I am trying to understand my legal and best practices policies for electronic communications. We are entirely private, so FERPA does not necessarily apply. However, I want to cover all my bases. We have users who use personal accounts for student communications, but my belief is that this is a potential land mind for litigation or legal compliance. What would you advise?
Once our students matriculate the use of personal e-mail accounts for official school communication is not an option. We will only send to the .edu e-mail address for students. If students wish to forward that e-mail they certainly may. Students keep the same e-mail address throughout enrollment and it expires 400 days after the student leaves campus (or graduates).
Administrative efficiency, Help Desk support and clear communication expectations are the primary reasons for restricting official communication but there may also be compliance (ATS or SACSCOC) rationale behind this policy, I'm not certain. We use a campus-based Microsoft Exchange Server.