Student Records, Directory Information and Privacy
According to the Riverside Community College District Board Policy 3040 - Student
Records, Directory Information and Privacy, the Chancellor shall assure that student
records are maintained in compliance with applicable federal and state laws relating
to the privacy of student records.
Any currently enrolled or former student of the District has a right of access to
any and all student records relating to him or her maintained by the District.
Students have the right to stop the use of their social security number in a manner
otherwise prohibited by law by submitting a written request to Admissions and Records,
along with a photo I.D.
What is FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act)?
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended (sometimes referred
to as the Buckley Amendment), is a federal law that protects the privacy of education
records of all students enrolled in schools beyond the high school level. Schools
are required to maintain that privacy, primarily by restricting release of records
and the access provided to those records. Any educational institution that receives
funds under any program administered by the U.S. Secretary of Education is bound by
FERPA requirements. Institutions that fail to comply with FERPA may have funds administered
by the Secretary of Education withheld.
How Does the USA Patriot Act Amend FERPA?
President Bush signed the "Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate
Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act" on October 26, 2001. Section
507 of the USA PATRIOT Act amends FERPA by permitting institutions to disclose, without
the knowledge or consent of the student, personally identifiable information from
the student's education records to the Attorney General of the United States or his
designee in response to an ex parte order (one filed without notice to the student)
in connection with the investigation or prosecution of terrorism crimes. Also, the
school is not required to record such disclosures.
What are Education Records?
Under FERPA, education records are defined as records that are directly related to
a student and are maintained by an education agency or institution or by a party acting
for the agency or institution. The information may be recorded in any way, including,
but not limited to, handwriting, print, computer media, videotape, audiotape, film,
microfilm, microfiche, and e-mail.
Education Records DO NOT Include:
Records or notes in sole possession of the maker, used only as a personal memory aid
and not revealed or accessible to any other person except a temporary substitute for
the maker of the record (this might include notes an instructor makes while providing
career/professional guidance to a student).
Records made or maintained by physicians, psychiatrists, psychologists, and other
health professionals and paraprofessionals that are used only in connection with treatment
Employment records when employment is not contingent on being a student, provided
the record is used only in relation to the individual's employment.
Records created and maintained by a law enforcement unit of the institution used only
for law enforcement purposes.
Post-attendance records, i.e., information about a person that was obtained when the
person was no longer a student (alumni records) and does not relate to the person
as a student.
What is Directory or Public Information?
FERPA allows institutions to identify certain types of information called "directory
information" that may be disclosed without student consent at the College's discretion.
RCCD has designated the following information as directory information and will release
this information upon request, unless students have restricted their directory information
via the Admissions Application or have filed a Change of Information Form with the
Admissions office. Indicate the change on #5 OTHER CHANGES.
Directory information at RCCD is defined as:
major field of study,
dates of attendance,
enrollment status, (e.g. full time/part time),
participation in officially recognized activities and sports including weight and
height and high school of graduation of members of athletic teams,
degrees and awards received by students, including honors, scholarship awards, athletic
awards, and Dean's List recognition.
Restricting Release of Directory Information
According to FERPA, a student can request that the institution not release any directory
information about him/her. RCCD students initially give or withhold consent via the
Admissions Application. Students may change their decision by filing a Change of
Information Form with the Admissions office. Indicate the change on #5 OTHER CHANGES.
Request for non-disclosure will be honored by the college until removed by the student
Students who wish to restrict directory information should realize that their names
will not appear in any College publications. Also, employers, scholarship committees
and the like will be denied any of the student's directory information and will be
informed that we have no information available about the student's attendance at RCC.
Students shall be notified of their rights with respect to student records, including
the definition of directory information contained, and that they may limit third party
access to this information by contacting the Admissions & Records Office.
Release of Student Records
No. District representative shall release the contents of a student record to any
member of the public without the prior written consent of the student, other than directory information as
defined in this policy and information sought pursuant to a court order or lawfully
issued subpoena, or as otherwise authorized by applicable federal and state laws.
What is Non-Directory Information and Who Has Access to it?
With several exceptions provided by FERPA, RCC cannot release personally identifiable
non-directory information in an education record without prior written consent from
the student. Some examples of non-directory information include:
grade point average (GPA)
test scores (e.g., SAT, GRE, etc.)
RCCD protects the privacy of all enrolled students. If students choose to allow an
individual permission to access to their education records, they must do so by writing
a letter stating their intent. The letter must be accompanied by appropriate identification
from both parties and is valid for a single request. In the Student Financial Services
department, a student can fill out a Consent to Release Information form which is
valid for a school year.
The student's prior written consent is not required to disclose non-directory information
under the following circumstances:
Access by parents of a student who is under 18 years of age as defined in Section
152 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986. Parents must present evidence to the Admissions
office that they claim the student as a dependent.
Access by school officials who the institution has determined to have a legitimate
Access by school officials at other schools where the student seeks to enroll.
A "school official" is any person employed by the College in an administrative, supervisory,
academic, research or support staff position (including law enforcement unit, health
staff, and student workers); a person or a company with whom the College has contracted
(such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); a person serving on the Board
of Trustees; a person 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.
Access for the purpose of awarding financial aid. Personally identifiable information
may be required to determine eligibility for aid, the amount of the aid, the conditions
for the aid, or to enforce the terms or conditions of the aid.
Access by the Principal Designated School Official (PDSO) and/ or the Designated School
Official (DSO) to international student information as defined in The Federal Register
8CFR Section 214.3(g). The Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services requires
the PDSO/DSO to update the federal SEVIS database every semester or every time a change
occurs in an international student's record.
Access for the purpose of responding to a subpoena or an ex parte order. All subpoenas
and ex parte orders must be delivered to and reviewed by the Office of the Vice President
of Administration and Finance before any information can be released.
What About a Health or Safety Emergency?
The U.S. Department of Education made a conscious decision in 1988 to allow colleges
to determine whether there is, in fact, a health or safety emergency that justifies
disclosing non-directory information without the student's written consent. RCCD considers
the following criteria in determining whether an emergency situation exists:
Is the emergency a serious threat to the health or safety of the student or other
Is the information to be disclosed necessary to meet the emergency?
Are the parties to whom the information is to be disclosed in a position to deal with
Is time of the essence in dealing with the emergency?
Contact RCCD's Safety and Police for assistance in evaluating potential emergency
Student's Right to Inspect, Review, and/or Correct His/Her Records
Any student may file a written request with the President of the College to challenge
and amend the contents of education records which the student considers to be inaccurate,
misleading, or otherwise in violation of his/her privacy or other rights.
A student may not challenge grades assigned in courses of instruction via this section.
Annual Notification to Students
Consistent with its obligations under FERPA, RCCD annually notifies students and their
parents of the rights accorded them by FERPA. Students shall be advised of their rights
regarding education records on the RCCD application, class schedule and college catalog.
General questions and comments may be directed to the Admissions and Records Office
Moreno Valley College
16130 Lasselle Street
Moreno Valley, CA 92551
ATTN: Dean/Director of Admissions and Records
You may also phone Admissions and Records at (951) 571-6100.
2001 Third Street
Norco, CA 92860
ATTN: Dean/Director of Admissions and Records
You may also phone Admissions and Records at (951) 372-7003.
Riverside City College
4800 Magnolia Avenue
Riverside, CA 92506
ATTN: Dean/Director of Admissions and Records
You may also phone Admissions and Records at (951) 222-8600.
Filing a Complaint
If a student feels that the institution has not fully honored his or her privacy rights
under FERPA, a written complaint may be filed with the Family Policy Compliance Office,
U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Ave. SW, Washington, DC 20202-4605. The
Family Policy Compliance Office investigates each timely complaint to determine whether
the educational agency or institution has failed to comply with the provisions of
FERPA. A timely complaint is defined as an allegation that is submitted within 180
days of the date of the alleged violation or of the date that the complainant knew
or reasonably should have known of the alleged violation.