Sharing Sensitive Student Info-FERPA

One-on-one communications between students and their instructors and/or advisers can be particularly challenging in a virtual environment. Often times, information that needs to be shared might include the student’s academic performance or other personally identifiable information (PII), which are considered confidential and protected under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). As such, it is necessary to secure these communications. Confidential information that is protected by FERPA data should not be sent via email or social media, as these are not a secure methods of transmission.

Below are some guidelines and/or suggestions for communicating confidential information that is protected by FERPA with your students.

To communicate confidential information, instructors and/or advisers are advised to use:

  • Microsoft Teams, which is available to all faculty, staff and students
  • Canvas
  • WebEx
  • CyBox
  • ISU Google Drive
  • ISU OneDrive
  • Phone Calls

    If the student initiates a conversation via e-mail that contains confidential information protected by FERPA, the instructor or adviser may continue that conversation with the student via email as long as they do not include PII or other academic information in their response. Do not forward or reply to emails which are sent to you containing such information without first removing that information prior to transmission.