Student Records Maintenance Plan

SUMMARY

Describes School and departmental responsibilities for the retention of, access to, and disposal of student records.

RATIONALE

Studio School assigns responsibilities to the Office of the Registrar and to the various departments and programs for the collection, handling and disposition of student records.

TRANSCRIPTS

Student transcripts are issued by the Office of the Registrar upon the student’s request when submitted in writing. An official academic transcript is a copy of a student’s permanent record, signed by a school official and imprinted with an official seal of the school. The courses taken and grades given in one semester do not appear on any student’s transcript until all grades received by the grade deadline have been recorded; generally, this is two weeks after the end of the semester.

Official transcripts must be mailed directly to an employer or institution. A student copy of a transcript (without seal or signature) can be issued to the student. The first official transcript is free. Additional copies are $5.00, transcripts take about a week to process.

Studio School reserves the right to withhold transcripts and similar records where students, for example, have unmet obligations to Studio School (see Student Handbook 7.1, Tuition Policy).

CERTIFICATION OF ENROLLMENT + DEGREES

The Office of the Registrar can provide oral or written confirmation of registration, enrollment, or degree status. The printed certification can be used whenever enrollment or degree verification is required for car insurance, loan deferments, medical coverage, and so on. After conferral, the degree awarded to a student can be verified by contacting the Office of the Registrar for an official transcript or a certification form.

REGISTRAR’S OFFICE FILES

The Office of the Registrar maintains a record for each enrolled student. At the present time, that file generally contains the student’s application to Studio School, portfolio evaluation, acceptance, high school transcripts or transcripts from other postsecondary schools, enrollment agreement (one for each academic year, semester grades, policy confirmations, withdrawal or cancellation information, final transcript, and may also contain various records from the student’s activities at Studio School.

The Office of the Registrar does not keep records from applicants who were denied admission or who refused Studio School’s offer of admission.

ACCESS TO STUDENT/APPLICANT FILES

In general, students who enroll at Studio School have the right to review their educational records. The information is available to the student only, for review while enrolled or anytime thereafter subject to applicable Hussian records retention policy. This right is guaranteed by the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (see Hussian’s FERPA Policy available in the Student Handbook, Faculty Handbook, and the annual notice available online).

A Studio School employee may keep letters to or notes about a student in that employee’s personal files. These records are not accessible to the student, as long as (as a general proposition) they are not shared by the employee with anyone else. Items to which the student has explicitly signed a waiver of access - such as letters of recommendation for admission, a job, an award or honor - should be kept separately from the student’s file.

For advice regarding unusual requests or legal subpoena for records, departments are advised to consult with the Office of the Registrar, who may also consult with appropriate legal counsel.

DISPOSAL OF STUDENT/APPLICANT DOCUMENTS

Any document that contains non-public information about students or applicants — especially sensitive items such as admission applications, letters of recommendation, grades, or private addresses — should receive special handling when retention is no longer needed. It should either be shredded or destroyed in some way that maintains its confidentiality. There are several companies in the Los Angeles area that specialize in confidential waste disposal.

DEPARTMENT FILES

The Office of Admissions should be advised that any documents in its files relating to a student, and to which the student has waived its rights of access (e.g. letters of recommendation), should be removed from the student’s admissions file or discarded to avoid mistaken access following an admissions decision. Departments are encouraged to keep complete records for students and to following the enclosed schedule for file retention. Examples of documents to be kept in student files include, and are not limited to, admissions materials, correspondence, warnings, sanctions, disciplinary matters, unsatisfactory progress or dismissal documentation, and all documentation related to financial aid, which shall be kept exclusively in the Office of Financial Aid. These are important to keep, either as paper files or transferred to an approved lasting medium such as scanned pdf files.

ELECTRONIC DOCUMENTS AND RECORDS

Electronic documents will be retained as if they were paper documents. Therefore, any electronic files, that fall into one of the document types on the above schedule will be maintained for the appropriate amount of time.

If a user has sufficient reason to keep an email message, the message should be printed in hard copy and kept in the appropriate file or moved to an “archive” computer file folder. Backup and recovery methods will be tested on a regular basis.

DOCUMENT DESTRUCTION

Studio School’s department directors are ultimately responsible for the ongoing process of identifying records within their departments, which have met the required retention period and oversee records destruction. Destruction of financial, student and personnel related documents will be accomplished by shredding. Shredding must be documented by a Studio School approved document shredding company.

Document destruction will be suspended immediately, upon any indication of an official investigation or when a lawsuit is filed or appears imminent. Destruction will be reinstated upon conclusion of any related investigation.

COMPLIANCE

Failure on the part of employees to follow this policy can result in possible civil and criminal sanctions against Studio School and its employees and possible disciplinary action against responsible individuals.

The President of the School will periodically review these procedures with legal counsel or the organization’s certified public accountant to ensure that they are in compliance with new or revised regulations.