Faculty Handbook

Acceptable Forms of Communication Methods between Students and Faculty

We would like to bring to your attention the risks of communicating with students outside of the University email system or D2L classroom. The first and most critical concern is related to FERPA protected information. Additional FERPA guidelines can be found in the Faculty Resource Center (FRC).


To protect you and the student, please do not text with students on your personal phone. How do you know if he is truly the student or even his phone number? If it is the student, who else has access to the phone? Another risk is related to potential accusations from students about what was said or sent via the text. If something is on your phone, we cannot investigate the accusation or accuracy of the claim, either for your or the student’s protection.


While we know there is a level of convenience in texting, there are also some serious risks. Because we all appreciate being able to use mobile devices for communication, Aspen does realize that this form of communication is useful. However, we require that you use your Aspen email to communicate with students. You can still be mobile by downloading the Google Mail app on your phone. This will allow you to receive/send email communications to your students while also being on the move. Also, now that Aspen has converted to the Daylight mobile-friendly version of D2L, you can also access your courses via the D2L phone app and communicate with your students via the course forums and the ‘pager’ feature in the Classlist section of your course. However, please refrain from using the ‘email’ function within D2L.  Also, do not use personal or non-Aspen work emails to communicate with Aspen students and please do not text them. These are not approved forms of communication for the University.


Aspen requests adherence to this policy about communicating with students, asking you to be sure to use the Aspen approved systems (your Aspen email and the D2L classroom forum) for all communication with students. Thank you for helping us to contain this risk and to protect both you and the students, as well as keep everyone FERPA-compliant.


Acceptable Forms of Communication

  • Aspen Email
  • Zoom Conferencing
  • GoToMeeting Conferencing


Unacceptable Forms of Communication

  • Text Messaging
  • Non-Aspen Email