Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their educational records. These are the right to:
1. Inspect and review his/her educational records within 45 days of the day the College receives a request for access. The student should submit to the Registrar or head of the academic department written requests that identify the record(s) he/she wishes to inspect. The College official will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the College official to whom the request was submitted does not maintain the records, that official shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.
2. Request the amendment of his/her educational records that he/she believes is inaccurate or misleading or otherwise violates his/her privacy rights under FERPA. The student may ask the College to amend a record that is believed to be inaccurate or misleading. The student should contact, through written correspondence, the College official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record he/she wants changed, and specify why it should be changed. If the College decides not to amend the record as requested, the student will be notified in writing of the decision and advised of his/her right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided when the student receives notification of the right to a hearing.
3. Provide written consent before the College discloses personally identifiable information from his/her education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. One exception, which permits disclosure without consent, is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is defined as a person employed by the College in an administrative, supervisory, academic, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit and health staff); a person or company with whom the College has contracted as its agent to provide a service instead of using College employees or officials (such as attorney, auditor, or collection agent); a person serving on the Board of Regents; or a student serving on an official committee or assisting another official in performing his/her tasks. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an educational record in order to fulfill his/her professional responsibility. The College has designated directory information, according to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, to be the student’s name, address, telephone number, date of birth, photograph, e-mail address, enrollment status (full-time/part-time), major field of study, dates of attendance, degrees and awards received, and expected graduation date. A student may block the release of any or all directory information by submitting a written request detailing the information to be withheld to the Registrar within the first three weeks of the semester. This information will be withheld until the student relinquishes the request in writing.
4. File a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the College to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The contact information of the office that administers FERPA is:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-5920
Student Education Rights and Privacy of Records
Student records are maintained by the College and are open for inspection by the student except in limited cases where the privacy, confidentiality, or professional privilege of another person is involved and may be compromised. The College maintains the following records:
|Type||Length of Time/Required By||In Office of|
|Academic||Permanent/as prescribed by law||Registrar/Academic Records|
|Complaints/Grievances||Three years/by law||Associate Dean of Student Affairs|
|Disciplinary||While enrolled/active interventions||VRE or College Counselor|
|Financial Aid||Three years/by law||Financial Aid|
|Housing||While enrolled/housing requirements||Resident Manager|
|Placement Office||Lifetime/student or alum||Career Services|
Records that are Not Available for Inspection. Financial records of parents; confidential letters of recommendation written prior to January 1, 1975; personal records of educational personnel (e.g., instructor's grade book); law enforcement or security records; employee records; medical or other professional records. An exception to this is that the student may have a qualified professional examine the medical record on his /her behalf. A student may further waive the right to inspect records maintained by the College, but the College may not require such a waiver as a condition to attend the College.
Academic Records Inspection/ Requests for academic records inspection should be directed to the Registrar, who is in charge of maintaining the records. The student has the right to a copy of the records so inspected, with the cost of reproduction assessed to the student. The student may challenge an inaccurate record and request a hearing concerning any alleged inaccuracy contained therein. Any challenge must be established by a preponderance of evidence that the record is inaccurate. If desired, the student may submit a written explanation of a record's content, which then becomes a part of the record.
Inspection of Other Records. Requests for other records listed above should be made to the proper offices named above. Right to copies is consistent with confidentiality of records statement. Cost of reproduction is assessed to the student.
Access. In the absence of an official request from the student, information contained in his/her record remains confidential unless released through a signed consent form. Exceptions include information needed by school officials within the College, information requested by the Federal or State educational authorities, information needed in connection with the receipt of financial aid, information required by an accrediting organization, information that is subpoenaed, and information requested by parents of dependents. A major exception is information related to health, safety, and welfare of individuals or the College for the purpose of maintaining general safety and civility. Violations of state or federal laws related to drugs, alcohol, firearms, or terrorism threat will be reported.
Directory Information. The College must give public notice of the categories of public information which it has designated with respect to each student attending the institution. The College shall allow a reasonable period of time after such notice has been given for the student to notify the institution that he/she does not want the information released without his/her written consent.
Challenging Hearing. To ensure that records are not inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of a student's right to privacy, a student may challenge the alleged inappropriate data at a Records Hearing requested through the Office of the Registrar. An impartial hearing officer who shall afford the student the full opportunity to present evidence in support of the challenge will be appointed. Prospective students who think records may need review should contact the Admissions Office or the Associate Dean of Student Affairs.
The hearing officer shall render a decision within a reasonable time after the hearing. Further information about the College's records, the process of obtaining access to records, or the cost of duplicating records may be obtained from the Office of the Registrar/Academic Records (573) 897-5154.