The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) (Buckley Amendment, 20 U.S.C. 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The Act provides for the right to inspect and review education records, the right to seek to amend those records, and the right to limit disclosure of information from the records. The intent of the legislation is to protect the rights of students and to ensure the privacy and accuracy of education records. The Act applies to all institutions that are recipients of federal aid administered by the Secretary of Education.
Disclosure of Directory Information
Lurleen B. Wallace Community College annually informs students of the Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (Buckley Amendment, 20, U.S.C. 1230, 1232g). This Act, with which the institution fully complies, was designed to protect the privacy of educational records, to establish the right of students to inspect and review their educational records, and to provide guidelines for the correction of inaccurate or misleading data. Students also have the right to file complaints with The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act Office (FERPA) concerning alleged failures by the institution to comply with the Act.
The Federal Family Educational and Privacy Act of 1997 allow the disclosure of “Directory Information” by the College about a student. This information includes the following:
The student’s name, address, telephone listing, date and place of birth, major field of study, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, dates of attendance, level of education, degrees and awards received, the most recent previous educational agency or institution attended by the student, and names of persons receiving non-need based on financial assistance from the College.
Policy on Privacy Rights of Students
The educational records of an eligible student shall be accessible to the student. An eligible student desir¬ing access to his or her educational records shall make a request in writing to the Director of Admissions and Records. These rights include the following:
- Right to inspect and review the content of those records in the presence of an appropri¬ate Lurleen B. Wallace Community College official.
- Right to obtain copies of those records.
- Right to a response from the College to rea¬sonable requests for explanations and inter-pretations of those records.
- Right to add any explanations to records of the eligible student.
- Right to a hearing to challenge the content of those records.
Records not available to an eligible student include the following:
- Financial records of parents of the student or any information contained therein.
- Confidential letters and statements of recommendation, which were placed in the educational records prior to January 1, 1975.
- Any information for which student has signed waiver of rights.
Challenges to the content of records include the following:
- Any dispute with an eligible student regard¬ing the content of his or her educational records will be settled, if possible, through informal meetings with the Dean of Student Affairs and/or the Director of Admissions and Records.
- If the dispute is not settled through an infor¬mal process, either the student or the appro¬priate official of the College may make a request for a formal hearing on the matter.
Release of Records
An eligible student may request in writing to the Director of Admissions and Records that directory information may not be made accessible to any party with the exception of other college officials and instructors who have a legitimate educational interest in such records, officials of other schools in which the student seeks and intends to enroll, the Comptroller General of the United States, the Secretary of HRS, the U.S. Commissioner of Education, or authorized stated educational authorities (the appropriate authorities in connection with such information are specifically required to be reported or disclosed by state law adopted prior to November 19, 1974) accrediting organizations in order to carry parents as defined in Section 152 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, in compliance with judicial order or pursuant to any lawfully issued subpoena, upon condition that an effort is made by the institution in advance of the com¬pliance, organizations, conducting studies for or on behalf of educational agencies if such studies are con¬ducted in such a manner as not to permit the personal identification of students and their parents to persons other than those representing such organizations.
Information other than directory information may be made available to the student or party who wishes information released by written consent of the eligible student. The written request must be signed by the stu¬dent, must be dated, must specify record to be released, must give reason for release, and must give names of parties to whom such record will be released.
Lurleen B. Wallace Community College shall not prohibit the restriction of the release of education or personally identifiable information if the release of this information is necessary to protect the health and/or safety of the student and/or the institution. No personal information about a student will be released without a written statement to the party receiving this information that no other party is to have access to such information without the written consent of the eligible student.