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FERPA Assessment

As the world has faced many recent changes one constant remains within the U.S. education sector, the disclosure of educational records.

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SOC for Cyber Middle

What is FERPA?

Many schools are now offering virtual classes with students and teachers in different locations, all accessing education records from multiple locations. The education institution remains responsible for ensuring an individual’s data remains protected. This includes ensuring that any vendors utilized (e.g., online education programs, enrollment systems, teleconferencing tools) have the proper security practices in place to protect the education records.

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law under the Department of Education that affords parents the right to have access to their children’s education records, the right to seek to have the records amended, and the right to have some control over the disclosure of personally identifiable information from the education records. When a student turns 18 years old, or enters a postsecondary institution at any age, the rights under FERPA transfer from the parents to the student (“eligible student”). FERPA applies to any public or private elementary, secondary, or post-secondary school and any state or local education agency that receives funds under an applicable program of the US Department of Education.   Education records are any records that directly relate to the student as maintained by the institution or any third party acting on behalf of the institution. Example of education records include class schedules, health or financial records, transcripts, etc.

SOC for Cyber Middle

What to expect for your FERPA Assessment

We begin each project with your end goals in mind and to provide preparation for future key project activities. Effective communication and timely coordination of project planning activities are central to our methodology with our clients.

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Planning

After the agreement is executed, the first phase of the engagement is planning. This is to ensure that Schellman and the Client are fully aware of the what, who, when, why, and how prior to the beginning of testing.

Proper planning is imperative to the success of a project. Schellman has standard processes to cover the important pieces of the engagement.

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Understanding and Kickoff

The kickoff is considered the start of the engagement. If needed, Schellman will schedule a call at the beginning of, or just prior to, the kickoff to finalize any outstanding items. Schellman will be available to the client with any questions.

By including communication prior to starting, Schellman ensures that no last -minute changes to the project or team have occurred and the Client has the plan prior to the testing and on-site visit.

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Testing and Gathering

Testing and gathering is the core of the compliance engagement. Due to the planning and understanding processes, this phase will be an accumulation of gathering the evidence needed for the objectives discussed.

Schellman has a no surprise policy and has daily contact with the stakeholders during the testing and gathering activities. Furthermore, Schellman will begin documentation of the draft deliverable to be able to provide it to the Client efficiently after this phase. The Client will have confidence the Schellman team has completed this phase timely and completely.

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Reporting

Schellman’s testing methodology ends with reporting, but the entire assessment is focused on creating a deliverable that is clear, concise, and accurate.

Schellman’s report takes into account the entire process and customizes a report for each Client. The draft report will be provided within 2 weeks of the last day of testing and gathering phase, and a final report will be provided within 30 days. This timing is unsurpassed by the industry.

Your FERPA Specialist,
Debbie Zaller

Debbie is a Principal at Schellman and leads the Midwest Region along with the Privacy, SOC 2 and SOC 3 service lines and is also on the AICPA’s SOC Specialist Task Force.

Debbie Zaller

 

Your FERPA Specialist,
Debbie Zaller

Debbie is a Principal at Schellman and leads the Midwest Region along with the Privacy, SOC 2 and SOC 3 service lines and is also on the AICPA’s SOC Specialist Task Force.
  • Using an outcome based, fixed-fee pricing model based on our extensive experience
  • Scope creep: we see less than 5% of our clients that see amendments and are often the result of a scope expansion
  • Low overhead means a flexible financial structure

How much will your audit cost?

Whether it is an ISO 27001 certification, SOC 2 examination or a FedRAMP assessment, companies are often challenged by the need to address customer requirements while ensuring a return on compliance investment.

The most important factor in scoping a potential assessment is understanding what deliverable the recipient (i.e. your customer or partner) is expecting.

Once we have scoped your environment and needs, there are several factors that contribute to Schellman’s pricing:

  • Using an outcome based, fixed-fee pricing model based on our extensive experience
  • Scope creep: we see less than 5% of our clients that see amendments and are often the result of a scope expansion
  • Low overhead means a flexible financial structure

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Fill out this form to talk with one of our specialists. We'll be in touch soon to continue the conversation and help you find what you're looking for.