2020-2021 Catalog

Privacy of Student Records

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) establishes guidelines under which students may access his or her education records maintained by Salish Kootenai College and under which those records may be disclosed by the College to others.

1.  Definitions

a. "Education Records." Education records are those records that are directly related to a student and that are maintained by Salish Kootenai College or by an official who serves the College in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or support staff position.

FERPA indicates that education records do NOT include:

i. Records of instructional, supervisor, administrative, and educational personnel that are in the sole possession of the maker, such as a faculty member's grade book or a faculty member's advising notes. Sharing information with another person or placing information where it can be viewed by others may make it an "education record" and subject to FERPA.

ii. Records relating to individuals who are employed by Salish Kootenai College that are made and maintained in the normal course of business and relate exclusively to individuals as employees, and are not available for any other purpose. This includes information about student workers that is maintained about their employment.

iii. Records that contain only information relating to a person after that person is no longer a student at Salish Kootenai College (such as information gathered on the accomplishments of alumni).

iv. Records created and maintained by the Salish Kootenai College Security Department for that department's records.

b. "Directory Information."  Salish Kootenai College determines the following to be student directory information which may be available to the public if the student has not restricted its release:

  • Name
  • Dates of Attendance
  • Academic major or program of study
  • Number of credits for current enrollment period
  • Class standing (Freshman, Sophomore, etc.)
  • Degrees, certificates, certifications, or endorsements awarded
  • Honors awarded and the GPA of students recognized for honors
  • Dates of completion of degrees, certificates, certifications, or endorsements awarded
  • Participation in college-recognized sports
  • Student's college email address

2. More About FERPA

a. Confidentiality. FERPA says that education records and personally identifiable information about a student may not be disclosed without the student's written consent unless disclosure is permitted by certain exceptions under FERPA.

The student's written, signed consent must:

  • Specify the records to be released
  • Identify the party or class of parties to whom the records should be released
  • Indicate the reason for the release

b. Access to Educational Records. FERPA provides that students are permitted to inspect their own education records. A student has the right to:

  • Inspect and review the student's own education records
  • Request an amendment to an education record if the student believes there is an inaccuracy
  • Restrict the release of the student's "Directory Information" from public access
  • File a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education if the student feels the College has failed to follow FERPA guidelines.

A student has the right to inspect and review the student's education records within 45 days of submitting a request to the College.

c. Administering Office. The SKC Registrar is responsible for the administration of FERPA guidelines at the College. Students and others who have questions regarding the treatment of specific information in a specific circumstance should contact a staff member in the Registrar's Office.

3. Confidentiality.

FERPA generally prohibits the release of confidential personally identifiable student data from education records, with limited exceptions that include Directory Information, without the student's written, signed consent.

Personally identifiable student data, other than directory information for students who have not restricted its release, are confidential. Examples of confidential information include, but are not limited to, social security number, date of birth, ethnicity, country of citizenship, class schedules (including meeting times and locations), grades, and grade point averages.

FERPA provides certain exceptions for the release of personally identifiable education record information without the student's written consent. These exceptions include Directory Information as defined in section 1.c. above. The college will honor requests to withhold directory information but does not assume responsibility to contact students for subsequent permission to release this information. Students should carefully consider the consequences of any decision to withhold directory information.

When a student instructs the College not to release directory information, any future requests for such information from persons or organizations outside the College will be refused, unless an exception applies or the student files a written request that the information be released. 

Legitimate Educational Interest. Personally identifiable education record information may be given out without the student's written consent to a college official with a legitimate educational interest in the record. A college official is a person employed by the College in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or support staff position; a person or company with whom the College has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent, or to comply with federal regulations such as federal financial aid regulations. "A school official has a legitimateeducational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill that person's professional responsibility. 

Other Exceptions. Education record information may be disclosed without the student's written consent in the following instances:

  • If it is Directory Information and the student has not restricted its release.
  • If properly subpoenaed pursuant to a judicial, legislative, or administrative proceeding. In this case, the College will make a reasonable attempt to notify the student of the subpoena prior to the release of the information, unless the subpoena specifically directs that the student is not to be notified.
  • In connection with the student's application or receipt of financial aid as necessary to determine the eligibility, amount, or conditions of the financial aid or to enforce the terms or conditions of the aid.
  • In connection with audits of federal or state supported educational programs requiring disclosure of information.
  • To effect collection of past due financial obligations to the College.
  • To authorized representatives of the Comptroller General of the United States, the Secretary of the Department of Education, or state or local educational authorities.
  • To the Veterans Administration to determine compliance with educational assistance.
  • To officials of another institution of postsecondary education where the student seeks or intends to enroll, or where the student is already enrolled, provided the disclosure is for purposes related to the student's enrollment or transfer.

4. Amendment of Records

A student may request amendment (change) of the student's education records that the student believes are inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the student's privacy rights. A request for amendment of a student's education record should be submitted to the SKC Registrar in writing by the student. The request should state what record the student believes is inaccurate or identify the part of the record the student wants changed and should state why the student believes the record is inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the student's privacy rights. If the College decides not to amend a record as requested, the College will notify the student of its decision within ten business days. The student will be advised of the student's right to a hearing regarding the issue and additional information regarding a hearing procedure will be provided to the student.

5. Complaints

A student has the right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the College to comply with requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the office that administers FERPA is:

Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20202-5920.

More information about FERPA can be found at the following website: