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Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

Annual Notice

The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) applies to all ACPE CPE programs.  FERPA addresses privacy not confidentiality issues.  This means students own the information about them and must know what is being collected and how it is being used.  Their information cannot be shared without their written permission.

I. This ACPE CPE center/program guarantees to its students the rights to inspect and review education records, to seek to amend them, to specified control over release of record information, and to file a complaint against the program for alleged violations of these Family Education and Privacy Act (FERPA) rights.

II. Directory information is student information not generally considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if released.

  • Directory information includes: name, address, email, telephone, date of birth, religion, previous education, and photograph.  All other information is released only with the student’s written, signed, dated consent specifying which records are being disclosed, to whom, and for what limited purpose.
  • Before releasing information, students must have received the Annual Notice.
  • Current students can restrict directory information and/or record access at any time during attendance.  Restrictions must be honored even after the student’s departure.  Former students cannot initiate new restrictions after departure.
  • In order to initiate restrictions, students should send a written, signed, dated “opt out” request to the CPE Registrar/administrative assistant.

III. A student record is: (1) any record (paper, electronic, video, audio, biometric, etc.) directly related to the student, from which the student’s identity can be recognized; and (2) maintained by the education program/institution or a person acting for the institution.

  • Application materials of students admitted and matriculated are part of the student record.
  • Application materials for others are subject to particular state privacy laws for their retention, use and destruction.  If no applicable laws exist, the center creates, publicizes, and follows its own protocol.

IV. MD Anderson's CPE program records management protocols state that:

  • Application materials other than directory information are reviewed and discussed with Supervisors on staff and members of the Admissions Committee only.
  • After a candidate has been accepted, their applications and any material added during the educational process are kept in locked files in the offices of the CPE Supervisor, as well as the CPE Registrar, during the course of the program.  A student has the right to object to record content.  If not negotiable, the written objection will be kept with and released with the record.  Grades are exempted from this right.
  • After the student's departure, folders are transferred to locked files kept in the office of the CPE Registrar. Only the following, when applicable, will be kept:
    • i. Application face sheet, essays and letters of recommendation;
    • ii. Supervisor’s and student's evaluations for each unit of CPE at MD Anderson's CPE program;
    • iii. Financial records;
    • iv. Administrative notes on evaluations relevant to the student;
    • v. Clinical site contracts; and
    • vi. Release of written materials and agreement for training.
  • After 10 years, records will be shredded except for student face sheet, which will remain in locked files in the office of the CPE Registrar.
  • Written clinical material which is prepared in a manner to disguise the patient and chaplain's identity may be maintained at the discretion of the Supervisor for use in research and teaching.
  • A copy of the CPE Supervisor’s evaluation report will be given to the student.  Students are responsible for maintaining their own files for personal use, but may secure copies of their application face sheet and Supervisor and self evaluations by written, signed, dated request to MD Anderson Cancer Center CPE program.  This center will not keep a permanent file or evaluation reports.  Students will be informed at the time copies are given to them that it is their responsibility to keep copies for future use.
  • As long as student records are kept, they will be handled within the guidelines of federal and state confidentiality laws, being available to the CPE student, the CPE Supervisors, and others engaged in the supervisory or accreditation process of CPE. Materials from those records may also be used to protect the health and safety of the student or others, and for the purpose of accreditation or complaint review, or as required for legal processes. Before releasing material in any of these circumstances, this center will consult with the ACPE Director or ACPE manager.  With these exceptions noted, material will be released only to the student, and only by written request.  Otherwise, it will be destroyed.
  • The CPE Supervisor may keep process notes on a student.  These process notes are for the exclusive use of the writer and are not considered part of the student’s record.  They will be kept separately from the student record.
  • Students will be able to review their record within 45 days of student’s request.  Record inspection cannot be denied based on student’s inability to come to the site or outstanding financial obligations.  In the latter case, this center will note on any copies sent, “not available for official use.”  When a student record contains identifiers of another student, those must be redacted.
  • If this CPE center ceases to be accredited, all records will be forwarded to the ACPE regional office.

V. MD Anderson Cancer Center CPE program defines an “education official” as all Supervisors and Supervisory Education Students employed by the center, as well as all center's administrative staff with a legitimate educational interest.  Legitimate educational interest is defined as information regarding the student that is necessary for employees to carry out their responsibilities in support of MD Anderson's CPE center educational mission.  

A person who demonstrates legitimate educational interest will use student records only in the context of official business in conjunction with the educational success of the student.  Within this CPE center, people with legitimate educational interest may have access to student records without student consent.  Access by these officials is restricted where practical, and only to that portion of the student record necessary for the discharge of assigned duties.

VI. Violations of these protocols may be reported to the Chair of the Accreditation Commission at:  ACPE, 1549 Clairmont Road, Suite 103, Decatur, GA, 30033.


© 2014 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center