FERPA (The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act)
Nassau Community College
CONFIDENTIALITY OF STUDENT RECORDS
Notification of Rights under FERPA
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students attending post-secondary
institutions certain rights with respect to their education records. An "Education
Record" is defined as a record that is directly related to a student and is maintained
by Nassau Community College. FERPA rights include:
- The right to inspect and review the student's education records within 45 days of
the day the College receives a request for access.
- A student should submit a written request to the Office of the Registrar that identifies
the record(s) the student wishes to inspect. A College official will make arrangements
for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected.
If the particular records are not maintained by the Office of the Registrar, the College
official responding to the request shall advise the student of the correct Department
and individual within the College to whom the request should be addressed.
- The right to request the amendment of the student's education records that the student
believes are 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 to 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 of 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 the student is notified of the right to a hearing.
- 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, as described below. Nassau Community College
will not disclose information from a student's education record without the student's
written consent, except in the following situations:
- The College discloses education records without a student's prior written consent
to school officials with legitimate educational interests.
- A "school official" is a person employed by the College in an administrative, supervisory,
academic, or support staff position (including Public Safety personnel and health
staff); 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 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 responsibilities
for the College.
- Upon request, the College also discloses education records without the student's consent
to officials of another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll, as
long as the disclosure is for the purposes related to the student's transfer or enrollment
in such institution.
- Disclosure to authorized representatives of the Comptroller General of the United
States, the Attorney General of the United States, the U.S. Department of Education,
state/local educational authorities, organizations conducting studies for or on behalf
of the College, and accrediting organizations. Disclosures under this provision may
be made in connection with an audit or evaluation of Federal or State-supported education
programs, or for the enforcement of or compliance with Federal legal requirements
related to those programs. These entities may make further disclosures of Personally
Identifiable Information to outside entities that are designated by them as their
authorized representatives to conduct any audit, evaluation, or enforcement or compliance
activity on their behalf.
- Disclosure is in connection with a student's application for, and receipt of, financial
aid, if the information is necessary to determine eligibility for the aid, determine
the amount of the aid, determine the conditions of the aid, or enforce the terms and
conditions of such aid.
- Disclosure is to comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena.
- Disclosure is to parents of dependent students, as defined by the Internal Revenue
Code of 1986, Section 152. (While FERPA permits disclosure of records to parents of
dependent students without student consent, it does not require such disclosure. The
parent must provide a copy of their most recent federal income tax return establishing
the student's dependency. Full rights under the Act shall be given to either parent,
unless the College has been provided with evidence that there is a court order, or
other legally binding document relating to such matters as divorce, separation or
custody that specifically revokes those rights.)
- Disclosure is to appropriate parties in the event of a health or safety emergency.
- Disclosure of information the College has designated as "Directory information", as
more particularly described below.
- Disclosure is to a victim of a crime of violence or a non-forcible sex offense, when
such disclosure is of the final results of any disciplinary proceedings conducted
by the College against the alleged perpetrator of such crime or offense.
- Disclosure to the general public of the final results of a disciplinary proceeding,
if the College determines that the 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 Code of Conduct with respect to the allegation made against him or her.
- Disclosure is to the student's parent about the student's violation of any Federal,
State or local law, or any policy of the College which governs the use and possession
of drugs or alcohol, but only if the student is under 21 years of age.
- 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
Additional information about the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act may be
obtained on the United States Department of Education website: http://www.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/ferpa/index.html
FERPA requires that the College, with the exceptions outlined above, obtain a student's
written consent prior to disclosing to a third party any personally identifiable information about that student. However, the College may disclose information designated as "directory information"
without prior written consent of the student. Directory information is generally considered
information that is not harmful or an invasion of privacy if released.
Nassau Community College has designated the following items as directory information:
- a student's name,
- student's ID number ("N Number")
- mailing address,
- major field of study,
- enrollment status (full-time/part-time),
- dates of attendance,
- degrees being pursued,participation in College sports and/or activities,
- weight and height of members of athletic teams, and
- degrees, honors and awards received.
The main purpose of designating the above information as "directory" is to permit
the College to include this information in certain publications, such as: listing
your name on the graduation program, submitting your awards and accomplishments for
publication in a local newspaper, or printing your name in a playbill should you participate
in a theater production on campus. The College does not release any directory information
to commercial entities seeking to conduct solicitations or fund-raising activities.
Nassau Community College honors its duty to protect the confidentiality of student
records. However, the College may disclose a student's "directory information" without
obtaining student's written consent, unless the student has submitted a written "opt out" request, to the Office of the Registrar not to release any directory information pertaining to them. The opt-out form will
be available in the Office of the Registrar and may be filled out any time. Please
note that submitting an "opt-out" request will not prevent the College from requiring
students to display or disclose their ID card with their N number printed on it when
engaging in College-related activities and transactions.
NEGATIVE CONSEQUENCES OF OPTING OUT: Students who choose to restrict access to their Directory Information should be aware
that doing so may result in unintended negative consequences. For example, organizations
such as potential employers, scholarship agencies, members of the press, loan agencies,
educational organizations and others will not be given access to the student's directory
information, and will not be able to contact the student. Opting out of directory
information classification may mean that you will miss out on valuable employment,
educational, cultural and other opportunities.