700.1 – School Policies and Procedures in Accordance with FERPA
This statement is issued by Smith College School for Social Work in accordance with the United States Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), as amended. The purpose of the act is to give students and former students access to their official records at the college, to provide an opportunity to correct inaccurate or misleading statements and to ensure that records are not released to unauthorized persons without the consent of the student.
According to the terms of the act, access may be provided to administrative officers and members of the resident, adjunct and clinical faculty who have legitimate interest; to certain specified agents of the government for the purposes of enforcement and study; to military personnel for recruitment purposes; and to other educational agents and institutions in connection with applications for admission and requests for financial aid. All authorized persons outside the college who request access will be required to file a written, signed statement of purpose; this statement will be kept on file and will be made available for inspection only to the student upon request.
Transcripts of or information concerning student records will be released to other persons outside the college only with the written consent of the student or upon subpoena, in which case the student will be notified. The act stipulates that the student's written consent indicates which records are to be released, the reasons for such release and to whom the copies are to be released. A copy of the material to be released may be requested by the student.
Certain information, designated as "directory information," may be released without consent. At Smith College, this information includes the following: name, home address (while in college), college address and telephone, email address, dates of attendance, major, degrees and awards, pictures, extracurricular activities (if known), previously attended institutions and pictures. You may withhold the release of this information by completing the appropriate form available annually at Central Check-In or in the SSW Registrar's Office in Lilly Hall. Written authorization to withhold directory information must be made each academic year and must be submitted within five days of the start of the summer academic session in order to ensure non-disclosure in printed materials.
Students' official records include records, files, documents and other materials containing information directly related to a student that are maintained by the college. They do not include notes kept by instructors, advisers, administrative personnel or deans for their own use and available to them only; such notes are maintained by individual administrators and are destroyed when no longer relevant or useful.
In communications with parents, we will assume that most students are not dependents. The School for Social Work will respect the privacy of the student and not disclose information from student education records without the prior consent of the student. At the request of the student, such information will be provided to parents and guardians.
Student records at Smith are described below. Procedures for students who wish to consult their records are as follows:
- To view records in the SSW Registrar's Office, obtain an "access request" form in Lilly 110. Complete the form and give it to a staff member. The record will be available for inspection five work days after the date of the request. To request a correction to your record, address it to the SSW Registrar, including your name and, if available, Smith ID (99) number.
- Requests to see or correct records in the Office of Disability Services should be made to that office.
- Students who have questions about their immunization records and the use of them are referred directly to the Ph.D. Program Office.
If the official in charge is not able or willing to make the correction requested, the case shall be brought to the SSW Registrar, Associate Dean, and Dean. Official information is on file in the various Smith College School for Social Work offices as follows.
700.2 Records kept by the SSW Registrar's Office
Permanent academic records are maintained online, and hard copies are maintained in the SSW Registrar's Office in Lilly Hall, or in College Archives. They are available to the student and to administrative officers and members of the resident, adjunct and clinical faculty of the School who have legitimate need for access.
The official transcript includes name, dates of attendance and notations of leave of absence or withdrawal, course numbers, titles, credits, grades, internship agencies and grades, dissertation title, degree and date. Any credits transferred from other colleges toward the Social Work degree are also listed. Copies of transcripts ordered by students to be sent outside the college contain this information.
The permanent student file includes:
- Materials forwarded from the Admission Office at the time of acceptance: Student application form; transcripts from previous colleges attended; student's autobiographical statement and test scores (where applicable); and for Advanced Standing students, the employment experience form and case;
- Narrative evaluations and grades submitted by summer teaching faculty1;
- Petitions for waiver or transfer credit;
- Faculty Field Adviser field visit reports;
- Supervisor's field evaluation for each year in the field;1
- Correspondence and records regarding academic matters;
- Notice of professional social work practice violations (if applicable)1;
- Status change documents;
- Name change authorizations;
- Check-in packet sign-off;
- Intent to Graduate form;
- Directory Information release form (permanent if student graduates or withdraws with a Directory hold in force);
- Special registration requests;
- Grade changes1;
- Final transcript1 [paper copy kept in file as backup to electronic copy].
Items that are kept indefinitely. All other items are destroyed 5 years after graduation or departure from the School.
Other academic records exist in electronic format and include identifying information about the student and the academic record. The data is accessible only to staff members. Lists of classes, geographical distribution, mailing labels and aggregate statistics are made available to authorized persons within the college community.
700.3 Records kept by the Student Financial Services Office
For students receiving financial aid, the Student Financial Services Office maintains a financial aid file containing the following information:
- Student's application form and all application materials;
- Financial analysis of the student's application;
- Award letters to the student from the Committee on Financial Aid;
- Source-of-Award letters to the student from the Committee on Financial Aid;
- Loan application material;
- Miscellaneous correspondence;
- Copies of student's and parents' (if applicable) tax forms;
- Student Agreement/Title IV Authorization form.
This information is available only to the members of the Student Financial Services Office and the Committee on Financial Aid. Under the Rights and Privacy Act, the School cannot release to a student that portion of the financial aid application containing parental financial information, the financial analysis, or copies of the parents' tax forms. Information on students receiving financial aid is kept for 5 years after the student's graduation or departure from the School.
Note: During clinical internship periods, Ph.D. students are required to submit various written and statistical reports. None of this material is included in the student's official record. The written and statistical reports are emailed to the Program's Administrative Coordinator, logged in, and then printed out for the Faculty Field Adviser and the director of the program. These reports are destroyed after the student's graduation or departure from the School.
700.4 Records kept by the Career Development Office
As of September 1, 2009, the Smith College Career Development Office launched its partnership with Interfolio, the premier dossier, credentials and online portfolio service. In order to maintain references from faculty to support future applications to jobs or internship, you should contact Interfolio. Learn more about Interfolio's services.
700.5 Records kept by the Office of Disability Services
This information is accessible to disability services office professional staff and deans:
- Disability Identification form;
- Documentation of disability which has been submitted by the student;
- Correspondence with the student;
- Correspondence with faculty and other administrative offices which has been authorized by the student.