Family Education Rights + Privacy Act (FERPA)
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is legislation enacted by Congress in 1974 [20 U.S.C 1232g], designed to protect students from having their records released to persons or institutions without the student’s written consent. FERPA also provides students with the right to review their education records to insure that no inaccurate or otherwise inappropriate information has been included in their file. If the student discovers that there is inaccurate information in their record, they can challenge the content of such record.
Under FERPA, post-secondary educational institutions are not required to provide parents access to the educational records of their children regardless of the student’s age since all rights have been transferred to the student by statute.
In compliance with federal and state laws, Contra Costa College hereby provides notice that the Contra Costa Community College District Governing Board has adopted the following policy regarding access to student records maintained by the College:
Release of Student Records
- No instructor, official, employee, or Governing Board member shall authorize
access to student records to any person except under the following circumstances.
- Student records shall be released pursuant to a student’s written consent. A written request can be filed with the Admissions and Records Office.
- “Directory information” may be released in accordance with the definitions in Board Policy 3013.
- Directory information shall include:
• Student name.
• Student participation in officially recognized activities and sports including weight, height and high school of graduation of athletic team members.
• Degrees and awards received by students, including honors, scholarship awards, athletic awards and Dean’s List recognition.
- Student records shall be released pursuant to a judicial order or a lawfully issued subpoena, or in the event of litigation towards the District. If a parent or eligible student initiates legal action against an educational agency or institution, the educational agency or institution may disclose to the court, without a court order or subpoena, the student’s educational records that are relevant for the educational agency or institution to defend itself.
- Whenever there is included in any student record any information concerning any disciplinary action taken by a community college in connection with any alleged sexual assault, or physical abuse, or threat of sexual assault, or any conduct that threatens the health and safety of the alleged victim, the alleged victim of that sexual assault or abuse shall be informed within three days of the results of any disciplinary action by the community college and the results of any appeal. The alleged victim shall keep the results of that disciplinary action and appeal confidential.
- Student records may be released to officials and employees of the District only when they have a legitimate educational interest to inspect the record. The assigned custodian of records at each campus determines access to student records.
- Student records may be released to authorized representatives of the Comptroller General of the United States, the Secretary of Education, an administrative head of an education agency, state education officials, or their respective designees or the United States Office of Civil Rights, where that information is necessary to audit or evaluate a state or federally supported educational program or pursuant to federal or state law. Exceptions are that when the collection of personally identifiable information is specifically authorized by federal law, any data collected by those officials shall be protected in a manner that will not permit the personal identification of students or their parents by other than those officials, and any personally identifiable data shall be destroyed when no longer needed for that audit, evaluation, and enforcement of federal legal requirements.
- Student records may be released to officials of other public or private schools or school systems, including local, county or state correctional facilities where education programs are provided, where the student seeks or intends to enroll or is directed to enroll. The release is subject to the conditions in Education Code § 76225.
- Student records may be released to agencies or organizations in connection with a student’s application for, or receipt of, financial aid, provided that information permitting the personal identification of those students may be disclosed only as may be necessary for those purposes as to financial aid, to determine the amount of the financial aid, or conditions that will be imposed regarding financial aid, or to enforce the terms or conditions of financial aid.
- Student records may be released to organizations conducting studies for, or on behalf of, accrediting organizations, educational agencies or institutions for the purpose of developing, validating, or administrating predictive tests, administering financial aid programs, and improving instruction, if those studies are conducted in such a manner as will not permit the personal identification of students or their parents by persons other than representatives of those organizations and the information will be destroyed when no longer needed for the purpose for which it is conducted.
- Student records may be released to appropriate persons in connection with an emergency if the knowledge of that information is necessary to protect the health or safety of a student or other persons, subject to applicable federal or state law. The assigned custodian of records at each campus will make this determination.
- The following information shall be released to the federal military for the purposes of federal military recruitment in accordance with the Solomon Act: student names, addresses, telephone listings, dates and places of birth, levels of education, degrees received, prior military experience, and/or the most recent previous educational institutions enrolled in by the students.
- With respect to students who participated in organized athletics in high school and for whom information is available due to their membership on athletic teams, weight, height and high school of graduation shall be included in the directory. Degrees and awards received by students, including honors, scholarship awards, athletic awards and Dean’s List recognition will also be included in the directory.
Additional information regarding the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) may be found on the FERPA web page.