The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) has been updated to give non student designees easier access to information, Rachel Rudnick, Associate Vice President and Chief Privacy Officer of the Office of Privacy Protection and Management, said.
The update allows information in Student Admin to be seen by the student and whomever they have given permission, such as a parent or spouse, Rudnick said. This new access gives that person the chance to see the student’s fee bill, grades and other information with their own login.
The change was due to updates that PeopleSoft created and suggestions from parents and students, Rudnick said.
“It is a big change, not in the rules, but in the way we are approaching the students,” Rudnick said. “When students would give PINs (to their parents who knew how other universities worked), they would always ask where they can log in (and did not understand that the old system) only allows you to call. They wanted better conversation.”
The other update is that the improved PIN page will allow students to assign PIN codes to anyone they designate, Rudnick said. The PIN gives the designee the ability to talk with administration and covers discussions regarding student information, not the disclosure of the records themselves.
“If you are having trouble, for example, your parents can talk to us,” Rudnick said. “This functionality gives students more flexibility and the option to have others view their info on their behalf.”
Despite the change, students still have to explicitly give someone access if they want someone to be able to see their page or have a PIN, Rudnick said.
“If someone gives access to someone else to see their grades, they might want their parent to have a conversation, even if they have access to see something, they might not be able to talk to someone,” Rudnick said. “If they have a hold, and want to call the register office, they wouldn’t talk to the parent if they are not a designee.”
This change is available for all UConn Storrs undergraduate and graduate students, most of the regional campuses and Early College Experience students, Rudnick said.
The change has been going smoothly so far, Rudnick said.
“There is some adjusting to learning the tools but I think students will be happy. It will cut down on larger conversation for parents, students, and offices,” Rudnick said. “Having info in front of them will help (them) better understand things in the long run. It’s a really positive change and gives students more control.”
Rachel Philipson is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.