Notification of Rights under FERPA for Postsecondary Institutions
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords eligible students certain rights with respect to their education records. (An “eligible student” under FERPA is a student who is 18 years of age or older or who attends a postsecondary institution at any age.) These rights include:
- The right to inspect and review the student's education records within 45 days after the day the college receives a request for access. A student should submit to the Registrar a written request that identifies the record(s) the student wishes to inspect. The college official will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the college official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.
- The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes is inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights under FERPA.
A student who wishes to ask the college to amend a record should write the Registrar, clearly identify the part of the record the student wants changed, and specify why it should be changed.
If the college decides not to amend the record as requested, the college will notify the student in writing of the decision and the student’s right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.
- The right to provide written consent before the college discloses personally identifiable information (PII) from the student's education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
Rend Lake College discloses education records without a student’s prior written consent under the FERPA exception for disclosure to college officials with legitimate educational interests. A college official is typically includes a person employed by the college in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person serving on the board of trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee. A college official also may include a volunteer or contractor outside of the college who performs an institutional service of function for which the college would otherwise use its own employees and who is under the direct control of the college with respect to the use and maintenance of PII from education records, such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent or a student volunteering to assist another school official in performing his or her tasks. A college official typically has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibilities for Rend Lake College.
- The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the college to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the office that administers FERPA is:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202
Notice for Directory Information
FERPA requires that Rend Lake College, with certain exceptions, obtain your written consent prior to the disclosure of personally identifiable information from your education records. However, Rend Lake College may disclose appropriately designated “directory information” without written consent, unless you have advised the college to the contrary in accordance with college procedures. The primary purpose of directory information is to allow the college to include information from your education records in certain school publications. Examples include:
- A playbill, showing your role in a drama production;
- The annual yearbook;
- Honors or other recognition lists;
- Graduation programs; and
- Sports activity sheets showing weight, height, and other individual statistics of team members.
Directory information, which is information that is generally not considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if released, can also be disclosed to outside organizations without your prior written consent. Outside organizations include, but are not limited to, companies that manufacture class rings or publish yearbooks.
If you do not want the college to disclose any or all of the types of information designated below as directory information from your education records without your prior written consent, you must notify the Office of Student Records in person, and must sign a statement by the first two weeks of the semester. The restriction on the release of student information does not expire unless a student submits a request in writing to the Office of Student Records. Rend Lake College has designated the following information as directory information:
- Date of Birth
- Dates of attendance
- Fields of study
- Full- or part-time status
- Most recent previous institution attended (if known)
- Degrees and awards received
- Participation in officially recognized activities / sports