Record Retention Policy

Effective Spring 2023

For student, staff and faculty benefit, it is important that we have an explicit record retentions policy. That is, how long we will retain graded work to allow students a reasonable opportunity to collect their work for the benefit of feedback on concepts that may not fully understood. The policy is a common-sense recommendation that balances the needs of students to have time to collect their work with the limited space and resources available to faculty and staff’s to store such records. It also assumes that students should be treated as adults and as such have a responsibility to collect their work in a timely fashion if they want to retain their graded work for their records and future use.

Outlined below is the School of Mechanical Engineering Record Retention Policy.

Homework, Quizzes, Labs, Project Reports, Semester Exams – The graded versions of these work products will be retained by faculty (or designated staff) and made available to students to pick up their graded work for one week. After one week, any uncollected work products may be recycled in a manner that maintains privacy of student grades. Also, it is important for students to collect their graded work in a timely fashion for the valuable feedback it provides. Students are strongly encouraged to not only pick up their graded work, but carefully review the work so they can learn from their mistakes.

Final Exams – Since the graded final exams are typically not available to students until the final exam week, faculty and staff will retain the graded final exams until 30 calendar days into the next regular (fall or spring) semester. Spring materials (as well as summer materials) will be retained throughout the summer and 30 calendar days into the fall semester. This should provide adequate time for any interested students to pick up their final exams for their personal records. After 30 calendar days, the remaining uncollected final exams may be recycled in a manner that protects the privacy of student grades.

Off-Campus Students – Occasionally, a student may be off-campus during that following regular semester due to a study abroad, co-op work session, internship work session, or other reason. In this case, the student should contact their instructor and the final exam can be scanned and emailed to the student for their records. After 30 days into the next regular semester, if any students have not collected their final exam nor made any contact with faculty expressing interest in having their exam scanned and emailed to them, the remaining uncollected final exams may be recycled in a manner that protects the privacy of student grades.

Unavailable Students – If a student is unavailable (due to illness, family emergency, etc.) to collect their work within the allotted time, the student should contact his/her faculty, explain the situation, and request a reasonable extension.

Gradescope Users – For faculty who use Gradescope to grade their assignments, labs, projects and exams, you will only need to keep hardcopies of student work long enough to ensure that the work submitted is properly archived electronically in Gradescope.  Once this has been verified, hardcopies of student work can be shredded.

In summary, our hope is that this policy will encourage students to collect their assignments in a timely manner and take advantage of the lessons learned from the feedback provided while reducing the burden on faculty and staff to manage the graded assignments.