Student Records (Procedure 3.0400)

Based on board policy number and Florida Statutes: F.S. 1001.64, 1002.225, 1006.52; Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA); College Policy 3.040
Effective Date: 01/2013; 02/2014
Date of Review: 02/2014

Purpose

Seminole State College informs students annually of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974. This Act was designed to protect the privacy of educational records, and to establish the right of students to inspect and review their non-privileged educational records. Seminole State College strives to fully comply with this Act which also provides guidelines for the correction of inaccurate or misleading data through informal and formal hearings. Students have the right to file complaints with the Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, concerning alleged failures by the institution to comply with the Act. An informal complaint may be filed within the institution by contacting the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs.

Procedure

  1. Confidentiality of Student Records
    A student's health and medical records, disciplinary records, required student and family financial income records, transcript or student permanent academic records, and student placement records shall be open to inspection only by the student or the parents or guardian of a student under the age of 18 and such members of the professional staff of the College as have responsibility for working with the student. Except as required for use by the President in the discharge of her official responsibilities, the custodian of records may release information from these records only upon authorization in writing from the student or upon order of a court of competent jurisdiction.
  2. Access to Student Records
    According to Public Law 83-380 entitled Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, access to student records is limited and controlled by the following rules and procedures:
    1. Classification of records
      1. General student records contain the academic history file, the admission file, transcripts from other colleges, and the general correspondence file.
      2. Financial aid records contain all matters relating to applications for, granting, and receipt of any form of financial aid.
      3. Accounts receivable records contain any information relating to monies owed to the College by the student.
    2. Persons maintaining student records
      1. General student records are in the custody of the Registrar.
      2. Financial records are maintained by the Business Office. Financial aid records are maintained in the Financial Aid Office.
      3. Student conduct records are maintained under the authority of the Vice President of Student Affairs or designee.
      4. Limited Medical records of students are in the custody of the Disability Support Services Office who have provided the College with appropriate documentation. The Athletics Department maintains student medical records required of student athletes and health programs departments maintain the medical records of students in those areas.
      5. Electronic Student Educational Records maintained on the PeopleSoft/Oracle enterprise system are fully covered by this policy. Users of the enterprise system are considered custodians of those student records to which they have access. Records should not be accessed by the user unless a legitimate educational interest exists or some other provision of the policy authorizing release applies.
    3. Release of Information
      Seminole State College will disclose information from a student’s educational records only with written consent of the student. The College may disclose information from a student’s educational records without the student’s consent when the disclosure is:
      1. To College officials who have a legitimate educational interest in the records.
        1. A College official is:
          1. A person employed by the College in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position, including health or medical staff.
          2. A person appointed to the Board of Trustees.
          3. A person employed by or under contract to the College to perform a special task, such as an attorney or auditor.
          4. A person who is employed by Seminole State College.
          5. 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.
        2. A college official has a legitimate educational interest if the official is:
          1. Performing a task that is specified in his or her position description or contract agreement.
          2. Performing a task related to a student's education.
          3. Performing a task related to the discipline of a student.
          4. Providing a service or benefit relating to the student or student's family, such as health care, counseling, job placement or financial aid.
          5. 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. The student shall receive notification of the disclosure unless the student initiated the disclosure.
      3. Subject to the conditions set forth in 34 CFR 99.35 authorized representatives of the Comptroller General of the United States, the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education, authorized representatives of the attorney general for law enforcement purposes (investigation or enforcement of federal legal requirements of federally supported education programs), or state and local educational authorities.
      4. School officials or lending institutions, in connection with financial aid for which the student has applied or which the student has received, if the information is necessary for such purposes as to:
        1. Determine eligibility for the aid;
        2. Determine the amount of the aid;
        3. Determine the conditions for the aid; or
        4. Enforce the terms and conditions of the aid.
      5. State and local officials or authorities to which such information is specifically required to be reported or disclosed pursuant to state statute.
      6. Organizations conducting studies for, or on behalf of, educational agencies or institutions for the purpose of developing, validating or administering predictive tests, administering student aid programs and improving instruction, if such studies are conducted in such a manner as will not permit the personal identification of students and their parents by persons other than representatives of such organizations and such information will be destroyed when no longer needed for the purpose for which it is conducted.
      7. Accrediting organizations in order to carry out their accrediting functions.
      8. Parents of a dependent student, as defined in Section 152 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954. The parent must provide a copy of their most recent federal income tax return establishing the student's dependency. Full rights under the act shall be given to either parent, unless the institution has been provided with evidence that there is a court order, state statute or legally binding document relating to such matters as divorce, separation or custody that specifically revokes those rights. Seminole State College does not have an obligation to disclose any financial information about one parent to another. If a parent claims a student as a dependent and does not want his/her financial information disclosed to his/her spouse or former spouse, the parent may make that request to the institution.
      9. In connection with an emergency, appropriate persons if the knowledge of such information is necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or others.
      10. To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena, provided the College makes a reasonable effort to notify the student of the order or subpoena in advance of compliance. Notification may be prohibited if the College receives a federal grand jury subpoena or any other subpoena which states that the student should not be notified. The Office of Policy and General Counsel shall be consulted prior to release of the record. See below for further details on the College's policy in dealing with subpoenas.
      11. To Veterans Administration Officials pursuant to 38 USC 3690 (c).
      12. To the court, those records which are necessary to defend the institution when a student initiates legal action against the institution.
        1. Personal information shall be transferred to a third party only on the condition that such a party will not permit any other party to have access to such information without the written consent of the student. In all instances where written consent is required, written consent must specify the records that may be disclosed, state the purpose of the disclosure, and identify the parties or class of parties to whom disclosure may be made.
  3. Right of the parents and guardians
    The parents of a student who has reached the age of 18 years or is enrolled in a post-secondary institution no longer have any rights under the provisions of this policy, unless the student gives written consent to release the information to the student's parents, or the parents provide evidence that the student is a dependent of the parents as defined in the Internal Revenue Code.
  4. Access, review, and challenge of records
    1. A student or parents of the student will be accorded access to a student's records within a reasonable time after the submission of a written request, in person and with appropriate photo I.D., to the custodian of that record. Suitable arrangements will be made to permit the record to be reviewed in the presence of the custodian of that record or representative.
    2. The student or parent of a dependent child has the right to challenge the content of any record believed to be inaccurate, misleading, in violation of the student's rights, or otherwise inappropriate, and to insert into the record any written explanation of any matter in the file.
    3. The custodian of the record challenged shall conduct a hearing upon the matter at a reasonable time. The student or parent may present any evidence in support of the challenge. The custodian of the record shall make a decision in consultation with other appropriate College officials about whether the record should be adjusted or only notation added to the record that it was challenged. The decision shall be reached within a reasonable time after the hearing, not to exceed 10 business days.
    4. The student has 30 days to appeal the decision to the Vice President of Student Affairs and ask for a hearing. On behalf of the president of the College, the Vice President of Student Affairs shall refer the appeal to an appointed committee. The committee will include two professional or administrative staff members other than the one who has denied the request, two Associate Deans or faculty members, and one student. The College will notify the student, reasonably in advance, of the date, place and time of the hearing. 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 selected and secured by the student. The College 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. The decision of the hearing committee shall be final, except that administrative recourse to the Vice President of Student Affairs remains open.

      Students who are attending or have attended the College are to be accorded the rights of access to their records as specified by the Code with the exception of financial records of the parents of the student.
  5. Waiver of confidentiality
    A student or parent may consent to the release of any student information to any or agency provided the consent is in writing, signed and dated, specifies the information to be released, the reason for release, and the names of persons to whom the information is to be released.
  6. Copies of material in a student's record may be furnished to the student upon request except when a hold has been placed on his or her record pending the payment of debts owed to the College.
  7. Directory information
    1. Directory information may be released by the Registrar to the general public without the consent of the student unless the student has specifically asked that this prior consent be obtained.
    2. Directory information is listed in the College Catalog. (As of 2012-13, Directory Information includes: student name; major field of study; participation in officially recognized activities and sports; weight and height of athletes; dates of attendance; enrollment status; degrees and awards received; and photograph.)
    3. Seminole State College does not publish a formal student directory. However, when the College publishes the items named above it designates the information as "directory information." Each student is given a reasonable period of time to ask that such information not be released without prior consent. Students will be notified through published and posted notices; such notices shall designate a deadline to be by those students who wish to withhold consent for release of directory information.
  8. Further information relating to this procedure may be obtained from the Registrar. Inspection areas for information and records listed above are located in the offices of the custodians of each of the various records and information.
Recommended by Executive Team Date: 02/2014
Approved President, E. Ann McGee Date: 02/2014

 

Appendix A

Classification and Custody of Student Records

TypeContentsResponsible Party
General Academic history file; admission file; transcripts; general correspondence Office of the Registrar
Financial Aid All matters relating to applications for, granting, and receipt of any form of financial aid Office of Student Financial Resources
Financial Accounts receivable and records containing any information related to monies owed to the College Office of Finance and Budget
Medical (Students with Disabilities) Documentation for students who have disclosed a disability may include medical, learning, psychiatric evaluations. No information, except as provided by law, will be released without the student’s written consent. Office of Disability Support Services
Medical (Athletes) Medical records required of student athletes Athletic Department
Medical (Health Programs Students) Medical records required of students enrolled in designated health programs. Health Programs Departments
Student Conduct Information regarding the investigation, adjudication and imposition of sanctions for breach of the Student Code of Conduct or other policies and procedures Vice President of Student Affairs or designee
Employment (College Work Study) Financial aid Federal Work Study (FWS) records Office of Student Financial Resources
Employment (Unrelated to student status) All employment records including applications, benefits records, performance appraisals, salary information, etc. Office of Human Resources
Electronic Student Records Data maintained on the College’s Enterprise System are fully covered by this procedure. Security access by employees of the College will be assigned according to the employee’s role and will be implemented in compliance with FERPA requirements. Records may not be accessed by the user unless a legitimate educational interest exists or some other policy/procedure provision authorizing release applies. Data Trustees, Data Stewards, Data Custodians, and Data Users have specific roles and responsibilities with regard to Student Records. Refer to “Policies and Procedures, Chapter 7, Information Technology and Resources.”

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