FERPA / Students Right to Know

Annual Notification of Rights under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act And Notice of Publication of Campus Crime and Graduation Statistics

The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their educational records. They are:

1. The right to inspect and review the student's education records within 45 days of the day the College receives request for access.

Students must submit to the Records Office a written request that specifies the record(s) they want to inspect. The Registrar will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place to inspect the record. If the Records Office does not maintain the records the student requested, the Registrar will advise the student of the correct official to contact.

2. The right to request the amendment of education records that the student believes are inaccurate or misleading.

Students may ask the College to amend a record they believe is inaccurate or misleading. They should write to the College official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading.

FERPA was not intended to provide a process to question substantive judgments which are properly recorded. The rights of challenge do not apply, for example, to a student's argument that they deserved a higher grade in a course, if the grade recorded is the grade submitted by the faculty member. See the College catalog for policies applying to grade appeals.

If the College decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the College will notify the student of the decision and advise the student of his or her right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. The College will provide the student with specific information regarding the hearing procedures at the time of notification.

3. The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in a student's education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. One exception which permits disclosure without consent is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the College in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); persons, contractors, volunteers, or service providers with whom the College has contracted as its agent to provide a service or function instead of using College employees or officials (such as an attorney, auditor, collection agent, or service provider such as the National Student Clearinghouse); 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 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 responsibility.

Upon request, the College may disclose education records without consent to officials of other schools in which a student seeks or intends to enroll. The College may disclose education records without consent in certain other circumstances:

  • to comply with a court order or certain types of subpoenas
  • to appropriate parties in a health or safety emergency
  • to officials of another school, upon written request, in which a student seeks or intends to enroll
  • in connection with a student's request for or receipt of financial aid, as necessary to determine the eligibility, amount or conditions of the financial aid, or to enforce the terms and conditions of the aid
  • to certain officials of the U.S. Department of Education, the Comptroller general, to state and local educational authorities, in connection with certain state or federally supported programs
  • to accrediting organizations to carry out their functions
  • to organizations conducting studies for or on behalf of the College
  • the results of an institutional disciplinary proceeding against the alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence may be released to the alleged victim of that crime with respect to that crime

4. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures of the College to comply with the requirements of FERPA. Contact the office that administers FERPA at: Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Ave. SW, Washington DC, 20202-4605.

5. The College designates the following as public or Directory Information which may be released without a student's written consent, unless the student specifies to the contrary as described below:

  • student name and address
  • major field of study and degree sought or completed
  • degrees and awards received
  • participation in officially recognized activities and sports
  • most recent previous educational agency or institution attended by the student
  • full or part time enrollment status and student classification (freshman or sophomore)
  • dates of attendance
  • expected date of completion of degree requirements and graduation

Northampton Community College will release only the following directory information to telephonic requests: student name, degree sought or completed, expected dates of completion of degree requirements or graduation, and enrollment status.

6. Students may restrict the release of directory information, except to school officials with legitimate educational interest and those listed in # 3 above. A student must make the request in writing to the Records Office. Requests are valid until the student notifies the Records Office, in writing, to cancel that restriction. Students must understand that withholding directory information prevents the College from verifying attendance or graduation to potential employers, publishing the student's name in a graduation program or dean's list, and makes athletes ineligible to participate in any activity requiring publication of a team roster.

7. Notice of Publication of Campus Crime Statistics and Graduation Rates
As required by the College and University Security Information Act, security information and campus crime statistics are published at or near October 15 and February 15 every year in the Northampton News. They are also available from the Records Office or Dean of Students.

In addition, as required by Student Right to Know legislation, graduation and transfer rates are available in the Records Office to students who request them.

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