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Privacy of Education Records

Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College, a member of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system, complies with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), 20 U.S.C. §1232g, 34 CFR 99; the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act, (MGDPA) Minn. Stat. Ch 13, Minn. Rules Ch 1205; and other applicable laws and regulations concerning the handling of education records. Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College shall respect the privacy of education records and the rights of students to manage their records, as provided by applicable law. This policy is adopted in furtherance of those principles.

Definitions
The following definitions apply for the purpose of this policy:

Student means an individual currently or formerly enrolled or registered, applicants for enrollment or registration, or individuals who receive shared time educational services from Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College. Students include individuals who are taking instruction in any form including, but not limited to: in-person, correspondence, videoconference, satellite, Internet, or other electronic information and telecommunications technologies.

Educational data or education records means data in any form directly relating to an individually identifiable student maintained by or on behalf of Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College. Education records do not include:

  1. financial records of the student's parents or guardian;
  2. confidential letters or statements of recommendation placed in education records before January 1, 1975, or after January 1, 1975, if the student waived right of access;
  3. records of instructional personnel that are kept in the sole possession of the maker and are not accessible or revealed to any other individual except a temporary substitute for the maker and are destroyed at the end of the school year;
  4. records of law enforcement units (if law enforcement unit is a separate entity and the records are maintained exclusively by and for law enforcement purposes);
  5. employment records related exclusively to a student's employment capacity (not employment related to status as a student, such as work study) and not available for use for any other purpose;
  6. medical and psychological treatment records that are maintained solely by the treating professional for treatment purposes;
  7. records that are created or received by Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College after the individual is no longer a student in attendance and are not directly related to the individual's attendance as a student (alumni data).

Notice of Policy

Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College shall protect the rights of students regarding their education records, as provided by applicable law. Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College shall annually inform students of their rights in the student handbook and college catalog. Additionally, the handbook and catalog will be available for inspection through the Chief Student Affairs Officer.

Subject Access to Records
All students at Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College have the same rights regarding their education records regardless of age.

Consent for Release Generally Required
Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College will not disclose or permit access by a third party to personally identifiable information contained in education records without the written consent of the student except as permitted or required by applicable law. A copy of an informed consent release form is available in the Admissions Office. A written consent is valid if it: 1) specifies the records that may be disclosed; 2) states the purpose of the disclosure; 3) identifies the party or class of parties to whom the disclosure may be made; and 4) is signed and dated by the student. If the release is for disclosure to an insurer or its representative, the release must also include an expiration date no later than one year from the original authorization, or two years for a life insurance application. If the student requests, the school shall provide him or her with a copy of the records released pursuant to the informed consent.

Release without Consent
As allowed by the MGDPA and FERPA, Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College may release non-public information from education records without consent as follows:

  1. to school officials who have a legitimate educational interest, including contractors, consultants, volunteers, or other parties to whom Fond
  2. du Lac Tribal and Community College has outsourced institutional services or functions if access to education records is required in order to perform their assigned responsibilities;
  3. to officials of other schools in which the student seeks or intends to enroll, or where the student is already enrolled or receives services so long as the disclosure is for purposes related to the student's enrollment or transfer;
  4. to federal, state, or local officials or agencies authorized by law;
  5. in connection with a student's application for, or receipt of, financial aid;
  6. to accrediting organizations or organizations conducting studies for or on behalf of Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College as permitted by law;
  7. in compliance with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena, provided a reasonable effort is made to notify the student in advance unless such subpoena for law enforcement purposes specifically directs the institution not to disclose the existence of a subpoena;
  8. to appropriate persons in connection with a health or safety emergency, as permitted by law;
  9. to an alleged victim of a crime of violence (as defined in 18 U.S.C. Sect 16) or non-forcible sex offense, the final results of the alleged student perpetrator's disciplinary proceeding;
  10. as permitted by law, a finding of a violation of the institution's rules or policies constituting a crime of violence or non-forcible sex offense as defined by federal law;
  11. as permitted by law, information about sex offenders.

School Officials with legitimate educational interest
Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College will release information in student education records to appropriate school officials as indicated in (1) above when there is a legitimate educational interest. A school official includes, but is not limited to, a person employed by Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position; a person or company with whom the College has contracted for services (such as an attorney, auditor, technology services provider, 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. 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.

Record of Requests for Disclosure
Where required by law, a record of requests for disclosure and such disclosure of personally identifiable information from student education records shall be maintained by the college's Registrar for each student and will also be made available for inspection pursuant to this policy. If the College discovers that a third party who has received student records from the institution has released or failed to destroy such records in violation of this policy, it will prohibit access to educational records for five (5) years. Records of requests for disclosure no longer subject to audit nor presently under request for access will be maintained according to the school's applicable records retention policy.

Directory Information
The following information on students at Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College is designated as public Directory Information, which is available upon request as required by the MGDPA:

  1. student's name, address, telephone number; electronic mail address;
  2. date and place of birth
  3. major field of study
  4. participation in officially recognized activities and sports
  5. dates of attendance
  6. most recent previous educational institution attended
  7. grade level
  8. degrees, honors and awards received
  9. student ID number, user ID , or other unique personal identifier used to communicate in electronic systems that cannot be used to access education records without a PIN, password, etc. (a student's SSN, in whole or in part, cannot be used for this purpose)
  10. physical factors (height and weight) of athletes
  11. photograph
  12. enrollment status (e.g., undergraduate, graduate, full-time, or part-time)

Notice to Students of Right to Suppress Directory Information
Students may direct that any or all of the above-listed Directory Information be withheld from public disclosure by notifying the Records Office in writing. Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College shall honor such a non-disclosure request unless or until it is rescinded, including after the individual is no longer a student.

Access to Education Records by Student
Upon written request, the College shall provide a student with access to his or her education records. There is no charge for viewing the records even if the college or university is required to make a copy of the data in order to provide access. Responses to requests by students to review their education records shall be within ten business days.

Upon requests, the meaning of educational data shall be explained to the student by the Records Office personnel assigned to, and designated by, the appropriate office.

Students have the right to review only their own records. When a record contains private information about others, such information will be redacted before disclosure.

Students wishing to request access to their educational records should be directed to the appropriate offices.

  1. Academic Records
    Records Office and Admissions: See Registrar

  2. Student Services Records
    Counseling Office: See Chief Student Affairs Officer
    Student Activities Office: See Chief Student Affairs Officer
    Student Services: See Chief Student Affairs Officer

  3. Financial Records
    Business Office: See Chief Financial Officer
    Financial Aid Office: See Director of Financial Aid

Challenge to Record
Students may challenge the accuracy or completeness of their education records. Note: the right to challenge a grade may not be made under this policy unless the grade was allegedly inaccurately recorded. Other challenges to grades shall be according to the college's Grade Appeals process.

Students who believe that their education records contain information that is inaccurate, misleading, incomplete or is otherwise in violation of their privacy rights may challenge their record through the following procedure:

The student must submit a written request to the Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College official who is the custodian of the record, which is signed and dated by the student, and includes sufficient information to identify the challenged record and explanation of the reason that the amendment should be made. The student will be notified in writing within 30 days of the decision; if agreement is reached with respect to the student's request, the appropriate records will be amended, and a reasonable attempt will be made to notify past recipients of inaccurate or incomplete data, including recipients named by the student. If the record will not be amended as requested, the student will be informed of his/her right to a formal hearing and of the right to place a statement in the education record commenting on the information in the record and the reasons for disagreement with the decision. The statements will be placed in and maintained as part of the student's education records, and released whenever the records in question are disclosed.

Student requests for a formal hearing must be made in writing to the Minnesota Commissioner of Administration within 60 days of receiving the Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College written decision. The request must be directed to: Commissioner of Administration, State of Minnesota, 50 Sherburne Avenue, St. Paul, MN, 55155, who, within a reasonable period of time after receiving the request, will inform the student of further proceedings, which may include the date, place and the time of the hearing. The hearing will be conducted by the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) and according to the procedures set forth in Minn. Stat. Ch. 14.

The education records will be corrected or amended in accordance with the decision of OAH if the decision is in favor of the student. If the decision is unsatisfactory to the student, the student may place with the education records statements commenting on the information in the records or statements setting forth any reasons for disagreeing with the decision of the hearing officer, or both. The statements will be placed in and maintained as part of the student's education records, and released whenever the records in question are disclosed.

Copies
Students may have copies of their education records and this policy. The copies of records may be made at the student's expense, depending on the nature of the request. Official transcripts will be $8.00.

Complaints
Complaints regarding alleged failures to comply with the provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) may be brought to the college's Chief Student Affairs Officer or submitted in writing to the Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Washington, D.C. 20202-4605.

Complaints about compliance with the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act (MGDPA) may be brought to the college's Chief Student Affairs Officer, or to the Minnesota Commissioner of Administration, or to the Minnesota Office of Administrative Hearings.

 2101 14th Street       Cloquet, Minnesota 55720       1.800.657.3712       218.879.0800       Minnesota Relay Service at 711 or 1.800.627.3529
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