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FERPA

(Family Education Rights and Privacy Act)


I. EDUCATION RECORDS

The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (Public Law 93-380), effective November 19, 1974 (as amended by Public Law 93-568, Buckley Amendment), is intended to ensure students the right to inspect, review, and control access to student educational records maintained by an educational institution.

The Education Records Policy of Lewis & Clark College is intended to comply with the requirements of the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Students will be notified of their rights under FERPA annually by publication in the student handbook, catalog, and/or registration announcements of the respective school.

All school officials, as defined in this policy, are expected to manage student records in their custody in accordance with all FERPA regulations. To receive access to student records, school officials (including work-study student personnel) must receive a copy of this policy and remain current regarding any FERPA modifications.

A. Definitions

1. Student

  • Refers to any person currently enrolled at Lewis & Clark College, or
  • Refers to any person who has previously earned academic credit at Lewis & Clark College.
  • Applicants for admission are not classified as students.

2. Educational Records

Refers to any record (in handwriting, print, tapes, film, computer, or other medium) maintained by the institution or an agent of the institution that is directly related to a student, except:

a) A personal record kept by a staff member if it is kept in the sole possession of the maker of the record and is not accessible or revealed to any other person except a temporary substitute for the maker of the record.

b) Records created and maintained by the institution's law enforcement unit for law enforcement purposes. (However, if a copy of the Campus Safety Office record is given to the Registrar or other official of the institution for enforcement of a trespass order or other legitimate institutional need, that copy becomes an educational record subject to FERPA.)

c) An employment record of an individual whose employment is not contingent on the fact that he or she is a student, provided the record is used only in relation to the individual's employment.

d) Records made or maintained by a physician, psychiatrist, psychologist, or other recognized professional or paraprofessional if the records are used only for treatment of a student and made available only to those persons providing the treatment.

e) Alumni records that contain information about a student after he or she is no longer in attendance at the institution and that do not relate to the person as a student.

f) Records maintained by Lewis & Clark College legal counsel.

3. Institution

This policy covers students of the three Schools of Lewis & Clark College: College of Arts and Sciences, Northwestern School of Law, and Graduate School of Professional Studies.

B. Contents of Record

1. Directory Information:

Lewis & Clark College has defined Directory Information as the information listed below. This information may be released for any purpose at the discretion of the respective school unless notified in writing to the contrary. Students have the right to prevent disclosure of Directory Information; these requests must be provided in writing, signed and dated, to the appropriate Office of the Registrar.

a) Name
b) Address
c) Telephone Number
d) Internet Address
e) Current Enrollment Status
f) Dates of Attendance
g) Degree(s) Conferred
h) Honors and Awards
i) Major Field of Study
j) Past and Present Participation in Officially Recognized Sports and Activities
k) Heights and Weights of Members of Athletic Teams
l) Photographs
m) Previous Institutions Attended
n) Date and Place of Birth

2. Information that is never Directory Information:

a) Social Security Numbers
b) Lewis & Clark College Identification Numbers
c) Race
d) Ethnicity
e) Nationality

3. Confidential Information, including but not limited to the following:

a) All information (except for Directory Information) contained in the application for admission or readmission. Letters of recommendation used to determine admission to Northwestern School of Law and the Graduate School of Education and Counseling do not become part of the education record; those letters not marked confidential are returned to the student.
b) All records of test scores and/or results.
c) All transcripts of previous academic work.
d) Transcript at Lewis & Clark College, including course grades, grade point average, and advancement information.
e) All petitions requesting variance in established academic policy.
f) Graduation petition and evaluation.
g) Notices and/or reprimands for failure to meet academic policy and/or requirements of the Honor Code.
h) Rank in class (unless related to honors or awards).
i) All correspondence relevant to the academic records including letters of acceptance, receipts, academic performance, leave of absence, withdrawal, and the like.
j) Records of all authorizations to access or release information contained in the student education record.
k) Career Service Records, Educational Placement Records, and/or Student Development Center Records.

4. Challenge of Contents:

The student has a right to challenge the content of the education record. See the section on Correction of Education Records.

II. ACCESS TO EDUCATION RECORDS

A. Student Access

A student has access to all education records, except for those listed below under Limitation on Right of Access, and has the right to personally view his or her education record within 45 days of the initial request.

Limitation on Right of Access

The institution will not permit a student to inspect the following records:

  1. The financial statement of the student's parents.
  2. Letters and statements of recommendations for which the student has waived his or her right of access, or which were maintained before January 1, 1975.
  3. Records connected with an application to attend the institution or a component unit of the institution if that application was denied.
  4. Records that are excluded from the FERPA definition of education records.

Provision of Copies

The institution reserves the right to deny copies of records, including transcripts, not required to be made available by FERPA in any of the following situations:

  1. The student lives within commuting distance of the institution.
  2. The student has an unpaid financial obligation to the institution.
  3. There is an unresolved disciplinary action against the student.
  4. The education record requested is an exam or set of standardized test questions.

Fees for Copies of Records

The fees for copies are set by the individual registrar's offices.

B. Third-Party Access

Third-party access to the educational record without the student's written permission is limited to individuals designated as school officials, those persons and/or agencies specifically authorized in FERPA as amended, or to any other person to whom disclosure may be required by law.

III. AUTHORIZATION FOR RELEASE OF EDUCATION RECORD

A. Student Authorization

A student may authorize the release of his or her education record to a third party providing the request is made in writing, signed, and dated.

B. Without Student Authorization

The institution will disclose information from a student's education record only with the written consent of the student, except that records may be disclosed without consent when the disclosure is:

1. To school officials who have a legitimate educational interest in the records. A school official is any one of the following:

  • A person employed by the institution in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position, including health or medical staff.
  • A person elected to the Board of Trustees.
  • A person employed by or under contract to the College to perform a special task, such as the attorney or auditor.
  • A person employed by the law enforcement unit of the institution.
  • A student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or who is assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks.

A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official is acting on behalf of the student and is doing any of the following:

  • Performing a task that is specified in his or her position description or contract agreement.
  • Performing a task related to a student's education.
  • Performing a task related to the discipline of a student.
  • Providing a service or benefit relating to the student or student's family, such as health care, counseling, job placement, or financial aid.
  • Maintaining the safety and security of the campus.

2. To officials of another school, upon request, in which a student seeks or intends to enroll.

3. To certain officials of the U.S. Department of Education, the Comptroller General, and state and local educational authorities, in connection with audit or evaluation of certain state or federally supported education programs.

4. In connection with a student's request for or receipt of financial aid to determine the eligibility, amount, or conditions of the financial aid, or to enforce the terms and conditions of the aid.

5. To state and local officials or authorities if specifically required by a state law that was adopted before November 19, 1974.

6. To organizations conducting certain studies for or on behalf of the institution.

7. To accrediting organizations to carry out their functions.

8. To parents of an eligible student who is claimed as a dependent for income tax purposes. The institution will evaluate individual circumstances before doing so, and will require a copy of the first page of the parent's federal income tax return to establish the student's status as a dependent. If educational information is properly released to a custodial parent of whom the student is a dependent, a duplicate of the released information may also be released upon request to a natural, non-custodial parent of whom the student is not a dependent.

9. To comply with a judicial order or a lawfully issued subpoena. An attempt to notify the student is required by law before the institution can honor such an order or subpoena.

10. To appropriate parties in a health or safety emergency.

11. To individuals requesting Directory Information so designated by the institution.

12. The results of any disciplinary proceeding conducted by the institution against an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence to the alleged victim of that crime.

13. To the student.

14. To a parent or legal guardian of a student, information regarding any violation of any federal, state, or local law, or of any rule or policy of Lewis & Clark College, governing the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance, regardless of whether that information is contained in the student's record if: The student is under the age of 21 years; and

The institution determines that the student has committed a disciplinary violation with respect to such use or possession. (Warner Amendment)

15. To the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) for purposes of Coordinated Interagency Partnership Regulating International Students

16. Student Recruiting Information to military recruiters for recruiting purposes only. (Soloman Amendment)

17. To the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for purposes of complying with the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997.

18. To authorized representatives of the Department of Veterans Affairs for students receiving education assistance from the agency.

IV. PROCEDURE FOR RELEASE OF EDUCATION RECORDS

A. Procedure to Inspect Education Records

Students may inspect and review their education records upon request to the appropriate records custodian. Students should submit to the records custodian or an appropriate institution staff person a written request that identifies as precisely as possible the record or records he or she wishes to inspect. Students may be asked to provide identification in order to ensure proper release of information.

The records custodian or an appropriate institution staff person will make the needed arrangements for access as promptly as possible and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. Access must be given in 45 days or less from the date of receipt of the request.

When a record contains information about more than one student, the student may inspect and review only the records that relate to him or her.

B. Types, Locations, and Custodians of Education Records

Type Location Custodian
Admissions
College of Arts & Sciences Office of the Registrar
Northwestern School of Law Office of Academic Associate Dean for Affairs Academic Affairs
Graduate School Program Offices: Program Coordinators
Counseling Psychology
Educational Administration
Special Education
Teacher Education
Public Administration/ Dean
Dean's Office
Cumulative Academic Records
College of Arts & Sciences Office of the Registrar
Northwestern School of Law Office of the Registrar
Graduate School Office of the Registrar
Advising
College of Arts & Sciences Faculty Office Faculty Advisor
Northwestern School of Law Office of Academic Associate Dean for
Affairs Academic Affairs
Graduate School Program Offices Faculty Advisor
Counseling Center Director
Health Center Director
Financial
Student & Departmental Acct Svcs Director
Office
Placement
College of Arts & Sciences Student Development Director
Center
Northwestern School of Law Office of Career Associate Dean for Services Administrative Services
Graduate School Office of Educational Director
Placement
Disciplinary
College of Arts & Sciences Office of Student Life Dean of Students
Northwestern School of Law Office of the Dean
Graduate School Office of the Dean
Occasional Records
College of Arts & Sciences Office of the Dean or Dean of the College or
Office of Student Life Dean of Students
Northwestern School of Law Office of the Dean
Graduate School Office of the Dean

C. Record of Requests for Disclosure of Education Records

The institution maintains a record of all requests for and/or disclosure of information from a student's education records. The record indicates the name of the party making the request, any additional party to whom it may be re-disclosed, and the legitimate interest the party had in requesting or obtaining the information. The record may be reviewed by the eligible student.

Every transcript of record released contains the admonition that the transcript is subject to the Family

Education Rights and Privacy Act and it cannot be released to a third party without the written consent of the student.

D. Correction of Education Records

Students have the right to ask to have records corrected that they believe are inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of their privacy rights. Following are the procedures for the correction of records:

1. A student must ask the appropriate official of the institution to amend a record. In so doing, the student should identify the part of the record to be amended and specify why the student believes it is inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of his or her privacy rights.

2. The institution may comply with the request or it may decide not to comply. If it decides not to comply, the institution will notify the student of the decision and advise the student of his or her right to a hearing to challenge the information believed to be inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the student's privacy rights.

3. Upon request, the institution will arrange for a hearing, and notify the student, reasonably in advance, of the date, place, and time of the hearing.

4. The hearing will be conducted by a hearing officer who is a disinterested party; however, the hearing officer may be an official of the institution. The student shall be afforded a full and fair opportunity to present evidence relevant to the issues raised in the original request to amend the student's education records. The student may be assisted by one or more individuals, including an attorney.

5. The institution will prepare a written decision based solely on the evidence presented at the hearing. The decision will include a summary of the evidence presented and the reasons for the decision.

6. If the institution decides that the information is inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the student's right of privacy, it will amend the record and notify the student, in writing, that the report has been amended.

7. If the institution decides that the challenged information is not inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the student's right of privacy, it will notify the student that he or she has a 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.

8. The statement will be maintained as part of the student's education records as long as the contested portion is maintained. If the institution discloses the contested portion of the record, it must also disclose the statement.

E. Procedure to Request the Release of Education Records to Third Parties

1. Transcript of Record

The Family Education and Privacy Rights Act requires that students submit signed and dated requests for copies of their transcript of record.

  • All requests for copies of the transcript of record are handled by the respective registrar's offices and fees are set by the individual offices.
  • Additional policies and procedures regarding the release of transcripts of record may be developed by the respective school.

2. Student Development Center, Career Services, and Educational Placement Records

The respective offices of the Student Development Center (College of Arts and Sciences), Career Services (Northwestern School of Law), and Educational Placement (Graduate School of Professional Studies) maintain student records pertinent to professional and educational placement. Policies and procedures regarding the release of these records are in accordance with FERPA and developed by the respective offices.

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