The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)of 1974, as amended, sets forth requirements designed to protect the privacy of student education 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 located in Students Services, Alumni Hall.
Notices are published annually in the college catalog and the Wilkes Community 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.
For the purposes of this document, Wilkes Community College may be referred to as Wilkes Community College, college, or WCC.
For the purposes of this policy, Wilkes Community College uses the following definitions:
Student – any person who attends or has attended Wilkes Community College
School Officials – Members of Wilkes Community College who act in the student’s educational interest within the limitations of their “need to know.” These may include faculty, administration, clerical and professional employees, and other persons who manage student education record information including student employees or agents. It may also include contractors, volunteers, and others performing institutional functions.
Education records – any record (in handwriting, print, tapes, film, or other medium) maintained by Wilkes Community College or an agent of the college which is directly related to the student except:
- An employment record of an individual whose employment is not contingent upon the fact that he/she is a student, provided the record is used only in relation to the individual’s employment.
- Records maintained by the Counseling Services if the records are used only for treatment of a student and made available only to those persons providing the treatment.
- Alumni records which contain information about a student after he/she is no longer in attendance at Wilkes Community College and which do not relate to the person as a student.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords eligible students certain rights with respect to their education records. (An “eligible student” under FERPA is a student who is 18 years of age or older or who attends a postsecondary institution at any age.) These rights include:
- The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days after the day Wilkes Community College receives a request for access. A student should submit to the Registrar’s Office a written request that identifies the record(s) the student wishes to inspect. The school 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 school official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed. When a record contains information about more than one student, disclosure cannot include information regarding the other students.
- The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes is inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights under FERPA.
A student who wishes to ask Wilkes Community College to amend a record should write the Registrar’s Office, clearly identify the part of the record the student wants changed, and specify why it should be changed.
If Wilkes Community College decides not to amend the record as requested, the college will notify the student in writing of the decision and the student’s right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.
- The right to provide written consent before Wilkes Community College discloses personally identifiable information (PII) from the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
Wilkes Community College discloses education records without a student’s prior written consent under the FERPA exception for disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official typically includes a person employed by the college in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and Counseling staff); a person serving on the board of trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a grievance committee. A school official also may include a volunteer or contractor outside of the college who performs an institutional service of function for which the school would otherwise use its own employees and who is under the direct control of the school with respect to the use and maintenance of PII from education records, such as an attorney, auditor, collection agent, or a student volunteering to assist another school official in performing his or her tasks. A school official typically has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibilities for the college.
Current students may give written consent to release academic records to a person(s) by filling out the Consent to Release Information form located in e-forms. By filling out the consent to release form, the student is giving Wilkes Community College permission to release information concerning the student’s academic progress/records, financial aid, and payment information to the person(s) listed on the form until the student revokes that person(s) access through the consent to release e-form, DocuSign form, or in writing. This information may include grades, transcript information, student conduct, attendance, and other academic information as well as financial aid and Business Office information.
Current students may revoke a person(s) access to their records, where applicable by law, by filling out the Consent to Release Information form and selecting the revoke option, or by submitting a written request to the Registrar’s Office.
Former students who are no longer able to access the Wilkes Community College system and wish to revoke a person(s) access to their records may do so by filling out the Revoke Access to Confidential Information form by clicking here, or by submitting a written request to the Registrar’s Office.
When submitting a revoke form, it may take up to 2 business days before the form is processed and the person(s) access is removed.
Any and all student information Wilkes Community College releases to any party cannot be redisclosed without obtaining written consent from the student.
- The right to 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
(202) 260-3887- Telephone
(202) 260-9001 – Fax
FERPA@ED.GOV – Email
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
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.
FERPA permits the disclosure of PII from students’ education records, without consent of the student, if the disclosure meets certain conditions found in § 99.31 of the FERPA regulations. Except for disclosures to school officials, disclosures related to some judicial orders or lawfully issued subpoenas, disclosures of directory information, and disclosures to the student, § 99.32 of FERPA regulations requires the institution to record the disclosure. Eligible students have a right to inspect and review the record of disclosures. A postsecondary institution may disclose PII from the education records without obtaining prior written consent of the student —
- 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 Federal- or 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))