Student Records Access/Disclosure
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights regarding their education records. They are:
(1) The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days after the institution receives a request for access.
Even though the law allows 45 days, at Williams requests are normally honored at the time they are submitted. Students should submit their requests to the persons maintaining the records to which they wish access, e.g. the registrar, dean, department chair, or other appropriate officials.
(2) The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes are inaccurate or misleading. Students should address such requests to the official responsible for the record and must clearly identify the parts of the record which they wish amended and why they believe them to be inaccurate or misleading.
If the official responsible for the record does not agree to amend the record as requested, Williams will notify the student of the decision and advise him or her of the right to a hearing and the procedures for initiating one.
(3) 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.
One exception which permits disclosure without consent is to school officials with legitimate educational interests. For these purposes, a school official is a person employed by the College in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or support staff position, including security and health personnel; a person or company with whom the College has a contract such as an attorney, auditor, collection agent, or educational researcher; a person serving on the Board of Trustees; or a student serving on an official committee such as the disciplinary committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks.
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.
Williams also discloses educational records without prior consent upon request from another educational institution in which the student seeks or intends to enroll.
The College may also disclose to parents and guardians of a student under the age of 21, without the student’s consent, information regarding the student’s violation of any Federal, State, or local law, or any rule or policy of Williams, governing the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance.
The law also allows Williams to make public, without prior consent of the student, the final results of the disciplinary proceedings conducted by the College concerning an allegation of a crime of violence against a student who is an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence, if the student is found to have violated the College’s rules or policies with respect to that crime.
In addition, the College may make public the following student directory information unless the student informs the registrar in writing before 15 September that his or her prior consent be required during that academic year: name; permanent and College addresses; campus electronic mail address; permanent, cell, and campus telephone numbers; date of birth; major field; extra–curricular activities; height and weight of members of athletic teams; dates of attendance; degrees, honors and awards; other schools attended.
(4) The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by Williams to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the office that administers FERPA is: Family Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20202–4605.
Questions about the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act or other related matters should be directed to the Registrar, Kathleen Kilventon.