, GPA, etc. is easily accessible and/or viewable by someone other than the student himself or herself, it is a FERPA violation.
Who do I contact if I have additional questions regarding FERPA?