The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. Once a student reaches 18 years of age or attends a postsecondary institution, he or she becomes an “eligible student,” and all rights formerly given to parents under FERPA transfer to the student.
The student has the right to:
- Inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days of the College receiving a request for access.
- Request that the student’s education records that he/she believes are inaccurate or misleading be amended.
- Consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
- File a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by University of Arkansas Community College in Morrilton to comply with the requirements of FERPA.
The name and address of the Office that administers FERPA is:
Family Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
600 dependence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20202-4605
The primary purpose of directory information is to allow UACCM to include information from the student’s education records in certain school publications for student recognition, honor roll, and graduation programs. Directory information is generally not considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if released and can be disclosed to outside organizations without a student’s prior written consent.
UACCM has designated the following information as directory information:
Student’s name, address, telephone, electronic mail address, photograph, date of birth, major field of study, dates of enrollment, grade level, participation in recognized activities and sports, certificates and/or degrees received, enrollment status, honors and recognition awards received, and most recent school attended. UACCM may disclose any of these items without prior written consent, unless notified in writing to the contrary prior to disclosure. To prevent disclosure of “directory information,” you must notify the UACCM Registrar’s Office in writing. Student notification is only effective for one semester or summer term.
Disclosure of Educational Records
- A student is defined as any person who attends or has attended UACCM.
- Educational records are defined as records that contain information directly related to a student and which are maintained by an educational agency or institution or by a party acting for the agency or institution.
- A school official is a person employed by UACCM in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel); a person or company with whom the College has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, collection agent, or internship agreement, verification agencies such as the National Student Clearinghouse); a person serving on the Board; 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.
One exception which permits disclosure without consent is disclosure to “school officials” with “legitimate educational interests.” 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.
Additionally, educational records and personal information may be released in the following circumstances:
- To comply with a judicial order or a lawfully issued subpoena, upon the condition that UACCM makes a reasonable effort to notify the student in advance of the release of records.
- Emergency situations, if knowledge of personal information is necessary to protect the health and safety of a student or other person(s).
- UACCM is required to comply with military requests for student information, in accordance with the Solomon Amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act, 1995/1996, and the Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Act, 1997.
- To certain officials of the U.S. Department of Education, the Comptroller General, and state and local educational authorities, in connection with certain state or federally supported educational programs.
- To the parents of a student less than 21 years of age; information regarding the student’s violation of law or policy governing the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance.
- In connection with the student’s request for a receipt of financial aid, as necessary to determine eligibility, amount or conditions of the financial aid, or to enforce the terms and conditions of the aid.
- The results of any disciplinary proceedings to the alleged victim of a crime of violence.
- To organizations conducting certain studies for or on behalf of the school.
- To accrediting organizations to carry out their functions.
- Upon request, UACCM may disclose educational records without consent to officials of another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll.
Inspection and Review of Educational Records
Students should submit to the Registrar written requests that identify the record(s) they wish to inspect. The Registrar may respond or forward the request to the appropriate College official who will make arrangements for access and notify the students of the time and place where the records may be inspected within 45 days of the request.
Privacy Rights of Students
Under FERPA, a school is not generally required to maintain particular educational records or education records that contain specific information. Rather, a school is required to provide certain privacy protections for those educational records that it does maintain. Also, unless there is an outstanding request by an eligible “student” to inspect and review education records, FERPA permits the school to destroy such records without notice to the student.
Right of UACCM to Refuse Records Access
The University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton reserves the right to refuse the student access to the following records that are not considered to be Educational Records under FERPA:
- Financial statement - of the student’s parents.
- Letters and statements of recommendation - for which the student has waived his or her right of access.
- Personal records - kept by a faculty/staff member in the personal possession of the individual who made the record, and information contained in the record has never been revealed or made available to any other person except the maker’s temporary substitute.
- Employment records - of an individual whose employment is not contingent on the fact that he or she is a student, provided the record is used only in relation to the individual’s employment.
- Medical or mental health records – treatment records maintained separately from educational records.
- Law enforcement records - kept by the campus law enforcement unit and must be:
- Maintained separately from educational records.
- Maintained solely for law enforcement purposes.
- Disclosed only to law enforcement officials of the same jurisdiction.
Record of Requests for Disclosure of Information
The University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton will maintain a record of written requests for disclosure of information from a student’s educational records. The record will indicate the name or the party making the request, any additional party to whom it may be re-disclosed, and the legitimate interests the party had in requesting or obtaining the information. The record may be reviewed by eligible students or individuals designated in writing by the student.
Request for Correction or Amendments to Educational Records
Students may ask the University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate or misleading. The student should identify in writing to the Registrar the part of the record he/she believes is inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of his/her privacy or other rights. The letter should also specify why they believe the information to be inaccurate. This right cannot be used to challenge a grade. See the change of grade policy for details.
If the UACCM 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.
Upon request, UACCM will arrange for a hearing and notify the student reasonably in advance of the date, place, and time of the hearing. The hearing will be conducted by a hearing officer who may be an official of UACCM. 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 educational records and may be assisted by other individuals.
UACCM will prepare a written decision based solely on the evidence presented and the reasons for the decision.
If UACCM decides that the challenged information is not inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the student’s right of privacy, it will notify the student that he/she has a right to place in the record a statement commenting on the challenged information and/or a statement setting forth reasons for disagreeing with the decision. The statement will be maintained as part of the student’s educational record along with the contested portion of the record.
If UACCM decides that the information is inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the student’s right of privacy, it will amend the record and notify the student in writing that the record has been amended.
Official transcripts and educational records are confidential information which are maintained in the Registrar’s Office. Transcript information may be transmitted to another agency, school, college, university or individual upon the student’s signed request. Please see the Transcript Request section under the Registrar’s Portal Tab for all requests and delivery options.
Students receiving assistance from certain programs, such as WIA or Rehabilitation, must sign a Release of Information Request in order for their academic records to be released to the respective funding agency.
Withholding of Diplomas, Transcripts, and Registration
The Registrar of each campus is authorized to withhold diplomas and official transcripts and to refuse registration to any student or former student:
- Who fails to return University property;
- Who fails to cooperate with any University disciplinary process, investigation, or audit, or otherwise fails to comply with University policies;
- Who has failed to pay any fees, tuition, fines, or other charges assessed by a University official or by the campus disciplinary system.
With respect to any sums owed, this policy does not apply to students or former students if the University has received from a bankruptcy court a notice that a bankruptcy petition has been filed on their behalf or that the debt has been discharged in bankruptcy. Upon the conclusion of the bankruptcy case, this policy shall apply to all debt not discharged by the bankruptcy court or as permitted by law.