Are you a concerned parent or family member?

There are situations that arise throughout the academic year, when parents need to get involved or seek help for their students. Due to FERPA regulations, it can be difficult for parents to get answers or assistance on behalf of their student.

If the matter is urgent and it is after regular business hours, you may consult with the USFSP Campus Police at 727-873-4140. If there is an imminent risk of harm or danger, please dial 911.

SOCAT can assist parents with connecting with their student during the following:

  • Parents and families can all or submit a SOCAT Referral Form form when they are concerned about their student (academic, personal, financial, medical incidents) and they are not sure who to call for help
  • Parents and families can call in the event of emergency situations (i.e. their student is missing, has been hospitalized, or needs to withdraw from the university)
  • Parents or families have general questions about navigating university policies, procedures, or services
  • If they have involved several offices in a situation or concern, and need assistance connecting the dots or bridging a communication gap

If your student is missing class due to a hospitalization, medical emergency, or family emergency, contact Academic Advising at (727) 873-4511.

If you believe your student will not be able to complete the semester due to a medical emergency, please contact Academic Advising at (727) 873-4511.

Please refer to this Parent Resource Guide for Mental Health tips for students in college, provided by The JED Foundation.

FEDERAL EDUCATIONAL RIGHTS AND PRIVACY ACT (FERPA)

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education.

FERPA gives parents certain rights with respect to their children’s education records. These rights transfer to the student when he or she reaches the age of 18 or attends a school beyond the high school level. Students to whom the rights have transferred are “eligible students.”

Parents or eligible students have the right to inspect and review the student’s education records maintained by USFSP. USFSP is not required to provide copies of records unless, for reasons such as great distance, it is impossible for parents or eligible students to review the records. USFSP may charge a fee for copies.

Parents or eligible students have the right to request that USFSP correct records which they believe to be inaccurate or misleading. If USFSP decides not to amend the record, the parent or eligible student then has the right to a formal hearing. After the hearing, if  USFSP still decides not to amend the record, the parent or eligible student has the right to place a statement with the record setting forth his or her view about the contested information.

Generally, USFSP must have written permission from the parent or eligible student in order to release any information from a student’s education record. However, FERPA allows USFSP to disclose those records, without consent, to the following parties or under the following conditions (34 CFR § 99.31):

  • School officials with legitimate educational interest
  • Other schools to which a student is transferring
  • Specified officials for audit or evaluation purposes
  • Appropriate parties in connection with financial aid to a student
  • Organizations conducting certain studies for or on behalf of the school
  • Accrediting organizations
  • To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena
  • Appropriate officials in cases of health and safety emergencies
  • State and local authorities, within a juvenile justice system, pursuant to specific State law

USFSP may disclose, without consent, “directory” information such as a student’s name, address, telephone number, date and place of birth, honors and awards, and dates of attendance. However, USFSP must tell parents and eligible students about directory information and allow parents and eligible students a reasonable amount of time to request that USFSP not disclose directory information about them. USFSP must notify parents and eligible students annually of their rights under FERPA. The actual means of notification (special letter, inclusion in a PTA bulletin, student handbook, or newspaper article) is left to the discretion of USFSP.