Location: Harkins Hall 310
Confidentiality of Student Educational Records
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords eligible students certain rights with respect to their education records.
An “eligible student” under FERPA is a student who is 18 years of age or older or who attends a postsecondary institution at any age. These rights include:
- The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days after the day Providence College (the “College”) receives a request for access. A student should submit to the Office of the Registrar (the “Registrar”), Harkins Hall 310, a written request that identifies the record(s) the student wishes to inspect. The Registrar 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 Registrar to whom the request was submitted, the Registrar shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.
- The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes is inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights under FERPA.
A student who wishes to ask the College to amend a record should write to the Registrar, clearly identify the part of the record the student wants changed, and specify why it should be changed. If the College decides not to amend the record as requested, the College will notify the student in writing of the decision and the student’s 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 provide written consent before the College discloses personally identifiable information (PII) from the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
If an eligible student wishes to authorize disclosure of confidential information to parents/guardians or any other designated individual, institution, or entity, a FERPA Release Form must be filed with the Registrar. Once the appropriate written authorization by the student is received by the Registrar, designated individuals may be informed of the student’s status at the College with respect to grades, academic standing, and financial obligations; this authorization remains in effect for as long as the eligible student is enrolled at the College. If at any time after submission of the form, the student wishes to revoke consent or modify the list of individuals, institutions, or entities authorized to receive confidential information, a new authorization form must be completed and submitted to the Registrar.
- The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the College to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the office that administers FERPA is:
U.S. Department of Education 400 Maryland Avenue,
SW Washington, DC 20202
- FERPA permits the disclosure of PII from students’ education records, without consent of the student, if the disclosure meets certain conditions found in § 99.31 of the FERPA regulations. Except for disclosures to school officials, disclosures related to some judicial orders or lawfully issued subpoenas, disclosures of directory information, and disclosures to the student, § 99.32 of FERPA regulations requires the College to record the disclosure. Eligible students have a right to inspect and review the record of disclosures. The College may disclose PII from the education records without obtaining prior written consent of the student:
- To other school officials, including teachers, within the College whom the school has determined to have legitimate educational interests. This includes contractors, consultants, volunteers, or other parties to whom the school has outsourced institutional services or functions, provided that the conditions listed in § 99.31(a)(1)(i)(B)(1) - (a)(1)(i)(B)(3) are met. (§ 99.31(a)(1))
- The College discloses education records without a student’s prior written consent under the FERPA exception for disclosure to “school officials” with legitimate educational interests.
- A “school official” typically includes a person employed by the College in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person serving on the board of trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee. A school official also may include a volunteer or contractor outside of the College who performs an institutional service of function for which the College would otherwise use its own employees and who is under the direct control of the College with respect to the use and maintenance of PII from education records, such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent or a student volunteering to assist another school official in performing his or her tasks. A school official typically has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibilities for the College.
- To officials of another school where the student seeks or intends to enroll, or where the student is already enrolled if the disclosure is for purposes related to the student’s enrollment or transfer, subject to the requirements of § 99.34. (§ 99.31(a)(2))
- “Legitimate educational interests” include performing a task or engaging in an activity related to (i) one’s regular duties or professional responsibilities, (ii) a student’s education, (iii) the discipline of a student, (iv) a service to or benefit for a student, (v) measures to support student success, and (vi) the safety and security of the campus.
- Upon request, the College also discloses education records, including disciplinary records, without consent to officials of another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll.
- To authorized representatives of the U. S. Comptroller General, the U.S. Attorney General, the U.S. Secretary of Education, or State and local educational authorities, such as a State postsecondary authority that is responsible for supervising the university’s State-supported education programs. Disclosures under this provision may be made, subject to the requirements of §99.35, in connection with an audit or evaluation of Federal- or State- supported education programs, or for the enforcement of or compliance with Federal legal requirements that relate to those programs. These entities may make further disclosures of PII to outside entities that are designated by them as their authorized representatives to conduct any audit, evaluation, or enforcement or compliance activity on their behalf. (§§ 99.31(a)(3) and 99.35)
- In connection with financial aid for which the student has applied or which the student has received, if the information is necessary to determine eligibility for the aid, determine the amount of the aid, determine the conditions of the aid, or enforce the terms and conditions of the aid. (§ 99.31(a)(4))
- To organizations conducting studies for, or on behalf of, the school, in order to: (a) develop, validate, or administer predictive tests; (b) administer student aid programs; or (c) improve instruction. (§ 99.31(a)(6))
- To accrediting organizations to carry out their accrediting functions. (§ 99.31(a)(7))
- To parents of an eligible student if the student is a dependent for IRS tax purposes. (§ 99.31(a)(8))
- To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena. (§ 99.31(a)(9))
- To appropriate officials in connection with a health or safety emergency, subject to § 99.36. (§ 99.31(a)(10))
- Information the school has designated as “directory information” under § 99.37. (§ 99.31(a)(11))
- Directory information is student data not generally considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed; the College, at its discretion may release directory information, which is limited to the following: name, address (local and permanent), telephone listing (local and permanent), e-mail address, date and place of birth, major field of study, class year, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, height/weight of members of athletic teams, enrollment status, dates of attendance, degrees and awards received, photographs, and previous education institutions attended.
- An eligible student may, to the extent permitted by FERPA, block the release of directory information by filing timely, written notice with the Registrar.
- To a victim of an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence or a non-forcible sex offense, subject to the requirements of § 99.39. The disclosure may only include the final results of the disciplinary proceeding with respect to that alleged crime or offense, regardless of the finding. (§ 99.31(a)(13))
- To the general public, the final results of a disciplinary proceeding, subject to the requirements of § 99.39, if the school determines the student is an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence or non-forcible sex offense and the student has committed a violation of the school’s rules or policies with respect to the allegation made against him or her. (§ 99.31(a)(14))
- The College is permitted to disclose to anyone the final results of a disciplinary proceeding conducted against a student who is an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence or a non-forcible sex offense if is determined that the student committed a violation of the College’s own rules or policies with respect to such crime or offense. In any disciplinary proceeding alleging a crime of violence or non-forcible sex offense, both the accuser and the accused will be informed of the final results and any sanction imposed against the accused.
- To parents of a student regarding the student’s violation of any Federal, State, or local law, or of any rule or policy of the school, governing the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance if the school determines the student committed a disciplinary violation and the student is under the age of 21. (§99.31(a)(15))
- The College is permitted, with or without an eligible student’s consent, to inform parents when their student has violated any law of College policy regarding the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance if the student is not yet twenty-one (21) years of age.
- The following are not considered educational records under FERPA:
- A personal record kept by a faculty or staff member of the College, if it is kept in the sole possession of the maker of the record, is not accessible or revealed to any other person except a temporary substitute for the maker of the record, and is not used for purposes other than a memory or reference tool
- Grades on peer-graded tests or assignments before they are collected and recorded by a faculty member
- A record created and maintained by the Office of Public Safety for law enforcement purposes
- An employment record of a person whose employment is not contingent on the fact that he or she is a student
- A record made or maintained by a physician, psychiatrist, psychologist or other recognized professional or paraprofessional if the records are used only for treatment of a student and made available only to those persons providing the treatment
- An alumni record that contains information about a student after he or she is no longer in attendance at the College and that does not related to the person as a student
Report of Grades
Grades are issued twice each semester. Mid-semester grades are advisory in nature. Grades awarded at the end of the semester become part of the student’s official record.
Grades, once submitted to the Office of the Registrar, will not be changed without the written approval of the School Deans or their respective designees. Students are entitled to access their mid-semester and final grades via the CyberFriar online system provided all administrative, disciplinary, and/or financial obligations to the College have been fulfilled. Official transcripts may be obtained directly from the Office of the Registrar, requested online via CyberFriar, or through the National Student Clearinghouse. For detailed information on ordering transcripts, please visit the Office of the Registrar’s Website. Providence College has a feature within CyberFriar, called Proxy Access, which allows students the ability to grant access to mid-term/final grades to parent(s) or guardian(s). Please visit https://registrar.providence.edu/students/proxy-access/ for instructions on how to initiate CyberFriar Proxy Access for parent(s) or guardian(s) access to academic information.
Upon notification of each semester’s course offerings, students should immediately contact their faculty advisors to arrange a meeting to discuss their academic programs and course schedule options. Through the College’s web-based registration system (CyberFriar), students must enter a Registration Alternate Personal Identification Number (alternate PIN) in order to register for courses or make any adjustments to their schedule for a given term. Students must obtain this alternate PIN from their faculty advisor. After meeting with their advisors, students should refer to the Office of the Registrar’s website for registration procedures: https://registrar.providence.edu/registration/.
Online Adjustment Period
Beginning with the registration period for a new semester and until each course has been able to meet for at least three contact hours, students are able to add/drop courses without penalty and manage their own schedules via the CyberFriar online registration. Online registration activity will not be possible when course registration overrides are required (e.g., over-enrollment, prerequisites, courses with instructor permission). Students should consult with their faculty advisors prior to creating and adjusting their course schedules.
Once each course has met for at least three contact hours, all online add/drop functionality for students will cease. In all cases, permission at varying levels will be required to add/drop courses.
Administrative Adjustment Period
During the second week of classes, students who wish to change their course schedules must complete an Over-Enrollment/Late Add form. Forms are available in the Office of the Registrar, in the Student Success Center, and online at registrar.providence.edu/students/online-forms. Written authorization from both the instructor and department chair/program director are required to officially register for the course. Completed forms must be returned to the Office of the Registrar, Harkins Hall, 310, or to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Beginning the third week of the semester, any changes to student schedules must be done in consultation with the Student Success Center. Changes will not be processed in the system until the student understands all of the potential ramifications of dropping a course; these may include a “WD” grade or no refund. Adding a course after it has met for three contact hours requires written authorization from the instructor and department chairperson/program director of the course. Once a course has met for six contact hours, all schedule changes will additionally require approval from the Student Success Center. Students are subject to a $150 late registration fee for each course. This fee will be added to the tuition bill unless sufficient reason for late registration is provided.
All eligible students desiring to take a course on a pass/fail basis must notify the Student Success Center no later than the deadline, as noted in the College’s official Academic Calendar. Once a student elects the pass/fail grading option it is final and cannot be retroactively changed back to a standard letter grade. (see Academic Calendar ).
There will be no retroactive change of a standard to a pass/fail course.
- Only one course per semester (fall or spring) or term (winter or summer) with a maximum of four courses in total may be taken on a pass/fail basis. Option for freshmen begins with the second semester.
- A student’s cumulative grade point average for the previous semester must be at least 2.0.
- Any course taken on a pass/fail basis must be selected from free electives.
- Credits earned on a pass/fail basis will not be averaged in a student’s grade point average.
- Credits failed in a pass/fail course will be averaged as an “F” with quality grade points 0.00.
Courses excluded from pass/fail designation:
- All courses designated as fulfilling Core Curriculum requirements.
- All courses taken within a major or minor, either required or elective, that constitute the total credit hours required by the department (unless the course is only offered on a pass/fail basis).
A major or minor course taken as a free elective beyond the required credit hours for the program may be designated as pass/fail.
Students who attend class without the obligation of fulfilling class requirements and without credit are called auditors. Written approval of the Student Success Center and permission of the instructor must be obtained by any students who wish to enroll as auditors. The status of the auditor must be determined within the first two weeks of the semester in which the course is taken. Normally, for full-time undergraduates, there is no charge for auditing a class.
Students are able to take an extra course free of charge with the permission of the Student Success Center on a space-available basis. These courses may not be used to advance a student’s status without the approval of the Committee on Academic Status.
Juniors and seniors may, with sufficient academic justification and the expressed written consent of the appropriate school dean or designee, elect to take a maximum of one course per semester at another accredited institution of higher education with which Providence College has a cross-enrollment agreement (i.e., CCRI, RIC, and URI). This option may be exercised only under the following conditions:
- The total credit hours accumulated per semester normally shall not exceed eighteen (18).
- The course must be justified academically as a reasonable extension of the student’s academic program. Students must obtain written permission from their academic department chair or program director and then must seek final approval from the school dean or designee before enrollment.
- The course may not be one offered by Providence College in any of its several divisions (undergraduate, graduate, or School of Continuing Education).
- The full tuition must be paid to Providence College, and any cost incurred beyond the current cost per credit charge of Providence College must be borne by the student. No refund will be granted should the cost per credit be less than that charged by Providence College.
- Students must be in good academic standing and, in the judgment of the school dean or designee, suitably prepared to benefit academically from this experience.
- Students are not permitted to enroll in non-credit courses for cross-enrollment.
- Courses completed through cross-enrollment registration are subject to the College’s transfer credit policies (see Admission ).
The Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Rhode Island (AICU Rhode Island) offers a Language Consortium program to students currently enrolled full-time in an undergraduate degree program at one of Rhode Island’s private institutions of higher education (Brown University, Bryant University, Johnson and Wales University, Providence College, Roger Williams University, and Salve Regina University). This program gives our students the opportunity to enroll at any one of the consortium schools (on a “space available” basis) in language courses that are not offered at the home institution.
Repeating a Course
A student may repeat any course taken at Providence College. Various courses are defined as repeatable for credit such as performance-based courses or special topic courses where the content changes each semester. In all other cases, consultation with the Student Success Center is required prior to registration to repeat a course with an earned grade from a previous semester. Students considering repeating a course should be aware that only the most recent grade and earned credits will be counted in the student’s GPA or academic requirements, whether or not the course grade is higher than the earlier attempt. A repeated course is noted on the transcript with an “I” (included in GPA and attempted and earned hours) or an “E” (excluded from GPA and earned hours but not attempted hours) to designate the relationship of the course to the student’s academic record.
Please Note: The Office of Financial Aid follows federal guidelines as it relates to a review of academic progress for students who take a repeat course.
Students may withdraw from courses beginning in the third week of the semester until one week before the last day of classes with the approval of the Student Success Center in consultation with the respective instructor. Students are not allowed to withdraw to circumvent a stated course policy which imposes a course grade of ‘F’ for academic dishonesty or other serious violations of course conduct. Appeals for withdrawals after this deadline will be adjudicated by the Committee on Academic Status.
Approved course withdrawals will appear on the student’s official record with a grade of “WD.” Course withdrawal forms to be completed by the student and the appropriate faculty member may be obtained through the Student Success Center.
Since many scholarship agreements require completion of a minimum number of credits each semester, recipients of said scholarships need to consult with the student Success Center when considering withdrawing from a course.
Course Archive/Reactivation Policy
The College maintains an archive of courses that have not been offered in recent years and are not expected to be offered in the near future. Academic departments/programs may choose to reactivate courses from the archive within 10 years from when last offered upon review by the Executive Subcommittee of the Committee on Studies. See Archived Courses for the current list of archived courses.
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