Under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), the federal law that governs release of and access to student education records. These rights include:
- The right to inspect and review your education record within a reasonable time after the college receives a request for access. Students should submit written requests to the registrar. If the requested records are not maintained by the registrar, the student will be notified of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.
- The right to request an amendment to your education record if you believe it is inaccurate or misleading. If you feel there is an error in your record you should submit a statement to the college official responsible for the record, clearly identifying the part of the record you want changed and why you believe it is inaccurate or misleading. That office will notify you of their decision and advise you regarding appropriate steps if you do not agree with the decision.
- The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the college to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the office that administers FERPA are:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202
- The right to consent to disclosure of personally identifiable information contained in your 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 has a legitimate educational interest if the official has a “need to know” information from your education record in order to fulfill his or her official responsibilities. Examples of people who may have access, depending on their official duties, and only within the context of those duties, include: college faculty and staff, agents of the institution, students employed by the institution or who serve on official institutional committees, and representatives of agencies under contract with the college. In addition, the college may also disclose education records to another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll or to appropriate officials, including parents, in connection with a health or safety emergency. As of January 3, 2012, the U.S. Department of Education’s FERPA regulations expand the circumstances under which your education records and personally identifiable information (PII) contained in such records — including your social security number, grades, or other private information — may be accessed without your consent. First, the U.S. Comptroller General, the U.S. Attorney General, the U.S. Secretary of Education, or state and local education authorities (“Federal and State Authorities”) may allow access to your records and PII without your consent to any third party designated by a federal or state authority to evaluate a federal- or state-supported education program. The evaluation may relate to any program that is “principally engaged in the provision of education,” such as early childhood education and job training, as well as any program that is administered by an education agency or institution. Second, federal and state authorities may allow access to your education records and PII without your consent to researchers performing certain types of studies, in certain cases even when we object to or do not request such research. Federal and state authorities must obtain certain use-restriction and data security promises from the entities that they authorize to receive your PII, but the authorities need not maintain direct control over such entities. In addition, in connection with statewide longitudinal data systems, state authorities may collect, compile, permanently retain, and share without your consent PII from your education records, and they may track your participation in education and other programs by linking such PII to other personal information about you that they obtain from other federal or state data sources, including workforce development, unemployment insurance, child welfare, juvenile justice, military service, and migrant student records systems.
Release of student record information is generally not done at Central College without the expressed, written consent of the student, excepted as noted in item #4 above. There are, however, some exceptions.
For example, directory information includes the following and may be released without the student’s consent: name, home address (city, state/country), parent name(s), parent(s) home address (city, state/country), campus mail box, Central College electronic mail address, phone numbers (including cell phone), major(s)/minor(s), dates of attendance, date and title of degree, honors and awards received, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, thesis titles/topics, photograph/image, current enrollment status (full-time/part-time), class standing (first-year, second-year, etc.), anticipated graduation date and previous institutions attended. Please note that you have the right to withhold the release of some or all directory information elements. To do so, you must complete a “Request for Non-Disclosure of Directory Information” form which is available from the registrar. Students who place a “no release” on their record should be aware that the college receives many inquiries for directory information from a variety of sources outside the institution including friends, parents, relatives, prospective employers, the news media and honor societies. Having a “no release” on your record will preclude release of such information, even to those people.
A copy of the Act contains more details about your rights, and may be obtained from the Department of Education’s web site at: http://www2.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/ferpa/students.html.
Questions concerning FERPA should be directed to the registrar (firstname.lastname@example.org) or 641.628.5442.