Confidentiality of Student Records Policy

Steward
Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs
Category
Student policies
Effective date
March 1, 2005
Last content update
March 1, 2005

Purpose

To provide students with information about their rights. To comply with Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act (MGDPA).

Policy

Minnesota State Community and Technical College maintains records about students in various places within the College. For example, the Admissions Office maintains student records, as does the Registration Office. Under federal and state law, students have certain rights concerning the records the College maintains.

Under the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act (MGDPA) and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), students have the right:

  • To inspect and review their educational records.
  • To request an amendment of records for the purpose of correcting inaccurate or misleading records, or records which violate student privacy or other rights in some fashion.
  • To have a hearing regarding records which students believe are inaccurate or misleading, if the College does not amend records upon request.
  • To place a written statement explaining disagreement with the College in their records, if the College does not amend records after the opportunity for a hearing about whether the records are inaccurate or misleading.
  • To consent to disclosure of information which identifies students personally, except to the extent that disclosures are allowed without consent under state and federal law.
  • To file a complaint with the United States Department of Education if students believe the College is not meeting the requirements of the federal law. Written complaints should be sent to: Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20202-5920.
  • To obtain a copy of the College‚Äôs complete policy regarding education records. The College has policy information available in the Student Handbook section entitled Confidentiality of Student Records and Student Directory Data.

FERPA and the MGDPA permit disclosures without consent to college officials with legitimate educational interest. A college official is a person employed by the College in an administrative, supervisory, academic or support staff position; a person or company with whom the College has contracted; a student serving on official College committees; a person serving on the Board of Trustees or in the Office of the Chancellor; or a person assisting another College official in performing his or her tasks. A College official has legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility.

Records maintained on students are categorized as follows:

Public Data

Data that has been designated as directory data is considered public. The Student Directory Data policy defines directory data for Minnesota State Community and Technical College.

Private Data

Almost all educational data is private. Private data is accessible to the subject of the data and to those who have a business need for access to the data. Students must provide the College with prior written consent for disclosure of private data.

Confidential Data

Confidential data is not accessible to the subject of the data. Confidential data is accessible only to individuals or agencies authorized by law to have access to the data.

Students should contact the Dean of Student Services if they have questions about their rights.

Responsibility

President or Designee

Serve as the responsible authority for general data privacy compliance. Provide training for administrators. Designate a data practices compliance official for the College.

Campus Designee

Provide training for faculty and staff.

Dean of Student Services

Review policy on an annual basis. Assist faculty, staff and students with questions regarding the confidentiality of student information.

Registrar or Designee

Assist faculty, staff and students with questions regarding the confidentiality of student information.

References

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, 20 U.S.C; 34 CFR Part 99

Minnesota Government Data Practices Act, Chapter 13 of Minnesota Statutes

Minnesota State system Office of the General Counsel