All employees requesting access to APECS (SSCC's Student Information System) are required to have training in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as Amended (FERPA). Please review the following information and complete the APECS request form.
Take a short quiz on your FERPA knowledge.
FERPA basics for Faculty/Instructional Staff
FERPA basics for Staff
Apecs.net access request form
What is FERPA?
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) helps protect the privacy of student education records. The Act provides for the right to inspect and review education records, the right to seek to amend those records and to limit disclosure of information from the records. The intent of the legislation is to protect the rights of students and to ensure the privacy and accuracy of education records. The Act applies to all institutions that are the recipients of federal aid administered by the Secretary of Education.
What rights does FERPA afford students with respect to their education records?
- The right to request an amendment to the student’s education records that the student believes are inaccurate or misleading.
- The right to inspect and review their education records within 45 days of the day the university receives a request for access.
- The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
Who is protected by FERPA?
Students who are currently enrolled or formerly enrolled regardless of their age or status with regard to parental dependency. Students who have applied but have not attended an institution and deceased students do not come under FERPA guidelines.
Parents of students termed as “dependent” for income tax purposes may have access to the student’s education records. A copy of the parent’s most recent Federal Income Tax return, where the parents declared the student as a dependent, must be submitted to the Office of Student Records to document “dependency.”
What are and are not education records?
What are education records?
With certain exceptions, an education record is any record (1) from which a student can be personally identified and (2) maintained by the university. A student has the right of access to these records. Education records include any records in whatever medium (handwritten, print, magnetic tape, film, diskette, etc.) that are in the possession of any school official. This includes transcripts or other records obtained from a school in which a student was previously enrolled.
What is not included in an education record?
- sole possession records or private notes held by school officials that are not accessible or released to other personnel,
- law enforcement or campus security records that are solely for law enforcement purposes and maintained solely by the law enforcement unit,
- records relating to individuals who are employed by the institution (unless contingent upon attendance),
- records relating to treatment provided by a physician, psychiatrist, psychologist or other recognized professional or paraprofessional and disclosed only to individuals providing treatment,
- records of an institution that contain only information about an individual obtained after that person is no longer a student at the institution, i.e., alumni records.
What is defined as directory information at Shelton State Community College?
Directory information is information that is contained in an education record of a student which would not generally be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed. Shelton State Community College has determined the following as being defined as directory information.
- Telephone listing
- Email Address
- Major field of study
- Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
- Weight and height if a member of an athletic team
- Dates of attendance (Semester and Year)
- Current status (full or part-time)
- Degrees and awards received
Who may have access to student information?
- The student and any outside party who has the student’s written request.
- School officials (as defined by the College) who have “legitimate educational interests.”
- Parents of a dependent student as defined by the Internal Revenue Code.
- A person in response to a lawfully issued subpoena or court order, as long as the College makes a reasonable attempt to notify the student first. Normally, the College will comply with a subpoena after two weeks have elapsed from the day the subpoena was received.
What information can SSCC release without student consent?
The only information that the College can release without prior consent is information designated as Directory Information. It is recommended that all requests for information be referred to the college registrar's office.
What are parental rights under FERPA?
- Parents may obtain directory information at the discretion of the institution.
- Parents may obtain non-directory information (grades, GPA, etc.) only at the discretion of the institution and after it has been determined that their child is legally their dependent.
- Parents may also obtain non-directory information by obtaining a signed consent from their child.
- When a student reaches the age of 18 or begins attending a postsecondary institution regardless of age, FERPA rights transfer to the student.
What can happen if we fail to follow the law?
- Federal funds may be withheld
- The affected party may seek recourse
- Employee may be terminated
What if I have a questions on what can or cannot be released under FERPA?
Do not hesitate to contact the Registrar's Office located in the Office of Admissions and Records. More information regarding FERPA can also be found on the US Department of Education's website.