Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA)
FERPA is the federal law that governs the rights of students and institutional responsibilities with respect to student records. If you have any questions regarding any of the information contained herein, please contact GCNYC Office of the Registrar via email at OfficeoftheRegistrar@gcnyc.com
What is FERPA?
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, commonly referred to as FERPA or the Buckley amendment, is a federal law designed to protect the privacy of a student’s educational record. FERPA applies to all educational agencies or institutions that receive federal funding for any program administered by the Secretary of Education. FERPA also applies to private entities that contract to perform services for the College that it would otherwise undertake to perform on its own; in such cases, the private entity must observe the same FERPA protections applicable to the college. FERPA grants adult students (18 and older) the following rights:
The following constitutes the institution’s policy concerning student rights of access to personal educational records in compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
Student Privacy Notice
GCNYC holds, collects and processes information about its current and former students, applicants and potential applicants. The University is committed to protection the privacy of student education records, adhering to the requirements of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) that regulates maintenance of and access to student education records.
GCNYC processes data relating to students for a variety of purposes for academic, administrative, management, welfare and health and safety reasons, including:
i. Recruitment, admission and enrollment
ii. Maintenance of the student record and management of academic processes
iii. Administering the financial matters, including payment of fees
iv. The management of University services including library, residences and events
v. The provision of support for students through, for example, Student Support Services
vi. Protecting the health and safety of employees, students and visitors on the sites
vii. Internal research including monitoring quality and performance
viii. Graduation and Alumni operations, including fundraising
ix. Statistical and archive purposes.
This information is stored within the IT infrastructure of Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) in the UK.
Certain definitions and principles contained in the law and guidelines are as follows:
A “student” is defined as one who has attended Glasgow Caledonian New York College or is attending Glasgow Caledonian New York College and whose records are in the files of the College. Attendance is defined as the date of the first enrollment at the College or participation in a College sponsored program or activity, whichever occurs earlier.
Educational records do not include files retained by individuals that are not accessible to any other person except a designee or replacement.
“Directory” Information is limited to:
ii. Local and home address and telephone
iv. School or College
vi. Major field of study
vii. Dates of attendance
viii. Enrollment status
ix. Expected graduation date
x. Degrees and awards received
xi. The most recent educational institution attended
xii. Photograph of the student taken for College purposes, such as a Student ID Card photograph.
Directory information also includes class rosters listing students in a GCNYC academic course; such rosters may only be used for the purpose of conducting that course.
“Record” means any information or data recorded in any medium, including, but not limited to, handwriting, print, tapes, computer files, video or audio files, film, microfilm or microfiche.
Release of Directory Information
Directory information may be released unless the student files the appropriate form in the Office of the Registrar requesting that public information not be released. Public information cannot be restricted by former students.
Student Record Locations
GCNYC utilizes the student record systems of its partner institution, Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU). All students have records in one or more of the following Offices:
Office of the Registrar (GC NYC)
64 Wooster Street
New York 10012
Student Recruitment and Admissions (GCU)
Glasgow Caledonian University
70 Cowcaddens Road
Office of the Dean (GCNYC)
64 Wooster Street
New York 10012
Glasgow Caledonian University
70 Cowcaddens Road
Finance Office (GCU)
Glasgow Caledonian University
70 Cowcaddens Road
Academic Department Records
Some departments maintain records separate from the College. A list of the academic departments that may have records and their locations may be obtained from the Office of the Dean or from the Office of the Registrar.
Students right to access to their educational record
If the student so requests, GCNYC will allow the student to inspect and review their educational record within 45 days following the receipt of the request. This access includes only the individual student’s records and does not include information not relevant to the individual student’s record or institutional aggregate data. Additionally, GCNYC can and will provide only that information which it maintains within the student’s educational record and cannot provide or gather additional information outside of its systems.
Student Record Access Exceptions
A student has the right to inspect and review their records, except as listed below. Any reference to student records or to access to student records in this document is subject to these exceptions:
- Confidential letters of recommendation placed in files before January 1, 1975.
- Financial records of the student’s parents or any information contained therein.
- Employment records, except for those cases in which the employment is required as part of the student’s program.
- Medical and psychological records.
- Letters of recommendation or other documents that carry a waiver of the student’s right to access (See 9.8 below).
- Records compiled by University Police for the purpose of law enforcement.
- Any information in a student’s file regarding other students.
Waivers Relinquishing Access
To ensure the confidentiality of references, certain documents may carry waivers signed by the student relinquishing the right of access to the document. Waivers are subject to the following conditions:
- Waivers can be signed only for the specific purposes of application for admission, candidacy for honor or honorary recognition, and candidacy for employment.
- Waivers cannot be required.
- The student shall be told, upon request, the names of those supplying references.
- All items in the student record not covered by waivers are open to the student. Material not covered by waivers may not be concealed by keeping it out of the student’s file.
Access to College Officials
Student education records are open to College officials who have a legitimate educational interest in the information contained in the records.
- A College official is an employee or other agent of the College. A College official may also be a person or company with whom the College has contracted to carry out a function on the College behalf, such as Glasgow Caledonian University.
- The determination of a “legitimate educational interest” will be made by the person responsible for the maintenance of the record. This determination will be made scrupulously and with respect for the individual whose records are involved. “A legitimate educational interest” requires that the individual seeking access is doing so for the purpose of performing a job function.
Access to Third Parties
Normally, records can be released, or access given, to third parties (i.e. anyone not a College official, as described in paragraph G.1.), only with the written consent of the student.
Without the consent of the student, releases to third parties generally may be given only as follows:
- To federal officers as prescribed by law.
- As required by state law.
- To research projects on behalf of educational agencies, providing that the agencies guarantee no personal identification of students.
- To accrediting agencies carrying out their functions.
- In response to a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena.
- To law enforcement agencies in the investigation of a specific criminal case.
- In connection with an emergency, to appropriate person if the knowledge of such information is necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or other persons.
- To educational agencies or institutions that request records when a student seeks to enroll, or is already enrolled.
Destruction of Student Records
Student records will be maintained and disposed of in accordance with the Records Retention Schedule. This means that after completion of a student’s studies, GCNYC may still hold a student’s personal information to satisfy statutory, regulatory or administrative requirements.
Release of Deceased Student Records
FERPA rights cease upon death. However, it is the policy of GCNYC that no records of deceased students be released to third parties after the date of death, unless specifically authorized by the executor of the deceased’s estate or by the next of kin or where GCNYC is legally required to release this information.
Record Correction Procedure
It is important that GCNYC has a complete and accurate record of students’ personal information. Every student is responsible for ensuring that the information held by the University is accurate, current and complete.
Students have the right to ask to have records corrected that they believe are inaccurate, misleading or in violation of their privacy right.
The procedures are as follows:
- The student must submit to the Registrar a request t to amend the record. The student should identify the part of the record that the student wants changed and the reasons.
- GCNYC may comply or may decide not to comply. If not, the College will inform the student of the decision and advise the student of the right to a hearing. Requests for a hearing are to be sent to the College Registrar.
- Upon request, the College will arrange for a hearing within a reasonable time and so notify the student.
- The hearing will be conducted by a hearing officer who is a disinterested party. However, the officer may be an official of the institution. The student may be assisted by one or more individuals.
- The College will prepare a written decision based solely upon the evidence presented at the hearing. The decision will include a summary of the evidence and the reasons for the decision.
- If the College decides that the challenged information is not inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the student’s right to privacy, it will notify the student that he or she has a right to place in the record a statement commenting on the challenged information or setting forth reasons for disagreeing with the decision.
- The statement will be maintained as part of the student’s record as long as the contested portion is maintained. If the College discloses the contested portion of the record, it must also disclose the statement.
- If the College decides that the information is inaccurate, misleading or in violation of the student’s right of privacy, it will amend the record and notify the student in writing that the record has been amended.
FERPA Complaints and Violations
A person may file a written complaint with the Department of Education regarding an alleged violation of FERPA.
The complaint form may also be downloaded and either submitted to SPPO by e-mailing it to FERPA.Complaints@ed.gov or by printing out the form, signing and mailing it to the following address:
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Ave, SW
Washington, DC 20202-8520
For more information or to file online, visit their website: www.ed.gov/offices/OM/fpco/
UK Data Protection Legislation
GCNYC utilizes the student records facilities of GCU and as such GCNYC data, including student record data is held within the UK and is therefore subject to the protection and requirements of the UK Data Protection legislation.
The College’s premises are monitored by video systems for the purposes of public health and safety, the protection of property and the prevention and detection of crime. Video footage may also be used for investigations or proceedings arising under the College’s regulations, codes and policies.
For any queries relating to the personal information held by the University in relation to a student, students should contact the Officer of the Registrar at OfficeoftheRegistrar@gcnyc.com