CU Parents in the know with Guest Access and FERPA Consent to Release

Jenny is so excited that she’s starting at CU this year! Her classes are set, her new roommate rocks and every day forward is about learning and adventure. The last thing Jenny wants to spend time on is answering her parents’ questions about her schedule or grades! With the new CU Guest Access functionality, Jenny no longer has to worry about completing paperwork or answering a lot of questions from her parents – she can provide consent for electronic access and put the information at their fingertips.

What is CU Guest Access?

CU Guest Access was developed through a partnership between the registrars’ offices on the four CU campuses and UIS. In the past, the only way to approve third-party access to a student account was through paper-based Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) Consent to Release forms. This process involved significant time and effort for both the student and departments whose records were requested by parents and proxies (like grandparents).

The new CU Guest Access process allows students to electronically delegate third-party access to select education records. The student initiates the process by inviting their delegate(s). Parents and/or proxies then create their account using social authentication via Google, LinkedIn or Facebook. After completing a series of steps to authenticate through UIS’s authentication process, the parent or proxy obtains view-only access to the information the student has authorized. The student can also quickly change or delete access at any time without having to file new paperwork.

What is online FERPA Consent?

FERPA Consent to Release functionality in Campus Solutions went into effect at the same time as CU Guest Access on the CU Boulder and UCCS campuses (CU Denver and CU Anschutz will go live spring semester 2016). It allows students to electronically identify to whom university personnel may release or discuss more broadly their academic and/or financial records. Faculty and staff may quickly verify that individual’s right to student information based on a password. No more researching information from paperwork.

According to Kristi Wold-McCormick, CU Boulder registrar, “CU Guest Access removes the role of the university in responding to requests for select education record information to parents and others, whereas FERPA Consent to Release replaces the antiquated paper process with one that is real-time and student-controlled. It is important to note that students may electronically submit a FERPA Consent to Release in addition to or instead of CU Guest Access.”

CU Guest Access and online FERPA Consent to Release saves financial and environmental costs, puts access control in the hands of students and frees up campus resources.

Additionally, the CU Guest Access social authentication process provides a future roadmap for authentication without having to set up a full CU account for functions like the Alumni Association, making the CU cyber environment safer. Keep an eye on UIS News for other examples of efficiencies cross-campus collaborations bring to CU.

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