FERPA

What Is FERPA?

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act and the Texas Open Records Act are federal and state laws, respectively, that provide for the review and disclosure of academic records.  In accordance with these laws, Texas Southmost College will not permit access to or the release of personally identifiable information contained in academic records to any party without the written consent of the student.

 

Who Does FERPA Apply To?

FERPA applies to all students currently attending Texas Southmost College, or have attended Texas Southmost College in the past.  This includes all high school students taking college-level courses.

 

What Is An Education Record?

Education records are those records that directly relate to a student and are maintained by Texas Southmost College.  Examples include but are not limited to, transcripts, financial records, and conduct records.  FERPA does not apply to directory information.

 

Student Rights under FERPA

FERPA provides students with:

  • The right to inspect and review their educational records
  • The right to request amendments to their records
  • The right to limit the disclosure of their educational records
  • The right to limit the disclosure of directory information

 

What Information Can Texas Southmost College Disclose?

Schools are allowed to disclose “Directory Information” without the student’s written consent except under very limited conditions.

 

What Is Directory Information?

Directory Information is information not generally considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed.  Texas Southmost College considers the following information to be Directory Information:

  • Name, address, e-mail address and telephone listing
  • Date of birth and place of birth
  • Educational institutions attended
  • Level (graduate or undergraduate)
  • Field of study (major)
  • Dates of attendance and enrollment verification
  • Degrees, date awarded, honors/designations

 

Texas Southmost College will never release student identification numbers or social security numbers.

 

Can A Student Prohibit The Release Of Directory Information?

You have control over the release of directory information from your file.  To prevent this information from being released to third parties, you must complete a “Request to Withhold Directory Information” form in the Office of Admissions and Records during the first 12 days of fall or spring semester and the first four days of a summer semester.  This request will remain in effect for the current term only; therefore, a request must be submitted to the Office of Admissions and Records each term that student is enrolled.

 

Can My Parents Access My Records?

Parents do not have the right to access records of students at the post-secondary level, not even if they are paying all tuition.  You may give your parent or guardian permission to access your records or grades by completing the “Student Information Release Authorization” form with the department from which you are authorizing the release of information.

 

Will The College Release Information Over The Phone?

College personnel are unable to provide educational records information over the telephone.  However, students may access educational or financial records online through TSC Online.

 

How Do I Learn More About FERPA?

For more information contact the Texas Southmost College Office of Admissions & Records or visit the US Department of Education web site at: www.ed.gov/ferpa.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 October 2013 09:22