Procedure to Privacy and Access to Student Records Under FERPA
PROCEDURE TO PRIVACY AND ACCESS TO STUDENT RECORDS UNDER FERPA
This Procedure is to provide guidance to students to assist them in exercising their rights under FERPA and to provide guidance to employees and faculty to assist them in complying with FERPA.
A. Student Rights Under FERPA:
- Under FERPA, students have the right to review their educational records.
Students should submit to the Registrar written requests that identify the record(s) they wish to inspect. The College 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.
- Students have the right to ask the College to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate or misleading.
The student should write the College official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why the student believes 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 or her right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when the student is notified of the right to a hearing.
- Students may consent to the disclosure of their personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records that is not already subject to release under FERPA. In order to consent, the College requires that the student execute a FERPA Consent Form for the Release of Information.
Under FERPA, the College has authorization to disclose some student information without the consent of the student. For example, the College may disclose personally identifiable information to school officials with a legitimate educational interest.
A school official is a person employed by the College in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person or company with whom the College has contracted (for example an attorney, auditor, or collection agency); a person serving on the Board of Trustees; a student serving on an official committee (i.e. disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in the performance of his/her tasks).
A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibilities as determined by the President and/or his or her designee.
- Students have the right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures of the College to comply with FERPA.
The office that administers FERPA is:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue SW
Washington, DC 20202-4605
Release of student directory information is generally not considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed. Directory information includes:
• student status (part time/full time; freshman/sophomore)
• major field of study
• participation in officially recognized activities or sports
• dates of attendance, degree, date of graduation and awards
B. Posting of FERPA
FERPA information will be posted on the College website, in the College Student Handbook, and available at the Registrar’s office. If the student has any questions, they may contact the Registrar’s office.
C. Stop Form for Information Release
These forms are available on the Student Records/Registrar Office webpage. These forms must be filled out at the beginning of the school year in order to allow the College to comply with the student’s request. This form is located at https://www.hfcc.edu/sites/hfcmain/files/attachments/ferpaoptout_0.pdf.
D. Authorization to Disclose Information Form
Under FERPA guidelines, the College will not disclose any information, other than directory information, about students without prior written consent from the student. If a student wants the College to be able to discuss their student record with their parents or other individuals, they must complete the Authorization to Disclose Information Form. Forms are located on line on the Student/Records/Registrar Office webpage located at https://www.hfcc.edu/sites/hfcmain/files/attachments/authorization_to_di....
These forms must be completed by a student if they are requesting letters of recommendations from College faculty or others and the student wants more than directory information included in the letters of recommendation.
Any subpoenas related to a student or student records which are received by any employee or faculty of the College should immediately be sent directly to the Registrar. Subpoenas are time-sensitive documents, which must be hand delivered by staff to the Registrar.
F. Faculty Posting of Student Grades:
Students may view final grades using their WebAdvisor/Student Information System. Faculty may use WebAdvisor/Student Information System and Gradebook to post grades. Final grades must be posted in WebAdvisor/Student Information System. Faculty may not release student’s grades on a public site or posting.
G. Employee Responsibility:
The College strives to safeguard the privacy of its student’s educational records. Employees who fail to take reasonable measures to secure student educational records will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment. Employees who question whether information requested is student educational records subject to non-disclosure should refrain from disclosing the student information until they receive authorization and/or clarification from the Office of the Registrar.
This Procedure is effective: August 21, 2017
** This procedure supersedes and replaces any and all procedures related to this subject**