FERPA

Student Privacy

Valencia College has a firm commitment to protecting the privacy rights of its students. In making this commitment, the College wants to ensure that all faculty and staff are familiar with state and federal laws pertaining to student privacy, as well as College policies and procedures that have been implemented to help guarantee student privacy.

All faculty and staff are asked to review this Web site, and take the short FERPA Quiz.

Notification of Rights under FERPA

Notification of Rights under FERPA
Valencia College

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) afford students certain rights with respect to their education records.  These rights include:

(1)  The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 5 days of the day the College receives a request for access.
A student should submit to the registrar, dean, head of the academic program, or other appropriate official, 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 should be addressed. 

(2)  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 College official responsible for the record, 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. 

(3)  The right to provide written consent before the College discloses personally identifiable information from the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.

The College discloses education records without a student’s prior written consent under the FERPA exception for disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests.  A school official is a person employed by the College or its Foundation in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position; a person or company with whom the College has contracted as its agent to provide a service instead of using College employees or officials (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); a person serving on the District Board of Trustees or the Foundation Board of Directors or a student or other person serving on an official committee, including without limitations disciplinary, grievance, or scholarship committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks.

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 or official responsibilities for the College.  Upon request, the College also discloses education records without consent to officials of another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll or is already enrolled, when the disclosure is for purposes related to the student’s enrollment or transfer.

(4) 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  20202-5901

Directory Information Public Notice

(a)  The College may disclose directory information upon request without consent.  The College has identified the following as directory information:

1. Student’s name
2. Major field of study
3. Dates of attendance
4. Dates of degrees and awards received

An eligible parent or eligible student has the right to refuse to let the College designate any or all of those types of information about the student as directory information.  If you refuse to permit the College to release any or all of those types of directory information, you must inform the Admissions/Records Office in writing within forty five (45) days of the first day of classes of each session.  Your decision to refuse the release of any or all of those types of directory information also means that your name will not appear on recognition lists or in news releases, etc.  Thereafter, you must provide written consent for the release of information to second parties.  The confidential hold will remain on your record until you submit your written consent to release the hold. 

Top

What is FERPA?

FERPA stands for Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (sometimes called the Buckley Amendment). Passed by Congress in 1974, the Act grants four specific rights to college students. Section 1002.22, Florida Statute, substantially enacts provisions of FERPA as a matter of state law, with minor variations. Valencia Policy contains policy and procedures related to implementation of these laws:

  • the right to see the information that the institution is keeping on the student
  • the right to seek amendment to those records and in certain cases append a statement to the record
  • the right to consent to disclosure of his/her records
  • the right to file a complaint with the FERPA Office in Washington
    Information is also available at http://www.ed.gov/offices/OII/fpco/ferpa/

Top

FERPA FAQs

What are Education Records?

Information recorded in any form that is directly related to a student and maintained by the college and by those acting for the college.

  • personal information
  • enrollment records
  • grades
  • schedules

The storage medium in which you find this information does not matter. A student educational record may be:

  • a document in the Admissions and Records District office
  • a computer printout in your office
  • a class list on your desktop
  • a computer display screen

Education Records Do Not Include:

  • Records of instructional, supervisory and administrative personnel kept in the sole possession of the maker of the record and not revealed to anyone other than the maker's substitute;
  • Records of a campus law enforcement unit created and maintained by that unit and used solely for law enforcement purposes;
  • Employment records, maintained apart from educational records, relating to persons who are employees;
  • Records kept and maintained by a health care professional, used solely in connection with treatment and disclosed only to individuals providing treatment; or
  • Records which include information about an individual after he or she is no longer a student.

Top

What is the Right to Inspect and Review?

Valencia must grant requests to review within a reasonable time but in no case more than 45 days after the request is received. Valencia must respond to reasonable requests for explanations and interpretations of the records.

Top

What is Prior Written Consent?

A signed and dated document that includes specification of the records to be disclosed, the purpose of the disclosure and the identity of the person to whom records will be disclosed. A written consent form can be accessed by clicking here (pdf).

Top

When is Consent Not Required? (This is not an exhaustive list of exceptions)

  • For legitimate educational purposes within the college.
  • To officials at an institution in which student seeks to enroll.
  • To comply with a court order or subpoena.
  • In connection with a health or safety emergency if necessary to protect the student or others.
  • To parents of students who are dependents for income tax purposes.
  • If it is directory information.
  • To parents of a student younger than 21 years of age if the disclosure concerns discipline for violation of the campus drug and alcohol policy.

Top

What is Directory Information for Valencia Community College?

  • Student's Name
  • Major Field of Study
  • Dates of Attendance
  • Dates of Degrees and Awards Received

Top

Special "DON'TS" For Faculty and Support Staff

To avoid violations of FERPA rules,

DO NOT:

  • at any time use the Social Security Number of a student in a public posting of grades
  • ever link the name of a student with that student's social security number in any public manner
  • leave graded tests in a stack for students to pick up by sorting through the papers of all students
  • circulate a printed class list with student name and social security number or grades as an attendance roster
  • discuss the progress of any student with anyone other than the student (including parents) without the consent of the student
  • provide anyone with lists of students enrolled in your classes for any commercial or other purpose
  • provide anyone with student schedules or assist anyone other than college employees in finding a student on campus

Top

Click here to take the FERPA Quiz