Handbook at The University of West Georgia

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Appendix H: FERPA Confidentiality of Student Records

Family Educational Rights And Privacy Act: Confidentiality Of Student Records:

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

1. The right to inspect and review the student's education records within 45 days of the day the University receives a request for access. Students should submit to the registrar, dean, head of the academic department, or other appropriate official, written requests that identify the record(s) they wish to inspect. The University official 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 University 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 are inaccurate or misleading. Students may ask the University to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate or misleading. They should write the University 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 University decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the University 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. The hearing body shall be a subcommittee appointed by the chair of the Senate Committee on Student Services.

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 a person employed by the University in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person or company with whom the University has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); a person, including a student, serving on an official committee, such as 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 responsibility.

With no attempt to make this list exhaustive, other types of disclosures which do not require prior consent of the student include these:

- Upon request, to officials of another school in which the student seeks or intends to enroll,

- To parents of dependent students, as defined in section 152 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986,

- In case of a health or safety emergency,

- Results in disciplinary hearings to an alleged victim of a crime of violence,

- Directory information.

4. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the University of West Georgia 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, 600 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20202-45605.

University officials may provide Directory Information concerning a student unless the student files a Non-Disclosure Form with the Registrar's Office. This form must be filed annually by September 15 to assure that locator information not be published in the student directory. Directory Information includes name, address, telephone listing, major field of study, dates of attendance, previous institutions attended, degrees and awards received, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, height and weight of members of athletic teams, photograph, and full- or part-time status.