Section: 5-Student Services

Policy No: 18
Approved: 4/26/96
Revised: 1/23/04



The institution's confidentiality of records policy reflects a balance between the obligation of the institution for the welfare of the student and its responsibility to society in general. The college will make reasonable efforts to maintain compliance with all legal statutes by keeping information from individuals who are not authorized to receive it or who might use it for illegitimate purposes.

18.1 Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

18.1.1 The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, also known as the Buckley amendment, helps protect the privacy of student records. The Act provides for the right to inspect and review educational records, the right to seek to amend those records and to limit disclosure of information from the records. The Act applies to all institutions that are the recipients of federal funding.

18.1.2 Definitions Student - any person who attends or has attended the institution. Education Records - any record maintained by the institution which is directly related to a student, with the following exceptions: Personal records kept by the institutional employees which are in the sole possession of the maker and are not accessible or revealed to any other person except an approved temporary substitute. Employment records, unless the employment records are contingent on the fact that the employee is a student. Records maintained by security services solely for law enforcement purposes. Records maintained by counseling, health and wellness services (Health records may be reviewed by a physician or other appropriate professional of the student's choosing.) Counseling records maintained by an institutional psychological/ therapeutic counselor. Alumni records

18.1.3 Directory Information The following items are considered Directory Information: Student's full name Local address
Permanent address
E-mail address
Date and place of birth
Major field of study
Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
Height and weight if a member of an athletic team
Dates of attendance
Awards and degrees received
Previous school(s) attended
Classification Directory information may be disclosed in compliance with FERPA if a student did not place a restriction on his/her records: Pursuant to federal law, a student has the right to refuse to permit the inclusion in a student directory or disclosure of any or all of the directory information listed above in regards to himself or herself. Questions concerning general disclosure should be addressed to the Office of the Registrar.

18.1.4 Placing Restrictions on Records Students have the right to place restrictions on their directory information. To place a restriction or hold on a student's records, the student must fill out the appropriate paperwork at the registrar's office. Such a restriction will last for only one year and if the student wishes to continue it, s/he will be required to fill out the paperwork annually. If a student has questions concerning FERPA issues, s/he should be directed to the Office of the Registrar.

18.1.5 FERPA Coverage Persons who are currently enrolled in higher education institutions or were formerly enrolled, regardless of their age or status in regard to parental dependency are covered under FERPA. Students who have applied but have not attended an institution are not entitled to FERPA protection.

18.1.6 Education Records With certain exceptions, a student has rights of access to those records which are directly related to him/her and which are maintained by an educational institution or party authorized to keep records for the institution. Education records include any records in the possession of a college employee which are shared with, or are accessible to, another individual. The records may be handwritten or in the form of print or some other medium. FERPA coverage includes records, files, documents, and data directly related to students, including electronically recorded data.

18.1.7 Information Not Included in Education Records Private notes held by educational personnel in their sole possession which are not accessible and which have not been released to other personnel. Law enforcement or campus security records which are solely for law enforcement purposes. Records relating to individuals who are employed by the institution (unless contingent upon class attendance). Records relating to treatment provided by a physician, psychiatrist, psychologist or other recognized health professional or paraprofessional and disclosed only to individuals providing treatment.

18.1.8 Documents which can be removed from education records before the student views the records Any information that pertains to another student. Financial records of the student's parents.

18.1.9 Education Record Access The student and any outside party who has the student's written consent may have access to a student's education record. School officials who have "legitimate educational interest" as defined in FERPA may have access. Student education records may be provided in response to a lawfully issued (by judge or attorney) judicial order or subpoena, which allows the institution to release records without the student's consent. A reasonable effort will be made to notify the student before complying with an order.

18.1.10 Required consent to disclose "Personally Identifiable Information" from an education record (including transcripts) Except for specific exceptions listed below, a signed and dated consent from the student must be obtained before any disclosure is made. The written consent must: a) specify the records that may be disclosed, b) state the purpose of disclosure, c) identify the party or class of parties to whom the disclosure may be made. The institution reserves the right to deny transcripts or copies of records to be made available due to the FERPA when the student has an unpaid financial obligation to the College and/or there is an unresolved disciplinary action against the student. Requests to disclose should always be handled with caution and approached on a case-by-case basis. The Office of the Registrar should handle requests for student information, e.g., address, telephone number, or immediate whereabouts based upon an apparent emergency.

18.1.11 Parental Access to Student's Education Records The inherent right to inspect records is limited solely to the student. Records may be released to parents only through the written consent of the student, in compliance with a lawfully issued (by a judge or attorney) subpoena or in meeting the conditions listed below. At the post-secondary level, parents have no automatic rights to inspect a student's education records. This includes parents of dependent students. Only in meeting the following conditions is parental access lawful: A parent or guardian may have access to education records information if the student is claimed as a dependent for federal income tax purposes for the year proceeding the semester and for the year during which that semester occurs; and When the Affidavit of Dependence Form, which can be obtained at the Office of the Registrar, is completed and the appropriate tax forms are attached, the parent will then be eligible to review the student's educational records. If the student is not a dependent, the student must be willing to complete a consent form before that information will be released.

18.1.12 Anecdotal Notes: All anecdotal notes made about a student that an institution maintains and shares with school officials, regardless of the medium, would be included in the definition of education records and are, therefore, subject to FERPA. Unless the notes are kept in the sole possession of the maker and are accessible only to a temporary substitute, they are part of the education records, subject to review by the student. This would include all shared paper files as well as notes made about the student on a shared computer record. If a student has requested access to his/her education records, none of these notes may be destroyed prior to student review.

18.1.13 Posting of Grades by Faculty The public posting of grades either by the student's name, institutional student identification number, or social security number without the student's written permission is a violation of FERPA. Even with names obscured, complete numeric student identifier numbers are considered personally identifiable information. Therefore, the practice of posting grades by social security number or student identification number violates FERPA. The posting of grades using the last four digits of the social security number in non-alphabetical student order is permitted.

18.1.14 Releasing Non-Directory Information Over the Phone: FERPA prohibits the release of non-directory information over the phone to a third party.

18.1.15 Information Release Exceptions Provided Under FERPA: Non-directory information can be released to a third party if the student whose information is requested has given specific written permission to do so. FERPA provides an exception whereby an institution may disclose otherwise confidential information to appropriate parties to protect the health and safety of the student or other persons. Non-directory information can be released to a third party if the information is needed to help resolve an emergency or to identify criminal activities.

18.2 Government Records Access Management Act (GRAMA)

18.2.1 A specific individual will be appointed as the college GRAMA coordinator and all requests must be made to this person.

18.2.2 The institution officials will provide unclassified data and personnel information as required by the GRAMA Act, 1992, upon written request from the lay public.

18.2.3 All divisions of the campus are required by this law to make available information that may be of value to any individual (taxpayer) who requests such data upon written request.

18.2.4 Some classified information may be protected, but must be listed as such and an explanation must be made as to why the information is not available to the public.

18.2.5 There may be a fee associated with information requests to cover the costs of paper, copying, and/or time expended by college employees to supply such information.

18.2.6 A request for accessible information must be complied with or rejected within a ten day period from the date of the request, or five days from a recognized media agency.

18.3 Student Right-to-Know and Campus Security Act

18.3.1 Disclosure of graduation rates and transfer rates for all students, including athletes, is available upon request from the Office of Financial Assistance.

18.3.2 Crime awareness and campus security are of vital concern to college officials. The policy of all employees toward campus crime is one of zero tolerance. The institution annually updates and provides information regarding campus law enforcement statistics in a published notification that is available upon request from the Office of Financial Assistance. The categories of crime listed are up-dated for statistical accuracy each year and reflect the degree of criminal activity on the campus.

18.4 Student Directory Listings to Third Party

18.4.1 Dixie State College does not provide student directory lists to third parties, except as required by federal law. Any exceptions must be approved by the Vice President of Student Services.

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