Order Your Transcripts Electronically!

We are excited to announce that effec­tive imme­di­ately, UW stu­dents have the option to have their offi­cial UW tran­scripts sent elec­tron­i­cally through a part­ner­ship with Scrip-Safe. With this new ser­vice, the fee for all offi­cial tran­scripts has increased from $9 to $10.


This option is avail­able on the online tran­script order­ing page, or in-person at the Tran­scripts win­dow in Schmitz.

Better Days Better DARS

On next Tues­day, May 5, the text-output DARS in Stu­dent Per­sonal Ser­vices is being retired in favor of the HTML-output DARS that is housed in MyPlan.

Why are we doing this?

Essen­tially, the HTML-output DARS is bet­ter. It’s visu­ally eas­ier to under­stand, it has fea­tures the text-output audit doesn’t, and it’s more acces­si­ble to stu­dents who use screen readers.

What does this mean for advis­ers and students?

Not much. Stu­dents access­ing DARS via MyUW have been redi­rected to the HTML DARS housed in MyPlan for a while now. The DARS is the DARS, regard­less of the out­put for­mat or loca­tion. That’s why when you run an audit in EARS, that same audit will appear on the 390 screen in the SDB, on the DARS in MyPlan, etc., etc. They all run on the same DARS engine.

The only thing we ask is if you do have a web­site with a link to the SPS DARS (https://sdb.admin.washington.edu/students/uwnetid/dars.asp), to please update it with this new link to the HTML DARS (myplan.uw.edu/dars). We’re going to have a redi­rect on the SPS DARS page for a while, so it’s not a rush — stu­dents will still be able to find their DARS from the old page. But we’d like to get things all point­ing to the same place in the near future.

We’re also going to be retir­ing the old (and I do mean OLD!) “The Key to DARS” page at http://www.washington.edu/students/reg/dars/audit.html. The HTML DARS has hover text help.

New Registration Tutorials Available

New to Reg­is­tra­tion at UW or just need a refresher? View the lat­est tuto­r­ial video from the Reg­is­trar team. You will learn how to access reg­is­tra­tion func­tions, how to add courses, how to drop courses, and what com­mon reg­is­tra­tion errors mean.

Addi­tion­ally, we have made avail­able reg­is­tra­tion sim­u­la­tions by cam­pus that allow you to try out the reg­is­tra­tion process before reg­is­ter­ing for your courses.

Get­ting Started with Reg­is­tra­tion at UW

New Course Notification Tool

Notify.UW is a new ser­vice now avail­able to all stu­dents at all cam­puses that lets you know when a course you are inter­ested opens or closes. Stu­dents can sign up for email or SMS text alerts at http://notify.uw.edu. Infor­ma­tion about the ser­vice and reg­is­tra­tion poli­cies can be found at: http://blogs.uw.edu/sislearn/notify View the video below to learn more about this new service.

FERPA: The law you think you know, until you don’t

I know what FERPA means, but please remind me again

mazeThe Fam­ily Edu­ca­tional Rights and Pri­vacy Act is a topic most of us are famil­iar with as staff. FERPA was estab­lished in 1974 and pro­tects the pri­vacy of stu­dent edu­ca­tion records. FERPA guar­an­tees sev­eral rights to stu­dents in regards to their edu­ca­tion records including:

  1. The right to inspect and review the student’s edu­ca­tion records within 45 days of the day the Uni­ver­sity receives a request for access.
  2. The right to request the amend­ment of the student’s edu­ca­tion records that the stu­dent believes are inac­cu­rate, mis­lead­ing, or oth­er­wise in vio­la­tion of the student’s pri­vacy rights under FERPA.
  3. The right to pro­vide writ­ten con­sent before the Uni­ver­sity dis­closes per­son­ally iden­ti­fi­able infor­ma­tion from the student’s edu­ca­tion records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes.
  4. The right to file a com­plaint with the U.S. Depart­ment of Edu­ca­tion con­cern­ing alleged fail­ures by the Uni­ver­sity to com­ply with the require­ments of FERPA.

FERPA also gov­erns how we han­dle grade infor­ma­tion and pro­hibits the pub­lic post­ing of stu­dent grade infor­ma­tion or the shar­ing of edu­ca­tional records to third par­ties (includ­ing par­ents) with­out the con­sent of the student.

Though the rights for stu­dents and the basic ten­ants of the law seem straight­for­ward, it is not always easy to inter­pret the impact of the law on the many unique and com­pli­cated sit­u­a­tions pre­sented to us on a daily basis. In addi­tion to the fed­eral law, there are also UW poli­cies and state leg­is­la­tion gov­ern­ing the pri­vacy of stu­dent data.  With that in mind, let’s explore sev­eral top­ics related to the com­plex­i­ties of stu­dent privacy.

Email is safe right? RIGHT?

guard dog

Email com­mu­ni­ca­tions are con­sid­ered to be inher­ently inse­cure. Email is often sent over unen­crypted net­works, and the poten­tial for mes­sages to be inter­cepted “in tran­sit” is a very real and poten­tial dan­ger. Email is also prone to human error (you didn’t really mean to send that recipe for tuna casse­role to your tax accoun­tant did you?).  But email is also an every­day com­mu­ni­ca­tion tool we use at home and work. If you can’t email, then what?

There are sim­ple steps you can take to min­i­mize the risk of unin­ten­tional breaches of con­fi­den­tial infor­ma­tion when using email.

  • Avoid putting per­sonal iden­ti­fiers such as stu­dent names and num­bers in the sub­ject line of an email. Hack­ers have been known to scan the sub­ject lines of email com­mu­ni­ca­tions look­ing for user names, pass­words, and other per­son­ally iden­ti­fi­able infor­ma­tion.  Infor­ma­tion in the sub­ject line could also be eas­ily viewed by the per­son sit­ting next you on your bus ride home, or the barista who might glance at your iPhone while you are wait­ing for your latte. Max­i­mize pri­vacy by includ­ing this infor­ma­tion in the main body of the email.
  • When email­ing stu­dent infor­ma­tion for edu­ca­tional pur­poses to a stu­dent or to another uni­ver­sity recip­i­ent, con­sider break­ing the infor­ma­tion up. For exam­ple, send a mes­sage to a depart­ment doc­u­ment­ing the nature of the email topic, and then send a sec­ond email to include the name of the stu­dent dis­cussed in the first email. This way, if one email is inter­cepted, not all data is dis­closed at once.
  • Finally, remem­ber that some con­ver­sa­tions are best accom­plished in per­son. With as many ben­e­fits as email has, the secu­rity and con­fi­den­tial­ity of infor­ma­tion can some­times best be han­dled through old-fashioned means such as a con­ver­sa­tion in a pri­vate space, or a con­fi­den­tial phone call between staff members.

Email con­ver­sa­tions aren’t part of the stu­dent record right?

Because email by its nature is a shared com­mu­ni­ca­tion to one or more recip­i­ents, any infor­ma­tion about a stu­dent that is shared through email can be con­sid­ered to be part of a student’s edu­ca­tion record, and can (must) be pro­vided to the stu­dent if requested. When com­mu­ni­cat­ing through email or other elec­tronic means regard­ing stu­dents, remem­ber to use pro­fes­sional lan­guage and appro­pri­ate content.

So I can post grade infor­ma­tion as long as I am using the last 4 dig­its of the stu­dent ID num­ber, right?


His­tor­i­cally, both FERPA and UW have per­mit­ted the use of the last 4 dig­its of the stu­dent ID for instruc­tors to post grades. FERPA allows such use if the stu­dent ID num­ber being used is ran­dom, and if the ID can­not be used to access stu­dent infor­ma­tion sys­tems. UW stu­dent IDs meet these cri­te­ria, how­ever the UW rec­om­men­da­tion on this method has recently changed as bet­ter alter­na­tives to the phys­i­cal post­ing of grades have increased. It is now rec­om­mended you use UW appli­ca­tions, or other secure meth­ods when com­mu­ni­cat­ing grade infor­ma­tion to students.

Cat­a­lyst Grade­Book and Grade­Page allow you to share grade infor­ma­tion securely and elec­tron­i­cally with stu­dents. Grade infor­ma­tion can also be shared in-person with a stu­dent, or through a phone con­ver­sa­tion if needed. Stu­dents can access their own grade infor­ma­tion through unof­fi­cial tran­scripts via MyUW, and through learn­ing man­age­ment sys­tems like UW Can­vas. With all these alter­na­tives avail­able, the phys­i­cal post­ing of grades becomes a less nec­es­sary option, and we encour­age you to explore the many avail­able tools UW provides.

This is all so over­whelm­ing — I wish I had some­one to help me!

graffittiRemem­ber, you don’t have to know it all. None of us want to unin­ten­tion­ally vio­late FERPA or breach con­fi­den­tial stu­dent data. But the rules about what can and can­not be done are often grey and the answers unclear. With that in mind, we encour­age you to seek out our resources to assist you with FERPA and stu­dent pri­vacy issues. The Office of the Reg­is­trar has estab­lished a con­tact line at ferpa@uw.edu for you to use to ask us any FERPA ques­tions you might have. Breaches of con­fi­den­tial infor­ma­tion should also be reported imme­di­ately to the Office of the CISO.

New Academic Planning Tool Available for Students

For those of us who did not attend col­lege dur­ing the inter­net age the process of plan­ning out one’s aca­d­e­mic pro­gram usu­ally involved a paper and pen, a printed course cat­a­log, phone calls, and of course meet­ings with advisers.

As com­puter use grew, other tools became avail­able such as depart­men­tal web­sites, Excel, and Google Docs. Today stu­dents have a vari­ety of ways to plan out a degree pro­gram elec­tron­i­cally, but never before has there been a cen­tral tool for all UW stu­dents to use to aid in the plan­ning process.

Intro­duc­ing MyPlan

MyPlan, a new online aca­d­e­mic plan­ning tool is now avail­able. MyPlan has sev­eral unique fea­tures pre­vi­ously unavail­able to stu­dents. With MyPlan you can:

  • Search for courses for your plan in a sin­gle place. Infor­ma­tion is col­lected from both the UW Course Cat­a­log and the UW Time Sched­ule.
  • Book­mark courses of inter­est to refer to later.
  • Share plans elec­tron­i­cally with your adviser. Your adviser can com­ment on your plan and you can respond to each comment.
  • Run degree audits using a new easy-to-read view of your degree audit reports.

The devel­op­ment of MyPlan will con­tinue over time and stu­dents will be noti­fied of new fea­tures and enhance­ments over the com­ing months. Feed­back about MyPlan can be sub­mit­ted at the MyPlan help site.

View the video below to learn more about how you can get started with MyPlan today.

Streamlining the Hardship Withdrawal Process


As part of our ongo­ing effort printer_1-1024x777to reduce paper-use and enhance access for stu­dents, the Office of the Reg­is­trar is pleased to announce the launch of a new online Hard­ship With­drawal form for stu­dents. The new form, crafted by the Office of the Registrar’s Pub­lic Infor­ma­tion Spe­cial­ist and the Registrar’s Web Devel­oper, reduces the han­dling and use of paper for both stu­dents and staff dur­ing the hard­ship process.

Before this new tool was launched, doc­u­men­ta­tion and forms had to be mailed, faxed, or sub­mit­ted in-person by stu­dents to uni­ver­sity offices. Stu­dents can now sub­mit all infor­ma­tion and doc­u­men­ta­tion via online forms and elec­tronic doc­u­ment uploads. Stu­dents unable to use this online form can still sub­mit HW peti­tions using the paper form UW Form 1707.

Ques­tions about this form can be directed to petition@uw.edu 


Falling for Kuali

This Fall, the Office of the Reg­is­trar staff, UWIT staff, and other UW offices par­tic­i­pated in the annual Kuali Days Con­fer­ence, held in Austin Texas. Kuali is a com­mu­nity source soft­ware sys­tem being devel­oped by uni­ver­si­ties through­out the world for the man­age­ment of processes such as enroll­ment and reg­is­tra­tion. The Uni­ver­sity of Wash­ing­ton is a mem­ber of the Kuali Foun­da­tion, and is cur­rently in the process of imple­ment­ing Kuali Stu­dent mod­ules for all three campuses.

Con­fer­ence atten­dees expressed over­whelm­ing enthu­si­asm and inter­est in the progress of  Kuali, with over 800 atten­dees par­tic­i­pat­ing in Kuali Days events this year.

The Uni­ver­sity of Wash­ing­ton was proud to show­case a newly launched  UW-developed Kuali stu­dent mod­ule called MyPlan. MyPlan is an Aca­d­e­mic plan­ning tool for stu­dents that will be hard-launching later this quarter.

Staff from across cam­pus are also involved with the devel­op­ment and imple­men­ta­tion of Kuali Cur­ricu­lum Man­age­ment and Kuali Enroll­ment mod­ules. Bob Jans­son, Asso­ciate Reg­is­trar and long-time staff mem­ber of the Office of the Reg­is­trar, joined the UWIT Kuali devel­op­ment teams in 2008. Bob is cur­rently involved in the devel­op­ment of the Enroll­ment mod­ule, which encom­passes cre­at­ing course offer­ings, wait lists, seat pools, and course reg­is­tra­tion. Matt Winslow, Act­ing Asso­ciate Reg­is­trar, is assist­ing in the imple­men­ta­tion of Kuali Stu­dent Cur­ricu­lum Man­age­ment to bet­ter man­age uni­ver­sity course and time sched­ule infor­ma­tion. Tina Miller, Assis­tant Reg­is­trar, is assist­ing with the inte­gra­tion of degree audit report­ing fea­tures in to the MyPlan sys­tem. Matt Saave­dra, Learn­ing Man­ager, is assist­ing with com­mu­ni­ca­tion and edu­ca­tional efforts.

Uni­ver­sity of Wash­ing­ton staff  have been hear­ing about Kuali for the past sev­eral years, and our expe­ri­ence at Kuali Days affirms our view that the health of  Kuali is robust.

Oct 4th reading of the Constitution at UW

You are invited to join us in cel­e­brat­ing this land­mark year in our Nations his­tory with the read­ing of the Con­sti­tu­tion, begin­ning at noon on Thurs­day Octo­ber 4, 2012 at the Suz­za­llo Library on UWs Seat­tle Campus.

Come lis­ten and learn!

Con­sti­tu­tion Read­ing
Day: Thurs­day Octo­ber 4, 2012
Time: Noon to 1:30
Where: Suz­za­llo Library third floor, out­side the Grad­u­ate Read­ing Room

For more infor­ma­tion, or to sign-up to be a reader, visit http://depts.washington.edu/constday