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Frequently Asked Questions by Parents

How can I learn how my student is doing?
The best approach is to ask your son or daughter directly. Communicating with young adults isn't easy. They're not always as forthcoming as we would like. The college years, however, are a period of remarkable growth and maturity.

Why did my son/daughter receive a letter from the Office of Student Conduct?
The Office of Student Conduct sends summons letters and request to appear letters to students either involved in or witness to a policy violation. These letters allow a conduct officer for the Office of Student Conduct to investigate the information provided in referrals and to determine whether a disciplinary sanction is required.

What is a referral, and who can submit a referral to your office?
The Office of Student Conduct receives referrals from faculty, staff, and students regarding a variety of policy violations. Read more about the discipline process.

Can I call and make the appointment for my student?
Due to confidentiality, the Office of Student Conduct is only able to discuss a student's case with that student. If you want to be involved in the process, your son/daughter would need to fill out a consent form that would allow the release of confidential information to you. This form can be obtained from the Office of Student Conduct.

Can I attend the discipline meeting with my student?
Discipline meetings are held with just the student; however, a parent(s) can attend once their student has filled out a consent form allowing the release of confidential information to the specified parent(s). A parent will not be permitted in the discipline meeting without this consent form. This form can be obtained from the Office of Student Conduct.

Where can I go to find out what rules my son/daughter needs to know?
All University students are expected to adhere to the civil and penal statutes of the State of Texas and the United States, the Regent's Rules and Regulations of the University of Texas System, the rules and regulations of the University of Texas at Arlington, and the standards of conduct that are compatible with the University's function as an educational institution. Read more about the Code of Conduct for the University of Texas at Arlington.

Why does my student have a hold on his/her enrollment?
A hold may be placed on your student's enrollment either for failure to make or keep an appointment with a conduct officer, or for failure to complete a disciplinary sanction by the assigned deadline. The hold will be removed once the student meets with the conduct officer, or completes the sanction.

Does the University have any written policy about information from student records that can be shared with parents?
Yes. Like other colleges and universities across the country, the University is subject to a federal law called the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (also called "FERPA" or the "Buckley Amendment"). FERPA sets privacy standards for student educational records and requires institutions to publish a compliance statement, including a statement of related institutional policies. Read more about Ferpa.

Where can I find out more information about FERPA?
FERPA is enforced by the U.S. Department of Education. The Department maintains a FERPA website with links to FERPA regulations.

What records does FERPA cover?
The privacy protection FERPA gives to students is very broad. With limited exceptions, part 99.3 of the FERPA regulations gives privacy protection to all student "education records." Education records are defined as "those records that are directly related to a student and are maintained by an educational agency or institution or by a party acting for the agency or institution." Examples of student records entitled to FERPA privacy protection are grade reports, transcripts, and most disciplinary files.

What does it mean to say a record is "protected" by FERPA?
Unless personally identifiable information from a student's education record falls under a specified exception, the information cannot be released to third parties (including parents) without signed and dated written consent from the student.

What are the exceptions to FERPA's coverage?
There's a detailed list of exceptions at part 99.3 of the FERPA regulations ("education records" defined) and at 99.31. Perhaps the most important exception allows-but does not require-"disclosure [of information in student education records] to parents of a dependent student, as defined in section 152 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986" (part 99.31 (a) (8)).

Also, among the records not protected by FERPA are dates of attendance, academic major, and degrees received. Read more about these records.

I had easy access to my student's school records, why don't I have the same access to records kept by the University?
Under FERPA, the access rights that parents and legal guardians had in the elementary and the secondary schools setting are transferred to students once a student has turned eighteen, or is attending any post-secondary educational institution.

Why do I have limited access to my student's college records when I'm paying his/her college expenses?
As a parent or legal guardian you normally can have access to your student's college records. The best way to do so is with the student's consent. Nonetheless, if you claim your student as a dependent for federal tax purposes, the University will give you access to her education records as specified in FERPA (see part 99.31 (a) (8)). FERPA does not require colleges and universities to grant such parental access.

How can I provide documentation of my student's dependant status?
Different University departments have different procedures. Some may require copies of income tax forms, as specified in the University Policy on Disclosure of Student Records. It's best to ask the department administrator about pertinent departmental requirements.

How can I find out my student's grades?
Most parents ask their student directly. Doing so fosters trust and a sense of mutual responsibility.

Will I be notified if my son/daughter is put on academic probation, or is subject to academic dismissal?
Information about grades and academic standing is sent directly to students. You can, of course, ask your student to keep you informed of his/her academic performance.

How will I know if my student is subject to University disciplinary action?
Student disciplinary records are protected under FERPA. The best practice is for your son/daughter to inform you about any disciplinary charges directly. Students can authorize release of all information in their disciplinary files.

The University disciplinary system is administered by the Office of Student Conduct. That office routinely advises students verbally and in writing.



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