160.011 – Academic Records

Updated: October 2019

POLICY
STUDENT RIGHT TO PRIVACY (FERPA)
Maine Media College complies with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), as amended. The purpose of the act is to afford certain rights to students concerning their education records. The primary rights afforded are the right to inspect and review the education records, the right to seek to have the records amended and the right to have some control over the disclosure of information from the records. The Act does not apply to students admitted to Maine Media College who have not officially enrolled. Maine Media College affords all of the rights under the law to its students.

Educational Officials
FERPA specifies that Maine Media College staff and faculty and certain other government or accrediting officials with a legitimate educational interest do have the right to review student records without consent. This includes any person employed by the college in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or other administrative position; individuals serving on the Board of Directors; a student serving on an official committee (such as a grievance or disciplinary committee); individuals, organizations and other entities employed by or under contract to Maine Media College (such as an auditor, attorney, contractor, consultant, or collection agent); accrediting or financial aid agencies and state and federal officials conducting lawful activities; and other outside parties providing services and functions or otherwise acting on behalf of Maine Media College. Maine Media staff and faculty with legitimate access to education records must be aware of their 17 FERPA obligations with respect to privacy and disclosure of student information.

Legitimate Educational Interest
Education officials have a legitimate educational interest when, in the exercise or completion of their administrative, supervisory, academic, research or other administrative responsibilities on behalf of the institution, incur the need to know specific information from education records.

PROCEDURE

Annual Notification
Students will be notified of their rights as stipulated by FERPA annually, by publication on the General Policies page of Maine Media’s website here or any other method deemed appropriate by the Registrar.

Directory Information
Student records are confidential, with access limited to those directly involved in the administrative or academic process. In accordance with FERPA, Maine Media College will not release student educational information without the expressed, written consent of the student. There are, however, some exceptions. As specified under the provisions of FERPA, certain information is considered to be public information, or “directory information,” provided that students are given the opportunity to prohibit the disclosure of such information. At Maine Media College, the following information is considered “directory (public) information”:

  • Student’s name
  • Student’s address
  • Dates of enrollment
  • Date of separation (but not the reason) if prior to graduation
  • Status of enrollment (i.e., whether the student is, or is not, currently enrolled)
  • Anticipated date of graduation, if currently enrolled
  • Degrees earned, if any, and date conferred

Students have the right to withhold the release of “Directory Information.” To do so, a student must make a written request for withholding this information to the Registrar. It should be noted that if a student asks for “Directory Information” to be withheld, it will be withheld from a variety of sources, including: friends, relatives, prospective employers, honor societies and the news media. Students should be aware that directory “blocks” are permanent and will not be removed without written request. Examples of other exceptions:

  • Emergency situation
  • Lawfully issued subpoena
  • Educational “need to know” by appropriate faculty or staff at the college.

Students have the right to review any of their educational records. Students should submit to the Registrar a written request that identify the record(s) they wish to inspect.

Students have the right to seek amendment of educational records that they believe to be inaccurate or misleading. They should write to the Registrar, clearly identifying the part of the record they want changed and specifying why it is inaccurate or misleading. If the Registrar and other appointed Directors decide not to amend the record as requested by the student, the student will be notified of the decision and advice the student of his/her 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. Students who disagree with the resolution of a challenge are allowed to document their objection, and this statement must be retained and released with the education record to which the student objected.

Students have the right to file complaints with the Department of Education concerning alleged failure by Maine Media College to comply with the law. Written complaints should be directed to the following office:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
6oo Independence Avenue SW
Washington, DC 26202-4605
(202) 260-3887, Fax (202 260-9001