What is FERPA?
The Family Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended (commonly known as the Buckley Amendment), is a federal law which provides that colleges and universities shall maintain the confidentiality of all student educational records. The law states that no person outside the institution shall have access to a student’s education records, nor shall the institution disclose any information from those records without the prior written consent of the student. Certain personnel within the institution may view privileged records in cases of emergency or in order to protect the health or safety of the student or other persons.
While the law does permit parental access when the student is a dependent of the parent(s) defined in Section 152 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, some of our students are dependents under the IRS definition and others are not. For expediency, it is recommended that any student wishing to allow third parties to access any of their information at the College should complete this form and submit it to the Student Affairs Office. College employees will verify that this document is on file before releasing any information. If the consent is not signed, we will not be able to allow third party access to academic, financial or other records except to a parent that provides documentation that a student is a dependent for tax purposes as defined by the IRS.
It is the policy of Mesalands Community College to ensure the right of privacy and access to the student of his or her education records in accordance with the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), its amendments, and the final rule of the U.S. Department of Education.
This act gives students certain rights regarding their records:
- The right to inspect information contained in the student’s educational records.
- The right to request correction of records upon proof of error.
- The right to prevent disclosure of records without consent, with certain exceptions, including directory information, as delineated in the College’s complete policy.
- The right to secure a copy of the College’s complete policy (see Office of Enrollment Management).
- The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the College to comply with the provisions of the Act.
- The right to have directory information withheld (see Release of Student Information).
Release of Student Information
With the exception of “directory information” and other exceptions permitted by the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), no access to a student’s, or former student’s, educational records will be granted unless a written authorization form is completed.
Directory information consists of the following:
Name, mailing address, date of birth, major field of study, classification (freshman or sophomore), dates of attendance (terms), honors and degrees awarded, photographic image, email address, and the name of the educational agency or college attended immediately prior to coming to Mesalands Community College.
Students who are currently enrolled and wish to deny release of directory information must complete an “Access to Student Records” form in the Office of Enrollment Management. Restriction of directory information will only be honored while the student is currently enrolled at Mesalands Community College. Should a student not maintain continuous enrollment, he or she must complete another form upon readmission.
Campus Safety and Security is available 24/7 and can be reached by dialing 8111 on a campus phone. They can help you contact the police if you wish to file a report or obtain a court issued protection order that can extend to the community.
The Clery Act requires colleges and universities to report campus crime data, support victims of violence, and publicly outline the policies and procedures they have put into place to improve campus safety.
Feelings of being in danger are normal after experiencing or knowing someone who experienced sexual harassment. We recommend that these individuals coordinate with Campus Safety and Security.
Supportive measures are available if needed and can be arranged through our Title IX Coordinator. You do not need to file a formal complaint to receive supportive measures from Mesalands.
If a student receiving Federal Title IV funds completely terminates enrollment (i.e. begins the official withdrawal process) or ceases to attend classes (unofficially withdraws) before the end of a payment period, then a recalculation of Federal Financial Aid is required by federal regulations to determine earned and unearned portions of Title IV aid (Federal Student Loans, Pell Grant, and/or Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)).