It is the College’s general policy to treat the student as the person primarily privileged to authorize release of personal information. This policy reflects our philosophy that an important goal of undergraduate education is to continue the student’s development as an autonomous adult. The College encourages students to share information with their parents or legal guardians, but ultimately the decision of what information to share normally rests with the student. Hence, the majority of communications are directed to the student rather than to the parents/guardians. For example, grades are sent only to the student, unless the student gives written authorization to the registrar to send grades to a parent or guardian.
We recognize, however, that this commitment to fostering the development of the student must be balanced with the parents’ interest in the wellbeing and progress of their student in the College, and we recognize that there are times in which parental involvement can be in everyone’s best interests. Thus, while the general policy is to be protective of the student’s privacy, there are instances, including those enumerated below, in which a parent or legal guardian will be notified of matters concerning a student. In such instances, we believe it is appropriate for the student to inform their parent or guardian directly, so whenever reasonable, we will allow time for students themselves to do so. However, in situations where prompt notification is necessary, a member of the Division of Student Affairs staff will contact a parent or guardian as soon as possible.
1. Change of status imposed by the College
A change in the status of a student at the College may be imposed as a result of disciplinary action or unsatisfactory academic progress. To the extent permitted by law, (including situations where the student is a dependent, where the student is under 21 years old and found to have violated a law, rule or policy governing the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance, or where the student is found in a disciplinary proceeding to have committed a crime of violence or non-forcible sex offense) if a student is placed on probation, suspended, required to withdraw, or expelled, parents are notified. It should be noted that less severe instances of disciplinary or academic action may result in warnings to the student, about which parents are normally not notified.
Additionally, parents may be notified when their student is facing the potential of a separation from the College (suspension, expulsion, and/or leave of absence).
2. Health and safety emergencies, including transports to a hospital in critical situations and unexplained absences from campus
The College reserves the right to contact parents when it reasonably believes that the student is subject to a health or safety emergency. This includes, but is not limited to, situations in which a student needs to be transported to the hospital in a critical situation. It also includes situations in which it comes to the attention of College officials that a student is inexplicably absent from campus for a prolonged period. College officials may contact a parent or guardian in order to ascertain the whereabouts of the student. However, normally, College officials will first try to contact the student’s confidential contact of record to locate the student. Students are responsible for identifying their confidential contact in their online contact information record. The College is not responsible for a student’s failure to be in touch with their parents.
Arrest information is public information and is not considered an educational record of a student and is therefore not protected under FERPA. The parent or guardian of the student may be notified if the student is placed under arrest while on College property, during a College sanctioned event/activity, or may also include situations where the College becomes aware of an arrest off-campus, and detained by law enforcement officials. Note that the College does not post bail for arrested students. If a student receives a citation for a summary offense for which they are not detained, e.g., underage drinking or disorderly conduct, the College normally will not notify the parent or guardian, however the police may notify parents if required by law.
4. Disclosures for other reasons in exercise of College's judgment
The College reserves the right to notify a parent or guardian of a dependent student, or as otherwise permitted by law, for reasons other than those listed above, based on our judgment of what is in the best interest of the student and the College. For example, individual Student Deans may contact parents of dependent students when their student is failing to make satisfactory academic progress or parents of students when alcohol or other illegal substances are involved.