Notification of Student Rights Under FERPA
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (including its implementing regulations, “FERPA”) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records, as defined in FERPA. These rights include:
- The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days of the day the community college receives a request for access.
A student should submit to the Office of Enrollment Services the “Student Request To Inspect and Review Education Records” form that identifies the record(s) the student wishes to inspect. The Office of Enrollment Services will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected.
- 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.
A student who wishes to ask the community college to amend a record should write the community college official responsible for the record (as identified by the Office of Enrollment Services), clearly identify the part of the record the student wants changed and specify why it should be changed.
If the community college decides not to amend the record as requested, the community college will notify the student in writing of the decision and the student's right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment at the Office of the Associate Vice President for Student Services. Any 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 consent before the community college discloses personally identifiable information from the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
The community college discloses education records without a student's prior written consent under one FERPA exception for disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the community college or the Rhode Island Board of Education (the "RIBE") in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); an individual or a private or governmental entity (including, for example, any other institution in the Rhode Island system of public higher education) with whom the community college or the RIBE has contracted as its agent to provide a service to the community college instead of using community college or RIBE employees or officials (such as an attorney, auditor or collection agent), whether or not that individual or entity is compensated for that service; a person serving on the RIBE; or a student or volunteer serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks.
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 responsibilities for the community college or the RIBE.
The community college discloses education records without a student's prior written consent to third-party contractors, vendors, consultants, volunteers, etc., providing certain institutional services and functions as school officials.
Upon request, the community college also discloses education records without consent under another FERPA exception to officials of another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll or is already enrolled so long as the disclosure is for purposes related to the student’s enrollment or transfer.
FERPA contains other exceptions to a student’s right to provide written consent before the community college discloses personally identifiable information from the student’s education records.
- The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the community 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
Public Notice for Directory Information Under FERPA
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (including its implementing regulations, “FERPA”) requires that the community college, with certain exceptions, obtain a student’s consent prior to the disclosure of personally identifiable information from the student’s education records. The community college, however, may disclose appropriately designated “directory information” without the student’s written consent, unless the student has advised the community college to the contrary in accordance with the community college’s procedures. Directory information is information contained in an education record that would not generally be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed. Directory information may be used in community college publications, and may be disclosed to any person or organization whether or not affiliated with the community college, without the student’s written consent.
The community college has designated the following types of personally identifiable information concerning a student as directory information:
- Official community college electronic mail address
- Major field of study
- Dates of attendance
- Class level
- Enrollment status (enrolled or not, full time or part time)
- Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
- Degrees, honors and awards received (including dates)
- Existence or nonexistence of a pending or accepted application for enrollment
- Most recent educational agency or institution attended
The Solomon Amendment is a federal law, effective October 1998, that allows military recruiters to access "Student Recruitment Information" on students age 17 and older. Failure to comply may result in the loss of various forms of federal funding and Federal Student Aid. The Department of Education has determined the Solomon Amendment supersedes most elements of FERPA. An institution is therefore obligated to release data included in the list of "student recruiting information."
If a student does not want the community college to disclose directory information from the student's education records without her or his prior written consent, the student must sign and deliver (in person or notarized) to the Office of Enrollment Services ("OES") the form entitled "Refusal To Permit Designation of Directory Information." Any "Refusal To Permit Designation of Directory Information" is effective for the remainder of the academic year during which it is signed and delivered by the student unless it is withdrawn as required on the form. Any "Refusal To Permit Designation of Directory Information" will not apply in a subsequent academic year during which the student attends the community college unless renewed. There is no deadline for signing and delivering a "Refusal To Permit Designation of Directory Information," but until it is signed and delivered, it will be assumed that the above information may be disclosed for the remainder of the current academic year.