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Student Academic Records 4.103

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (20 U.S.C. 122g) (herein referred to as FERPA) generally governs access and release of student education records. To comply with the provisions of FERPA, Community College District No. 509 has adopted the following procedures.  If a student believes the College is violating FERPA, he/she has a right to file a complaint with the Family Policy Compliance Office, Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20202-4605.

1. Definitions -  For the purposes of this procedure, Elgin Community College will use the following definitions of terms

  1. Student - Any individual, who attends or has attended Elgin Community College for credit or noncredit course work, on- or off-campus, including evaluated and graded activities, such as a work study program, an academic internship, or a student exchange program.  The term does not apply to an individual for periods prior to, or subsequent to, that individual's attendance at the College.
  2. Education Records - Any record (handwritten, print, tapes, film, or other medium) maintained by the College, an employee, or agent of the College, which is directly related to a student, except:
    1. a personal record made, kept and held in personal possession by a staff member who made the record, if the information has never been revealed or made available to anyone except the maker, or temporary substitute for the maker, of the record.
    2. an employment record of an individual whose employment is not contingent on the fact that he or she is a student, provided the record is used only in relation to the individual's employment at Elgin Community College. However, student employment records are education records when:
      1. The student's employment position depends on his/her status as a student; or,
      2. The student receives a grade or credit based on employment performance.
    3. Records created and maintained by the Security Department of the College for the purpose of law enforcement.
    4. Records associated with an individual's admission application to the College prior to his/her enrollment and attendance. This includes records associated with an admission application to attend the College or a component unit of the College, if that application was denied.
    5. Alumni records containing non-student information after he/she is no longer enrolled at the College.
  3. Personal Identifier - Any data or information that relates a record to an individual.  This includes the individual's name, the name of the individual's parents or other family members, the individual's address, the individual's social security number, any other number or symbol which identifies the individual, a list of the individual's personal characteristics, or any other information which would make the individual's identity known and can be used to label a record as the individual's.
  4. Annual Notification - Each year the Student Catalog, schedule of classes, and handbooks will contain notification of student rights under FERPA.  Notification will also be included in materials identifying Right to Know information on the ECC website distributed through the Office of Dean of Student Services and Development The notice will include, but not be limited to, the following:
    1. The right of a student to inspect and review his/her educational records.  The College will charge a minimal fee to recover copy costs.  In the event that the fee is a financial burden, it will be waived if the individual provides a statement with appropriate documentation to satisfy the above-written requirements.
    2. The right of Elgin Community College to limit disclosure of student education records to the following circumstances:
      1. Student's prior written consent
      2. Under the provisions of FERPA which allow disclosure without prior written consent
    3. The right of a student to petition the College to amend or correct any part of his/her education record which he/she believes is inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the privacy or other student's rights. If the College chooses not to amend a student’s education record, the student has the right to a hearing to present evidence that the record is inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the privacy or other student’s rights.
    4. The right of any person to file a complaint with the Family Policy Compliance Office, Department of Education, if the College violates FERPA.

2. Statement of Rights 

Elgin Community College encourages students to exercise all of their rights under FERPA and this procedure. The student's education record will be used repeatedly by College officials and others to make vital decisions affecting the student's academic program and future career. The student will assume personal responsibility to verify the accuracy and completion of his/her education record.

3. Administrative Responsibility

The Dean of Student Services and Development is responsible for the administration of this procedure. Students with problems or questions related to these procedures should contact the FERPA designee for help.

4. Use of Student's Education Records

All officials of Elgin Community College will follow a strict policy that information contained in a student's education record is confidential and may not be disclosed to third parties without the student's prior written consent, except as provided in this section of the policy and procedures regarding student education records.

The College maintains student education records to assist administration, staff, and faculty in performing their proper functions to serve the student body.  To carry out their responsibilities, these officials will have access to student education records for legitimate educational purposes.

  1. The College will apply the following criteria to establish the definition of a College official having access to education records:
    1. A person elected to and currently serving on the Board of Trustees of District 509;
    2. A person under contract to Elgin Community College in an academic or research faculty position;
    3. A person under contract to Elgin Community College in an administrative position;
    4. A person employed by Elgin Community College as a temporary substitute for an administrative staff member or faculty member for the period of his or her performance as a substitute;
    5. A person employed by or under contract to the College to perform a special task, such as the attorney, auditor, secretaries, clerks, presenters and consultants for the period of their performance as an employee or contractor.
  2. College officials who meet the above written criteria will have access to personally identifiable information contained in student education records if they have a "legitimate educational interest" for access.  A "legitimate educational interest" is the official's need for student education record information to:
    1. perform an administrative task outlined in the official's position description or contract approved by the College of District #509;
    2. perform a supervisory or instructional task directly related to the student's education;
    3. perform a service or benefit for the student or student's family such as health care, child care, counseling, financial aid, job placement, admissions, records and registration, student life activities and business transaction; or
    4. perform tasks related to the discipline of a student.

Locations of Education Records -The following is a list of the types of records that Elgin Community College maintains, their locations and custodians. 

 Type Location  Custodians of Education Records 
 Admission Records   Office of Registrar 
Building B 
1700 Spartan Drive  
 Director of Admissions  
 Cumulative Academic Records  Office of Registrar 
Building B 
1700 Spartan Drive 
 Financial Aid Records  Office of Financial Aid  
Building B 
1700 Spartan Drive 
 Director of Financial Aid 
 Job Placement Records   Career Services    
Building B 
1700 Spartan Dr. 
 Director of Career Services  
 Instructor's Records   Faculty Office    
at Each Department 
 Disciplinary Records   Dean of Student Services and Development   
Building B 
1700 Spartan Drive  
 Dean of Student Services and Development 
 Institutional Legal Records 

Office of the President  
Building B 
1700 Spartan Drive   

 College Paralegal 
 Occasional Records - Training Programs/
 Continuing Education Programs 
The appropriate official will collect such records, direct the stu¬dent to their location,
or otherwise make them available for inspection and review 
 College staff person who maintains such occasional system's records 
 Student Athletic Records  Events Center 
Building J 
1700 Spartan Drive 
 Director of Athletics

5. Procedure to Inspect Education Records

Elgin Community College encourages students to verify the accuracy of their education records at least once during each academic year or, if necessary, more frequently. The Registrar has been designated by the College to coordinate the inspection and review procedures of student records.

  1. Students desiring to review their records must submit a written request which precisely identifies the needed records to the College Registrar or appropriate record custodian.
  2. The Registrar or record custodian will arrange access as promptly as possible and will notify the student regarding the time and place where the records may be inspected
  3. Access or notification of nonexistence of requested records must be given within 45 calendar days or less from the receipt of the request.
  4. When a record contains information about more than one student, the student may only inspect and review his/her own records.

6. Procedures To Seek To Correct Education Records

Elgin Community College encourages students to periodically inspect and review their education records to make certain the records correctly reflect their academic progress and other achievements.  The College will permit students to challenge the content of their education records to ensure the records are not inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the privacy or other rights of students. For the purpose of outlining the procedure to seek to correct education records, the term "incorrect" will be used to describe a record that is inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the privacy or other rights of students.  Also, in this section, the term "requester" will be used to describe a student or former student who is asking the College to correct a record.

  1. If a student or former student discovers an incorrect item in his/her education record, the student should informally discuss the problem with the record custodian.  If the custodian finds the record is incorrect because of an obvious error, and it is a simple matter to correct it to the satisfaction of the requester, the custodian may make the change.
  2. If the custodian cannot change the record to the requester's satisfaction or the record does not appear to be obviously incorrect, the custodian will:
    1. Provide the requester a copy of the questioned record at no cost; and
    2. Ask the requester to initiate and provide the custodian a written request for the change.
  3. The written request will identify the item the requester believes is incorrect and state whether it:
    1. Is inaccurate and why;
    2. Is misleading and why; or,
    3. Violates the privacy or other rights of students and why;
    4. The requester must date and sign the request.
  4. The record custodian will then add any material to support his refusal to change the record to the request and send it to the Dean of Students.  The Dean of Students will examine the request and discuss it with appropriate College officials, including the person who initiated the record and other persons who might have an interest in the questioned item. At the conclusion of this investigation, the Dean of Students will summarize the findings, make a recommendation for the College’s action, and deliver the request, the custodian’s statement, the summary of findings, and the recommendation to the College President.
  5. The College President will instruct the Dean of Student Services and Development whether the record should or should not be changed in accord with the request.  If the decision is to change the record, the Dean of Student Services and Development will advise the custodian to make the change.  The custodian will inform the requester in writing when the change was recorded and will invite the requester to inspect the corrected record.
  6. If College finds that the record is correct and will not be changed, the Dean of Student Services and Development will prepare and send the requester a letter stating the decision.  This letter will also inform the requester that:
    1. The College will provide an opportunity for a hearing for the requester to present evidence that the record is inaccurate, misleading, or that it violates the privacy or other rights of students;
    2. The requester may be represented or assisted in the hearing by other parties including an attorney. (The College will not assume the costs for such assistance or representa-tion.)
    3. The requester (if he/she desires a hearing) should contact the Dean of Student Services and Development to discuss such details as an acceptable hearing officer, time and place for the hearing, and the time needed to present evidence. The college will not be bound by the requester’s wishes in these matters but will, so far as possible, arrange the hearing as the requester wishes. Students should see the Administrative Procedure 4.401 Complaint Procedure for additional information.

7. Right of Elgin Community College to Refuse Access

Elgin Community College reserves the right to refuse access to a student to inspect the following records:

  1. The financial statement of the student's parents;
  2. Statements and letters of recommendation for which the student has waived his or her right of access, or which were placed in the student's records before January 1, 1975 or for which the student has waived his right of access in writing.  Except that, if these letters and statements have been used for any purpose other than that for which they were originally prepared, the student may inspect and review them;
  3. Records connected with an application to attend Elgin Community College or a program of Elgin Community College if that application was denied;
  4. Those records which are excluded from FERPA definition of education records

8. Records Disclosure

Within the general policy, College officials will secure a student's prior written consent before disclosure of personally identifiable information contained in the student's education records.  The College reserves the right for its officials to make such disclosures without the student's consent in the following circumstances:

  1. To certain Federal and State officials who need information to audit or enforce legal conditions related to federally supported education programs in the College
  2. To parties who provide or may provide financial aid to the student in order to:
    1. establish the student's eligibility for the aid;
    2. determine the amount of financial aid;
    3. establish conditions for the receipt of the financial aid; or
    4. enforce the terms of the agreement between the provider and the receiver of the financial aid. 
  3. If a state law existed prior to November 19, 1974 requiring disclosure of personally identifiable information contained in a student's education record, the college will continue to disclose such information in accordance with the state law. 
  4. When the College has entered into a written agreement or contract with an organization to conduct a study on the College's behalf to develop tests, administer student aid, or improve instruction.
  5. To accrediting organizations to carry out their accrediting functions.
  6. To parents of an eligible student who claim the student as a dependent for income tax purposes under the Internal Revenue Code of 1954.  The College will exercise this option only on the condition that evidence of such dependency is furnished to the Records Office and all requests for disclosures under this provision are referred to that office.
  7. To comply with a judicial order or lawful subpoena.  The College will make a reasonable effort to notify the student before it makes a disclosure under this provision.
  8. To appropriate parties in a health or safety emergency:
    1. The disclosure is warranted by the seriousness of the threat to the health or safety of the student or other persons;
    2. The information necessary and needed to meet the emergency;
    3. iii) The persons to whom the information is to be disclosed are qualified and in a position to deal with the emergency; and 
    4. iv) Time is an important and limiting factor in dealing with the emergency.

All requests for disclosure by the College without prior written consent under the eight circumstances listed above will be referred to the Dean of Student Services and Development. The designated administrator will approve or disapprove the request.  An official may not make the disclosure unless it is approved.

Officials of Elgin Community College may not disclose personally identifiable information contained in a student's education record, except as listed above, without a student's prior written consent.

The consent must include at least:

  1. Specification of information the student consents to be disclosed;
  2. The purpose for which the disclosure may be made;
  3. The person or organization, or the class of persons or organization, to whom the disclosure may be made; and
  4. The date of the consent and, if appropriate, a date when the consent is to be terminated.

The student may obtain a copy of any records the College discloses by the student's prior written consent.

Elgin Community College will not release information contained in a student's education records to any third parties except its own officials, unless those parties agree they will not redisclose the information without the student's prior written consent.

9. Refusal to Provide Copies

The College reserves the right to deny transcripts or copies of records not required by FERPA in any of the following situations:

  1. The student has an unpaid financial obligation to the College;
  2. There is an unresolved disciplinary action against the student;
  3. There is unresolved litigation between the student and the College.

10. Directory Information

It is the intent of the college to limit disclosure of directory information to those instances where prior written consent has been given to the disclosure or under those provisions of FERPA which allow disclosure without prior written consent. Directory information is defined as name, address, ECC issued student email address, dates of attendance, major, degrees, awards, honors, and weight and height of athletes.

11. Access and Record of Requests For Disclosures Made From Education Records

The  College will  maintain a record of all requests for, and/or disclosures of, information contained in a student's education record made by persons other than College officials or the student or those requests accompanied by the student's prior written consent.  The student's education record will include at least:

  1. The name of the party making the request
  2. The legitimate interest the person or agency had in the information
  3. The date the person or agency made the request
  4. Whether the request was granted and, if it was, the date access was permitted or the disclosure was made
  5. The name of any third party or agency to whom information may be redisclosed.

The College will maintain this record of disclosures as long as it maintains the student's education record. The required time for maintaining such records will be five years after graduation, with some records being maintained permanently.

12. Fees for Copies of Records - Elgin Community College will charge the following fees for copies of education records:

  1. Transcripts - The College will furnish copies of the student's official record free of charge
  2. FERPA required copies of educational records - The law requires the College to provide copies of educational records to students when
    1. A failure to do so would effectively deny the student the right to inspect and review his record
    2. The College has disclosed information from the student's education record under authority of the student's prior written consent, and the student requests a copy of the   information disclosed
    3. The student requests copies of records the College has disclosed to other schools where the student seeks or intends to enroll
    4. The College will reduce or waive the fees for FERPA-required copies for records if the fee effectively denies the student access to his record
  3. Copies (not signed and certified) of education records will be available to students, even though FERPA does not require them.

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