Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
As a faculty member at ACE, it is critical to understand and follow the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Before you are cleared to teach, you must complete the required ACE FERPA training. Please know that you do need to complete this each year. The FERPA act is listed below, please familiarize yourself with it.
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
All academic records of students who enroll at American College of Education are maintained in accordance with the provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (34 CFR Part 99), a federal law that protects student education records from disclosure by a school, college or university to a third party without the student’s consent. FERPA defines education records as those that are maintained by ACE, or a party acting on ACE’s behalf, and directly related and personally identifiable to a student [https://www2.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/ferpa/index.html].
Definition of Student
ACE defines a student (FERPA eligible) as someone who is currently enrolled for classes at ACE or who has ever been enrolled. For new ACE students, FERPA coverage begins on the first day of the first term for which they are registered for a class.
Student Rights Under FERPA
FERPA affords eligible students certain rights with respect to their education records. (An “eligible student” under FERPA is a student who is 18 years of age or older or who attends a post-secondary institution.) These rights include:
- The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days after the day ACE receives a request for access. A student should submit to the Office of the Registrar a written request that identifies the record(s) the student wishes to inspect. The school 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 Office of the Registrar, that Office shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.
- The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes is inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights under FERPA.
- A student who wishes to ask the school to amend a record should write the school 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 school decides not to amend the record as requested, the school will notify the student in writing of the decision and 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 notified of the right to a hearing.
- The right to provide written consent before the university discloses personally identifiable information (PII) from the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
The school discloses education records without a student’s prior written consent under the FERPA exception for disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by ACE in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person serving on the board of trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee. A school official also may include a volunteer or contractor outside of ACE who performs an institutional service of function for which the school would otherwise use its own employees and who is under the direct control of the school with respect to the use and maintenance of PII from education records, such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent or a student volunteering to assist 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 ACE.
Upon request, ACE also discloses education records without consent to officials of another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll. ACE will make a reasonable attempt to notify each student of these disclosures. Information Permitted to be Disclosed without Prior Consent (Annual FERPA Disclosure Notice)
FERPA allows ACE to disclose directory information, which includes, as applicable to ACE:
- address and telephone number
- email address
- date and place of birth
- major field of study
- grade/class level
- enrollment status (undergraduate or graduate, full-time or part-time)
- dates of attendance
- degree(s) received and date awarded
- honors and awards received
- participation in recognized activities
- most recent education agency/institution attended
Directory information does not include a student’s race, gender, social security number (or part of a social security number), grades, grade point average, country of citizenship, or religion. Directory information does include a student ID number, user ID, or other unique personal identifier used by the student for purposes of communicating in electronic systems, but only if the identifier cannot be used to access education records except when used in conjunction with one or more factors that authenticate the user’s identity, such as a personal identification number, password, or another factor known or possessed only by the authorized user.
Students wishing to prevent disclosure of the designated directory information must file written notification to this effect with the Registration Office within 30 days of enrollment. In the event such written notification is not filed, the ACE assumes the student does not object to the release of the directory information. As the directory information released is limited to the current term or the previous term, if the notification is received between terms, the student must specify whether the notification applies to the previous term or upcoming term. Further, students must be in an “enrolled” status in order to submit such notification. FERPA specifically excludes a student’s right to object to the disclosure of his name, identifier and ACE email address in a class in which he is enrolled.
FERPA permits the disclosure of PII from students’ education records, without consent of the student, if the disclosure meets certain conditions found in §99.31 of the FERPA regulations. Except for disclosures to school officials, disclosures related to some judicial orders or lawfully issued subpoenas, disclosures of directory information, disclosures under the Solomon Amendment, and disclosures to the student, §99.32 of FERPA regulations requires the institution to record the disclosure. Eligible students have a right to inspect and review the record of disclosures.
ACE may disclose PII from the education records without obtaining prior written consent of the student -
- To other ACE school officials, including teachers, whom the College has determined to have legitimate educational interests. This includes contractors, consultants, volunteers, or other parties to whom the school has outsourced institutional services or functions, provided that the conditions listed in §99.31(a)(1)(i)(B)(1) - (a)(1)(i)(B)(2) are met. (§99.31(a)(1))
- To officials of another school where the student seeks or intends to enroll, or where the student is already enrolled if the disclosure is for purposes related to the student’s enrollment or transfer, subject to the requirements of §99.34. (§99.31(a)(2))
- To authorized representatives of the U. S. Comptroller General, the U. S. Attorney General, the U.S. Secretary of Education, or State and local educational authorities, such as a State post-secondary authority that is responsible for supervising the university’s State-supported education programs. Disclosures under this provision may be made, subject to the requirements of §99.35, 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 that relate to those programs. These entities may make further disclosures of PII 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. (§§99.31(a)(3) and 99.35)
- To military recruiters who request “Student Recruiting Information” for recruiting purposes only under the Solomon Amendment. Student Recruiting Information is name, address, telephone listing, age, academic level, major, degrees received for recent graduates, and previous institution attended (10 U.S.C. §983).
- In connection with financial aid for which the student has applied or which the student has received, 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 the aid. (§99.31(a)(4))
- To organizations conducting studies for, or on behalf of, the school, in order to: (a) develop, validate, or administer predictive tests; (b) administer student aid programs; or (c) improve instruction. (§99.31(a)(6))
- To accrediting organizations to carry out their accrediting functions. ((§99.31(a)(7))
- To parents of an eligible student if the student is a dependent for IRS tax purposes. (§99.31(a)(8))
- To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena. (§99.31(a)(9))
- To appropriate officials in connection with a health or safety emergency, subject to §99.36. (§99.31(a)(10))
- Information the school has designated as “directory information” under §99.37. (§99.31(a)(11))
- To a victim of an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence or a non-forcible sex offense, subject to the requirements of §99.39. The disclosure may only include the final results of the disciplinary proceeding with respect to that alleged crime or offense, regardless of the finding. (§99.31(a)(13))
- To the general public, the final results of a disciplinary proceeding, subject to the requirements of §99.39, if the school determines 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 school’s rules or policies with respect to the allegation made against him or her. (§99.31(a)(14))
- To parents of a student regarding the student’s violation of any Federal, State, or local law, or of any rule or policy of the school, governing the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance if the school determines the student committed a disciplinary violation and the student is under the age of 21. (§99.31(a)(15))