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Volunteer Evaluators & Student Privacy

Hello everyone - we are looking to update some of our policies for scholarships, and specifically one for our volunteer evaluators that addresses student privacy. Our evaluators access the students applications through our SLM, but I do know some of them print the forms out to review. We want to ensure proper destroying of the paper application (should they print it) and ensure our student's information is not shared and kept confidential.

Do any of you have samples that you could share regarding student privacy policies or volunteer agreements that address an evaluators role? Do you require evaluators to sign a confidentiality agreement?

KaraAdamsECPollickByrnes

Comments

  • LaurieAbildsoLaurieAbildso
    Conversation Starter 25 Likes First Anniversary
    ✭✭
    edited February 10

    Hi @LindseyTouchette,

    We do require our volunteer evaluators to sign a confidentiality agreement. We borrowed/modified this policy from another community foundation in our state:


    Confidentiality Policy and Guidelines for Scholarship Committees

    In the course of your work as a scholarship committee member, you will come into possession of information that must not be revealed to anyone else. The integrity of the scholarship award process depends upon the confidentiality of such information, and committee members are expected to strictly observe that confidentiality. The unauthorized disclosure of any information about scholarship applicants not only comprises the integrity of the process but may also violate individual rights of privacy and could subject the Foundation to legal action. Confidential information, which must not be shared or discussed with anyone (spouses included) who does not serve on the specific selection committee to which you are assigned, includes:

    1. Names of students who have applied for scholarships.

    2. Total number of applications received for a particular scholarship.

    3. All information students provide on their application and any application attachments, including, but not limited to, financial and scholastic information.

    4. Any matters discussed among committee members in the process of reviewing scholarship applicants and recommending recipients.

    5. The names of recommended recipients and amounts of awards; the Foundation notifies all applicants regarding the status of their application.

    Further:

    1. All communication with scholarship applicants must be made by the Foundation staff. Scholarship committee members must not contact applicants, school officials or any other parties related to the scholarship process directly.

    2. Committee members must ensure that all materials related to applicants are in their personal control at all times; distribution and/or reproduction of any application forms or essays, outside the intended and approved use, is strictly prohibited.

    3. Any printed application materials must be shredded upon completion of the review process.

    The Foundation will immediately remove from service any committee member found to be in violation of this policy.


    Hope this helps!

    Laurie Abildso

    Vice President

    Your Community Foundation of North Central West Virginia, Inc.

    KaraAdams
  • edited February 10

    This is great - thank you @LaurieAbildso! Appreciate your reply!

    LaurieAbildsoKaraAdams
  • Hi @LindseyTouchette

    We require evaluators to sign a conflict of interest and confidentiality agreement. It is a process in our SLM - one question application (Project Name) that I complete, then it gets assigned to the evaluators as an evaluation. They answer the questions to confirm, and select the scholarships they are reviewing. I can generate a report (and easily see if someone has not answered, etc.

    The evaluators get this at the same time they get the scholarship evaluations so they can look to see if they have any conflicts with any particular student (we define conflict as being related by birth or marriage.) The confidentiality policy states that no information provided in the applications or shared in the committee is to be shared outside the committee or board.


    I may do a tweak or two to it this this year. I realized last year that we did not include something about destroying printed copies. But last year was the first year we did not meet in person and I could take the copies back from them.

    I've attached the question list that the evaluators would complete.

    Hope this helps

    Bettie

    Bettie Stammerjohn

    Executive Director

    Community Foundation of Greene County, Pennsylvania

    LaurieAbildsoKaraAdamsLacyChapmanJMitchellRogers
  • Thanks for sharing, @BettieStammerjohn. I had initially set up our confidentiality and COI form as an application, but learned on a recent CSM call that the evaluation stage can be used as an alternative method. The advantage here is that the evaluator does not need to toggle between the applicant and evaluator roles. We have some tech-challenged committee members, so I thought this would make it easier for them. This is our first scholarship cycle with SLM, so I don't have feedback yet. I am hoping it all goes smoothly!

    Laurie Abildso

    Vice President

    Your Community Foundation of North Central West Virginia, Inc.

    KaraAdams
  • @LaurieAbildso - yes. That is what we've done. They only see the form in the evaluation stage.

    The application is just the project name that I go in an set up then assign them as the evaluators.

    We did this for the first time last year and my committee members LOVED it - the whole scholarship evaluation process.

    It made the whole process so much easier for the evaluations - scheduling several different 'advisory' committees that are comprised of our committee but often have an additional advisor involved such as a guidance counselors, etc.

    I used the report function to generate summaries of the evaluations and rankings that helped with the decision making process.

    Good luck with it!

    Bettie Stammerjohn

    Executive Director

    Community Foundation of Greene County, Pennsylvania

    LaurieAbildso
  • @BettieStammerjohn - I am looking forward to it! The reporting functionality is great! I am much better equipped to monitor our scholarship numbers by school and opportunity, which is helping me target my efforts in promoting scholarships with low applicant numbers.

    Laurie Abildso

    Vice President

    Your Community Foundation of North Central West Virginia, Inc.

    BettieStammerjohnKaraAdams
  • @BettieStammerjohn

    This was a very timely and fantastic idea. Thanks for sharing. I have built my process and will be using it in two weeks with 104 volunteer scholarship reviewers.

    KaraAdamsLaurieAbildso
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