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Instructor Management of Student Records | Policies | CSUSM

Instructor Management of Student Records

Definition: A policy governing instructor management of student course records.
Authority: Family and Educational Rights & Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA).
Scope: All university instructors.
Responsible Division: Academic Affairs
Approval Date: 08/24/2012
Originally Implemented: 09/12/2005
Signature Page/PDF: View Signatures for Instructor Management of Student Records Policy



Student course records are defined as any documents (including electronic) that contain identifying student information (e.g. student ID number, and/or grade). Documents include, but are not limited to, graded class assignments, homework, tests, letters of recommendation and roster print-outs showing student name and/or any other type of personally identifiable information (e.g., student ID number, student initials, etc.). More stringent rules apply when the record includes Social Security Number or other legally protected information. The purpose of this policy is to help instructors understand how to manage student course records.


Instructors have the responsibility to ensure confidentiality of the student course records to comply with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA 1974).
In order to assist instructors in fulfillment of this policy, practices that ensure security of course records are listed below.

Questions regarding the FERPA and/or other student record privacy matters should be directed to the Vice President of Student Affairs. Questions regarding handling of protected information may be directed to the Campus Information Security Officer.

A) Keep student course records, both physical and electronic, secure and out of reach of anyone else, preferably in a locked cabinet and/or on a password-protected electronic device.

B) Obtain the student's written permission before anyone other than the student-including spouses, parents, significant others, and other relatives-can collect or access the student’s grades or graded work.

C) Keep student course records for a minimum of one year from the end of the term when the work was completed before destroying them.

D) After one year, records may be discarded after identifying characteristics have been removed or destroyed.

E) Obtain the student's written permission before you leave the student’s records outside your office for student pick-up.

F) All records left outside of an office must be in a closed envelope.

G) Do not at any time use the entire ID Number of a student in a public posting of grades or any other student course records. To ensure students’ anonymity, it is suggested that the list not be sorted alphabetically. It is recommended that the instructor assign a unique, random, and confidential identification code or number to each student, to be used in evaluated material that may be circulated for students to sort through or as an attendance roster.

H) Do not link the name of a student with that student's ID number in any public manner.

I)  Do not leave graded student course records (such as tests, papers, or assignments) in a stack or online location for students to pick up by sorting through the materials of all students.

J) Do not circulate a printed or electronic class list with student name and ID number or grade as an attendance roster.

K) Inform others who are assisting you (such as teaching assistants and administrative assistants) of the need to keep student course records confidential.


In most classes, instructors return graded materials to students during the course of the semester. If a student elects to file a formal appeal over a course grade, she or he would need to produce all of the original graded work for the purpose of the review procedure. Therefore, students should retain work handed back to them at least until they receive the final grade. If the student then elects to file a grade appeal, the student should retain the graded materials until the appeal is resolved.