Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974, as amended, is a federal law that protects the privacy and confidentiality of personally identifiable information contained within student education records. Colleges in the Kentucky Community and Technical College System comply with FERPA's confidentiality protections and adhere to procedures dealing with student education records and directory information recommended by the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers.
In its discretion, a college or KCTCS as appropriate may provide Directory Information in accordance with the provisions of the Act [Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974] to include:
- student name address
- email address
- telephone number
- date and place of birth
- major field of study
- dates of attendance
- degrees and awards received
- the most recent previous educational agency or institution attended by the student
- participation in officially recognized activities and sports
Privacy and Release of Student Records
Students may withhold Directory Information by notifying designated officials at the college in writing within ten (10) calendar days from the first scheduled day of class of the fall term. All written requests for non-disclosure will be honored by the college for one (1) academic year. Requests to withhold Directory Information must be filed annually thereafter. A request for "non-disclosure" is commonly called a "privacy request".
Student Records Maintenance
This is to serve notice to all students of the KCTCS of the rights and restrictions regarding the maintenance, inspection, and release of student records contained in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA). The colleges of KCTCS offer a wide variety of services to students. Each college requires the maintenance of records concerning students enrolled in that particular college. The following is a list of the types of records that may be maintained by the College and/or the System Office for students:
- Academic records from schools previously attended
- Scores or results on various standardized tests and interest/attitude inventories
- Degrees awarded
- Current academic work completed
- Grades and other faculty evaluations
- Applications for admissions
- Applications and other data related to financial aid
- Applications for employment
- Class rosters
- Letters of recommendation
- Academic advisor notes
- Attendance data
- Biographical and identifying information (including name, social security number, sex, marital status, date of birth, residency and citizenship status, ethnic background, academic major, and military status)
- Medical data
- Current student status
- Accounts relating to charges
- Academic offenses
- Disciplinary offenses
- Counseling notes
The colleges are responsible for the maintenance of records in all categories.
In general, the records maintained by the college are available only to the student, to college personnel with legitimate educational interests, to other institutions where the student is seeking financial aid, and to authorized representatives of the Comptroller General of the U.S., the Secretary the U. S. Department of Education, or an administrative head of an education agency, in connection with an audit or evaluation of federally supported programs, and as provided by Section 164.283 of the Kentucky Revised Statutes. However, information may be released by the institution to appropriate persons in connection with an emergency if the knowledge of such information is necessary to protect the health or safety of a student or other persons. Records may be disclosed without consent to officials of another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll.
Records may also be furnished in compliance with a judicial order or pursuant to a subpoena or with the consent of the student.
Students may inspect and review all records pertaining to them within forty-five (45) days of making requests for the same, except for 1) records created or maintained by a physician, psychiatrist, psychologist, or other recognized professional or paraprofessional acting or assisting in a professional capacity in connection with the treatment of the student (except that the student may have these records reviewed by a physician or appropriate professional designated by the student), 2) financial records of the parents, 3) confidential letters and recommendations put in the files prior to January 1, 1975, and 4) confidential recommendations relating to admission, application for employment, or honors, if the student waived his or her right to review such records. Where a particular record cannot be reviewed by a student without revealing confidential information relating to other students, the records custodian will inform the student, upon request, of the contents of the record pertaining to that student.
A student who believes that any record maintained by the college, the college district, or the KCTCS pertaining directly to that student is inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise violates the right of privacy of the student as provided by Title IV of Pub.L.90-247, as amended, and Pub.L.93-380 as amended by Senate Joint Resolution 40 (1974), may request a hearing before a panel of three persons appointed by the President of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System. The panel may direct that appropriate action be taken to correct, explain, or expunge the record(s) challenged.
Requests for hearings should be sent to the Records Custodian, Kentucky Community and Technical College System and will be addressed in a timely manner.