Disclosure of Information About Students

It is permissible for faculty and staff to report concerns about students to department heads, deans, administrators, student health clinic, counseling center, public safety, dean of students, etc. When there is an emergency regarding health and safety, it is permissible to notify parties who may be able to intervene.

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA Section 99.36)

  • What conditions apply to disclosure of information in health and safety emergencies? An educational agency or institution may disclose personally identifiable information from an education record to appropriate parties in connection with an emergency if knowledge of the information is necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or other individuals.
  • Education records, as defined by FERPA, expressly exclude "records on a student who is 18 years of age or older, or who is attending an institution of post secondary education, which are made or maintained by a physician, psychiatrist, psychologist or other recognized professional or paraprofessional acting in his professional capacity or paraprofessional capacity, or assisting in that capacity, and which are made, maintained or used only in conjunction with the provision of treatment to the student, and are not available to anyone other than persons providing such treatment, except that such records can be personally reviewed by a physician or other appropriate professional of the student's choice."

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)

  • Allows disclosure of protected health information (PHI) with person's permission; or
  • To avert a serious threat to the health or safety of a person or the public, or to facilitate care.
  • Public health
  • Communicable diseases
  • State laws regarding mental health
  • With student's permission
  • To protect a client or someone else from imminent danger
  • Court ordered
  • To report child or dependent adult abuse

Americans with Disabilities Act

  • For students, registration with Student Disability Services and accommodations are generally considered education records and are covered by FERPA.
  • The person's diagnosis or disability would generally be considered PHI and would not be disclosed without consent or unless other conditions are met (such as under HIPAA).