Confidentiality under the Law
Access to a student’s records is governed by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.
FERPA is a law which protects the educational records of a student. When a student enters Trinity International University (is in attendance the first day of classes), regardless of their age, all rights to inspect and review the educational records transfer from the parent to the student. Under FERPA, the parent has no right to review the record unless granted in writing by the student.
Anyone may request directory information. Individual institutions have the right under law to define what they consider to be directory and non-directory information. The student also has the right to withhold any directory information that they wish to withhold from any third party. A third party is anyone inside or outside of the university who does not have an “education need-to-know” of the information in the student record as a necessary part of their job. Under FERPA, parents are third parties, with no rights to the record. Trinity International University has chosen to leave the rights with the student.
Educational records are all paper and electronic records kept about the student which relate to being a student, with several exceptions as noted in the “Policy on Student Records.” These records are not maintained in a central location. If a student wants to review them, they must request viewing of these records with each office that has their part of the record. The institution has 45 days to comply with any request to view the records, although that length of time is seldom necessary.
Disciplinary records are any records kept in the process of a disciplinary proceeding conducted by Trinity, which may be of an academic or non-academic nature. As listed in the current College Student Handbook, such “records regarding disciplinary action are kept by the Student Development Office. The record is not a part of the student’s official transcript.” Similarly noted in the current Divinity School and Graduate School Student Guide, “a temporary record regarding disciplinary action is kept by the Dean of Students/Student Services Office. The record is not a part of the student’s official transcript.”
In summary, the record belongs to the student. Parents only have rights to the record which are granted by the student. This means that you cannot request disciplinary records, grades, the academic transcript, or a class schedule unless the student shows it to you or signs a release indicating that they want you to be able to request that information.
Parents do have the right to request and receive directory information (address on file, enrolled status, what degrees they might have, etc). That means that you may contact the University Records Office and we will provide you with directory information, unless your student has specifically indicated that they don’t want that information released.