Volunteer State has adopted policies that comply with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, which sets out requirements designed to protect the privacy of parents and students. The statute governs the access of educational records and the release of such records. In brief, the statute provides: that institutions must provide students, and in some cases, parents of students, access to official educational records directly related to the students and an opportunity for a hearing to challenge such educational records on the grounds that they are inaccurate, misleading or otherwise inappropriate; and that institutions must obtain the written consent of students, and in some cases parents, before releasing personally identifiable data about students from records to other than a specified list of exceptions. The bill does provide for release of "Directory Information" such as: student's name, address, telephone number, major fields of study, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of athletic team members, dates of attendance, degrees and awards received and most recent educational institution attended. Directory information is treated as public information and will be released to the public unless otherwise requested by the student.
The law provides for the release of information to authorized college personnel and other institutions engaged in research (provided information is not revealed to any other parties), and certain federal and state government officials. Students have a right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education if he or she believes the college has failed to comply with the Act. Copies of Federal and State laws concerning student records are available in the Office of Records and Registration.
If you have any questions regarding the provisions of this Act, contact the Director of Records,and Registration.
Confidentiality of Student Records
Notification of Rights Under FERPA
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their educational records.
- The right to inspect and review the student's educational records within 45 days of the day the College receives a request for access. Students should submit to the registrar, dean, head of the academic department, or other appropriate official, written requests that identify the record(s) they wish 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 records are not maintained by the College official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.
- The right to request the amendment of the student's educational records that the student believes are inaccurate or misleading. Students may ask the College to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate or misleading. They should write the College official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading. If the College decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the College will notify the student of the decision and advise the student of his/her right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.
- The right to consent to disclosers of personally identifiable information contained in the student's educational records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. One exception which permits disclosure without consent is disclosure to a school official with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the College in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person or company with whom the College has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); a person serving on the Board of Trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee; or assisting another school 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 right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the State Colleges to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the office that administers FERPA may be obtained from the Director of Records and Registration. Directory information concerning students is treated as public information and is released to the public unless otherwise requested by the student. Directory information includes the following: name, address, telephone number, date of birth, major fields of study, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of athletic team members, dates of attendance, degrees and awards received, and most recent educational institution attended.
If you have any questions regarding the provisions of this Act, contact the Director of Records and Registration.