Advising Records & Confidentiality

Academic Advising provides an advising file to advisors of all students on entry. The file includes confidential academic information and a form for recording advising notes by advisors. Academic records to be added to the file are sent to advisors through campus mail occasionally (though these days the majority of the academic record is online). All academic advising information, including advisors’ notes, is protected by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), which forbids disclosure to anyone (including parents, as Puget Sound implements the law) without the student's written consent. A helpful tutorial on the details of FERPA is available on the Advising/Registrar Web page, but the critical elements are these:

  • Without the student’s written consent, advisors may not make the advising file or information on a student’s academic record available to anyone (including parents) other than institutional representatives with a legitimate educational interest in these records.
  • Institutional representatives in this case include faculty and staff with a “need to know” (e.g., Academic Standards Committee members, Registrar’s staff, peer advisors).
  • Anything placed in an advising file becomes a part of the academic record—notes on personal, non-academic information should not be kept there.
  • Direct inquiries about a student’s academic record (from parents, for example) should be referred to the student—if an inquirer persists in demanding answers, the inquiry should be referred to Academic Advising or the Registrar.

See Section B of the Advisor's Manual for more information on Education Records Policy.