Policies and Procedures

SP 4-80 – Student Educational Records and Directory Information

Colorado Community College System
System President’s Procedure

Student Educational Records and Directory Information

SP 4-80

Approved: March 27, 2015
Effective: March 27, 2015
Revised: May 25, 2016

Reference: The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99)

Approved:

/ Nancy J. McCallin /
Nancy J. McCallin, Ph.D.
System President

Application

This procedure applies to the Community Colleges within the Colorado Community College System (CCCS) and the System Office.

Basis

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) protects the privacy of student education records. Generally, colleges must have written permission from a student to release information from their educational record; however, there are exceptions that permit colleges to release information without a student’s consent.

Procedure

Student Rights Under FERPA:

  • The right to inspect and review his/her educational records within 45 days of a request for access. All requests for review shall be made in writing to the Office of Admissions and Records. The request must identify the record(s) that the student wishes to inspect. The Registrar will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the Registrar, the student shall be advised of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.
  • The right to request an amendment to their educational record when the student believes there are inaccuracies or misleading information in his/her record, or when the student believes there are concerns regarding their privacy rights to their records. All requests for amendments shall be made in writing to the Office of Admissions and Records. The request must specify the amendment the student is seeking. The Registrar will then notify the college official responsible for the record and a decision shall be made on amending or not. The College shall notify the student of its decision in writing. If not satisfied with that decision, the student shall be given an opportunity to appeal the decision using the Student Grievance Procedure SP 4-31 regarding the request for the amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.
  • The right to provide written authorization to the College giving specific individuals access to the student’s education records. Please note that there are exceptions under FERPA that give Colleges authorization to disclose without a student’s prior consent, as discussed below.
  • The right to file a complaint with the U. 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

College’s Rights to Disclose Personally Identifiable Information:

FERPA permits the disclosure of Personally Identifiable Information (PII) from students’ education records, without consent of the student, if the disclosure meets certain conditions found in §99.31 of the FERPA regulations. Except for disclosures to school officials, disclosures related to judicial orders or lawfully issued subpoenas, disclosures of directory information, and disclosures to the student. §99.32 of FERPA regulations require the institution to record the disclosure. Eligible students have a right to inspect and review the record of disclosures. A postsecondary institution may disclose PII from the education records without obtaining prior written consent of the student under the following circumstances:

  • To College officials with legitimate educational interests. A College official is defined as a person employed by the College in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person or company with whom the College has contracted as its agent to provide a service instead of using college employees or officials (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); a person serving on the State Board for Community Colleges and Occupational Education (SBCCOE or Board); or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official to perform his/her tasks. CCCS and its Colleges have designated the National Student Clearinghouse as a College official. A College official has a legitimate educational interest, if the official needs to review an education record, in order to fulfill his/her professional responsibilities for the College. Upon request, the College discloses education records, without a student’s consent, to officials of another school, in which a student seeks or intends to enroll, or after enrollment provided that the conditions listed in §99.31(a)(1)(i)(B)(1) – (a)(1)(i)(B)(2) are met (§99.31(a)(1)).
  • To officials of another school where the student seeks or intends to enroll, or where the student is already enrolled if the disclosure is for purposes related to the student’s enrollment or transfer, subject to the requirements of §99.34. (§99.31(a)(2))
  • To authorized representatives of the U.S. Comptroller General, the U.S. Attorney General, the U.S. Secretary of Education, or state and local educational authorities, such as a state postsecondary authority that is responsible for supervising the College’s state supported education programs. Disclosures under this provision may be made, subject to the requirements of §99.35, in connection with an audit or evaluation of federal or state supported education programs, or for the enforcement of, or compliance with, federal legal requirements that relate to those programs. These entities may make further disclosures of PII to outside entities that are designated by them as their authorized representatives to conduct any audit, evaluation, enforcement, or compliance activity on their behalf. (§§99.31(a)(3) and 99.35)
  • In connection with financial aid for which the student has applied or which the student has received, if the information is necessary to determine eligibility for the aid, determine the amount of the aid, determine the conditions of the aid, or enforce the terms and conditions of the aid. (§99.31(a)(4))
  • To organizations conducting studies for (or on behalf of) the school, in order
    to: (a) develop, validate, or administer predictive tests; (b) administer student aid programs; or (c) improve instruction. (§99.31(a)(6))
  • To accrediting organizations, in order to carry out their accrediting functions. ((§99.31(a)(7)
  • To parents of an eligible student, if the student is a dependent for IRS tax purposes. (§99.31(a)(8))
  • To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena. (§99.31(a)(9))
  • To appropriate officials in connection with a health or safety emergency, subject to §99.36. (§99.31(a)(10))
  • Colleges may disclose “directory information” upon request, and pursuant to
    §99.37. (§99.31(a)(11)) See below for the list of items that are directory information for CCCS.
  • To a victim of an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence or a non-forcible sex offense, subject to the requirements of §99.39. The disclosure may only include the final results of the disciplinary proceeding with respect to that alleged crime or offense, regardless of the finding. (§99.31(a)(13))
  • To the general public, the final results of a disciplinary proceeding, subject to the requirements of §99.39, if the school determines that the student is an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence or non-forcible sex offense and the student has committed a violation of the school’s rules or policies with respect to the allegation made against him or her. (§99.31(a)(14))
  • To parents of a student regarding the student’s violation of any federal, state, or local law, or of any rule or policy of the school, governing the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance, if the school determines the student committed a disciplinary violation and the student is under the age of 21 (§99.31(a)(15)).

As of January 3, 2012, the U.S. Department of Education’s FERPA regulations expand the circumstances under which education records and PII contained in such records — including Social Security number, grades, or other private information — may be accessed without consent.

First, the U.S. Comptroller General, the U.S. Attorney General, the U.S. Secretary of Education, or state and local education authorities (“federal and state authorities”) may allow access to records and PII without consent to any third party designated by a federal or state authority to evaluate a federal or state supported education program. The evaluation may relate to any program that is “principally engaged in the provision of education,” such as early childhood education and job training, as well as any program that is administered by an education agency or institution.

Second, federal and state authorities may allow access to education records and PII without consent to researchers performing certain types of studies, in certain cases (even when the System may object to or does not request such research). Federal and state authorities must obtain certain use-restriction and data security promises from the entities that they authorize to receive PII, but the authorities need not maintain direct control over such entities.

Lastly, in connection with statewide longitudinal data systems, state authorities may collect, compile, permanently retain, and share without consent PII from education records, and they may track participation in education and other programs by linking such PII to other personal information that they obtain from other federal or state data sources, including workforce development, unemployment insurance, child welfare, juvenile justice, military service, and migrant student records systems.

Directory Information

The following items will be designated by CCCS as “directory information”. Colleges may disclose any of this information without prior written consent, to anyone inquiring in person, by phone, or in writing:

  • Student name
  • Major field of study
  • Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
  • Dates of attendance
  • Degrees and awards received
  • Most recent educational institution attended
  • Enrollment status (i.e. full-time, three quarter-time, half-time, less than half-time, withdrawn, graduated or deceased)

Additional items for colleges with athletes (only for students who participate in officially recognized sports and activities):

  • Height
  • Weight
  • High school attended

Addresses (including mail and email) are considered PII and are not released as Directory Information except for the following:

  • Graduation lists released to news media, which may include the student’s city of residence
  • Other listings to the news media and college personnel for special awards, honors, and events
  • Notification to Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and other academic honor societies for students who are eligible to be considered for membership
  • As may be needed by cash management service providers engaged by CCCS or the Colleges to process student refunds

Additionally, name, address, phone number, date and place of birth, level of education, most recently attended college, field of study, and degree(s) received of students may be released to military recruiters upon request in accordance with the Solomon Amendment. All other information contained in student records is considered private and not open to the public, without the student’s written consent.

How to Authorize Non-Disclosure of Directory Information:

Students who do not want their directory/public information released to third parties should complete a form to suppress directory information, which is available online or at the Registrar’s Office or Office of Admissions and Records.

Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act:

In accordance with the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) of 2003, CCCS adheres to the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) Red Flag Rule (A Red Flag is any pattern, practice, or specific activity that indicates the possible existence of identity theft.), which implements Section 114 of the FACTA and to the Colorado Community College System’s Identity Theft Prevention and Detection Program, which is intended to prevent, detect and mitigate identity theft in connection with establishing new covered accounts or an existing covered account held by CCCS or one of its thirteen (13) Community Colleges, and to provide for continued administration of the program. If a transaction is deemed fraudulent, appropriate action will occur. Action may include, but is not limited to, canceling the transaction, notifying and cooperating with law enforcement, reporting to the Chief Student Services Officer (CSSO), and notifying the affected parties.

Revising this Procedure

CCCS reserves the right to change any provision or requirement of this procedure at any time and the change shall become effective immediately.