A student’s conduct record is part of their formal educational record. Conduct records are maintained by the Office of Student Accountability and Conflict Response and include records from the Offices of Student Accountability and Conflict Response and Residence Life related to the Code of Conduct, and records related to the Academic Integrity Policy (AD 49-20).
Typically, a Student Conduct Record is established when information on a student is received and maintained by the Office of Student Accountability and Conflict Response or the Office of Residence Life. An electronic database maintains all pertinent information required for government reporting indefinitely.
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.
The case file will be maintained by the Office of Student Accountability and Conflict Response for seven (7) years after the graduation date of the student or four (4) years from the date of the incident for student organizations. If a student or student organization is assigned the sanction of Expulsion, the case file will remain on file permanently in University Archives. In cases where a student is involved in litigation with the University, the case file may be kept indefinitely. Electronic recordings of University hearings will typically be maintained through the resolution of the conduct process, after which they may be destroyed.
Case files for students who have left the University prior to graduation will be maintained for seven (7) years following the completion of their last semester of enrollment. A decision regarding the retention of the record may be made by the Senior Director or designee on a case by case basis in the following situations:
- Students who have not completed their assigned sanctions and have not been enrolled at the University for over seven (7) years
- Students who have not been approved for return after an indefinite expulsion
- Students who voluntarily withdraw while a conduct process was pending
If the student has not met the conditions for re-enrollment after a separation from the University, the case file may be kept on file indefinitely, but will not be destroyed prior to the seven (7) year time frame elapsing.
Accessibility to Student Conduct Records follows the University Policy on Confidentiality of Student Records.
For most conduct record checks, there is an applicable $20 fee (for the first check; $5 for each subsequent check), which must be paid after submitting the request and prior to the requested information being released. Accepted forms of payment are credit card and check (made payable to The Pennsylvania State University); cash is not accepted. To pay this fee, please contact the Office of Student Conduct at (814_ 863-0342.
External Non-Disclosure of Conduct Records
In the two semesters before a student’s graduation or any time thereafter, a student may request that their conduct record not be externally disclosed. If a student’s request is approved, the conduct record would no longer be disclosed externally, but would still be maintained for seven (7) years past graduation. This decision is made at the sole discretion of the senior director of the Office of Student Accountability and Conflict Response 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 typically have 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 as warnings are not reported externally. 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:
- the nature and severity of the violation(s)
- the impact or potential impact of the behavior on the community
- nature of prior incidents (if any) or repeated patterns of behavior
Process for determination
A request for external non-disclosure may be submitted as soon as two semesters before graduation, at least four months after the incident, once the student is no longer on conduct probation, and any time after graduation. 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 LionPATH account or signed letters from an academic adviser 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, LionPATH 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.
Student Organization Advisor Notification
We will provide notification of the outcome of a case to the student organization advisor on file with the University.
Parental and/or Guardian Notification
According to FERPA, the University may disclose to the parent(s)/guardian(s) of a "dependent student" personally identifiable information from education records without the consent of the student. A "dependent student" as defined by Section 152 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 is a person who has attended an educational institution full-time for any five (5) calendar months of a tax year and who was provided more than one-half of their support as claimed by their parent(s) on their income tax statement.
A student is not a dependent student if they:
- are or will be 24 years old during the academic year;
- are enrolled in a graduate or professional program;
- are married;
- has a child or other dependent who receives more than half of their support from the student;
- are an orphan or ward of the court;
- are a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces;
- are an international student.
In addition, the University may notify parents/guardians when there is a health or safety emergency involving their student, even if the parents/guardians do not claim the student as a dependent.
FERPA further authorizes the University to disclose conduct records to parents and/or guardians of students who are under the age of 21, regardless of dependency, when the records concern any Federal, State, or local law, or of any rule or policy of the institution, governing the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance.