Confidentiality of Records
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their educational records. They are:
- the right to inspect and review the student's education records within 45 days of the day the college receives a request for access.
Students should submit to the registrar, 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 education 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 or her right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedure will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing;
- the right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student's 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 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; 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 education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility.
Upon request, the college discloses education records without consent to officials of another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll; and
- 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 FERPA is:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
600 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20202-4605
Student information is protected by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) established by the Department of Education on November 19, 1974. The regulation provides explicit directions governing the disclosure of student information. College Registrars are designated to be the holders of the cumulative academic record. As such, they are charged with the responsibility, other federal/state regulations and professional standards as set by the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Offices (AACRAO).
Information regarding a student's personal file should be disseminated to third parties only by the office responsible for the collection and maintenance of that information. With the advent of an integrated file system, student information is more readily accessible to faculty and staff. Each individual associated with Erie Community College has a responsibility to be conscious of the rights of students and a need to protect the appropriate office which collects and maintains the information before conveying verbally or in writing information about a student to a third party.
Students may elect to have withheld what is termed Directory Information. The registrars have on file the names of students who have requested that certain information not be released. Individuals may, should they convey information regarding a student to a third party, be in violation of Federal Regulation and a student's right to privacy.
Public Notice Designating Directory Information
Erie Community College hereby designates the following categories of student information as public or directory information. Such information may be disclosed by the institution for any purpose, at its discretion:
- name, address, telephone number, dates of attendance,"from and to" and class;
- previous institution(s) attended, major field of study, awards, honors (includes dean's list) and degree(s) conferred including dates; and
- past and present participation in officially recognized sports and activities, physical factors (height, weight of athletes).
Currently enrolled students may withhold disclosure of any category of information under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974. To withhold disclosure, written notification must be received in the campus Registrar's Office by October 1/February 1. Non-disclosure of information will commence immediately thereafter and be effective until September 30 of the following year. Written notification to withhold disclosure must be made each academic year. ECC assumes that failure on the part of any student to specifically request the withholding of categories of directory information by the deadline date indicates individual approval for disclosure.