Basic Info./Guidelines for Student Notes:

What is the purpose/function of Student Notes? Student Notes allows advisors to keep a record of their advising contacts with their advisees.

Do faculty advisors have to use student notes? No.

Who has access to Student Notes for an individual student? Faculty advisors have access only to their assigned advisees.  Advisors in Student Academic Life and some members of the Dean’s office staff have access to Student Notes for all students.  Students do not have access to Student Notes.

What is the appropriate content of a note? Although students do not have access to student notes it is good practice to write notes under the assumption that students could gain access under certain circumstances.  With that in mind notes should be as informational and objective as possible. Avoid assumptions and whenever possible describe behaviors.  Examples of an inappropriate and an appropriate note follow here:

Inappropriate: Jimmy was late to his appointment.  I suspect too much nightlife.   He has not done well academically and I have serious doubts that he can be successful in this major.  He reminded me of students I’ve worked with who have been depressed so I told him that he should see a counselor in Behavioral Medicine.

Appropriate: Jimmy was late to his appointment.  We discussed the fact that he has not done well academically and whether or not this was the best major for him.  I expressed concern about his overall wellbeing and referred him to a number of resources including Behavioral Medicine and the Educational Resource Center.

Is it acceptable to share medical information in a note if the student shared this information with you? Yes, but the details of the medical condition do not have to be recorded unless they are relevant to the advising relationship.  Phrases such as “(student) is currently working with Student Health Services” or “(student is taking a leave of absence to focus on his/her health” can convey the necessary information without sharing too much information of a personal nature.

Who has the right to access student notes? According to FERPA, the student and parents of a dependent student have the right to access all educational records.  Requests for access to information are made at the Office of the University Registrar.

Are the electronic notes secure? The notes taken on the mainframe system are very secure, more so than hand-written notes.