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Canvas Course Merge / FERPA Policy

Overview (Purpose/Scope)

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) protects the privacy of a student’s education record, which includes a student’s course schedule. When Canvas classrooms merge different sections, it allows students to see other students who are enrolled in a separate class. Merging class sections in Canvas can violate students’ right to privacy by sharing protected information. Our Directory Information policy allows the colleges to share name and email without consent, but the policy prohibits sharing student’s class schedule without consent.


Based on the abilities and limitations of Canvas, and in alignment with the more recent interpretations of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), faculty can request that their Canvas courses be merged if all sections to be merged contain a disclosure statement in the course schedule prior to the schedule going live. The disclosure must notify students of the potential for sharing name and contact information along with the potential of interacting with students from other sections within the online environment. The following statement has been approved to be used within the schedule for sections that may be merged:

This course uses Canvas and may be merged online with other sections, which means you might engage with students from other sections who could see your name, read and reply to your posts, and email you through Canvas. Visit to learn more about this and your options.


  1. Instructor submits request to merge Canvas Courses to their Division.

  2. Scheduler/Coordinators/Deans/Instructors add language to Class Notes within published schedule via Inside Seattle Colleges Intranet before schedule goes live.

  3. Instructor sends request to eLearning Department to merge sections inside of Canvas providing primary section ID numbers and sub-sections ID numbers to be merged into course shell.

    • Central Link for Requesting
      Contact eLearning at
      Provide the item number to the course you wish to merge to and the additional item numbers of the courses you would like to merge into the original.
  4. eLearning staff fulfills merge request and notifies faculty when complete.

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  • 02-Dec-2019