4.02(e) – Personally Identifiable Student Records

  1. Student Rights
    The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. Those rights are as follows:
    1. The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within forty-five (45) days following the day OTC receives a request for access.
      1. Students should submit a request to OTC’s Registrar, a written request that identifies the record the student wishes to inspect or review. The Registrar will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and location where the records may be inspected.
    2. The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes is inaccurate or misleading.
      1. Students may ask OTC to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate or misleading. The student should submit a request to OTC’s Registrar which identifies the part of the record the student wishes to have changed, and the reason the student believes the record is inaccurate or misleading.
      2. If OTC decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, it will notify the student of the decision and advise the student of his/her right to a hearing regarding the request for the amendment.
    3. The right to consent to the disclosure of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
      1. One FERPA exception allows disclosure without consent to school officials who have a legitimate educational interest. A school official is a person employed by OTC in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or support staff position; a person or company with whom OTC has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor or collection agent); a person serving on the Board of Trustees; or a student serving on an official College committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks.
      2. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility. Upon request, OTC discloses education records without consent to officials of another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll.
  2. Hearing to Change Education Records

    In most cases, the decision of the responsible official will be final. However, a student may elect to file an appeal in writing to the Registrar in order to challenge the content of the educational record. (This right extends to reviewing grades only where the grade assigned is allegedly inaccurately entered into a record.) An unassociated hearing officer will be appointed who shall afford the student full opportunity to present evidence in support of the challenge. The hearing shall be held within a reasonable period of time, not to exceed thirty (30) days under normal circumstances, after the institution has received the request, and the student shall be given notice of the date, place and time reasonably in advance of the hearing. The student shall be afforded a full and fair opportunity to present evidence relevant to the issues, and may be assisted or represented by individuals of his or her choice at his or her own expense, including an attorney. The hearing officer shall render a decision within a reasonable time after the hearing, not to exceed thirty (30) days, and inform the student in writing of the outcome. The decision shall be based solely upon the evidence presented at the hearing and shall include a summary of the evidence and the reasons for the decision. If the hearing officer decides that the record is not inaccurate, misleading or otherwise in violation of the privacy or other rights of the student, the student shall then have the right to place in the education record a statement commenting upon the information in the education record and/or setting forth any reasons for disagreeing with the decision of the hearing official. Any such written explanation then becomes a part of the education record. If the education records of the student or the contested portion thereof is disclosed to any party, the explanation shall also be disclosed to that party.

  3. Access to Education Records

    Information contained in a student’s records remains confidential between the student and OTC and will not be released to third parties without the written consent of the student, except as allowed by FERPA and its regulations.

  4. Directory Information
    1. Under the FERPA, OTC is required to identify and make available upon request, to those needing such information, directory information which has been so identified. Other non-directory information is available to OTC faculty and staff who have a “need to know” this information to conduct business and provide service to students.
    2. OTC has defined the following information as “directory information”: (1) Student’s Name; (2) Local Address; (3) Major Field of Study; (4) Academic Classification – Freshman or Sophomore and Enrollment Status – Part-time or Full-time; (5) Participation in Recognized Activities, including photographs of sponsored activities; (6) Dates of Attendance (including matriculation and withdrawal dates); (7) Degrees, Certificates and Awards Received, including Academic Honors, Departmental Honors and Memberships in National Honor Societies; and, (8) Inclusion of an Individual in a Group Photo. Further, OTC may release lists of students who qualify for academic honors, as well as lists of graduates to newspapers which cover the permanent address of record.
    3. Directory information may be disclosed by OTC for any purpose in its discretion, without the consent of a student. Students have the right, however, to refuse to permit the release of their directory information. In that case, this information will not be disclosed except with the consent of a student, or as otherwise allowed by FERPA.
    4. Any student who wishes to refuse to permit the release of his/her directory information must file written notification to this effect with the Registrar during regular business hours. Forms for this purpose are available in the Office of the Registrar. The written notification does not apply retroactively to previous releases of directory information. For example, once the Student Directory is published by OTC, a student’s directory information will be contained in it, unless the student has provided written notification to the Registrar prior to the last day to change information in the Directory. To prevent publication of directory information, written notification must be filed no later than the second week of classes for any given term.

      Revised 9/11/06