The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) deals with the privacy of student education records, including directory information. Students have the right to request that the release of their information be prevented; this is generally referred to as the student having a FERPA Restriction. Often, developers of systems that are not directly concerned with academic transcripts do not realize that the effects of FERPA Restrictions are widespread and sometimes subtle; a student that opts to get a Restriction may not realize that their name can thus not be included in graduation announcements, for example. Developers, web site designers, and education personnel should be aware of how FERPA Restrictions can affect their code and content.
In this session, we will discuss:
– The history behind FERPA
– The underlying philosophy of what the FERPA Restriction is designed to do
– Why students generally select the FERPA Restriction
– Cascading side effects of opting for a FERPA Restriction
– Policies and procedures for dealing with the Restriction
– Tips for how to implement FERPA restrictions in content management systems
Michael Brewer is the Lead Application Developer for the Franklin College Office of Information Technology at The University of Georgia. He designs database-backed web applications used by thousands of students and faculty and serves on several college and University-wide committees on Web development, best practices, and application security. In 2005, he won an Advising Technology Innovation Award from the National Academic Advising Association for an academic advising application he created and maintains. A speaker at OSCON in 2011, he is also on the board of the United States PostgreSQL Association. He holds bachelor degrees in Mathematics and Music from The University of Georgia. A member of ASCAP, he conducts the oldest continually operating community band in the state of Georgia; he has arranged music for orchestra, band, chorus, and has even composed incidental music for plays and musicals.
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