A student’s conduct record is part of his or her formal educational record. Conduct records are maintained by the Office of Student Conduct and include records from the Offices of Student Conduct and Residence Life related to the Code of Conduct, and records related to Academic Integrity Policy (AD 49-20).
In most cases, a conduct record does not include a notation on a student’s academic transcript. However, the Office of Student Conduct will place transcript notations on the student's academic record in certain circumstances, for example when students are sanctioned with Conduct Probation with a Transcript Notation, Suspension, or Expulsion.
Typically, a student conduct record is established when a report or information on a student is received by the Office of Student Conduct or the Office of Residence Life. Student conduct records can be reported outside the University as part of a graduate school application, job application, or background check with the student’s authorization for three (3) years after graduation. Records are kept on file in the Office of Student Conduct for seven (7) years total after the graduation date of the student. After seven years past graduation, the record is destroyed.
If a student with a conduct record transfers and graduates from another college or university, Penn State will destroy the discipline record seven (7) years after the date the student graduates from the other institution. In order for the conduct record to be destroyed, the student must verify his or her graduation by providing a transcript and/or other acceptable proof.
If a student is assigned the sanction of Permanent Expulsion, the student conduct record will remain on file permanently. If a student is involved in litigation with the University, the student conduct record may be kept indefinitely. If the student has not met the conditions for re-enrollment after a separation from the University, the student conduct record may be kept on file until the sanction is removed, but only if the period of time meets the criteria above.
External Non-Disclosure of Conduct Records
In the two semesters before a student’s graduation or any time thereafter, a student may request that his/her conduct record not be externally disclosed. If a student’s request is approved, the conduct record would no longer be disclosed externally to the University but would still be maintained for seven (7) years past graduation in the typical manner. This decision is made at the sole discretion of the Senior Director of the Office of Student Conduct at University Park (or his/her designee at another Penn State campus) and includes the entire record (i.e., no partial deletions are allowed).
Individuals who may be interested in applying for external non-disclosure have typically received a university administrative sanction of probation-level or higher. Students who received a conduct warning do not need to apply for external non-disclosure since only probation-level violations or higher will be reported out on discipline checks; warnings are not reported externally.
Eligibility information: external non-disclosure is considered for students who have received lower-level sanctions (typically, Probation-level). In addition, students whose violations were determined to have threatened or endangered the health or safety of any person or to have caused significant property damage will not be considered for external non-disclosure. Other criteria that will be taken into account include: (a) nature and severity of the violation(s), (b) the impact or potential impact of the behavior on the community, and (c) nature of prior incidents (if any) or repeated patterns of behavior.
Process for determination: A request for non-disclosure may be submitted anytime past the date of graduation or in the two semesters before graduation. At least four months must have elapsed since the last disciplinary incident for which a student was found responsible. It is the University’s role to determine when external non-disclosure is warranted. There is no appeal process. Any previous decision granting external non-disclosure is revoked should another violation occur.
You may request external non-disclosure online by providing the Office of Student Conduct information pertaining to your situation. You will require documentation verifying your intentions to graduate within the next two semesters. Acceptable documentation includes forms saved off of your eLion account or signed letters from an academic advisor stating you have intentions to graduate within two semesters. If you have already graduated, you must provide proof of graduation (e.g. copy of a diploma, eLion document) and/or the date of graduation. Online requests not accompanied by proper documentation will not be processed. Completed requests will be processed within 4-6 weeks from receipt and students will be notified via email and/or phone of the decision.