Educational Records and Transcripts
Privacy rights regarding access to information are observed in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, commonly known as the Buckley Amendment.
In accordance with the provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (Section 438 of the General Education Provisions Act 20 USC 1232), Middlesex Community College has adopted the regulations given below to protect the privacy rights of its students. Revisions and clarifications will be published as experience with the law and the institutions policy warrants.
Students are informed of their rights under this act through the College Catalog and the Student Handbook. In compliance with this federal law, the college has established a policy to protect students from misuse of information in their personal folders and to allow students access to their own folders. The policy is summarized as follows:
Location of Educational Records
Most educational records are kept in the Office of Records and Registration. Other offices may maintain informal or unofficial records. Inquiries concerning those records should be made in writing to the Registrar. [For information on how to request your transcript, see page 164]
Disclosure of Information from Records
The College, unless requested not to do so by the student, will release directory information about individual students to anyone who inquires. Directory Information is limited to name, address, date of enrollment, date of graduation, degree received, curriculum in which the student is enrolled, date of birth, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of athletic team members, and official college honors such as Deans List. Students who do not wish to have directory information released must complete a Request to Prevent Disclosure of Directory Information form in the Student Information Centers. In no case will the College release a list of all students or groups of students to non-college personnel.
No information, other than that contained in the directory (as outlined above), will be released without a students written consent except when prior written consent is not required by the Act. The College must disclose educational records without written consent of students to those federal and state government agencies and officials provided by law. The college must also provide the access of education records to:
- Personnel within the College determined by the College to have legitimate education interest. "Legitimate Education Interest" is defined as the demonstrated need to know by those College officials who act in the student education, professional employees and other persons who manage student record information.
- Officials of other institutions in which a student seeks to enroll on condition that the issuing institution attempts to inform students of the disclosure, or makes such a transfer of information a stated institutional policy. (This notification is to be considered as such.)
- Organizations contributing to a students financial aid, or determining financial aid decisions concerning eligibility, amount, condition and enforcement of terms of said aid.
- Organizations conducting studies to develop, validate and administer predictive tests, to administer student aid programs or to improve instruction.
- Accrediting organizations carrying out their functions.
- Parents of a student who have established that students status as a dependent according to the Internal Revenue Code. (Parent(s) must provide a certified copy of the appropriate federal income tax form.)
- Persons in compliance with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena, provided the College makes an attempt to notify the student. (The student will be notified in writing by the Registrar that a subpoena has been issued.)
- Persons in an emergency, if the knowledge of information, in fact, is necessary to protect the health and safety of student(s) or other persons.
NOTE: Information concerning applicants to the College who have not yet enrolled will not be released to anyone.
Inspection and Review of Records
Students may inspect and review their educational records upon request to the Registrar. As of January 1975, students have the right to examine their own files. There are, however, limitations that do exist on students rights to inspect and review these records. The College does reserve the right to deny students access to confidential letters and recommendations placed in their files prior to January 1975, confidential letters and recommendations associated with admission, employment or job placement, or honors to which students have waived rights of inspection and records containing information about more than one student. (In such cases, the College must permit access to that part of the record which pertains only to the inquiring student.)
Challenge of Records
Students have the right to challenge records they believe to be inaccurate, incomplete or incorrectly disseminated. If the outcome of the challenge is unsatisfactory, the student may submit an explanatory statement of inclusion in the education record. Such a statement shall become part of the information contained in the educational record and will be disclosed with it.
Records of Requests and Disclosures
The college will maintain records of requests and disclosures of non-directory information. The records of requests shall include the names and addresses of the person(s) who requested the information and their legitimate interests in the information. Records of requests and disclosures need not be maintained for:
- Those requests made by students for their own use.
- Those disclosures made in response to written requests from students.
- Those made by school officials.
- Those specified as Directory Information.
The records of disclosures and requests for disclosures are considered a part of the students education records; therefore, they must be retained as long as the education records to which they refer are retained by the College.
Right of Complaint
Students who believe that the College is not complying with the requirements of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) or the regulations issued by the Department of Education implementing that Act may file complaints in writing to:
FAMILY POLICY COMPLIANCE OFFICE
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-5920
Copies of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act as amended are available in the Office of Records and Registration.