Title

School Officials' Knowledge of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act Of 1974 At the University of Southern Mississippi

Date of Award

2007

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Educational Leadership and School Counseling

First Advisor

Wanda S. Maulding

Advisor Department

Educational Leadership and School Counseling

Abstract

The purposes of this study were to determine (1) FERPA knowledge levels of school officials at The University of Southern Mississippi; (2) whether the FERPA knowledge levels of school officials increase immediately after participating in an online FERPA tutorial; and (3) the staying power of FERPA knowledge levels one month after completing the FERPA tutorial. A FERPA pretest, tutorial, posttest, and one-month delayed posttest were developed using resources from the American Association for Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO) and FERPA tutorials from other universities. Although 898 school officials participated in the pretest, tutorial, and posttest, 232 completed the entire process and participated in the delayed posttest for a response rate of 27.5%. The largest percentage of respondents, 48.3%, were employed between zero to five years at the university. More employees without advising status (55.2%) participated than did employees with advising status (44.8%). The majority of the respondents, 65.5%, worked in academic departments, and 55.6% of the respondents were classified as staff. The majority, 72.0% of respondents, were female. Participants' perception of their familiarity with FERPA increased significantly from slightly less than moderately familiar with FERPA at the pretest to moderately familiar at the delayed posttest. The total percentage of correct answers from pretest was 71.81%, while the percentage correct from posttest was 78.48%, and the percentage correct from delayed posttest was 82.22% showing a significant increase with each test. In this study, academic rank, tenure status, department type, years of teaching experience, and years at current institution did not significantly impact faculty knowledge of FERPA. The most common complaint with the FERPA tutorial was that the participant could not choose to participate at a later time, so it had to be taken before data could be retrieved from the SIS. This could be improved upon by developing coding so that the user could choose to take the tutorial immediately or set a time to take it in the future with a set length of delay.