Once an admitted applicant submits a Statement of Intent to Register (SIR) to the University, she or he is considered a student whose records are subject to privacy protections governed by the Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the Berkeley campus' policies implementing these regulations. Prior to submitting the SIR, a student's records are subject to different privacy protections under the Information Privacy Act.
Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act Rights
FERPA rules and university policy Berkeley students the following rights:
- To inspect and review their student records.
- To have withheld from public disclosure, absent their prior consent, personally identifiable information from their student records.
- To inspect records maintained by campus offices concerning disclosure of confidential information from their student records.
- To seek corrections of their records through a request to amend the records, or a request for a hearing to challenge the content of their records, or to include a written statement therein.
- To file complaints with the Office of the Chancellor or with the U.S. Department of Education regarding violations of the rights accorded by federal law or University policy.
The Berkeley Campus Policy Governing Disclosures of Information from Student Records defines "public records" which may be released without prior student consent, describes the record access rights of applicants who have not been admitted or enrolled at the Berkeley campus, and describes the conditions under which students may waive the right of access to their records.
In the School of Social Welfare the following types of information are considered matters of public record: student name; dates of attendance; major field of study; types and dates of degrees awarded from Berkeley; and name of the most recently attended institution, prior to Berkeley.
Public information about students may be shared with potential and assigned field placement agencies. This information is released, provided it is available, when it is requested in writing. The information is not released if the student requests in writing that it not be disclosed as a matter of public record.
All other records, such as general correspondence, admission applications, and academic transcripts, are considered confidential records. The Academic Coordinator and Graduate Student Affairs Officer are the records custodians for the School of Social Welfare. The following additional persons have access to these records: the Office of the President of the University, the Ombudsperson, and academic and non-academic staff of the School of Social Welfare. Other campus personnel are granted access when it is necessary for the normal performance of their assigned duties. Field placement agencies may obtain information necessary to the assignment and supervision of students in field work placements.
Procedures for Access to Confidential Records
Students may exercise their right to inspect their own confidential records by making a request in writing to the Academic Coordinator. Access to the records will be provided no later than 45 calendar days after receipt of student’s request.
Disclosure to a third party can be made only with the written consent of the student, naming the third party, the records to be released, and the reasons for the disclosure. Under certain exceptions information about confidential records may be released by the School without the written consent of the student; for example by judicial order, to accrediting organizations, for research purposes, or under certain conditions connected with financial aid. In emergency health and safety situations, and at the discretion of the UC Police Department and the Office of the Registrar, disclosure of a limited amount of information may be made to appropriate parties in connection with an emergency when the information is necessary to protect the health and safety of the student or other persons.
Challenge of Records and Hearing
School of Social Welfare Student Services staff will interpret and explain the information in a student’s record upon request. If a student believes that his or her records include data which are inaccurate, misleading, inappropriate, or otherwise in violation of the student’s rights of privacy, an appointment should be made with the School’s Academic Coordinator to request that the records be amended.
If the student is not satisfied with the result of the appointment, he or she may appeal to the Dean of the School. If the student is still not satisfied, there will be a hearing, presided over by a campus official or other party who does not have direct interest in the outcome of the hearing. The hearing will be within a reasonable length of time and will provide an opportunity for the correction or deletion of any inaccurate, misleading, or inappropriate data and for the inclusion in the student’s records of a written explanation.