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Privacy of Student Records - FERPA

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (as amended)

Western Oklahoma  State  College  (Western)  designates  the  following  student  information  as  public  or directory information which may be released at any time without the express consent of the student.


Directory Information

Category 1:
Student’s name, local and permanent address, e-mail address, telephone number(s), classification, dates of attendance at Western, enrollment status (full-time, part-time).

Category 2:
Major  field(s)  of  study/degree  program,  educational  institutions  previously  attended,  degrees  and awards  granted,  educational  background,  degree(s)  held  and  date(s)  granted  and  institutions granting such degree(s).

Category 3:
Place  of  birth,  participation  in  officially  recognized  organizations,  activities,  and  sports, and  weight  and  height  of  participants  in  officially  recognized  sports.    This information may be disclosed by the college for any purpose, at its discretion.

Students may withhold disclosure of any or all categories of directory information.  Forms requesting the withholding of directory information are available in the registrar’s office in Room SSC200A.  Forms must be submitted by the end of the add/drop period.


Release for Educational Purposes

It is the policy of the college to release personally identifiable information from the educational records of a  student,  without  written  consent,  to  college  officials  (faculty,  staff,  administration,  and  agents  of  the college  having  responsibility  for  working  with  students  in  admissions,  registration,  advisement, counseling,  teaching,  financial aid, payment of  fees or any other activity directly  related  to  the student’s academic program, or pursuant to law or government regulation.)

Attempts  by  other  individuals  or  organizations  to  access  student  records  without  the  express  written consent of the student are considered a violation of college policy and federal law.  Examples of violations include, but are not limited to:

  1. Illegally accessing information from student or faculty information terminals
  2. Misrepresentation to obtain another student’s transcript, semester grades, or class registration;


  3. Using  a  student’s  ID  number  without  his/her  permission  to  gain  access  to  other  college services.


Access to Student Records

Students are entitled to access official educational  records directly  related  to  the student,  including  the right of  inspection and  review within 45 days of  the day  that  the college  receives a  request  for access from an eligible student.  The student may request to see his/her records by filing a written request to the college registrar. Conduct  records  may  be  requested  by  contacting  the  Dean  of  Student  Support Services.

By  written  declaration  the  student may  authorize  access  to  his/her  educational  records  by  parents  or other individuals.  The right to access shall include the following:

  • The right to a list of the types of educational records maintained by the institution and directly related to students.
  • The right to inspect and review the content of those records.
  • The right to obtain copies of those records, which may be at the expense of the eligible student or parent.    Parents  of  a  dependent  student  as  defined  in  Section  152  of  the  Internal Revenue Code of 1954 are entitled to access official education records of that student.
  • The  right  to  a  response  from  that  institution  to  reasonable  requests  for  explanations  and interpretations of those records.
  • The  right  to  inspect  and  review  or  to  be  informed  of  specific  information  about  themselves which is contained in any material or document on more than one student.
  • The right to an opportunity for a hearing to challenge the content to those records as follows.

    • The hearing shall be conducted and a decision rendered within a reasonable period of  time following the request for the hearing;
    • The hearing shall be conducted, and the decision rendered by an institutional official or other party who does not have a direct interest in the outcome of the hearing;
    • The  eligible  parents  or  student  shall  be  afforded  a  full  and  fair  opportunity  to  present evidence  relevant  to  the  issues  raised  under  subpart  C,  Section  99  of  the  Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974; and
    • The  decision  shall  be  rendered  in writing within  a  reasonable  period  of  time  after  the conclusion of the hearing.


Transportation of Confidential Data

Approved Methods and Procedures for the Transportation of Confidential Data


Health or Safety Emergency

FERPA permits non-consensual disclosure of education records, or personally identifiable, non-directory information from education records, in connection with a health or safety emergency under § 99.31 (a)(10) and § 99.36 of the FERPA regulations. Educational agencies and institutions may disclose information from an education record “to appropriate parties in connection with an emergency if knowledge of the information is necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or other individuals” and that exception will be “strictly construed.”


Compliance Complaints

Eligible students and the parents of a student have the right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of  Education  concerning  alleged  failures  by  Western  Oklahoma  State  College  to  comply  with  the requirements  of  the  Family  Educational  Rights  and  Privacy  Act  (FERPA)  of  1974.    The name and address of the office that administers FERPA of 1974 is:

Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue SW
Washington, DC 20202-4605
Telephone:  202.260.3887