Recommendation of a student for entrance into a profession or professional school is done at the sole discretion of the faculty member. Satisfactory completion of the prescribed academic curriculum does not in itself guarantee a recommendation will be given. The letter or verbal reference may contain student information such as work habits, personality, and character traits of the student or refer to anything that comes from the faculty or staff members personal experience with the student and it is not written down or recorded at the institution.
Recommendations can include statements that relate to the faculty or staff's perception of the student, such as: "excellent student, exceptional writing, strong insight, excels in critical thinking, works well in teams, dependable, conscientious and punctual.”
Under FERPA regulations the following information is considered to be part of the education record and cannot be disclosed without written consent of the student: student schedules, attendance records, grades, exams, papers, student emails or advising records, student financial information and student discipline files, etc. If the faculty or staff member and the student determine that it will strengthen the recommendation letter by including any of the information above, the student's written permission should be obtained before proceeding.
Recommendations cannot include specific information such as, "earned an A in my class, has a GPA of 3.8, never had an incident of academic dishonesty or required discipline,” without the written approval from the student.