The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)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 located in Students Services, Alumni Hall.
Notices are published annually in the college catalog and student handbook 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 which 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:
- Requests from faculty and staff of Wilkes Community College who have a legitimate educational interest on a "need to know" basis, if necessary to conduct official business. Legitimate educational interest includes performing tasks related to the regular duties of the employee, the student's education, the discipline of students, services or benefits for students, or maintaining safety and security of the campus;
- Requests in compliance with a lawful subpoena or judicial order;
- Requests in connection with students' applications for or receipt of financial aid;
- Requests by state or federal authorities and agencies specifically exempted from the prior consent requirements by the act; and organizations conducting studies on behalf of the college, if such studies do not permit the personal identification of students to any persons other than to representatives of such organizations and if the personal identification data is destroyed when no longer needed;
- Information submitted to accrediting organizations;
- Requests by parents of dependent students, as defined in Section 152 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954;
- In the case of emergencies, the college may release information from educational records to appropriate persons in connection with an emergency, if the knowledge of such information is necessary to protect the health or safety of students or other persons;
- To authorized federal officials who have need to audit and evaluate federally-supported programs;
- The results of any disciplinary proceedings conducted by the college against alleged perpetrators of a crime of violence to the alleged victims of that crime; and
- Requests for "directory information" as listed below.
Wilkes Community College has designated the following information as directory information which may be made available to the public:
- Names of students
- WCC student e-mail addresses
- 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 achievement
- Hometown of members of President's list, Dean's list, and other officially recognized student honors, awards and special achievement
- 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.
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.