Privacy of Educational Records
Annually, Southern Virginia University informs students of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended. This Act, with which the institution fully complies, was designated to protect the privacy of educational records. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. These rights include:
- The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days of the day the university receives a request for access. Students should submit to the registrar, executive vice president and provost, division chair, or other appropriate official, written requests that identify the record(s) they wish to inspect. The university official will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the university official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.
- The right to request amendments to the student’s education records that the student believes are inaccurate or misleading. Students may ask the university to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate or misleading. They should write the university official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading. If the university decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the university will notify the student of the decision and advise the student of his or her right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.
- The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. One exception, which permits disclosure without consent, is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the university in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position (including campus security and health staff); a person or company with whom the university has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); a person serving on the Board of Trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility. A second exception, which permits disclosure without consent, is disclosure to the parents of students who have claimed the students as dependants to the Internal Revenue Service in their most recent year’s federal income taxes. The following is considered “Directory Information” at Southern Virginia University and will be made available to the general public unless the student removes the information from the Student Directory:
- Student’s name,
- addresses (including e-mail),
- date and place of birth,
- home and school telephone numbers,
- dates of attendance,
- field of study,
- certificates and awards received (including dates),
- previous educational institutions attended, and
- participation in officially recognized extracurricular activities.
- The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by Southern Virginia University to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the office that administers FERPA is Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20202-4605.
Protecting Student Privacy in Online Courses
- Manage content of online courses using Canvas, the University’s learning management system, to ensure the security of student work and grades. Use of other systems must be approved by the Provost’s Office.
- Use the University’s student information system, mySVU, to report final grades.
- Use Canvas and student email addresses for all communication as it relates to student progress and grading.
- Maintain confidentiality of academic information related to the submission of coursework, progress, and grades. At no time should information be available to other students in a class.
- Maintain security of Canvas, SVU email account information, and mySVU by never sharing username and password.
A transcript is a copy of a student’s permanent academic record. An official copy of the transcript carries the university seal and the signature of the registrar, is dated, and is sent by first-class mail directly to schools or other organizations upon the written and signed request of the student or alumnus.
Upon written request, students also may receive official copies of the transcript. Unofficial copies, without seal or signature, are available on mySVU.edu and upon request from currently enrolled students only.
Transcripts, including grade reports, will not be released until it is ascertained that the student has settled all accounts with the university and is not delinquent in college loan programs. The written and signed request for a transcript should contain the following information:
- Full names used while attending the university,
- social security number,
- year graduated,
- telephone number,
- email address, and
- complete mailing address where the transcript is to be sent.
Please fill out the Transcript Request Form and email to firstname.lastname@example.org or send to:
Southern Virginia University
One University Hill Drive
Buena Vista, VA 24416
Transcript Request Information: 540-261-8408
Express mail or other methods of delivery are available upon request and for an additional charge. Facsimile (fax) transcripts will not be provided due to security, data transmission and privacy considerations.
At the end of each semester, grade reports are available online to all students and their academic advisors. Once grades are recorded in the Registrar’s Office, requests for changes must be submitted in writing by the instructor. A Change of Grade Form is available in the Registrar’s Office.
Special Transcript Notations
Special notations on transcripts issued by the university are as follows:
Asterisk (*). A grade with an asterisk has been forgiven in the GPA because the student repeated the course.
Audit. “AU” is given for courses that have been audited. No credit or quality points awarded.
Incomplete. “I” is given in a course by the instructor to a student who, because of illness or other circumstance beyond the student’s control, has not been able to complete course requirements on time. The student must be doing passing work when the “I” is given. A grade of “I” becomes an “F” if the course requirements are not met within the time allotted by the instructor, not to exceed six months. An “I” earns no quality points. Division chair approval is required.
Pass. “P” carries no quality points and is not included when computing grade point average.
Repeated Course. “R” designates a repeated course. The grade of the repeated course replaces the original grade in calculating the cumulative GPA. The original grade remains on the official record.
Satisfactory Progress. “SP” designates satisfactory progress in an internship or senior-level project course for which the duration of the required work is expected to span more than one semester. These courses are few in number and require pre-listing approval from the Academic Advisory Council before SP may be used as a grade option. An SP grade carries no credit hours or quality points and must be replaced by a standard A through F grade within six months, otherwise it converts to F.
Transfer. “T” designates a transfer course. It carries credit hours as determined by the registrar, but no grade or quality points.
Withdraw. “W” designates a withdrawal from a course before the end of the sixth week of a semester or the second week of a term. It may also indicate withdrawal from the university. No credit or quality points are awarded.
Withdrawn by Administration. “WA” designates that the university administration withdrew the student from the university for conduct or academic standing that it regarded as unacceptable. No credit or quality points are awarded.
Work in Progress. “WIP” designates that the semester had not yet ended and that the course was still in progress.
The university assesses its programs and services to determine how successful it is in meeting its mission and goals. Evaluation instruments may include, but are not limited to, senior papers and projects, advanced writing papers, senior oral presentations, the Collegiate Learning Assessment, the National Survey of Student Engagement, and various course-embedded assessments. The university regularly surveys students concerning their satisfaction with the university’s student support and administrative services. Seniors and alumni are also surveyed concerning their post-graduation activities, including graduate studies, employment, and service activities.