Policy No. 3:05:00:00


SUBJECT:  Access to Student Records

  1. Purpose
    The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 is designed to protect the privacy of both parents and students.  Specifically, the statute governs access to records maintained by Cleveland State Community College and the release of such records.  The penalty for violation of this law is to deny Federal Funds to the institution.
  2. DefinitionsAnyone who has any questions concerning the provisions of this act should contact the Dean of Student Affairs or the Director of Admissions and Records.
    1. Education Records.  Education Records are defined as those records, files, documents, and other materials which (1) contain information directly related to a student; and (2) are maintained by Cleveland State Community College or by a person acting for the College.  “Records” means information recorded in any medium, including, but not limited to the following:  computer maintained and accessed date, handwriting, print, tapes, film, microfilm, and microfiche.  Education records do not include:  (1) personal notes, (2) records available only to law enforcement personnel, (3) employment records, (4) medical and psychiatric records accessible to the student’s physician.
    2. Student.  A student is any person who is or has been enrolled at Cleveland State Community College.  Wherever “student” is used in reference to personal rights, an eligible parent of a dependent student has similar rights.  An “eligible” parent is one who has satisfied Section 152 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 and presents such proof to the custodian of the Education Records.  This proof will be a written affirmation by the student and the parent declaring that the student is dependent for Federal Income Tax purposes or submission of copies of Income Tax Records showing dependency.
    3. Directory Information.  Cleveland State Community College regards a student’s academic records as confidential.  The release of information contained in the record is governed by Federal Law, known as the “Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act” of 1974.  Only directory information such as: the student’s name, address, telephone listing, major fields of study, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, dates of attendance, degrees and awards received, and the most recent previous educational agency or institution attended by the student, may be released by this institution without consent of the student.  The student may request Cleveland State Community College to withhold directory information.  If the student does not wish directory information released, he should notify the Admissions and Records Office prior to the first day of classes each term.
  3. Release of Personally Identifiable Student Education Records
    Cleveland State community College shall not permit access to, or the release of, any information in the Education Records of any student that is personally identifiable, other than Directory Information, without the written consent of the student, to any party other than the following:
    NOTE: With the exception of Cleveland State Community College officials and staff, who have been determined by the college to have legitimate educational interests, all individuals and agencies who have requested or obtained access to a student’s record will be noted in a record which is kept with each student’s Education Record.  A request must be in writing stating the purpose of the request.  This record will also indicate specifically the legitimate interest that the person or agency had in obtaining the information.
    1. Cleveland State Community College officials and staff who have legitimate educational interests.
    2. Officials of other schools to which the student seeks admission.
    3. Appropriate persons in connection with a student’s application for, or receipt of, financial aid.
    4. Federal or State officials performing duties which may be necessary in connection with the audit and evaluation of Federally supported education programs, or in connection with the enforcement of the Federal legal requirements which relate to such   programs.
    5. State and local officials authorized by State statute.
    6. Organizations conducting studies for, or on the behalf of, Cleveland State Community College for the purpose of assisting in accomplishing the College’s stated goals, when such information will be used only by such organizations and subsequently destroyed when no longer needed for the intended purpose.
    7. Accrediting organizations, to carry out their functions.
    8. Parents of a dependent student as defined in Section 152 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 (Written consent may be allowed from either of these separated or divorced parents subject to any agreement between the parents or court order.  In the case of a student who legal guardian is an institution, a party independent of the institution, appointed under the State and local law to give parental consent, may be allowed to do so).
    9. In compliance with judicial order or subpoena, provided that the student is notified in advance of the compliance.
    10. Appropriate persons in connection with an emergency if such knowledge is necessary to protect the health or safety of a student or other person.
  4. Procedures for Granting Access to Education Records
    The student requests in writing the custodian to allow inspection of the Education Record.  The student may ask for an explanation and/or a copy of the Education Record (the price of copies shall not exceed the cost of duplicating the records).  After consultation with the custodian, errors may be corrected at that time by the custodian as to the correctness of the information contained in the Record.
    Formal challenges to the content of the Records should first be reconciled with the custodian of the Records.  If difference of opinion still exists, it may be appealed pursuant to Cleveland State Community College Policy No. 1:02:11:00.
    NOTE:  This procedure does not provide for a hearing to contest an academic grade.
  5. Items not Included in the Right of Access
    1. Financial records of parents or any information therein.
    2. Confidential letters and statements of recommendation which were placed in the Education Records of a student prior to January 1, 1975.
    3. Records to which access has been waived by a student.  (This applies only if a student, upon request, is notified of the names of all persons making confidential recommendations and if such recommendations are used solely for the purpose they were intended.)
  6. Custodian of Student Records
    The Director of Admissions and Records shall serve as custodian of student academic records (admissions folders, computer maintained data, permanent records, grades, registration forms, schedule adjustment forms, Veteran’s Educational Assistance student folders).  Student records not housed in the Office of Admissions and Records are in custody of the chief administrative officer in the offices containing those records.  The statements presented in the college catalog are considered sufficient to advise students and parents of compliance with the law by Cleveland State Community College.
    Faculty members and other personnel are likewise responsible to the law and further advised of their duty to maintain grade and record privacy by instructions provided in the Employee’s Handbook.


Revised:  December 1, 1992