The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, also known as FERPA or the Buckley Amendment, protects the privacy of student education records while allowing colleges to maintain campus safety. Trident Technical College restricts the disclosure of information from student education records to third parties and provides students the right to review their student education records.
CONTENTS OF STUDENT EDUCATION RECORDS
FERPA requires that students' educational records remain confidential. The student education records of students and formerly enrolled students consist of those records, files, documents and other materials directly related to a student that the college maintains, including digital records. The College maintains student education records, including electronic records, in accordance with the General Records Retention Schedule for the state of South Carolina and Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
Under FERPA regulations, the following records are not considered to be student "education records" and not available for student inspection:
- Private notes of faculty and staff;
- Campus law enforcement records;
- Student's medical or psychiatric records;
- Student's employment records;
- Parents' financial statements submitted for financial aid;
- DIRECTORY INFORMATION
TTC may disclose without student consent, "directory" information - name of student, address (both local, including e-mail address and permanent), telephone number (both local and permanent), dates of registered attendance, enrollment status (e.g. full-time or part-time), school or division of enrollment, major field of study, nature and dates of degrees and awards received, and participation in officially recognized activities. To restrict publication of directory information, a student must notify the Registrar's office in writing.
- PERSONALLY IDENTIFIABLE INFORMATION
FERPA regulations specifically prohibit the use of 'personally identifiable information that, alone or in combination, links or is linkable to a specific student's identity' without the student's permission. Social security numbers are personally identifiable and contain private information that is part of the student's education records. The College may choose to restrict a student's birth date and birthplace as personally identifiable information as a protection from identity theft.
- DESIGNATED OFFICIAL The Registrar is responsible for controlling the privacy, access, and disclosure of student education records.
- THIRD-PARTY ACCESS
When a student turns 18 years old or enters a postsecondary institution at any age, all rights afforded to parents under FERPA transfers to the student. TTC accords all the rights under this act to independent students. Parents of independent students have no access to student education records unless the independent student signs a release of information for the parent.
TTC may disclose education records to parents without the student's consent when:
- The student is a dependent for income tax purposes;
- A health or safety emergency involves their child;
- A student under age 21 violates any law or college policy concerning the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance.
Upon application to the College, students with a dual enrollment status, have provided written consent for their parent or guardian to have access to their student education records. Parent or guardian must provide identification when requesting information.
TTC may disclose student education records to appropriate parties as exceptions under the Act as follows:
- TTC employees with a legitimate 'need to know' the student's information
- Another institution of higher learning where the student intends to enroll
- Persons or organizations providing financial aid to the student
- Accrediting agencies carrying out accreditation functions
- In compliance with a judicial order
- In response to a health or safety emergency
- Final results of a disciplinary proceeding to the alleged victim of any crime of violence or no-forcible sex offenses
- The results of a disciplinary proceeding to anyone when a student is an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence or non-forcible sex offense, and the student has committed a violation of the college's rules or policies
- FACULTY AND STAFF RESTRICTIONS
The Registrar permits faculty and employees of TTC who have a "legitimate educational interest" in the student education records access to computerized permanent student education records in the college's student records database. The Registrar identifies security levels in the student records database based on the employee’s position at the college. Except as noted above, no faculty or employee outside the Registrar's office has access to view student education records without the prior consent of the Dean of Enrollment Management. The Registrar will report any security violations to the Assistant Vice President for Student Services for appropriate action or referral to other college authorities.
- RIGHT TO VIEW STUDENT EDUCATION RECORDS FERPA provides students with the right to inspect and review information contained in their education record. Students may request to review their education records by contacting the Registrar, who will verify the requestor's authenticity and, if appropriate, provide access to the file.
- CHALLENGE OF THE CONTENTS OF STUDENT EDUCATION RECORDS FERPA provides students with the right to challenge the contents of their education records, to have a hearing if the outcome of the challenge is unsatisfactory, and to submit explanatory statements for inclusion in their files if the decisions of the hearing panels are unacceptable.
Students may challenge the contents of their education records that they consider inaccurate, misleading or otherwise in violation of their privacy or other rights. The Registrar will receive challenge requests and determine within a reasonable period whether to take corrective action consistent with the student's request. The Registrar will notify students who make challenge requests of the decision(s) the Registrar has reached.
If decisions reached are in accordance with the student's request, the Registrar will correct, amend, or delete the appropriate records. When a student disagrees with the decision, the student has the right to appeal to the Dean of Enrollment Management. When the student disagrees with the Dean's decision, the student may appeal to the Vice President for Student Services, whose decision is final. When the final decision is unsatisfactory to the student, the student has the opportunity to place a statement about the information in the education record. The Registrar's office is responsible for maintaining the statement as part of the student's education record for as long as TTC retains student records.
- NOTICE TO STUDENTS The College informs students, parents, and guardians annually in both the TTC Catalog and the TTC Student Handbook of the right to access and review their education records.