The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. To the extent that the Texas ERC brings together records of information on an individual student basis, the relevance of FERPA is obvious. As such, identifying pieces of information, e.g. student names and ID numbers, are re-mapped or removed so as to “de-identify” students within the Texas ERC data warehouse.
To further ensure compliance with FERPA requirements, researchers are required to take care that data is not grouped or summarized in such a way that would allow identification of individual students. The contractual obligations that ensure this compliance are included in the researcher agreement that every researcher signs before gaining access to the Texas ERC data warehouse (see Researcher Agreement). The general guideline is that any data cell with a composite size of less than five must be suppressed in any data released from the Texas ERC. Before any data can be released from the research center, it must be reviewed and approved for release.
Learn More about FERPA
For additional information or technical assistance, call (202) 260-3887. For TDD assistance, call the Federal Information Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.
FERPA Training is required of all personnel with access to the confidential Texas ERC data. To show that the FERPA training requirement has been met, researchers should provide via email (to the ERC Admin) a screenshot from their training module certification/completion that includes their name and the date completed or date expiring. FERPA training is valid for two years.
- UT-affiliated researchers: Go to this link for the Compliance training page: https://utdirect.utexas.edu/cts/index.WBX.
- You will see the CW 504 FERPA class listed in one of these sections (click the plus sign next to each section): Modules Needed; Modules Completed; or Optional Modules Available.
- Click on the class link to access/begin the training & take the quiz.
- Go back to Modules Completed to take the screenshot once complete that includes your name and the course info.
- Non-UT researcher(s) from another institute of higher education: Visit your home institution’s office of research or compliance training page. (Or use the US Dept of Education option below.)
- Non-UT researcher(s) without a higher education affiliation: Go to the US Dept of Education training site at https://studentprivacy.ed.gov/content/online-training-modules.
- Choose the training module called “FERPA 101: For Colleges & Universities.”
- You will be required to create a registration profile to log on, but there is no cost.
- After you finish the training, there is an option to download a PDF certificate of completion.