Mar 25, 2023  
Policies and Procedures Manual 
Policies and Procedures Manual

04:16:01 Partners In Education - Student Release of Confidential Information

Revision Responsibility: Vice President for Student Services
Responsible Executive Officer: Vice President for Student Services


To provide guidance and procedure for an educational partner to access student information.


I. Introduction

The Partners in Education (PIE) program helps address the needs of students by creating a partnership, fostering communication between students, their families, and the college. Designated professional staff can help families to open communication lines and provide support services to improve the academic success of students. Through the Partners in Education program, families can seek answers to questions that arise throughout the year, and will receive information and suggestions to help them provide effective support for their students. The college and families can work together to help create a competitive edge that will help each student succeed.

Services will be provided to members of Partners in Education after the student signs the Student Release of Confidential Information form. Members are entitled to the following benefits.

  1. Final grades
    Walters State does not routinely mail grades to students. Students access their grades through MyWS; however, members of the partnership may request final grades each semester.

  2. Academic Advisement
    Walters State academic advisors are available by appointment for one-on-one conferences in the individual departments, as are advisors in the Student Success Center. Partners who desire a conference with their student’s academic advisor should telephone the Student Success Center at 423-318-2337 and someone will assist in arranging an appointment.

  3. Discipline Records
    The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) grants access to student disciplinary records if specific conditions are met. Members of the PIE program will have unrestricted access to their student’s disciplinary records. Additionally, PIE members will be contacted by the college if their student reports to the college that he/she is the victim of a crime of violence or a non-forcible sex offense, and/or if their student is under the age of 21 and is found responsible for alcohol and/or drug-related offenses. For specific questions regarding your student’s disciplinary records, contact the vice president for Student Services at 423-585-2681.

  4. Telephone Assistance
    When questions, concerns, or problems arise, members may call the Student Success Center during normally scheduled hours of operation at 423-318-2337.

  5. Joining Partners in Education
    To become a member of Partners in Education, a student must sign and return the Student Release of Confidential Information form. The release does not apply to personal counseling, health, or financial information protected by FERPA; however, if students are experiencing problems in these areas, Walters State staff will be happy to assist in identifying available resources. The student has the right to withdraw the release at any time. The release is no longer in effect once the student reaches the age of 21.

  6. Personal Identification Number (PIN)
    The PIN requested on the Student Release of Confidential Information is for the purpose of identifying the non-student member when he/she calls to request information. Students are to select three letters and three numbers (e.g. ABC123), record them in the appropriate space, and give the form to their non-student partner, as he/she will need it when calling for information.

All activities of Partners in Education are directed toward strengthening the collaborative relationship between the student, the family, and Walters State Community College, with the goal of improving the academic success and retention of students. 10/08; 08/12; 05/16; 04/21; 08/22