Privacy Policy

Sonoran Desert Institute is committed to safeguarding the student’s privacy. This privacy policy applies to the Institute’s websites and governs data collection and usage at all the Institute sites, services, and offices. In addition, the Institute maintains policies for conforming to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). More information for SDI’s Privacy Policy as FERPA in our catalog.


Privacy and Use of Personal Information

SDI tracks non-identifiable user data on its websites and pages in order to deliver customized content and to gauge the popularity and efficiency of sites, sections, and services.

On some pages on the SDI site, the Institute may request personally identifiable information, such as user’s email address, name, home or work addresses, or telephone numbers. In addition, information about the user’s computer hardware and software is automatically collected by the Institute or by other internet entities. This information may include the user’s IP address, browser type, domain names, access times and referring website addresses. This collected information serves to provide operational and statistical feedback.

SDI does not sell, rent, lease or lend its Inquiry, Applicant, Student, or Instructor lists to third parties. SDI may share data with trusted partners who help SDI perform statistical analysis. All such third parties are prohibited from using the student’s personal information except to provide services to the Institute and are required to maintain the confidentiality of the student’s information.

The Institute will not disclose the student’s personal information, except as required to do so by law or in the good faith belief that such action is necessary in order to accomplish the following:

  • Conform to the edicts of the law or comply with legal process served on the Institute
  • Protect and defend the rights or property of the Institute
  • Act under demanding circumstances to protect the personal safety of the users of the Institute’s websites, the functionality of those websites, or the general public

Security of Personal Information

The Institute secures students’ personal information from unauthorized access, use, or disclosure. The Institute secures this personally identifiable information on computer servers in a controlled, secure environment, protected from unauthorized access, use, or disclosure. Personal information, such as a credit card number, is only transmitted to other websites through the use of Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encrypted protection.

Changes to This Policy

The Institute may occasionally update this privacy policy and encourages the student to periodically review this policy in order to remain informed of how the Institute is protecting the student’s information.

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

Under the Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, a student’s academic and financial files at the Institute will not be released to any third- party without the written consent of the student. Students should notify the Office of the Registrar in writing regarding any requests to release personal records information or provide consent through SDI’s Student Portal. FERPA gives students 18 or older attending a postsecondary institution the right to:

  • Inspect and review the student’s education records maintained by the Institute. SDI may charge a fee for copies.
  • Request that the Institute correct records that the student believes to be inaccurate or misleading. If the Institute decides not to amend the record, the student has the right to initiate a formal grievance with the Institute. See SDI Grievance Procedure for details. After the formal grievance process, if the Institute still decides not to amend the record, the student has the right to place a statement with the record stating his/her view about the contested information.
  • Non-disclosure of the student’s education records, except with written permission of the student. However, FERPA allows SDI to disclose those records, without consent, to the following parties or under the following conditions:
    • Institute officials with legitimate educational interest
    • Other schools to which a student is transferring
    • Specified officials for audit or evaluation purposes
    • Appropriate parties in connection with financial aid to a student
    • Organizations conducting certain studies for or on behalf of the school
    • Accrediting organizations
    • To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena
    • Appropriate officials in cases of health and safety emergencies
    • State and local authorities, within a juvenile justice system, pursuant to specific state law