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Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) grants students certain rights with respect to their educational record. WCC (the College) is committed to making sure that student rights under FERPA are protected. The College makes every effort to preserve the privacy of applicant and student information at every stage of their academic career. FERPA rights for students officially begin after one of the following occur:

  • For in-person classes, the individual is successfully registered for class(es) AND physically attend a class.
  • If an online class, the person is successfully registered for class(es) AND participates in a class.
  • If the individual is successfully registered, does not attend, but is registered past the refund deadline.

College policies and procedures manage the privacy of the student record before FERPA is applied. Once it begins, FERPA applies to the student’s record until the student’s death. FERPA rights expire when the student is deceased and WCC, using its discretion, will release records only to immediate family members (documentation must be provided and confirmed by the College) or to the legally appointed executor of the student's estate.

Students Have the Following Rights

  1. The right to inspect and review their education records within 30 days from the day the College receives a written request for access.
    • File a written request to inspect with the Dean of Students/Ombudsman Office.
    • Educational records will be available for inspection within 30 days.
    • The student will be notified of the time and place to inspect the records.
    • NOTE: FERPA does not require the College to provide a physical copy of the records for the student to take with them. The release of physical copies are at the discretion of the College. A fee of $1 per copy page will be assessed for physical copies released. The College may require a non-refundable 50% deposit before preparing the copies with the remaining balance due at time of pickup.
  2. The right to request the amendment of any part of the education record that the student believes is inaccurate.
    • File a written request with the Dean of Students/Ombudsman Office that clearly identifies the part of the record that the student wants changed, and specify why the student found it to be inaccurate or misleading.
    • If the College does not make the change, the student will be informed and advised of the right to a hearing. Information about requesting a hearing will be included in the notice.
    • The right to challenge grades does not apply under the Act. See the Procedure for Student Final Grade Appeal.
  3. The right to provide written consent before the College discloses personally identifiable information from the student's education record, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
    • FERPA permits the disclosure of personally identifiable information without consent to school officials with legitimate educational interest (the school official needs to review a student record to fulfill his or her professional responsibility). A school official is:
      1. a person employed by the College in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position (including campus security or health personnel);
      2. a person or company with whom the College has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent, official of the National Student Clearinghouse, or any third party performing an assigned College activity);
      3. a person serving on the Board of Trustees; or
      4. 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.
    • FERPA allows the College to release student education records without student consent or notification as follows:
      1. to officials of another school, at their request, in which a student seeks to enroll; this information may include application, enrollment, attendance, financial aid, disciplinary records, grading, financial account, and any other pertinent information
      2. to appropriate parties in a health or safety emergency
      3. to comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena or warrant
      4. in connection with a student's financial aid request, as necessary to determine the eligibility, amount or conditions of the financial aid, or to enforce the terms and conditions to the aid
      5. to certain officials of the U.S. Department of Education, the Comptroller General, state and local educational authorities, in connection with certain state or federally supported education programs
      6. to accrediting organizations to carry out their functions
      7. to organizations conducting certain studies for or on behalf of the College
      8. to the alleged victim of a crime of violence, in order to give the alleged victim the results of an institutional disciplinary proceeding against the alleged perpetrator
      9. To the military in accordance with the Solomon Amendment
      10. The College may release education records without student consent to the parents or guardians of students enrolled in youth classes or youth camps, as these are not considered post-secondary.
  4. The right to restrict disclosure of items the College has designated as directory information.
    • FERPA permits disclosure of directory information without student consent. The College has designated the following as directory information:
      1. name
      2. address and telephone number
      3. email address
      4. date and place of birth
      5. field of study
      6. enrollment status, such as full-time or part-time
      7. number of credits earned
      8. participation in College activities and Club Sports
      9. weight and height information of Club Sport participants
      10. dates of attendance and graduation, degrees and honors received;
      11. most recent previous educational institution attended
      12. honors and awards received
      13. photographs
      14. Students may have all of their directory information withheld by filing a written request for confidentiality with the Student Connection.
      15. The College assumes that failure to file a written request for confidentiality that specifically requests the withholding of directory information indicates individual approval for disclosure.
      16. This request for confidentiality would mean that the College would not release any directory information to potential employers, to insurance companies for verification of enrollment, nor to other organizations requesting directory information on the student's status, nor would a graduating student be listed in the commencement program, unless the student provides a written release or rescinds the previous request in writing. Students who lose or cannot remember their password to MyWCC must to visit campus with appropriate ID to gain electronic access.
      17. Students who wish to rescind a request for confidentiality must appear in person at the Student Connection with photo identification and a written request.
  5. 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. The name and address of the Office that administers FERPA is:

    Family Policy Compliance Office
    U.S. Department of Education
    400 Maryland Avenue, SW
    Washington, DC 20202-5920

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