FERPA and Privacy Rights of Students
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. These rights include:
(1) The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days of the day the College receives a request for access.
Under Section 76230 of the Education Code, current and formerly-enrolled students have an absolute right of access to their own records. One exception is that under Section 76231 of the Education Code, students may waive their right of access to confidential reference letters.
A student has access to review his/her own record by submitting a request directly to the Records Office. Palomar College will provide the opportunity to inspect and review the student’s record within 45 days. Students may give permission to receive a personal transcript or have the transcript sent to another individual or institution. Parents of minor and non-minor students do not have access, except when written permission is received from the student.
(2) The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes are inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights under FERPA.
Students may file written requests with the Enrollment Services Office to correct or remove information recorded in their student records as described in the Administrative Procedure (AP 5045). Within 30 days of receipt of the request, the Enrollment Services Office shall meet with the student and the employee who recorded the information in question, if any, if the employee is presently employed by the District. The Enrollment Services Office shall then sustain or deny the allegations.
If the Enrollment Services Office sustains any or all of the allegations, the subject information shall be corrected, removed, or destroyed as applicable. If the Enrollment Services Office denies any or all of the allegations and refuses to order the correction or removal of the information, students, within 30 days of the refusal, may appeal the decision in writing to the Academic Review Committee for academic issues, the Financial Aid Appeals Committee for student financial aid record issues, or the Director of Student Affairs for disciplinary record issues.
A final appeal may be made to the Governing Board. The Governing Board shall, in closed session with the student and the employee who recorded the information in question, determine whether to sustain or deny the allegations. If the Governing Board sustains any or all of the allegations, it shall order the Superintendent/President or his/her designee, to immediately correct or remove and destroy the information. The decision of the Governing Board shall be final.
If the final decision is unfavorable to the student, the student shall have the right to submit a written statement of his/her objections to the information. This statement shall become a part of the student’s record until the information objected to is corrected or removed.
Whenever there is included in any student record information concerning any disciplinary action, the student shall be allowed to include in such record a written statement or response concerning the disciplinary action.
Whenever there is included in any student record information concerning any disciplinary action in connection with any alleged sexual assault or physical abuse, or threat of sexual assault, or any conduct that threatens the health and safety of the alleged victim, the alleged victim of that sexual assault or physical abuse shall be informed within three days of the results of the disciplinary action and the results of any appeal. The alleged victim shall keep the results of that disciplinary action and appeal confidential.
(3) The right to provide written consent before the College discloses personally identifiable information from the student’s education records except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
No instructor, official, employee, or member of the Governing Board shall authorize access to student records to any person except under the following circumstances:
Student records shall be released pursuant to a student’s written consent.
“Directory information” may be released in accordance with the definitions in BP 22 5040 titled Student Records and Directory Information. Directory information is maintained which includes name, address, telephone number, date of birth, and class schedule information. Student degrees and awards may be publicized to recognize scholastic and athletic achievements in the school newspaper, or to the news media. Lists may be provided to other Palomar College departments or to colleges and universities for the expressed purpose of providing educational opportunities and financial assistance to students (names and addresses only).
Student records shall be released pursuant to a judicial order or a lawfully issued subpoena. Each student whose record is requested under a subpoena is notified in advance of compliance and will be offered an opportunity to introduce a motion to quash.
Student records shall be released pursuant to a federal judicial order that has been issued regarding an investigation or prosecution of an offense concerning an investigation or prosecution of terrorism.
The Federal Solomon Act requires colleges to release full directory information (including address) to U.S. Armed Forces.
Student records may be released to officials and employees of the District only when they have a legitimate educational interest to inspect the record.
(4) 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 20202-5901
As provided for in the Act, a student’s personal information can not be released to any other person without the written consent of the student. A photo identification will be required to access information. Official student records are kept in the Office of Admissions and Records. The Director, Enrollment Services has been designated “Record Officer,” as required by the Act.
Under Section 49061 of California Education Code, parents of community college students do not have a right of access to their children’s student records, regardless of whether the student is under the age of 18. Also, under federal law (Section 1232g of Title 20 of the United States Code), there is a general right of parental access to student records for grades K-12, but not for college students, regardless of age.
Student Right to Know
As a consumer you have the right to know about your chances of college success. “Student Right-To-Know” (SRTK) refers to a Federally-mandated public disclosure of a college’s Completion Rate and Transfer Rate. The intent of SRTK is to provide to the consumer a statistic of comparable effectiveness that they can use in the determination of college choice.
See http://srtk.cccco.edu/index.asp for further information as well as for specific college data.