Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974
Calhoun Community College complies with the provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974 as amended. FERPA sets forth the requirements pertaining to the privacy of student records. The law governs the release of educational records and access to the records.
Student Records and FERPA
When a student attains the age of 18 or is attending an institution of postsecondary education, the permission or consent required of and the rights afforded to the parents of the student shall thereafter only be required of and afforded to the student. Therefore, a person other than the student requesting information on a student must submit written authorization from the student if the request is beyond the scope of authorized exceptions to the Act.
Responsibility for protection of the privacy of educational records rests primarily with the Director of Admissions/Registrar of the College. FERPA defines educational records to include records, files, documents, and other materials that contain information directly related to students and are maintained by an educational agency or institution with exceptions under the Act.
Notification of Rights under FERPA
FERPA affords students certain rights with respect to their educational records. The rights provided to students are:
- The right to review their educational records with certain exceptions. Students and former students may present a valid photo identification card and complete a written request form to review their records. The College may delay a record review up to 45 days if circumstances so dictate. Record reviews are conducted in the Office of Admissions & Records, Chasteen Student Services Center, Decatur Campus. Note: The College is not required to provide access to records of applicants for admission who are denied acceptance or, if accepted, do not attend.
- The right to request the amendment of the student's educational records that the student believes is inaccurate or misleading. The student should submit to the Director of Admissions/Registrar a written statement which identifies the part of the record they want changed, why it should be changed, and any documentation to support the request. The student will be notified in writing of the decision to amend or not to amend. A student will be notified of a hearing procedure process they may initiate if the result of the student's request is not to amend their record.
- The right to consent to disclosure of personally identifiable information contained in the student's educational records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure.
Calhoun Community College considers the following to be directory information and may be released to individuals and/or agencies, institutions, etc., unless the student files a Do Not Release form in the Office of Admissions and Records:
- Directory Information
Date and place of birth
Major field of study
Dates of attendance
Degrees, honors, and awards received
Most recent educational agency or institution attended
It should be noted that directory information is used to verify a student's enrollment with insurance agencies, banks, employers, etc., unless prohibited in writing by the Authorization to Release or Withhold Information form. Calhoun does not provide mailing lists unless required to do so by federal legislation (Solomon Amendment), a court directive, or as deemed appropriate by the President of the College or his agent.
FERPA has established rules that allow some personnel and agencies to have access to students' records without their written consent. The exception to the requirement of written consent includes authorized representatives of the following for audit and evaluation of federal and/or state supported programs or for enforcement of a compliance with federal legal requirements which relate to these programs:
- Comptroller General of the United States
- Attorney General of the United States
- Secretary of the Department of Education
- State and local educational authorities
- State and local officials to whom disclosure is specifically required by state statute adopted prior to November 19,1974
- Veterans Administration officials
- Other school officials within the institution who have been determined by the institution to have a legitimate educational interest
- Officials of other institutions at which the student seeks or intends to enroll, provided the institution makes a reasonable attempt to inform the student of the disclosure, unless the student initiates the transfer or the annual notification of the institution includes a notice that the institution forwards education records to other institutions at which the student seeks or intends to enroll have requested the records. (Students are so notified.)
- Persons or organizations providing financial aid to students or determining financial aid decisions on the condition that the information is necessary to: 1) determine eligibility for aid, 2) determine the amount of aid, 3) determine the conditions for the aid, or 4) enforce the terms and conditions of the aid.
- Organizations conducting studies for or on behalf of education agencies or institutions to develop, validate, and administer predictive tests, to administer student aid programs, or to improve instruction. Such organizations are not to disclose personally identifiable information of students. Information must be destroyed when it is no longer needed for project.
- Accrediting organizations carrying out their accreditation functions
- Parents of a student who have established a student's status as a dependent according to 1RS Code of 1986, Section 152
- Persons in compliance with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena provided that the institution makes a reasonable attempt to notify the student in advance of compliance. An institution may not provide advance notice of subpoena compliance if the subpoena is issued by a federal grand jury or for law enforcement purposes provided the subpoena orders the institution not to disclose the existence or contents of the subpoena. Our institution is not required to obtain a subpoena to produce education records of a student if the institution is sued by the student or takes legal action against a student. The records produced must be needed by the institution to proceed with legal action as plaintiff or to defend itself.
- Persons in an emergency situation if the knowledge of information, in fact, is necessary to protect the health or safety of students or other persons.
- Additional instances may occur where the college is required by law to release information. Contact the Registrar for the answers to specific questions.
In the event a student believes that FERPA rights were not met, he or she has the right to file a written complaint with The Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 600 Independence Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20202-4605.
Calhoun Community College's transcript policy includes the following items:
- In compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, Calhoun Community College does not release transcripts of a student's academic work, except upon the student's request.
- Official transcripts are sent to institutions, companies, agencies, etc., upon the student's request.
- The transcript request link may be accessed within the "Applications and Forms" section of the Admissions website for students who have not been enrolled at Calhoun Community College within the last 18 months.
- Current and recently enrolled students may directly access the Transcript Plus order form through their MyCalhoun student portal. There will be a fee assessed for all transcript requests.
- Transcripts will not be issued for persons who have financial, academic, or administrative obligations to the College.
The Office of Admissions and Records does not release official transcripts from other institutions. Requests for official transcripts from other institutions must be directed to the institution concerned.