Regulations and Compliance

Harvard Summer School complies with the following federal and state guidelines.

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

Division of Continuing Education policy and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended (“FERPA”), provide students and former students certain protections and rights concerning the confidentiality of their educational records maintained by the Division of Continuing Education.

Education records

Harvard Summer School routinely maintains records for its students that describe and document their work and progress. These education records generally include records such as permanent and local addresses, admissions records, enrollment status, course grades, reports and evaluations, completion of requirements and progress toward the degree, records of disciplinary actions, letters of recommendations, and other correspondence with or concerning the student.

Directory information

Under FERPA, certain student information designated as directory information may be disclosed without the student’s consent. The Summer School defines the following student information as directory information: name; date of birth; dates of enrollment; full- or part-time status; degree or diploma program; area of concentration; field of study; Harvard University ID image for degree and diploma candidates; academic honors; prior degrees and schools attended; expected or actual date of graduation; and campus mailing address and phone number.

Please note that Harvard University’s definition of directory information may include elements in addition to those used by Harvard Summer School, and that requests for directory information received at the University level thus may result in disclosure of such additional elements.

Students have the right to withhold the disclosure of their directory information; to do so, a student must submit the Request for FERPA Block to Prevent Disclosure of Directory Information to Academic Services. See Harvard University’s FERPA Block Information to download a form. Students should carefully consider this decision because once they choose to withhold directory information it is not released to anyone, including prospective employers seeking confirmation of enrollment.

Disclosures permitted under FERPA

In addition to permitting the disclosure of directory information as set forth above, FERPA permits disclosure of educational records without a student’s knowledge or consent under certain circumstances. For example, disclosure is permitted to Harvard officials with a legitimate educational interest in the records, meaning that the person needs the information to fulfill his or her professional responsibilities, including instructional, supervisory, advisory, administrative, academic or research, staff support or other duties. “Harvard officials” include faculty; administrators; clerical employees; professional employees; Harvard University Health Services staff members; Harvard University Police Department officers; and agents of the University such as independent contractors performing functions on behalf of the Summer School, the Extension School, the Division of Continuing Education or the University; members of Harvard’s governing boards; and students serving on an official Summer School, or University committee, or assisting another Harvard official in performing his or her tasks. A student’s education record also may be shared with parties outside the University under certain conditions, including, for example, in situations involving the health and safety of the student. In addition, the Summer School will forward a student’s education records to other agencies or institutions that have requested the records and in which the student seeks or intends to enroll or is already enrolled so long as the disclosure is for purposes related to the student's enrollment or transfer.

If the Summer School finds that a student has committed a disciplinary violation involving a crime of violence or a non-forcible sex offense, the Summer School also may, if legally permitted and in the Summer School’s judgment appropriate, disclose certain information about the disciplinary case. The disclosure may include the student’s name, the violation committed, and the sanction imposed.

Access

To be useful, students’ records must be accurate and complete. The officials who maintain them are those in charge of the functions reflected in the records and the offices where the records are kept. These ordinarily include the Registrar of the Summer School, as well as Academic Services, Student Financial Services, the Dean of Students Office, and program offices. All students have access to their own education records and may contribute to them if they feel there is need for clarification. Students wishing access to their education records should contact Academic Services. Ordinarily, students are asked to submit a written request that identifies the specific record or records he/she wishes to inspect. Access ise given within 45 days from the receipt of the request. When a record contains information about more than one student, the student requesting access may inspect and review only the portion of the record relating to him or her. Students also are not permitted to view letters and statements of recommendation to which they waived their right of access, or that were placed in their file before January 1, 1975.

Students should direct any questions they have about the accuracy of records to Academic Services. Should it be necessary, a hearing may be held to resolve challenges concerning the accuracy of records in those cases where informal discussions have not satisfactorily settled the questions raised.

Student rights under FERPA

As set forth above, under both Harvard policy and FERPA, students and former students may inspect and review certain of their education records that are maintained by Harvard. They also have the right to exercise limited control over other people’s access to their education records; seek to correct their education records if they believe them to be inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of their FERPA rights; file a complaint with the US Department of Education if they believe Harvard has not complied with the requirements of FERPA; and be fully informed of their rights under FERPA.

Complaints regarding alleged violations of a student’s rights under FERPA may be submitted in writing within 180 days to the Family Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20202-5920.

FERPA and online courses

Students enrolled in online courses are protected by FERPA in the same way that on-campus students are. Under FERPA, students in online classes are permitted to see their classmates’ names and images and hear their comments and discussion.

Video lectures are available to the public during the first week of the term. After the first week of classes, access to the lectures is password-protected and available only to students enrolled in the course.

Since an online environment creates a permanent record of a course, on-campus students may be filmed, videotaped, audio recorded, or photographed during a class meeting. The recorded course may be rebroadcast in a future term. An Authorization and Release Form for Video and Television is distributed at the first class meeting. By signing the form students authorize the Summer School to record their class participation. Signing the form is voluntary and not a requirement for participating in the course. Students who choose not to sign the form should sit out of camera range to avoid being filmed.

Massachusetts and Harvard University immunization regulations

If you are an international student who will be attending Summer School while on a visa of any kind (including students who use the visa waiver program or similar entry programs established between the United States and foreign countries), or if you will be living in Summer School housing (including US citizens), you must comply with Massachusetts and Harvard University regulations requiring proof of immunization against certain communicable diseases. You must have Summer School Form IM (Immunization Certification) completed and signed by your health care provider or a medical records official.

Submit your completed form to the Registrar’s Office by Friday, May 23, keeping a copy for your records. If you do not provide medical documentation as proof of required immunizations, you may be administratively withdrawn from classes and removed from Summer School housing (if applicable).

Registering late does not warrant an exception to this policy.

Following are the diseases for which you must provide certified proof of immunity on Form IM:

  • Measles (Rubeola): two immunizations on or after the first birthday, at least one month* apart, in 1967 or later
  • Rubella (German measles): two immunizations on or after the first birthday, at least one month* apart, in 1967 or later
  • Mumps: two immunizations on or after the first birthday, at least one month* apart, in 1967 or later
  • Varicella (chickenpox): a history of varicella disease certified by physician or two varicella immunizations at least one month* apart, on March 1, 1995, or later
  • Tetanus-diphtheria-acellular pertussis immunization: one dose of “Tdap,” on January 1, 2005, or later; only acceptable vaccines are Adacel, Boostrix, or adult acellular pertussis booster
  • Hepatitis B: three immunizations, the first and second must be at least one month* apart, the third at least two months* after the second and four months* after the first
  • Meningococcal disease: one immunization within the past five years

*One month is equal to 28 days

In addition to the above requirements, the following is strongly recommended:

  • Your results for the tuberculin skin test (TST) for tuberculosis

For immunizations requiring more than one inoculation (such as measles, rubella, mumps, hepatitis B, and varicella), you must submit proof that you have begun the series and had as many of the inoculations as possible within the timeframe/schedule specified on the Summer School Immunization Form. In this case, you are considered to be in compliance with the requirements for the current summer term.

Documentation of a blood test proving immunity to measles, rubella, mumps, hepatitis B, and/or varicella (chickenpox) is acceptable in lieu of immunizations for these diseases. If you do not need to be immunized against hepatitis B because you have had the disease or have a chronic carrier form of it, you must provide documentation of appropriate laboratory tests and a letter from your physician. If you were born in the United States before 1957, you may waive the requirement for proof of immunity to measles, mumps, and rubella. If you were born in the United States before 1980, you may waive the requirement for proof of immunity to varicella (chickenpox). If you must meet the immunization requirements because you are an international student attending Summer School on a visa, and you are not living in Summer School housing, you may waive the meningococcal vaccine requirement by signing and submitting the state waiver form.

For more information about the meningococcal disease, please read the Massachusetts Department of Health public health fact sheet.

The only circumstances that may exempt you from these regulations are as follows:

  • Providing written certification from your physician that your health would be endangered by one or more of the immunizations (in which case, you will be required to submit laboratory evidence of immunity to measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella (chickenpox) as an alternative to proof of immunization),
  • Or providing a signed statement that the required immunizations conflict with your religious beliefs. (In this case, it is recommended that you present evidence of immunity as described above.)

In either case, if there is an outbreak on campus of any of the diseases specified on the current Summer School Form IM for which you have not submitted acceptable proof of immunity, you are administratively withdrawn from classes and removed from Summer School housing (if applicable). Unimmunized students are at greater risk of contracting diseases and spreading them to their families, schools, and communities.

Missing persons

As required under federal law, the Summer School immediately refers any missing persons report involving a student to the Harvard University Police Department (HUPD). If HUPD determines that the student has been missing for more than 24 hours, then within the 24 hours following this determination, the Summer School—working with HUPD as necessary:

  1. Attempts to contact the student using any confidential contact information that the student may have provided to the Summer School.
  2. Notifies an appropriate external law enforcement agency.
  3. Contacts any person the student has identified to the registrar as an emergency contact.
  4. Notifies others at the University, as appropriate, about the student’s disappearance.

You may provide the registrar with your emergency contact information or confidential personal contact information if you have not already done so. Log in to online services and select “Biographical and Contact Information.”

Nondiscrimination policy

In accordance with Harvard University policy, Harvard Summer School does not discriminate against any person on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, age, national or ethnic origin, political beliefs, veteran status, or disability unrelated to job or course of study requirements in admission to, access to, treatment in, or employment in its programs and activities.

Inquiries regarding nondiscrimination policies should be directed to the dean of students, Robert Neugeboren, 51 Brattle Street, Cambridge, MA 02138-3722, (617) 495-1765.

In addition, inquiries regarding the application of nondiscrimination policies may be referred to the regional director, Office for Civil Rights, Boston Office, US Department of Education, 8th Floor, 5 Post Office Square, Boston, MA 02109-3921, (617) 289-0111, fax (617) 289-0150, TDD (877) 521-2172, OCR.Boston@ed.gov.

Textbook information

Per the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 effective July 1, 2010, Federal law requires Harvard University to disclose certain information about textbooks that instructors assign for courses at Harvard Summer School. The Harvard Coop provides this information for all Harvard University schools via the Course Catalog.

You may access textbook information for Summer School courses by searching for summer courses in the catalog and following the link to current textbook information on the Harvard Coop website. Viewing textbook information on the Harvard Coop website does not obligate a student to purchase books from the Harvard Coop.

Privacy of online information

All student information entered on Summer School websites is stored on a secure system. In addition, the cookies created by Harvard Summer School websites do not contain any personally identifying information and, therefore, do not pose any privacy risk (see our privacy policy).

Once you are registered, the privacy of your educational records is protected by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (see above). Harvard Summer School does not sell, trade, or rent any information to third parties.

Sexual harassment

Sexual harassment is discriminatory and unlawful. Federal and state laws define sexual harassment as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or school environment. Harvard Summer School does not tolerate any form of sexual harassment. Students, instructors, or staff who engage in sexual harassment face discipline.

If you have a complaint, call Robert Neugeboren, dean of students, at (617) 495-1765, or Shirley Greene, assistant dean of students, at (617) 998-8557. Complaints can be handled either formally or informally. It is unlawful and a violation of Summer School policy to retaliate against anyone for filing a complaint of harassment or for cooperating in the investigation of such a complaint. Copies of the Summer School’s sexual harassment policy, which describes how student complaints can be filed and how cases are investigated, are available at 51 Brattle Street.

Drug-Free Schools and Campuses Act of 1989

Harvard Summer School intends to comply fully with the Drug-Free Schools and Campuses Act of 1989, which prohibits the unlawful possession, use, or distribution of drugs and alcohol by students and employees on University property or as part of any University-sponsored activity.

The Summer School makes available to all students information on the University’s standards of conduct regarding alcohol and drugs, applicable legal sanctions under public law, health risks associated with the use of illicit drugs and the abuse of alcohol, drug and alcohol counseling and treatment resources on campus, and the disciplinary sanctions that may be imposed in instances of misconduct involving alcohol and drugs. This information is contained in Playing it Safe.

Alcohol policy

The minimum drinking age in Massachusetts is 21. To be served or provided an alcoholic beverage, you must demonstrate proof of minimum drinking age by presenting a valid form of identification as determined by the state of Massachusetts. If you make false statements about your age, transfer or abuse your Summer School ID for the purpose of illegal alcohol sale or consumption, or make alcohol available to someone underage, you are subject to Summer School disciplinary action, including probation or the requirement to withdraw from Summer School.

Harvard expects its students and employees to maintain an environment that is safe and healthy. The unlawful possession, use, or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol by students and employees on Harvard property or as a part of any Harvard activity are violations of University rules as well as the law. Possession, use, or distribution of certain nonprescription drugs, including marijuana, amphetamines, heroin, cocaine, and nonprescription synthetics; unauthorized possession, use, or distribution of prescription drugs; procurement or distribution of alcohol by anyone under 21 years of age; and provision of alcohol to anyone under 21 years of age are violations of the law and of Harvard policy. Making false statements about one’s age or transferring or falsifying one’s identification with the intent of purchasing alcohol also are violations of the law and of Harvard policy. The University holds its students and employees responsible for the consequences of their decisions to use or distribute illicit drugs or to serve or consume alcohol.

The Summer School may take disciplinary action against students who violate these rules, including requirement to withdraw. If you are of legal drinking age in Massachusetts and you wish to serve alcohol, you must follow these additional rules: when alcohol is present, it must be served in an illuminated area separate from service places for nonalcoholic beverages but near enough to make the choice clear. Nonalcoholic beverages and food must always be available when alcohol is served. Alcohol may not be served or consumed in public areas of a student residence. Beer kegs are forbidden in Harvard Summer School residences. Failure to follow these rules may result in disciplinary action, including requirement to withdraw.

Medical and psychiatric help on a confidential basis is available at Harvard University Health Services for residential students with drug or alcohol problems. Any member of the University may use this service on an emergency basis, day or night. When help is sought by or on behalf of a student in need of emergency care, the Summer School favorably weighs such efforts in considering any possible disciplinary consequences.

Smoking

The city of Cambridge prohibits smoking in campus offices, dormitories, dining halls, and classroom buildings, including Gutman Conference Center. Smoking is not allowed within 50 feet of Harvard buildings.

Hazing

Massachusetts law prohibits any form of hazing in connection with initiation into a student organization. The law applies both to officially recognized and unrecognized groups, and to practices conducted on and off campus. The term hazing, as used in this law, is defined as “any conduct or method of initiation … which willfully or recklessly endangers the physical or mental health of any student or other person” (Massachusetts General Laws, c. 269, sec. 17). Hazing is a crime punishable by fine or imprisonment. The Administrative Board considers all reports of hazing in the normal course of its oversight, taking disciplinary action in appropriate cases and reporting confirmed incidents to appropriate law enforcement officials. In addition, failure to report hazing is illegal (Massachusetts General Laws, c. 269, sec. 18). A full copy of the Massachusetts laws relating to hazing is available online and in the Dean of Students Office, 51 Brattle Street, (617) 998-8514.

Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997

Harvard Summer School files a form 1098-T with the Internal Revenue Service for every student who is enrolled in at least one course during the 2014 summer term and has at least one charge and corresponding payment during the 2014 tax year.

Students may choose to receive their 1098-T forms electronically or via US mail. Students who choose to receive their forms electronically receives an e-mail notification when their forms are available to download. Returning students may select this option at any time during the year by logging onto the Affiliated Computer Services (ACS) tax reporting services website. ACS is the provider of the 1098-T forms for Summer School students. The website is secure and all information is confidential. Returning students may visit the ACS website and select the option “Access My Record” for the link that will allow them to receive their forms electronically.

A paper copy of the 1098-T form is mailed to students who do not opt to download their forms from the ACS website. Paper copies are mailed to students by January 31, 2015. Students should verify and update their mailing address and e-mail address online before December 31, 2014, to ensure prompt delivery and receipt of their 1098-T forms.

Students who have questions about their eligibility for American Opportunity (Hope) Credit and Lifetime Learning Credit should speak with their tax advisors or visit the ACS website where they can view their enrollment and financial information and print a copy of their 1098-T form. This site also has useful information about the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997, which provides educational tax incentives to eligible taxpayers.

Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998

The University prohibits the use of the Harvard network for illegal activities. Federal law prohibits the reproduction, distribution, public display, or public performance of copyrighted materials over the Internet without permission of the copyright holder, except in accordance with fair use or other specifically applicable statutory exceptions. Harvard may terminate the network access of users who are found to have repeatedly infringed the copyrights of others. In addition, unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material, including unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, may subject you to civil and criminal liabilities. Harvard complies fully with the federal Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 (DMCA) and has in place the mandated process for receiving and tracking alleged incidents of copyright infringement.

Harvard network users should be aware of recent changes in the pre-subpoena notification approach employed by the Recording Industry Association of America. These changes include notices requesting the preservation of records in advance of a subpoena and notices providing an option for users to settle in advance of potential lawsuits. University policy remains unchanged. We continue to comply with the DMCA and federal law pertaining to DMCA subpoenas and continue to update the community of significant changes to process or law.

The University is committed to maintaining the integrity and availability of the Harvard network for vital educational and research purposes for which it was designed. We recommend that you become familiar with the laws pertaining to the use of digital material and to comply with federal law and University policy regarding use of copyrighted materials. More information may be found on the Harvard DMCA website.

Use of Harvard Names and Logos

Harvard University has numerous logos and shields (insignias) and school names. Summer School students are not permitted to use the Harvard University or Harvard Summer School insignias on letterhead, business cards, electronic signatures, websites, blogs, and other forms of communication, except under the circumstances detailed below. Violation of these policies may result in disciplinary action. 

Circumstances under which use of the school name or insignia is allowed:

  • Student groups that have received explicit approval from the Office of the Dean of Students may use the Harvard University or Harvard Summer School name and insignia in notices of meetings and written materials.
  • Any regular publication sponsored by a group that uses Harvard in its title that receives permission from the dean of students.
  • Explicit permission of the dean of students that is given to a group before the group can give permission to a third party to use the Harvard name or to imply connection with the Summer School or the University. 

In all instances, the proper version of the logo and shield must be obtained from the Office of Communications and Marketing. 

This policy is in accordance with the Harvard Trademark Program administered by the Office of the Provost.