6.3.1sr1 - SRTC Procedure: Records Management
Southern Regional Technical College’s (SRTC) procedure for management of student records is in accordance with the Family Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) as amended.
SRTC maintains adequate records for both credit and non-credit courses. Procedures are established:
- for maintaining adequate records for both credit and non-credit courses;
- for implementing institutional procedures for the management, security, retention, and disposal of student records;
- for defining the kind of information and documents that will comprise the permanent student record;
- based on the recommendation of the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO); and
- to be consistent with records retention and policies established by the Technical College System of Georgia’s Student Records Retention Schedule.
Definition of Terms
Understanding key terms is essential to the proper management of student records. Some definitions, which carry substantial meaning, are listed here:
Official Student File
The Official Student file consists of those documents that are gathered to determine the admissions status of applicants to SRTC. They are maintained in the Student Affair’s Office in locked, fireproof file cabinets and/or as electronic images in the document imaging system. The following information is contained in the Official Student File:
- formal applications to SRTC;
- high school transcripts/GED® scores (if applicable);
- college transcripts (if applicable);
- scores on standardized tests (if applicable);
- copy of relevant correspondence between SRTC and the student;
- proof of residency; and
- acceptance letter.
The contents of the Official Student file will be destroyed five (5) years after graduation or date of last attendance. Documents in the file of an applicant who did not attend SRTC will be destroyed one (1) year after application term.
The Permanent Record is an internal document – hardcopy or electronic image – maintained by the Registrar’s Office that reflects the complete academic history of a student at SRTC. It is a chronological listing of the student’s total quantitative and qualitative learning experiences and achievements and may include any information pertinent to the evaluation thereof.
Prior to July 1, 1995, Permanent Record Cards (hardcopy) were generated for each student. The information on the permanent record cards has been transferred to either File Magic Plus or the document imaging system (AXS). All information in AXS is backed up on a daily basis and all information is backed up to multiple sites across the United States. This is done by automatic replication and these backups are now accessible from anywhere in the world. Since July 1, 1995, Permanent Record information is maintained electronically in the Banner Software System.
The local Banner administrator is responsible for the nightly Banner backup. Banner database backups take place in four different ways each night Monday through Friday.
Banner database backups are made to an autoloader that is advanced to the next day via a backup program running and scheduled on the RDBMS. This consists of four sets of five tapes (i.e. a month’s worth of tapes). Each tape set contains tapes for Monday – Friday. One set is in the Autoloader at all times. The other three sets are stored off-site.
Two sets of tapes are used to back up the database and file structure for Banner. Two sets of tapes are used (i.e. two weeks’ worth of tapes). The sets contain tapes for Monday – Friday. The appropriate day is inserted into the tape drive and the backup is scheduled and run from the backup program on the RDBMS. The other four tapes are stored in a fire proof file cabinet. The alternate set is stored off-site and are delivered via courier and rotated each week.
At the end of the backups each night, the contents directory is zipped and encrypted and ftp’d to the server. This directory contains all the database, control, and initialization files for the database. Approximately once per week, this file is transferred to a TCSG server offsite.
Tapes are stored off-site two times per week on Mondays and Thursdays. At any one time, the IT Department only has a subset of the week’s tapes in-house. The IT Department either has Monday-Wednesday tapes or Thursday-Sunday tapes.
Backup logs are emailed to the local Banner administrator after the nightly backups. These logs are stored for future review. If any of the backups fail, that particular backup log is also emailed to the technical support specialist on the SRTC-Moultrie-Veterans Parkway site.
If for any reason all three-tape backups fail on a given night, the database is immediately shutdown and a full off-line Banner backup is taken and verified.
The essential parts of the Permanent Record are:
- institution name;
- institution address and telephone number;
- student name;
- terms of attendance;
- course identification;
- amount of credit a course carries;
- summary of credit by term;
- the grade earned in each course;
- academic status;
- date conferred;
- program or major; and
- date of issue.
The transcript is that document which, at the written request of the student or former student, is forwarded to persons or agencies for their use in reviewing academic performance of the student. It includes the extent and quality of all work attempted at SRTC. The essential parts of the transcript are the same as those listed under the definition of a Permanent Record.
Records eligible for disposition will be transferred to a local holding area. To determine those records eligible for disposition, a review of records will be made on an annual basis. Files to be destroyed may be destroyed by any means feasible except that confidential files will be shredded to ensure that all information is completely destroyed.
Security of Student Records
The Vice President for Student Affairs has overall responsibility for the security of student records. Individual responsibility has been delegated to directors who will ensure the security of records under their direct supervision. The directors will take appropriate measures to reduce vulnerability of records to loss and alteration through human error, natural disaster, sabotage, accident, negligence, fraud, or technological obsolescence.
Confidentiality of student records is a serious ethical, moral, and legal responsibility. As a general rule, limited access in terms of storage areas and personnel is the best way to ensure the confidentiality necessary to avoid violating the trust of contributors and the rights of students. To the maximum extent possible, care will be taken to store student records in fireproof containers (vault or file cabinets) that are located in areas of limited student traffic and are locked when the staff is not on duty.
Under no circumstance will unauthorized persons be allowed access to student records. Staff members are advised to refer inquiries to the appropriate director or to the Vice President for Student Affairs. The implementation of new software poses serious, potential security problems for Student Affairs personnel. To ensure that adequate security measures are in place, the Registrar is designated as the records manager.
Review and Modification of Program
To ensure continued relevance, record retention and disposal procedures will be reviewed periodically and modified when appropriate. The student affairs directors will keep themselves informed about federal laws and regulations as well as local and state directives pertaining to the maintenance, security, and retention of records. Monitoring of such laws and regulations should start with regular reference to the Federal Register and AACRAO publications. The directors will submit recommendations for changes as needed.
Retention schedules have been established and are designed to meet the administrative, legal, and historical needs of the College. The goals of the retention program are as follows:
1. to ensure that vital records are secure;
2. to ensure the confidentiality of records at all times;
3. to ensure that record information is readily available when students request access;
4. to ensure that legal requirements are met prior to disposal; and
5. to save money, time, space, and staff.
Documents from institutions in other countries may be originals and difficult or impossible for the applicant to replace. SRTC, upon request from the individual, may return these documents to the applicant rather than destroy them.
If audit questions or litigation are pending at the scheduled time of destruction, those records in question shall be further retained until final resolution of audit or litigation and then destroyed..
The Vice President for Student Affairs has the overall responsibility for ensuring this procedure is implemented.
AUTHORITY: Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended
SBTCSG Policy 6.3.1: Student Records
TCSG Procedure 6.3.1p1: Student Records
TCSG Procedure 6.3.1p2: Definition of Directory Information