Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA)

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, governs the release of information to the public. 'Directory information' can be released without the student's consent. A student can request the College not to release directory information. Contact the Registrar's Office for more information. This must be done each semester.

Student Records

The Registrar is the custodian of student records and is responsible for the administration of compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA).

FERPA applies to the release of student education records and affords students certain rights regarding those records. The law also requires institutions to advise students of their rights concerning education records and of certain categories of public information that the College has designated as 'directory information.' The essence of the act is that college students must be permitted to inspect their own educational records. School officials may not disclose personally identifiable information about students nor permit inspection of their records without the student's written permission with some expectations.

Definition of Educational Records

'Educational Records' means any record (in handwriting, print, tapes, film, computer or other medium) maintained by Moraine Park Technical College that is directly related to a student or students. This record can contain a student's name or students' names, or information from which an individual student, or students, can be personally (individually) identified. Personally identified means data or information that includes:

  • The name of the student, the student's parents or other family members
  • The student's campus or home address
  • A personal identifier, i.e., social security number or student number
  • A list of personal characteristics or other information that would make the student's identity easily traceable

An educational record is not:

  • 'Sole possession notes' These are personal notes and are made by one person as an individual observation or recollection. These notes are not shared or viewed with another person or group.
  • Employment records.
  • Medical and counseling records used solely for treatment.
  • Financial records of parents.
  • Confidential letters and statements of recommendations placed in records prior to January 1, 1975.
  • Confidential letters and statements of recommendations for admission, employment, or honorary recognition placed in records after January 1, 1975, for which students have waived the right to inspect and review.
  • Records that contain only information about a person after that person is no longer a student at this institution (e.g., information gathered in follow-up surveys or for alumni and foundation purposes).
Student

A student is any individual who attends or has attended the College. 'In attendance' means a student who is or has been enrolled in a class. This term does not apply to an individual who never attended the College.

Student Permanent Record

The student's permanent record is kept on either microfiche or scanned onto CD Rom (1996+). An Official Transcript, which is electronically stored, is also considered a part of the permanent record.

Access to Student Information

Legitimate Educational Interest

For these purposes 'legitimate educational interest' shall mean an educationally related purpose that has a directly identifiable educational relationship to the student involved and underlies the request. The following criteria shall be taken in account in determining the legitimacy of a College official's access to student records:

  • The official must seek the information within the context of the responsibilities that he or she has been assigned.
  • The information sought must be used within the context of official College business and not for purposes extraneous to the official's area of responsibility or to the College.
  • The information requested must be relevant and necessary to the accomplishment of some task or to making some determination within the scope of College employment.
  • The task must be determined to be consistent with the purposes for which the data are maintained. Requests related to institutional research and studies are subject to this criterion.
  • Disclosure to a school official having a legitimate educational interest does not constitute institutional authorization to transmit, share or disclose any or all information received to a third party. An unauthorized disclosure of personally identifiable information from the education record of the student is prohibited.
Directory Information

The College, in accordance with the Act, has designated the following categories of information as 'public' unless the student chooses to exercise their right to have all or any of this information withheld. Information listed in this section may be released unless specifically withheld by the student.

  1. Student's name
  2. Local and permanent home address
  3. Telephone number
  4. Date and place of birth
  5. Program of study
  6. Dates enrolled
  7. Dates of attendance for completed courses
  8. Matriculation date (date entered program)
  9.  Withdrawal dates or date of death
  10. Types of degrees and diplomas &dates granted
  11. Most recent prior school attended
  12. Participation in officially recognized activities
  13. Collegiate photo ID
  14. Collegiate e-mail address
Withholding of Directory Information

Students may withhold directory information by notifying the Registrar. The student must make a formal request and complete and file the Request to Withhold Student Information form. The Request to Withhold Student Information form is available from the registration office at each campus. Unless revoked by the student, the withholding of information will remain in effect indefinitely.

What does it mean to withhold 'directory information'?

Moraine Park receives many inquiries for 'directory information' from a variety of sources including friends, parents, relatives, prospective employers, colleges, honor societies, licensing agencies, government agencies and news media. Please consider very carefully the consequences of any decision by you to remove these items from the list of 'directory information.' Should a student decide to inform Moraine Park not to release any or all of this 'directory information,' any future requests for such information from non-Moraine Park persons or organizations will be refused.

For example, Moraine Park could not release a student's telephone number or address to a family member or a prospective employer requesting confirmation of your major field of study; date of birth would also be denied. Moraine Park will honor the student's request to withhold any of the 16 items listed previously but cannot assume responsibility to contact you for subsequent permission to release them. Regardless of the effect upon you, Moraine Park assumes no liability for honoring your instructions that such information be withheld. If you wish to file a form withdrawing some or all of the information in the 'directory' classification, you should report to the Registration Office and complete the necessary form. After you have filed this form, the Registrar will notify the appropriate Moraine Park offices and begin to comply with your wishes as soon as possible.

Restricted Information

The College has designated student information as 'restricted or referable information.' This information will only be released with the student's written consent. This restricted or referable information includes:

  1. College Identification number and/or Social Security Number
  2. Resident/tuition status
  3. Marital status
  4. Married names or previous name
  5. Parent's name and address
  6. High school units
  7. Transfer credits
  8. Courses completed
  9. Grades, credits earned and grade points
  10. Grade point average or rank in class
  11. Courses in progress or current class schedule
  12. Attendance records in progress/performance scores
  13. Academic actions (decisions)
  14. Advisor's name
  15. The fact that current disciplinary action applies
  16. Racial status
  17. Foreign student and type of visa
Release of Information

Records are not released to parents of students without consent of the student.

Restricted or referable and directory information (even if student has withheld information) may be released without student consent to the following:

  1. Moraine Park Technical College faculty and staff on a need-to-know basis and have a legitimate educational interest
  2. Higher Education Aids Board or agencies providing financial aid
  3. Agencies providing or considering providing financial assistance to the student, such as the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation and the Veterans Administration, if information is necessary to determine eligibility for, determine amount of, or condition for aid or to enforce terms and conditions of aid
  4. The State Board of WTCS as part of the process of securing state funds
  5. Courts or legal officers on the basis of a subpoena
  6. Properly authorized educational authorities for the purpose of research, provided that the information is not given in persona identifiable format
  7. Information received from the state on registered sex offenders as per Megan's Law
  8. Agencies where collection of a debt owed to Moraine Park Technical College is involved
  9. State and local officials to whom disclosure is required by state statute adopted prior to November 19, 1974
  10. Accrediting organizations carrying out their accrediting functions
  11. Persons in an emergency, if the knowledge of information in fact is necessary to protect the health and safety of the student or other persons
  12. To officials of another school where the student seeks to enroll
  13. The Comptroller General or Secretary of Education of the United States

Release of Student Lists

Student lists and directories, including lists with addresses and telephone numbers are not published. Lists of students' names and addresses are released to outside agencies under the provisions of the Wisconsin Public Records Law. Military branches of service may receive student list information of currently enrolled students as per Solomon Amendment. A Solomon Amendment request must be in writing stating that the information requested is for 'recruitment purposes only.'

Record Review Process

Inspecting Educational Record

Students may inspect their own educational record by contacting the Registrar's Office. The Registrar's Office will expeditiously honor the student's request. After the student has been identified, the Registrar's Office may permit the student to review the contents of their education record while the student remains in the office. The Registrar will be in attendance and explain the various educational record elements to the student. Students will be informed that all contents of the educational record are the property of Moraine Park Technical College and that they are not authorized to unilaterally remove materials from, add materials to or copy records themselves.

The student may insert a statement in their record to explain any such material from the student's point of view. The student may also make a formal request to challenged information contained in the education record.

Correcting a Educational Record

A student may challenge any information contained in their 'educational records' that the student believes to be inaccurate, misleading, inappropriate or a violation of their privacy rights. This right does not extend to reviewing grades unless the grade assigned by the student's instructor was inaccurately recorded in the records.

The student must ask the Registrar's Office to amend a record. The student must identify the part of the record to be amended and specify why the student believes it is inaccurate, misleading or in violation of their privacy rights. The Registrar will schedule a meeting with the student at a mutually agreed upon date and time. The student will be afforded a full and fair opportunity to present evidence relevant to the issues raised in the request to amend the student's education records.

The Registrar will make the determination to comply or deny the request. In either case, the Registrar will notify the student in writing of the decision. The notification will include a summary of the evidence presented, the reasons for the decision and the right to appeal the decision to the Vice President - Academics and Economic Development. The student has five business days to request an appeal of the decision.

Appeal

The appeal will consist of written exceptions to the findings of fact, decision, or disciplinary sanction.

The Dean Of Students will schedule an individual meeting within ten calendar days of receipt of the student's request. At the meeting, the student will have an opportunity to file additional documentation and present oral arguments.

The Dean of Students will prepare a written decision based solely on the evidence presented at the meeting. The decision will include a summary of the evidence and the reasons for the decision. The decision of the Dean of Students is final.

If the Registrar or the Dean of Students decides that the challenged information is inaccurate, misleading or in violation of the student's right of privacy, the record will be amended and the student will be notified in writing that the record has been amended.

If the Registrar or the Dean of Students decides that the challenged information is not inaccurate, misleading or in violation of the student's right of privacy, the student will be notified that they have the right to place in the record a statement commenting on the challenged information and/ or a statement setting forth reasons for disagreeing with the decision.

The statement will be maintained apart of the student's education record as long as the contested portion is maintained. If the contested portion is disclosed, the student's statement will also be disclosed.

Student Record Services

The College will withhold all student record services to students who have outstanding financial obligations. Services to be withheld include: issuance of an official and unofficial transcript, certification of enrollment, verification of degrees, release of educational records, copying of educational records and registration for future terms/semesters. Services will be withheld until all encumbrances are satisfied.

However, students may review and inspect their educational record at any time.

Requesting a Copy of Student Record

Students may request a copy of their educational records for themselves or authorize their release by a written request and/or wavier to release such records. An administrative and/or copying fee is assessed for student records as per procedure 3OPG0201 (Public Records Procedure).

Notification of Rights Under FERPA

The College will notify students of their rights under FERPA on an annual basis. This annual notification will also be available on the College's Web site.

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records.

These rights are:

  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. Students should submit to the Registrar written requests that identify the record(s) they wish to inspect. The College 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 College official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.
  2. The right to request the amendment of the student's education records that the student believes is inaccurate or misleading. Students may ask the College to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate or misleading. They should write the College official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading. If the College decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the College will notify the student of the decision and advise the student of his or her right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.
  3. The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student's education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. One exception, which permits disclosure without consent, is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is defined as a person employed by the College in an administrative, supervisory, academic or support staff position (including law enforcement unit and health staff); a person or company with whom the College has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor or collection agent); a person serving on the College District Board; or a person assisting another College official in performing his or her tasks. A College official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility.
  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 notification will also include definitions of key FERPA terms including:

  • Directory Information
  • Education Record
  • Sole Possession Record