Colleges and universities generally promote a safe environment and encourage students to maintain behavioral and academic standards. Administrations are responsible for documenting each student's record of activity at the institution. Students seeking to transfer to another college will have their transcripts subject to review. This is also the case when applying to medical, law and other graduate school programs. Student records may contain information relating to prior campus disciplinary actions. Students who are faced with potential sanctions after accusations of academic misconduct should consider how such records may adversely impact them in the future.
Federal Educational Rights & Privacy Act (FERPA)
FERPA was established to hold institutions responsible for the rights of students. FERPA guidelines require colleges and universities to obtain student permission before disclosing records to other parties. This rule is not applicable in some situations. Records relating to academic performance and conduct are allowed to be disclosed to a school when a student is transferring and to agencies of law enforcement.
Review by the School of Transfer
Schools are likely to review the transcripts of potential incoming transfer students. Transcripts containing evidence of prior disciplinary conduct may be scrutinized more closely. The administration may decide to deny admission or impose some form of restrictions on their enrollment.
Institutions Having “Open Enrollment”
Schools such as community colleges are often considered to have “open enrollment”. These publicly funded institutions are encouraged to allow all individuals access to education. For example, they may not deny entrance to an individual solely because of a prior criminal conviction; however, may impose restrictions or limitations in the interests of public safety.
Variations in School Policy & Procedure
Colleges and universities may have varying ways of addressing student misconduct as long as deemed “appropriate”. Disciplinary processes also may differ significantly between private and public institutions. Public institutions generally are more directly bound by the laws of the state where they are located.
Example of Transcript & Record Policy: Rutgers University
- Disciplinary records are retained by the Office of Student Conduct for each student who violates conduct
- Unless the student was dismissed from the university these records are destroyed after 10 years
- Expulsion records are retained indefinitely
- Access to conduct records requires a release authorization
- Records of conduct are retained separately from transcripts
- Conduct violations are added to transcripts
- Suspensions are removed from transcripts after they end
- Expulsions remain on the transcript unless clemency is obtained
- Students may apply for clemency of expulsion records after five years
How Can An Attorney Help?
When facing allegations of campus misconduct it is critical to understand the potential longer-term consequences. Seeking assistance from an experienced lawyer may be the best option. An attorney will better ensure your rights are protected throughout the process and help minimize sanctions and penalties.
Experienced Attorney for Student Disciplinary Actions
Attorney Joseph D. Lento understands student concerns of how records of academic misconduct can negatively impact their future. Those seeking aggressive student disciplinary defense are encouraged to call (888) 535-3686 for a consultation.