Registrar's Notes

October 20, 2008

Spring 2009 registration

Registration opens today, as usual, we begin with graduate students. The complete priority schedule for undergraduate students can be found on the Registrar’s website: . . . /registrar/timeticketSpring.html.

Note that students will be asked to update or verify their current permanent address as well as their emergency contact information prior to registering for Spring courses. Please contact this office with any questions.

Midterm Grading continues

Midterm grading for fall 2008 will remain open through October 26th. More information can be found on:  . . . /registrar/midterm-grading.html. Please contact the Registrar’s Office with any questions.

Commencement – December 13, 2008

The commencement schedule, and full information, can be found on the commencement website, www.wmich.edu/commencement.

FERPA – letters of recommendation – what you should know

A. Letter writers cannot include personally identifiable information in the letter without the written permission of the student.

  • A person writing a reference letter is free to include his/her personal observations and/or assessments of the student as long as those observations/assessments cannot be identified as an education record.  (An education record is 1) personally identifiable to a student; 2) maintained by the institution; and 3) none of the following:  sole possession notes, law enforcement unit records, employment records, medical treatment records, alumni records.). For example, letter writers could include comments that a student ‘participated in class discussions’, was an ‘exemplary student’, or was ‘average’. These comments are based on the observations of the instructor and do not violate FERPA.
  • On the other hand, if the letter includes comments like the student is a B student, or the student had 3.0 gpa in the class taught by the letter writer, these would be FERPA violations.  Why, because these are personally identifiable statements and are part of the student’s education record at WMU.

 B. Letters of reference become part of the education record of the student and therefore the student does have the right to review them, unless the student does waive this right.

So when asked to write a letter of reference, ask the student to complete the form found on:
. . . /registrar/pdf/AuthorizationforRecommendationsandReferences.pdf. Keep this completed and signed form with a copy of the letter of reference that you write for the student. If the student does not waive their right to review the letter, this could affect the decision to agree to write the letter and/or the content of that letter.

Upcoming dates:

  • October 20 – Registration for Spring 2009 opens
  • October 22 – Last day for 25% refund for complete withdrawal
  • October 27 – Fall 2009 schedules available for review and update
  • November 3 – last day to withdraw from fall courses
  • November 3-7 – final review of Summer I/II schedules
  • November 7 – Summer I/II schedules due in Registrar’s Office by 5:00 pm
  • November 26 – Thanksgiving recess begins at noon.
  • November 26 – Fall 2009 schedules due

Visit related WMU sites

There is a lot more to see! Visit some of our friends at WMU to learn about academics, costs of attendance, and campus life.

Office of the Registrar
1903 W Michigan Ave
Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5256 USA
269 387-4300 | 269 387-3545