Academic Affairs

Maintaining Confidentiality of Student Grades

 

Policy
Each faculty member is accountable for ensuring the confidentiality of all student educational records in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), As Amended. In accordance with this responsibility, faculty of the University of Missouri-St. Louis will not post or display, either electronically or in hard copy, lists of students grades in personally identifiable forms, including the students name or any four consecutive digits of students Social Security numbers or student identification numbers.

Background
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, As Amended (FERPA), governs access to records and data maintained by an educational institution and the release of such records or data. Grades, a part of a student's educational record, may not be released or posted in any personally identifiable form unless the student gives prior written consent. (Prior consent is not required to disclose a student's grade information to other UMSL officials whom the university has determined to have legitimate educational interests.) The Family Policy Compliance Office of the Department of Education has determined that the practice of posting grades by student number or Social Security number (or a portion of those numbers) is a violation of FERPA. Therefore, posting lists of examination scores or course grades or returning tests or papers to students in ways that make it possible for students to obtain information about other students' scores or grades is a violation of FERPA.

Acceptable Method for Faculty to Post CourseAssignment Grades
Faculty may use features of MyGateway to record grades for components (e.g., tests, papers, etc.) of each class they teach. By entering their user name and password, students may access their recorded class-related grades, including the final grade earned in a class, from any location once the faculty member has electronically recorded these grades. Faculty should use this secure method of reporting class-related grades in lieu of posting grades in public places.

Use of E-mail to Inform Students of Their Grades
Notification of grades via e-mail is not permitted because confidentiality of e-mail cannot be assured.

Methods for Students to Obtain Course Final Grades
Because students may readily obtain their final course grades electronically, the four campuses of the UM System have not mailed grade reports to students via the U.S. postal service since Fall Semester, 2001.

Electronic access makes grades available to students as soon as they have been recorded through the following options:

  1. MYGATEWAY Once students have logged in they'll see a new icon for Semester Grades at the top of the welcome screen.
  2. My View -- Students go to the Registration page of MyView and follow instructions.

Approved July 2003; Revised September 2008.