College policies are shaped by both educational and legal responsibilities and differ significantly from those of secondary institutions. On reaching the age of majority (18), students enjoy full constitutional rights, including the right to privacy. Students' rights are explicitly spelled out in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, commonly known as the Buckley Amendment.
Quite apart from our legal responsibilities, members of the Lewis & Clark College community highly value the concept of confidentiality. It is very important that students assume individual and collective responsibility for their academic performance and for their behavior, that they learn to solve their own problems, and that they trust the members of this community. It is their trust in us as teachers and administrators, and their trust in each other, that enables us to live together creatively and productively.
The Buckley Amendment protects student educational records including grades, official transcripts of academic work, and files in the Student Development Center or the Office of the Registrar. Only your son or daughter, and his or her academic adviser, and college officials with a need to know have access to these files.
Information in these files will be released to third parties (including parents) only with the written consent of the student. Normally parental requests for information will be denied, unless there is written student consent. Simply put, this means that a students grades are sent to whomever and wherever the student chooses to have them sent. A student can complete a Grade Release Authorization Form in the Registrar's Office to permit the Registrar to release grade information to parents or any other designated party. Obviously we
We hope that students will share their college experiences, including their academic performance, with you. However, it is a choice that students can and do exercise. Your best source of information, then, is your son or daughter.
The Buckley Amendment also protects student records in the Health Center, Counseling Center, Dean of Students Office, Student Support Services, Center for Service & Work, and the Chaplain's Office. Professional ethics as well as the Buckley Amendment require that these records be held in the strictest confidence. Students who use these services are assured that neither their parents nor their advisers or other faculty and staff will have access to their records, without their knowledge and consent.
There is one exception to all of the above. On the very rare occasion that a student is perceived to be a serious threat to her or himself, or a serious threat to others, we will normally notify parents and seek their assistance as partners in resolving the situation. This usually means a decision about what kind of help to seek, and whether or not the student may remain in school. Please be assured that in serious situations, we will attempt to contact you early in the process.
While we look forward to a cooperative and productive relationship with the parents of our students, we hope you will understand that our primary relationship is with your student. It is our hope that you will appreciate and accept both our legal responsibilities and educational values in this matter. Please feel free to call the Dean of Students Office (503-768-7115) if you have questions, information or suggestions.