AccessPlus & Confidentiality
Class Lists | Advisee Information | Online Directory & Public Information | Confidential Information | AccessPlus & Student Information Screen | It's Important to Remember | Student Authorization to Release Information to a Third Party | Student Authorization to Release Information for a Recommendation and/or Evaluation | Employee Confidentiality Agreement Form
It's Your Responsibility
AccessPlus is a secure and confidential campus information system.
Student information is provided through AccessPlus to assist faculty and advisors in their advising/teaching roles. In order to maintain a student’s right to privacy and to comply with federal law, the university has established policies to govern access to student records. The University ID number is always considered confidential and should never be displayed in its entirety or released.
In addition, all faculty and staff must adhere to the following confidentiality policy when using student data from AccessPlus or from any other sources.
As a faculty or staff member, you have a legal responsibility under FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974) to protect the confidentiality of student educational records in your possession. You have access to student information only for legitimate use in the completion of your responsibilities as a university employee. Need to know is the basic principle.
Your access to student information, including the Online Directory and Public Information, is based on your faculty or staff role within the university. Instructor access to student records (beyond enrollment in an assigned course) is not considered to be a legitimate academic need to know in completing the instructor's responsibility to teach the course. You may not release lists or files with student information to any third party outside your college or departmental unit. Student information that is stored in electronic format, must be secure and available only to those entitled to access that information.
If you're in doubt about a request for student information, contact the Office of the Registrar at (515) 294-1840 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
We encourage you to check out this helpful resource: FERPA: What Faculty and Staff Need to Know
View Class Lists
A student’s schedule for a specific term is confidential, and therefore lists of students by class are confidential and may not be released. Student name, major, and classification are Online Directory Information and may be released unless a "no release" icon (padlock) appears on the screen. You may not release information about a student's course enrollment or course enrollment history.
The ID photo available through AccessPlus is defined as confidential and may not be released. Other information on this screen is defined as Online Directory (as defined for a guest user)/Public Information, and it may be released unless a "no release" message appears on the screen. You may NOT post the student photo on departmental bulletin boards, websites, or otherwise make it publicly available without the permission of this student to use the photo for that purpose. In addition, you should regularly clear your browser’s cache as described below.
Download Class List
Lists of students in the class are defined as confidential and may not be released without permission to do so. The University ID is defined as confidential. The university ID, or any portions of it, may not be displayed or released. You must also honor any restrictions on release of public/directory information as indicated in the "no information release" field of the class list file.
A student’s schedule for any term is confidential and may not be released.
Almost all information included in a student’s unofficial transcript is confidential and may not be released. Exceptions are noted above under directory/public information.
The AccessPlus student information screen is divided into two sections, Directory/Public information and Confidential information. In general, you may release Directory/Public information to a third party, unless a "no release" message appears on the screen. Note, however, that you are not required to release information to any individual other than the student.
The ID photo available through AccessPlus is defined as CONFIDENTIAL. Other information on this screen is defined as Directory/Public information, and may be released unless a "no release" message appears on the screen. You may NOT post the student photo on departmental bulletin boards, Web pages, or otherwise make it publicly available without the permission of this student to use the photo for that purpose. In addition, you should regularly clear your browser’s cache as described below.
Online Directory and Public Information
FERPA defines Online Directory and Public Information as "...information contained in an education record of a student which would not generally be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed" (FERPA Regulations, 34CFR, Part 99.3).
It is important to note that Online Directory and Public Information cannot always be released. If a student has requested that their information be suppressed, no information can be released. You should always check for a "No Information Release" notation on the student's record before releasing information. If a student has not suppressed the release of their information, Online Directory or Public Information may be released (Note. FERPA does not require/obligate a school official to release this information). You should always contact the Office of the Registrar to discuss releasing student information.
The ISU Online Directory differentiates between Verified and Guest Users. Please refer to the information below.
ISU Online Directory Information for Verified Users
Those accessing the Online Directory from an on-campus server, via ISU's virtual private network (VPN), or from another authenticated means will see the following information if it is not restricted by the student:
- ISU Email Address
- Phone Number
ISU Online Directory Information for Guest Users
Guest users are those individuals who are external and unauthenticated. Guest users do have the ability to send an email to students via a WebForm available via the Online Directory. Guest users will see the following information if it is not restricted by the student:
Public Information at Iowa State University
Other Public Information at Iowa State is considered the following:
- Dates of Attendance at Iowa State
- Expected Date of Graduation
- Name(s) of Advisor(s)
- Awards and Academic Honors
- ISU Degree(s) and Date(s) Awarded
- Previous Educational Institutions Attended, Degrees Received, and Dates of Attendance
- Full- or Part-Time Status
- Participation in Official Recognized Activities and Sports
- Weight and Height of Members of Athletic Teams
Online Directory and Public Information can NEVER Include:
- SSN (full or partial)
- University ID (UID) Number
- Student Schedule
- Sex or Gender
- UID Pictures
With the exception of the aforementioned information, all student records are considered confidential and may not be released. Students may request to suppress their information from the Online Directory or from Public Information Releases through their student portal.
Parent Requests for Student Information
Confidential information may be released to parents under the following conditions:
- The student has provided written consent via the Authorization to Release Information to a Third Party form
- The parent has provided evidence of the student’s IRS dependency status by furnishing a certified copy of the parent’s most recent federal income tax return
Even then, you should always consult with the Office of the Registrar at (515) 294-1840 or email@example.com before releasing information to a parent. While you may be authorized to release the information, it does not obligate you to do so. Iowa State reserves the right to review and respond to requests for release of education records on a case-by-case basis.
A copy of the Confidentiality Policy is available in the current Courses and Programs Catalog.
AccessPlus Student Information Screen
When a student requests that certain information about them not be released, we must honor that request. In these cases, a message will appear in the Directory/Public information section. Refer to the key below regarding information release values.
|NO INFO RELEASE (No information is to be released.)|
|NO TELEPHONE RELEASE|
|NO EMAIL RELEASE|
|NO ADDRESS/TELEPHONE RELEASE|
|NO ADDRESS/EMAIL RELEASE|
|NO TELEPHONE/EMAIL RELEASE|
|NO ADDRESS/TELEPHONE/EMAIL RELEASE|
|DECEASED (No information on this student should be released.)|
It's Important to Remember...
- Do not use the University ID number of a student in a public posting of grades or any other information.
- Do not link the name of a student with that student's University ID number in any public manner.
- Do not leave graded materials for students to pick up in a stack that requires sorting through the papers of other students.
- Do not hand graded information back to a group once it has been graded if it is a group grading situation.
- Do not share the progress of a student with anyone other than the students without the student's written consent.
- Do not provide anyone with lists or files of students enrolled in your classes for any commercial purpose.
- Do not provide course schedules or assist anyone - other than university employees - in finding a student on campus.
- Do not access the records of any student for personal reasons.
- Do not store confidential information on any computer, unless that information is required and secure from intrusion,
- Do not include students' grades, GPA, classes, etc. in a letter of recommendation without written consent of the student.
Disclosure of a student's education records requires prior written consent of the student (unless disclosure is permitted under certain exceptions to FERPA set forth in the FERPA Regulations). A student's written consent may be obtained by using the Authorization to Release Information to a Third Party form. A separate form must be completed for each third party to whom access to information is granted by the student to their student records. This information release authorization is intended for use only by the offices listed on the form.
This form is not to be used to request an official transcript.
In order to submit recommendations or evaluations in accordance with FERPA Regulations, school officials must request that students submit an authorization/waiver prior to providing FERPA-protected student information to third parties. For the purposes of letters of recommendation and/or evaluations, the Authorization to Release Information for a Recommendation and/or Evaluation form may be used.
All Iowa State employees are required to complete the online FERPA training and confidentiality agreement in order to access ISU student academic information systems. The employee confidentiality agreement form is now completed online with the FERPA Training, and it must be completed every three years.