Family Educational Rights and Privacy ACT

On June 17, 1976, the rules and regulations applying to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, section 438 of the General Education Provisions Act, became final. The Act deals with students’ rights to access their official educational records. Basically, the legislation gives any student or former student of Florida Memorial University the right to inspect, review and copy his or her permanent records. At Florida Memorial University, the permanent records covered by the Act include: the student’s application for admission; high school and/or previous college transcript; SAT scores; correspondence with our Office of Admissions; documents pertaining to grade reports, dates of attendance, approval of leaves of absence; correspondence with the Deans; senior class status; and course distribution summary forms on file in the Registrar’s Office; and the materials contained in the student’s career planning file.

The Act includes a list of types of records not open to student inspection. These are parents’ financial statements; confidential letters and recommendations written before January 1, 1975; letters and recommendations written after January 1, 1975 but specifically designated as confidential; ancillary records of instructional, supervisory and administrative personnel; confidential law enforcement records; and records written by physicians, psychiatrists, psychologists, and other recognized professionals or paraprofessionals. Students and former students may request a doctor of their choice to review their medical records.

Colleges are allowed to publish “directory information” including the student’s name, address, telephone number, e-mail address, date and place of birth, major field of study, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, dates of attendance, degrees and awards received, and the most recent previous educational institution attended. If any current Florida Memorial University student does not want such directory information to be disclosed he or she must notify the Registrar’s Office in writing of the specific information not to be released.

Florida Memorial University administrators, faculty, and members of established college committees who have legitimate educational interest may have access to students’ and former students’ files without prior consent. Specific federal, state and local officials and educational agencies conducting studies are also permitted access for definite reasons provided that personally identifiable data are not transferred to anyone else. In addition, proper parties concerning application for or receipt of financial aid have access. Florida Memorial University will forward a student’s education records on written request to another school in which the student seeks or intends to enroll. Prior consent for disclosure of personally identifiable information is not required when the information is needed in connection with a health or safety emergency; or is to comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued a subpoena after a reasonable effort to notify the student is made.

Except as described above, Florida Memorial University must obtain written consent of the student before disclosing personally identifiable information from the educational records. Such consent must be signed and dated by the student. It must include a specification of the records to be disclosed, the purpose or purposes of the disclosure, and the party or class of parties to whom the disclosure may be made. The institution is required to maintain a record of all non-exempted requests for and disclosures of personally identifiable information from the education records of all students. This record of disclosure may be inspected by the affected student.

A student, former student, or applicant for admission may waive any of his or her rights under the Act by executing a written signed waiver. Such a waiver may be revoked with respect to any action occurring after the revocation. The revocation must be in writing and signed by the student.

Students or former students may gain access to their credential only if they have established a non- confidential (or open) file. Upon request, their open credential file will be made available for their inspection.

(Printed in compliance with FERPA, Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, policies)