Policies and Procedures Concerning Access to and Release of Student Information (FERPA)
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, sets forth requirements designed to protect the privacy of student educational records. The law governs access to records maintained by educational institutions and the release of information from those records. Copies of the act, the federal regulations adopted pursuant to it, and this notice are available for persons to examine in the Registrar’s Office.
Notices are published annually in the college catalog and on the college website to explain the rights of students with respect to records maintained by the college. It also outlines the college’s procedures to comply with the requirements of the act.
Educational records are those records, files, documents, and other materials that contain information directly related to students and are maintained by the college. These are official college records, and as such, remain the property of the college. Information contained in educational records will be fully explained and interpreted to students upon request. Students have the right to review only their own records. When a record contains information about more than one student, disclosure cannot include information regarding the other students. Consent must be obtained from students for the release of information from educational records, specifying what is to be released and to whom, with a copy of the record sent to students if they desire.
The requirement for consent does not apply to the following:
- To other school officials, including instructors, within Wilkes Community College whom the school has determined to have legitimate educational interests. This includes contractors, consultants, volunteers, or other parties to whom the school has outsourced institutional services or functions, provided that the conditions listed in § 99.31(a)(1)(i)(B)(1) – (a)(1)(i)(B)(3) are met. (§ 99.31(a)(1))
- 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, subject to the requirements of § 99.34. (§ 99.31(a)(2))
- 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 education programs. Disclosures
under this provision may be made, subject to the requirements of §99.35, in connection with an audit or evaluation of Federalor State-supported education 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. (§§99.31(a)(3) and 99.35)
- 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. (§ 99.31(a)(4))
- To organizations conducting studies for, or on behalf of, the college, in order to: (a) develop, validate, or administer predictive tests; (b) administer student aid programs; or (c) improve instruction. (§ 99.31(a)(6))
- To accrediting organizations to carry out their accrediting functions. (§ 99.31(a)(7))
- To parents of an eligible student if the student is a dependent for IRS tax purposes. (§99.31(a)(8))
- 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, subject to § 99.36. (§99.31(a)(10))
- Information the school has designated as “directory information” under § 99.37. (§ 99.31(a)(11))
- To a victim of an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence or a non-forcible sex offense, subject to the requirements of §99.39. The disclosure may only include the final results of the disciplinary proceeding with respect to that alleged crime or offense, regardless of the finding. (§ 99.31(a)(13))
- To the general public, the final results of a disciplinary proceeding, subject to the requirements of § 99.39, if the school 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 school’s rules or policies with respect to the allegation made against him or her. (§ 99.31(a)(14))
- 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 school, 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. (§99.31(a)(15))
Wilkes Community College has designated the following information as directory information, which may be made available to the public:
- Names of students;
- Major field of study;
- Most recent previous school attended;
- Full or part-time enrollment status;
- Terms and dates of enrollment;
- President’s list, Dean’s list, and other officially recognized student honors, awards, and special achievements;
- Hometown of members of President’s list, Dean’s list, and other officially recognized student honors, awards, and special achievements;
- Participation in officially recognized student activities and sports;
- Graduation list;
- Degrees, diplomas, and certificates received and the completion date.
The College will only release information to individuals and organizations that demonstrate a legitimate, educational interest in the information or provide a direct service to the College. Students who do not wish any or all of this information to be released must notify in person or in writing the Registrar’s Office each semester.
In addition, Wilkes Community College is required by the Solomon Amendment (a federal law) to provide military recruiters, upon request, with the names, addresses, telephone numbers, age or date of birth, level of education, and major unless students have advised the college that they do not want their information disclosed without prior written consent.
If a student believes their rights under FERPA have been violated, then the student can file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by Wilkes Community College 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
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20202-5901