Articles

National Labor College Policy on Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

as of January 3, 2005

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended (FERPA), affords certain rights to students with respect to their education records. The primary rights afforded include:

  • The right to inspect and review the student’s education records.
    • Students must be given the opportunity to review and challenge their “educational records.” Both currently enrolled and former students have the right to inspect and review their records, and to challenge contents they believe are inaccurate or misleading. The student must request to review their records in writing to the Registrar. The institution must comply with a request for access to records “within a reasonable period of time, but not more than 45 days after it receives the request.”
  • The right to seek to have the records amended.
    • Students have the right to request to have education records corrected that they believe are inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of their privacy rights. A full and fair opportunity must be provided to present evidence relevant to the issue raised.  Students who are not satisfied with the outcome of the challenge process have the right to place in their education record a statement commenting on the contents of the education record, or on their reason for disagreeing with the decision of the hearing panel.
  • The right to consent to disclosure of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
    • Directory Information. The college has a right to release directory information without a student’s permission.
      1. The National Labor College defines directory information as follows: student’s name, home address, home phone number, e-mail address, union affiliation, degree, major, class rank (freshman, sophomore, junior, senior), dates of attendance, date of graduation, senior project titles, awards, and photographs.
      2. The student has a right to prohibit this information from being released.  If a student does not want their directory information released, they must sign a “Restriction on Directory Information”, prohibiting information from being released or published without their written consent. Exceptions to this restriction, which would permit disclosure without consent, are disclosed pursuant to, the USA Patriot Act and disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests.
    • USA Patriot Act. “When the U.S. Attorney General (or any federal officer or employee, in the position not lower than an Assistant Attorney General) certifies that “specific and articulable facts” support the request, such an official may obtain a court order that requires an educational institution to turn over education records related to a terrorism investigation, and the institution does not violate FERPA by complying with such an order, without student consent.
    • Disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the college in an administrative, academic or support staff position.  A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility.
  • The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the 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 DC 20202-4605

 

Requirements for the Disclosure of Educational Records

specify the records to be released;

state the purpose of the disclosure;

identify the party or class of parties to whom disclosure may be made;

signed and dated by the student.

Definition of an Academic Record

An educational record is defined as a record, electronic or otherwise, that is directly related to a student and maintained by the National Labor College or by a party acting for the college.

“Educational records” does not include the following:

Records created by and kept in the sole possession of an individual staff member that are not accessible to any other individual except a substitute.

Records maintained by a law enforcement unit of the college.

Employment records of persons used only for purposes related to employment, unless said persons are employed at the college because of their status as a student.

Medical and psychological records that are maintained only in connection with provision of treatment to the student.

Records which contain only information relating to a person after that person is no longer a student at the institution (e.g., information gathered on the accomplishments of alumni.)

Annual Notification

Mandated annual notification will be sent by October 15th of each year to students by email.

Release of Educational Information Forms

For forms pertaining to the release of educational information see the Registrar’s Office.

Created by Eve Dauer, Registrar
Approved by General Counsel 1/13/05