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College Policy 4.11

Student Records Policy

Part 1. Confidentiality of Student Records

The Federal Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974, and the Minnesota State Legislative Chapter 479 and 401 provide for specific regulations regarding the collection, security, dissemination and confidential status of data in student records. Besides classroom academic papers, students enrolled in the College are required by various offices such as Admissions and Records, Activities, Business, Counseling and Advising, and Financial Aid to supply information necessary for services to be rendered to the student. The College gives assurance that student information will be safeguarded against improper disclosure as indicated in this policy. Students who refuse to supply official college-requested information will not receive the services rendered by that office.

Part 2. Public vs. Private Student Information

Subpart A. Public Information

At MCTC the following information is Public Information (directory information). This data is accessible to any member of the public for any review:

  • Name of Student
  • Date of Attendance
  • Graduation, Certification
  • Field of Study

MCTC does not publish a student directory. No directory or other list of students will be released to individuals or commercial agencies. (Please note exception: Students attending the Spring Graduation Ceremony may have their addresses released to the graduation photographer so that pictures may be mailed to participants.)

A student may make a written request not to release public information without his/her written permission (i.e., request confidentiality); this request should be submitted to the Records Office in T2200. Currently enrolled students should notify the Records Office by the fifth day of the term.

Subpart B. Private Information

Private information may be released by the College to students requesting information about themselves, to appropriate College personnel or to Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) personnel who have a legitimate educational interest, to the Higher Education Services Office, to the National Student Loan Clearinghouse for enrollment verification, or if necessary to protect the health and safety of the student or other persons. Other exceptions authorized by law which permit the release of private information without consent include: to other schools in which you seek or intend to enroll; to the federal Comptroller General or other federal, state or local educational officials for purposes of program compliance, audit, or evaluation; as appropriate, in connection with your application for, or receipt of, financial aid; to a court, grand jury or state or federal agency, if the information is sought with an appropriate subpoena or court order; to an institution engaged in research for an educational institution or agency related to testing, student aid, or improved instruction; an accrediting organization in connection with its accrediting functions; if required by a subpoena or a court order, or when permitted by other state or federal laws.

Private information includes:

  • Address and phone number of the student
  • Academic information including transcripts, grades, assessment and test results
  • Recommendation information
  • Evaluations
  • Profile information which identifies individuals
  • Student financial records and other financial information
  • Background information including behavior, performance, traits, etc.
  • Counselor records (except as they contain information stated as confidential or as public)
  • Suspension or probation status
  • Conduct reports

Subpart C. Exception to Private Information listed above

There is a federally mandated exception that authorizes the release of some otherwise private information to the United States military.

Under the Solomon Amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (1996), MCTC must provide access to the following information on students to the United States military:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Telephone listing
  • Date and place of birth
  • Level of education
  • Academic major
  • The educational institution in which the student was most recently enrolled

Part 3. Confidential Information

Confidential information is information available only to individuals or agencies authorized by law to gain access, such as investigation information, legal counsel data and some financial records and statements. This information may not be available to the subject of the data.

Part 4. Notification of rights under FERPA

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. They are:

  1. The right to inspect and review the student's education records within 45 days of the day the College receives a request for access. Students should submit to the Registrar, Dean, head of the academic department, or other appropriate official, written requests that identify the record(s) they wish 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.
  2. The right to request the amendment of the student's education records that the student believes are inaccurate or misleading. Students may ask the College to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate or misleading. They should write the College official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading. If the College 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. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.
  3. The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student's education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. One exception which permits disclosure without consent is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the College in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person or company with which the College has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); a person serving on the Board of Trustees; 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. 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. Upon request, the College discloses education records without consent to officials of another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll. (NOTE: FERPA requires an institution to make a reasonable attempt to notify the student of the records request unless the institution states in its annual notification that it intends to forward records on request.) MCTC discloses educational records to National Student Loan Clearing House, a national educational agency that serves as an agency of the College by providing verification of attendance for financial aid recipients and for other purposes.
  4. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by Minneapolis Community and Technical College to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the Office that administers FERPA are:
    Family Policy Compliance Office
    U.S. Department of Education
    600 Independence Avenue, SW
    Washington, DC 20202-4605

Part 5. Student Records Procedure Summary

In general, the following points are used to implement the Student Records Policy:

  1. No private information will be released to the public unless the student specifically requests in writing that such information be released.
  2. A student may submit a written request not to release public information without his/her written permission (i.e. request confidentiality) to the Registrar's Office in T.2200. Currently enrolled students should notify the Registrar's Office by the fifth day of the term.
  3. College employees can gain access only after following the procedures set forth in the policy.
  4. All student information records may be subject to subpoena.
  5. Information gathered on students will be used only to further students educational programs.
  6. Requests for information by telephone, without secured identification, will not be honored.
  7. Students must request academic transcripts in writing.
  8. Students applying for graduation and/or attending the graduation ceremony should be aware that their addresses may be provided to the photography studio present at the graduation ceremony.
  9. Students' addresses and social security numbers are accessed by the other colleges and universities and will be used for recruiting purposes only.
  10. Students who do not wish to have their social security number released to set up an e-mail account should notify the Registrar's Office by the first day of the term.

Date effective: 7/1/1999
Date last amended: 7/1/1999