This document describes the protections the ASISTS system has in place to safeguard the privacy of student and personnel information collected by program staff and entered in the ASISTS software system.

Data collected on Students

Adult education programs receiving public funding from the New York State Education Department (NYSED) are required to enter information of students that fall within the following categories.

          - Contact information, including name, birth date, address, social security number etc.
          - Demographic information including ethnicity, gender, parental status, etc. 
          - Program participation information such as goals, test scores, attendance hours, etc.

In addition ASISTS contains the ability for programs to track information such as medical conditions, disability information, language spoken at home, etc. Entering the information is not required by NYSED.

Data collected on Personnel

Adult education programs are also required to enter information on their staff members into ASISTS. Only some fields that relate to NRS reporting are required by NYSED. These include first name, last name, paid/volunteer status, position of staff member and full-time/part-time status. All other fields are optional.

Data collected on Users

To facilitate effective administration of the ASISTS system, the LAC will collect and maintain information on personnel designated by adult education programs as regular users of the ASISTS system. This information will include name, position, address and email address of each user.

Use of Data

Data entered in ASISTS is used for the following purposes:

          1. Compilation of Federal reports on student performance for submission to the Federal Department of Education
          2. Compilation of reports mandated by NYSED 
          3. Evaluation of program performance and monitoring of compliance with NYSED guidelines
          4. Providing technical support to adult education programs 
          5. Data analysis to identify trends and areas of concern and improvement.

Protecting Privacy of Individual Records

The Literacy Assistance Center (LAC) and NYSED are sensitive to the need for maintaining the privacy of student and personnel records. Accordingly we have taken the following steps:

- Information on individual students, staff or users will not be shared by LAC or NYSED with anyone who is not affiliated with the LAC, NYSED or a program providing services to the students in question. ASISTS features state-of-the-art security protections that will prohibit unauthorized access of student and personnel records.

- Student and personnel information in ASISTS will only be used for the purposes listed in the preceding section. Compilation of reports will only use aggregate data and will not contain information traceable to individual students or staff members. While NYSED or LAC staff may access individual records in the course of program evaluation or technical support efforts, this work will be done in partnership with the adult education program in question.

- The NYSED has created a disclosure form for use during student intake. Program staff will be required to share this form with students at intake and explain the following:

          o The data that is being collected
          o The purposes for which data will be used
          o Their rights under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), 
             which allow them to request a copy of their records as stored in ASISTS.

- ASISTS incorporates reports that will allow programs to share information collected on students so that they are also aware of how they are being tracked.