New system enables online reporting for international student information

A new information system has opened up the Internet as a tool for state and federal agencies that track and report data about international college students in this country.

It’s called the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS), and it allows the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, Department of State and sponsoring institutions to have instant access of international student records.

"Privacy has been a major consideration in formulating SEVIS," said Brian Mylrea, director of TTU’s International Student Affairs. "In fact, only those three organizations will have access to the students’ information — and a Tennessee Tech University, there are only four people authorized as INS ‘Designated School Officials’ who will have regular access to this data."

That doesn’t mean, however, that TTU and other schools with international students have to change the type of data they are already required to collect. It just means the data already being collected is presented in an online format.

The information institutions are required to report about international students includes:

• Whether the student has enrolled in classes or not.

• Changes in the student’s or dependent’s legal name or physical address. Students must notify the university within 10 days, and the university has 30 days to post that information.

• If a student graduates before the end date listed for him or her.

• Academic or disciplinary actions taken due to criminal conviction.

• If a student drops below a full course of study without proper authorization.

• Termination date of academic program and reason for termination, other than graduation.

• If a student fails to maintain status or complete his or her program.

• And other data generated by standard university procedures, such as program extensions, school transfers, changes in level of study, employment authorizations and reinstatement.

For more information about SEVIS, go to www.tntech.edu/international.