Is it common practice within colleges/universities to allow all faculty within a division access to all student records within that same division? (i.e., all Health Science faculty having access to all Health Science student records)
Wouldn't this violate FERPA?
Reading FERPA, this clause states that it is appropriate given certain circumstances.
However, FERPA allows schools 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;
- 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;
These would be closest to those that matched what you asked.
So if, for example, your HS faculty wanted to average everyone's GPA individually, he could potentially do that, as long as he doesn't post all the names in public.
FERPA allows for "school officials" to access confidential records when they have a "legitimate educational interest". From the U.S> Deprtment of Education web site:
One of the exceptions to the prior written consent requirement in FERPA allows "school officials," including teachers, within a school to obtain access to personally identifiable information contained in education records provided the school has determined that they have "legitimate educational interest" in the information. Although the term "school official" is not defined in the statute or regulations, this Office generally interprets the term to include parties such as: professors; instructors; administrators; health staff; counselors; attorneys; clerical staff; trustees; members of committees and disciplinary boards; and a contractor, volunteer or other party to whom the school has outsourced institutional services or functions.
So it is not on its face a violation of FERPA for professors to have access to student records.
In practice, many schools impose their own restrictions tighter than FERPA. Sometimes the school describes these restrictions as "FERPA requirements", when they are actually just the (conservative) advice of the school's own lawyers, rather than literal mandates from FERPA.
Due to these local policies, at a particular school, other faculty may not have unrestricted access to a student's grades. You'd have to inquire with a particular institution to find out their internal policies about such things.