Privacy of Student Records

Privacy of Student Records/FERPA

The Family Educational Right to Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. These rights include:

• The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days of the day the college receives a request for access. Student should submit to the Registrar, Academic Dean or Department Chair a written request that identifies 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 College official to whom the request was submitted does not maintain the records, that official shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.

• The right to request an amendment of the student’s education record that the student believes is inaccurate. Students may ask the College to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate. The student should send a written request to the College official responsible for the record clearly identifying the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate. If the College decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, notice will be sent to the student of the decision and advise the student of his or her right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment.

• The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosures without consent. One exception, which permits disclosure without consent is to school officials with legitimate educational interests. 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 serving on the Area Commission; 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 a record in order to fulfill his/her professional responsibility.

• A student has the right to file a complaint with the US Department of Education concerning alleged failures by HGTC to comply with the requirements of FERPA, only if the student has followed FERPA procedures. The name and address of the office that administers FERPA are: Family Policy Compliance Office, US Department of Education; 400 Maryland Avenue SW; Washington, DC 20202 - 4605 HGTC maintains separate files for records in the following categories: 1) academic, 2) disciplinary, 3) counseling, 4) financial aid and 5) placement. When justified by legitimate law enforcement needs, the campus Public Safety officer may maintain confidential records relating primarily to its investigative function.

A. Directory Information to be issued: The Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 includes a section on “Furnishing Information.” Directory information as defined by HGTC is name, address, curriculum, enrollment status (full or part-time), graduation status, and telephone number. It is College policy to provide this information only under the following conditions:

• School officials with a legitimate educational interest will be given access to all directory information;

• Individuals requesting information without written consent will be given curriculum, enrollment status and graduation status only. Students who wish to request non-disclosure of these three items may submit a written request to the Registrar's Office; and,

• Student telephone numbers, addresses and location will be issued to non-school officials only by written permission of the student or with special approval from the Associate Vice President for Student Affairs.

B. Methods of Furnishing Student Records Information: According to the Education Amendments of 1974, whenever a student has attained 18 years of age or is enrolled in a postsecondary institution, the consent to issue records and the rights of viewing those records are required of and accorded to the student alone. Therefore, only the student may view his or her record or request in writing any issuance of the record. If parents or other designated individuals wish to review or receive copies of a student record, they must have the student’s written permission to view or receive a copy. A copy of this consent form will be maintained in the student’s record. The student’s record may not be revealed to any other party without written consent from the student except in the following cases:

• Other school officials who have a legitimate educational interest;

• Officials of other schools in which the student intends to enroll;

• Authorized representatives of the Comptroller General, administrative head of an educational agency, and State education auditors;

• Judicial representatives in compliance with a subpoena or law enforcement order (A copy of this order would be placed in the student’s record with date of issuance posted.); and,

• Agency representatives in connection with a student application for a receipt of financial aid.