What policy and procedures do you have for students on your Admissions Committees regarding voting on applicants? Do you allow students full access to the applicant WebAdmit profiles? If so, what process do you use to assure confidentiality and adherence to FERPA is maintained? If you don't allow them access to WebAdmit, do you let them hear the full committee discussion about applicants and allow them to vote? Thanks for your comments.
Don't quote me on this and others here are likely more of an expert on the topic, but they are not your student yet so FERPA, or violations to it, wouldn't apply. It certainly is best practices though to follow FERPA and protect the applicants information.
That is correct, FERPA does not "attach" of apply in the context of admissions. However, standard rules of confidentiality do apply to admissions records which are confidentially protected information, and the best practice suggests that only those with "need to know" during the course of their role/ capacity should have access to admissions information, and only for purpose of executing the duties in that role/ capacity, and not broadly "shared" outside the "need to know."
We did have an issue a few years ago in our PA Program (not pharmacy) where a student with access to candidate applications used that access once the candidates were admitted and shared with classmates to demonstrate that the new students were not "as smart" as they were implying based on coursework completed prior to joining the program. Imagine the impact for student org recruitment, special internship or experiential rotation application processes, study abroad opportunities in global health, etc. The offending student was dismissed and we have not used students on our PA or PharmD admission committees due to the risk. This is not to say that we will not in the future, but if was a very unfortunate situation and a cautionary tale.
Have a great weekend!
As a rule, -We have never provided students as representatives on AC any access to PharmCAS. Before Covid, when meetings were not virtual, even in candidate review meeting, if students were "present" any names and identifying information is redacted (blacked out). on the student copy of the list of candidates reviewed. At the end of the meeting, all copies were collected; no documents with candidate information left the room or possession of the admissions staff/ coordinator in the meeting. FYI: In my experience, there is still risk with faculty on AC who have unfettered access to PharmCAS data. In one instance, an AC faculty abused access to mine data on current cohorts the faculty was teaching and to discuss with other faculty (an improper use and unauthorized use of PharmCAS outside purview/ purpose of their role which is limited to duration of an AC meeting / task.). Incident reported to Dean; Dean addressed this violation with the faculty. Another instance, a faculty who was schedule to interview candidates, logged into PharmCAS, and reviewed the files on candidates in advance of the interview (also improper/ unauthorized use) which violated the admissions process we have - interviewers are to evaluate the responses to questions in the admissions interview rubric, which assess affective domain skills, and therefore interviewing faculty should not consider or have academic data. Incident reported to Dean; Dean addressed this violation with the faculty.
Unless it's a faculty or School administrator (Dean, Office of Assessment, Student Affairs) with Administrator Access such as Chair or Vice Chair of AC how needs it to run a report or run an AC meeting, access to PharmCAS should be restricted, and those with access during their tenure as Chair or Vice Chair of AC should be trained. Faculty should not have unfettered access to PharmCAS. Another couple cautionary tales