Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords eligible students certain rights with respect to their education records. These rights include:
The right to inspect and review the student's education records within 45 days after the day Waukesha County Technical College (WCTC) receives a request for access. A student should submit to the registrar a written request that identifies the record(s) the student wishes to inspect. The school official will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the school official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.
The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes is inaccurate, misleading or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights under FERPA. A student who wishes to ask the school to amend a record should write the school official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record the student wants changed, and specify why it should be changed. If WCTC decides not to amend the record as requested, WCTC will notify the student in writing of the decision and the student’s right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.
The right to provide written consent before WCTC discloses personally identifiable information (PII) from the student's education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. Students may file a Privacy Request Form for most types of disclosure. Privacy may impact a student as employers will not be able to confirm a degree or enrollment, and students will not be listed in the graduation program, in addition to other ramifications.
WCTC may disclose education records without a student’s prior written consent under the FERPA exception for disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official typically includes a person employed by the college in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel); a person serving on the board of trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee. A school official also may include a volunteer or contractor outside of the College who performs an institutional service or function for which the school would otherwise use its own employees and who is under the direct control of the school — with respect to the use and maintenance of PII from education records, such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent or a student volunteering to assist another school official in performing his or her tasks. A school official typically has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibilities for the college. Upon request, the school also discloses education records without consent to officials of another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll.
FERPA permits the disclosure of information from students’ education records, without consent of the student, if the disclosure meets certain conditions found in § 99.31 of the FERPA regulations. Except for disclosures to school officials, disclosures related to some judicial orders or lawfully issued subpoenas, disclosures of directory information, and disclosures to the student, § 99.32 of FERPA regulations requires the institution to record the disclosure. Eligible students have a right to inspect and review the record of disclosures. A postsecondary institution may disclose PII from the education records without obtaining prior written consent of the student — to other school officials, including teachers, whom the college has determined to have legitimate educational interests. This includes contractors, consultants, volunteers, partner colleges or other parties to whom the school has outsourced institutional services or functions, provided that the conditions listed in § 99.31(a)(1)(i)(B)(1) - (a)(1)(i)(B)(3) are met. (§ 99.31(a)(1))
- To officials of another school where the student seeks or intends to enroll, or where the student is already enrolled if the disclosure is for purposes related to the student’s enrollment or transfer, subject to the requirements of § 99.34. (§ 99.31(a)(2))
- To authorized representatives of the U. S. Comptroller General, the U.S. Attorney General, the U.S. Secretary of Education, or State and local educational authorities, such as a State postsecondary authority that is responsible for supervising the university’s State-supported education programs. Disclosures under this provision may be made, subject to the requirements of §99.35, in connection with an audit or evaluation of Federal- or State-supported education programs, or for the enforcement of or compliance with Federal legal requirements that relate to those programs. These entities may make further disclosures of PII to outside entities that are designated by them as their authorized representatives to conduct any audit, evaluation, or enforcement or compliance activity on their behalf. (§§ 99.31(a)(3) and 99.35)
- In connection with financial aid for which the student has applied or which the student has received, if the information is necessary to determine eligibility for the aid, determine the amount of the aid, determine the conditions of the aid, or enforce the terms and conditions of the aid. (§ 99.31(a)(4))
- To organizations conducting studies for, or on behalf of, the school, in order to: (a) develop, validate, or administer predictive tests; (b) administer student aid programs; or (c) improve instruction. (§ 99.31(a)(6))
- To accrediting organizations to carry out their accrediting functions. (§ 99.31(a)(7))
- To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena. (§ 99.31(a)(9))
- To appropriate officials in connection with a health or safety emergency, subject to § 99.36. (§ 99.31(a)(10))
- Information the school has designated as "directory information" under § 99.37. (§
99.31(a)(11)). WCTC defines directory information as:
- Date of birth
- Program of study
- Dates of attendance
- Current enrollment status (full-time/part-time)
- Degree status and date conferred
- Honors and awards
- Most recent educational institution attended
- Should a Waukesha County Technical College student seek to enroll in another college or university to complete a course or degree, WCTC may share personally identifiable data with that college or university’s education officials without the student’s prior approval. WCTC may release student information to a student’s high school for research purposes.
- To a victim of an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence or a non-forcible sex offense, subject to the requirements of § 99.39. The disclosure may only include the final results of the disciplinary proceeding with respect to that alleged crime or offense, regardless of the finding. (§ 99.31(a)(13))
- To the general public, the final results of a disciplinary proceeding, subject to the requirements of § 99.39, if the school determines the student is an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence or non-forcible sex offense and the student has committed a violation of the school’s rules or policies with respect to the allegation made against him or her. (§ 99.31(a)(14))
- To parents of a student regarding the student’s violation of any Federal, State or local law, or of any rule or policy of the school, governing the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance if the school determines the student committed a disciplinary violation and the student is under the age of 21. (§99.31(a)(15))
The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the college to comply with the requirements of FERPA.
Identity Theft Prevention Program
The Federal Trade Commission's Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act created the Red Flags Rule. This regulation requires the college to have an identity theft prevention program designed to detect, prevent and mitigate identity theft in connection with opening a covered account or existing covered account and to provide administration of the program. The college's program will:
- Identify relevant red flags for covered accounts it offers or maintains and incorporate those red flags into the program.
- Detect red flags that have been incorporated into the program.
- Respond appropriately to any red flags that are detected to prevent and mitigate identity theft.
- Ensure the program is updated periodically to reflect changes in risks to students and to the safety and soundness of the creditor from identity theft.