Annual Notice to Students The Family Education Rights & Privacy Act 1974 (FERPA)

Annually, Owens Community College informs students of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended. This act, with which the institution intends to comply fully, was designated to protect the privacy of educational records and affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. These rights include:

  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 Student Financial Services Office, a written request that identify the record(s) they wish to inspect. The Records Office will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the College Official to whom the request was submitted does not maintain the records, that College 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. 
    Students may ask the College to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate. They should write to the College official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate. 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.
    Note: FERPA is not intended to provide a process to be used to question substantive judgments that are correctly recorded. The rights of challenge are not intended to allow students to contest, for example, a grade in a course because they feel a higher grade, or withdrawal, should have been assigned. FERPA is intended to ensure the factual and accurate nature of the information in students’ education records and students’ rights to verify that information.
  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 College in an administrative, supervisory, academic, or support staff position; a person or company with whom the College has contracted (including but not limited to attorneys, auditors, information technology systems consultants, emergency communication systems personnel, or outside institutions involved in student learning experiences); a person serving on the Board of Trustees. 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. Upon request, the College also discloses educational records without consent to officials of another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll.
  4. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by Owens 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 20202-4605. For more information about FERPA, please visit the Family Policy Compliance Office (FPCO) website.

Disclosure of Information

FERPA authorizes disclosure of educational records or personally identifiable information as permitted without consent to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the College in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or support staff position (including law enforcement personnel and health staff). A school official is also a person serving on the Board of Trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks.

The College also discloses, as authorized by FERPA, educational records, or personally identifiable information from education records, to contractors, volunteers, and other non-employees performing services who function as school officials with legitimate educational interests (such as attorneys, auditors, information technology systems consultants, emergency communications systems personnel, or outside institution involved in student learning experiences). A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an educational record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility.

Directory Information

The College has designated the following student information as public or Directory Information. The College may disclose such information for any purpose: Name, Telephone Number, Student Mailing Address, College Email Address, Major Field of Study, Participation in officially recognized sports and activities, Weight and height of members of athletic teams, High school and hometown of members of athletic teams and specially recognized students, Dates of Attendance, Expected Graduation Date, Degrees and awards received, and Student Enrollment Status. The college may disclose any of these items without prior written consent, unless notified in writing to the contrary. Student names and College generated email addresses may be used and observed by students in any course in which they are enrolled for course participation and attendance verification.

Examples of these activities are: Student elections, Recognition of degrees and awards by publishing on the Owens Website, newspapers, commencement programs, etc., Recognition of participation in College sports and activities by publishing in Owens newspapers, programs, etc., Information will not be disclosed for purposes unrelated to activities approved by and associated with Owens Community College. Examples of these unrelated activities are: Developing mailing lists to engage in a commercial enterprise, Dissemination of political information, Solicitation of funds by individuals, agencies, and institutions.

Upon request, Owens Community College provides student addresses to colleges and universities with which Owens has articulation agreements, so that partner colleges and universities can provide admissions and transfer information to students.

Withholding Disclosure of Directory Information

Currently enrolled students may withhold disclosure of information under FERPA. To withhold disclosure, the Records Office must receive written notification each academic semester in which withholding Directory Information is to take effect. The College assumes that failure on the part of any student to specifically request the withholding of Directory Information indicates approval for disclosure.

Please consider very carefully the consequences of any decision by you to withhold “Directory Information”, as any future requests for such information from non-institutional persons or organizations will be refused.

Owens Community College will honor your request to withhold “Directory Information” but cannot assume responsibility to contact you for subsequent permission to release them. Regardless of the effect upon you, the institution assumes no liability for honoring your instructions that such information be withheld.