Policies & Disclosures : Notification of Rights Under FERPA
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law that protects the privacy of a student’s education records. In compliance with FERPA, Northcentral Technical College (NTC) does not disclose personally identifiable information contained in student education records, except as authorized by law.
FERPA affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. These rights include:
- The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days of the day the NTC receives a request for access.
- The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes is inaccurate or misleading.
- The right to provide written consent before NTC discloses personally identifiable information from the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
- The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by NTC 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 20202-4605
An eligible student under FERPA is an individual of any age who attends or has attended the College. ‘In attendance’ means a student who is or has been enrolled in a post-secondary class. This term does not apply to an individual who never attended the college.
Definition of Educational Records
An educational record is any record (electronic, handwritten, print, magnetic tape, film, diskette, etc) maintained by NTC and from which a student can be personally identified. This includes transcripts or other records obtained from a school in which a student was previously enrolled. A student has the right to access these records.
An educational record is not:
- Sole possession records or private notes held by school officials that are not accessible or released to other persons or groups. These are personal notes and are made by one person as an individual observation or recollection.
- Employment records
- Medical and counseling records used solely for treatment
- Financial records of parents
- Confidential letters and statements of recommendations placed in records prior to January 1, 1975.
- Confidential letters and statements of recommendations for admission, employment, or honorary recognition placed in records after January 1, 1975, for which students have waived the right to inspect and review.
- Records that contain only information about a person after that person is no longer a student at this institution (e.g. information gathered in follow-up surveys or for alumni and foundation purposes).
In accordance with the Act, Northcentral Technical College has designated the following categories as public information and can be released to a third party unless a student chooses to restrict the release of this information.
- Telephone Listing
- Major field of study
- Dates of attendance including enrollment status, full-time/part-time status, credits, classification and year, matriculation and withdrawal dates
- Degrees and awards received (type of degree and date granted)
- Photos and videos of students for use in College press releases, publications and websites
- Participation in officially recognized activities
- Most recent previous educational agency or institution attended
According to federal law, the College must release directory information including date of birth to the United States Armed Forces. Directory information is not openly published and third party requests for directory information will be considered under the provisions of the Wisconsin Public Records Law.
Withholding of Directory Information
Students have the right to restrict the release of directory information by contacting the Student Records Office and formally requesting and completing the Request to Withhold Student Information form. To access the form, please contact the Student Records Office at 715.803.1023 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note once a request to withhold student information has been made, no information will be shared about the individual without written consent including enrollment and degree verifications received for employment, insurance coverage, scholarships, tuition reimbursement, etc.
Access to Student Education Records
Northcentral Technical College may disclose non-directory student education records without a student’s prior written consent within the following exceptions under FERPA:
- School officials with legitimate educational interests
- Officials of another school in which the student seeks or intends to enroll. This exception includes schools in which a student is dually enrolled as part of a shared program
- To law enforcement or emergency personnel and College officials in an emergency in order to protect the health and safety of students or other persons
- Courts or legal officers on the basis of a subpoena
- The Wisconsin Technical College Board as part of the process of securing state funds
- Properly authorized educational authorities for research purposes, provided that the information is not given in a personally identifiable format
- Agencies providing financial aid or financial assistance to the student, such as employers, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation and the Veterans Administration, if the information is necessary to determine eligibility, conditions, amounts, or the enforcement of the conditions and terms of aid
- Accrediting organizations
- The Comptroller General or Secretary of Education of the United States
- To parents of a dependent student as defined by the Internal Revenue Code. A copy of the parents most recent Federal Income Tax form, indicating that the parents declared the student as a dependent must be provided to verify dependency
- To parents or guardians of an eligible student under age 21 who violated alcohol and drug laws and college policies
- Results of disciplinary hearings to an alleged victim of a crime of violence or non- forcible sex offense
Northcentral Technical College defines school officials with legitimate educational interests as persons employed by the school in an administrative, supervisory, advising, counseling, finance, financial aid, academic, research or support staff position (including security personnel and health staff); persons or organizations under contract with the college to perform a specific task or job duty (such as an attorney, auditor, collection agent); agents acting on behalf of the college, 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 performing his or her tasks. A school official typically has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibilities for Northcentral Technical College.
Authorizing the Release of Non-Directory Information to Third Parties
A student may authorize the release of non-directory college information by contacting the Student Records Office and completing the Authorization to Release Student Record Information form. To access the form, please contact the Student Records Office at 715.803.1023 or email@example.com.
Release of Transcripts and Records From Other Institutions and Organizations
All transcripts, credentials, test results, medical records and other documents received by the College from other institutions and organizations becomes official property of Northcentral Technical College. NTC does not release or provide copies of these documents to third parties or to students.
Upon request, students may view these documents and take notes, but may not have a copy. Exceptions to the policy are at the discretion of the Registrar and Executive Vice President – Student Services, and are granted on an exception basis.
Review of Student Records
Requests to review educational records must be made in writing and presented to the Student Records Office and the College has up to 45 days to honor a student’s request to review the educational records. Students should submit their written request identifying the records they wish to review to:
Northcentral Technical College
1000 W. Campus Drive
Wausau, WI 54401
A student may challenge or request to amend any information contained in their ‘educational records’ that the student believes to be inaccurate, misleading, inappropriate or a violation of their privacy rights. This right does not extend to final grades unless the grade assigned by your instructor was inaccurately recorded in the student’s record. The student must identify the part of the record to be amended and specify why the student believes the record is inaccurate, misleading or in violation of their privacy rights.
The Registrar will schedule a meeting with the student and the student will have the opportunity to present evidence relevant to the request to amend the student’s education record. The Registrar will make the determination to approve or deny the request and will notify the student in writing of the decision.
The student has the right to appeal the decision to the Vice President for Learning within 5 business days. The Vice President for Learning will schedule a meeting and the student will have the opportunity to provide any additional documentation relevant to the appeal to amend the educational record. The Vice President for Learning will provide a decision in writing and reason’s for the decision. The decision of the Vice President for Learning is final.
If the Registrar and Vice President for Learning deny the request to amend the educational record, the student has the right to place an explanatory statement of the challenge in the records.