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.
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).
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).
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:
- Illegally accessing information from student or faculty information terminals
- Misrepresentation to obtain another student’s transcript, semester grades, or class registration;
- 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
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.”
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