Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
FERPA affords eligible students certain rights pertaining to their educational records. An “eligible student” is a student who is 18 years of age or older, or who attends any postsecondary institution at any age. These rights include the following:
1. The right to inspect and review the student’s educational records within 45 days of the date Monroe Community College receives a request for access. Students should submit written requests that identify the record(s) they wish to inspect to the Office of the Vice President for Student Services. The Vice President or designee 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 school official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.
2. The right to request the amendment of the student’s educational records that the student believes are inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights under FERPA. Any student wishing to amend a record must, in writing, clearly identify the part of the record that the student wants changed and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading. If MCC decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, MCC will notify the student of the decision and advise the student of his or 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.
3. The right to consent to disclosures 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 school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by MCC in an administrative, supervisory, academic, or research role, or a support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person or company with which MCC has contracted (such as an attorney, auditory, 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 or her tasks. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an educational record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility.
Upon request, the school also discloses educational records without consent to an official of another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll.
MCC has designated certain types of information as “directory information.” This includes the student’s name, degree information, and enrollment status. Students may request to restrict release of this information, and this data will not be released except as authorized by law. Requests to restrict “directory information” must be made in writing to the Registration and Records Office. A student must notify MCC’s Registration and Records Office in writing within two (2) weeks of the beginning of each semester if he or she does not wish to have any or some of his or her student information designated as “directory information.” The College assumes that failure of any student to do so indicates approval for release. Once requested, the student’s record will be flagged confidential, and no information will be released to any requestor under any circumstances, except as authorized by FERPA, such as a court order. The request will remain in place for one year.
Notwithstanding the College’s definition of “directory information,” the Department of Defense (DOD), pursuant to the Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Act of 1997 (the Solomon Amendment), identifies the following information as “student recruiting information”: student’s name, address, telephone listing, age, date of birth, place of birth, level of education, academic major, degrees received, and educational institution in which the student was most recently enrolled. If the College receives a request for student recruiting from the DOD or one of its affiliated agencies, the College will release the student recruiting information requested. Because the information sought by the DOD may include information not designated as “directory information” under the College’s policy, compliance with the DOD’s request may result in the release of personally identifiable information. When student recruiting information is released pursuant to a DOD request, notice of the request and the release of information will be posted in the Records and Registration Office for a period equaling the academic year. If a student has exercised his or her right to request that no information (see #4) be designated as directory information, then no information will be released to any third party, including the DOD, health insurance companies, and prospective employers.
FERPA permits the disclosure of personally identifiable information (PII) from students’ educational records, without consent of the student, if the disclosure meets certain conditions found in FERPA regulations. Except for disclosures to school officials, disclosures related to some judicial orders or lawfully issued subpoenas, disclosures of directory information, and disclosures to the student, FERPA regulations require the institution to record the disclosure. Eligible students have a right to inspect and review the record of disclosures. A postsecondary institution may disclose PII from the educational records without obtaining prior written consent of the student:
· To other school officials, including teachers, within Monroe Community College whom the school has determined to have legitimate educational interests. This includes contractors, consultants, volunteers, or other parties to whom MCC has outsourced institutional services or functions, provided that the conditions listed within FERPA regulations are met;
· To officials of another school where the student seeks or intends to enroll, or where the student is already enrolled, if the disclosure is for purposes related to the student’s enrollment or transfer;
· To authorized representatives of the U. S. Comptroller General, the U.S. Attorney General, the U.S. Secretary of Education, or state and local educational authorities, such as a state postsecondary authority that is responsible for supervising the College’s state-supported educational programs. Disclosures under this provision may be made in connection with an audit or evaluation of federal- or state-supported educational programs, or for the enforcement of, or compliance with, federal legal requirements that relate to those programs. These entities may make further disclosures of PII to outside entities that are designated by them as their authorized representatives to conduct any audit, evaluation, or enforcement or compliance activity on their behalf;
· In connection with financial aid for which the student has applied or which the student has received, if the information is necessary to determine eligibility for the aid, determine the amount of the aid, determine the conditions of the aid, or enforce the terms and conditions of the aid;
· To organizations conducting studies for, or on behalf of, the school in order to: (a) develop, validate, or administer predictive tests; (b) administer student aid programs; or (c) improve instruction;
· To accrediting organizations to carry out their accrediting functions;
· To parents of an eligible student if the student is a dependent for IRS tax purposes;
· To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena. (§ 99.31(a)(9));
· To appropriate officials in connection with a health or safety emergency;
· To provide information the College has designated as “directory information”;
· To a victim of an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence or a non-forcible sex offense. The disclosure may only include the final results of the disciplinary proceeding with respect to that alleged crime or offense, regardless of the finding;
· To the general public as final results of a disciplinary proceeding, if the College determines the student is an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence or non-forcible sex offense, and the student has committed a violation of the College’s rules or policies with respect to the allegation made against him or her; and
· To parents of a student regarding the student’s violation of any federal, state, or local law, or of any rule or policy of the College governing the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance, if the school determines the student committed a disciplinary violation and the student is under the age of 21.
Students have the right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by MCC to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the office that administers FERPA is:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
600 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-4605