MIT: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
For Associate Advisors
The First Year at MIT

Advising Fundamentals: Confidentiality

In dealing with student information you should always be aware of the need to protect students' privacy. In 1999, MIT approved a new Student Information Policy that complies with federal and state law, and that explicitly addresses responsibilities for handling student information. The Academic Guide outlines the policy.

Within the Institute, student information (i.e. registration records, grades, etc.) should be made available only to those officials with a legitimate need to know it. With few exceptions, it should NOT be made available to others- including parents and guardians-except with a student's specific, written consent.

Guidelines for Associate Advisors

You will not have access to certain aspects of your advisees student information, such as grades, etc., but this does not mean that you can ignore confidentiality.

Do not share confidential information with friends and other residents. Breaking confidentiality runs a risk of reducing your effectiveness as a role model. If a freshman shares information with you about a personal situation or academic difficulty, you are expected to respect their confidentiality by not sharing the information with anyone.

However, you can serve as an early warning signal to advisors, so you must always be alert when it is appropriate to share problem situations and/or seek assistance. When in doubt, consult the advisor, or the UAAP. You may also consider consulting the GRT, Housemaster or Area Director who operate under similar confidentiality guidelines.