Student Data Release Policy

Data from the Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness and the Registrar’s Office is governed by state and federal regulations, including but not limited to, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), the terms of informed consent given by research participants, and standards of ethical research practice. For this reason, we limit the release of institutional data to researchers and students. Learn more about FERPA here.

When HMC community members or others want to study the institution, the Datateam works individually with them to help identify or locate appropriate sources of data. Given the sensitivity and privacy considerations of some institutional data, the Datateam reserves the right to contact the requestor(s) regarding how to treat the resulting dataset before beginning the work. Researchers interested in conducting their own surveys should also contact OIRE to find out about the process for obtaining permission to conduct research on campus.

Guiding Principles

HMC strives to maintain the highest quality institutional data, so that it may accurately and consistently represent itself to internal and external audiences.  This policy regulates how institutional data and related statistics are created, maintained and defines the roles of the parties involved in communicating institutional data. At HMC, data construction and reporting responsibility is shared among individual departments, Institutional Research and Effectiveness, the Registrar, and Communications, etc.  The Datateam (composed of OIRE and the Registrar’s Office) conducts studies and facilitates the use of data to support planning and decision-making at the college.

No individual office at HMC “owns” institutional data, each department at HMC is responsible for the accuracy, quality and integrity of institutional data for of that office.  For example, Admission is accountable for application information, Financial Aid for grant, scholarship and loan information, etc. Collaboration within the Claremont Colleges consortium may result in the gathering and dissemination of cross-institutional data where appropriate.

Policy Details

Note that the OIRE, Registrar, Admission and other offices on campus will not release any unit-record data (i.e., data with personally identifiable information) except under very specific conditions and only in accordance with FERPA regulations. In most cases identifiers (such as ID number or name) will be redacted, thereby maintaining the confidentiality of the data. There are specific conditions for the release of unit-record data and they are:

  1. Requests by Board of Trustee members, senior administrators and faculty representatives of standing committees or academic departments for decision-support, institutional planning or departmental assessment, upon approval by the appropriate senior administrator.
  2. Requests by recognized researchers for scholarly work. Requests are considered by senior administration in consultation with the OIRE. A request for data must include the reason for research, intended audience and plans for dissemination and/or publication.
  3. Mandated reporting to the State and Federal government.

Unit-record datasets are shared with and intended for the requesting party, and cannot be released or shared with any other parties, including students (even for classroom use or research purposes.)  Datasets are to be used for their specified purpose.  If there is a need to share the dataset beyond the original requestor, please contact the Datateam directly. Redisclosure of data without permission is prohibited.

Aggregate results of some Institutional Research reports such as the Common Data Set and assessment surveys are considered public and are posted on the OIRE homepage. Although this information is not subject to FERPA regulations, data posted at the OIRE website and aggregate data released to you should still be handled with care.