2023-2024 Catalog

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act FERPA

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

1. Definitions

a. "Educational Records" are those records that are directly related to a student and 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, supervisory, administrative, and educational personnel that are in the sole possession of the maker, such as a faculty member's grade book or 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 maintained in the normal course of business and relate exclusively to individuals in their capacity 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. Student Rights Under FERPA

Under FERPA, students have certain rights including:

i. The right to inspect and review the student's education records within 45 days of the day the College receives a request for access. Students should submit a request to the SKC Registrar or the Vice President for Academic Affairs a written request that identifies the record(s) the student wishes to inspect. The official will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. At no time may the student remove the record(s) from the location at which the access will occur.

NOTE: Students must provide photo identification in order to access the student's education records.

ii. The right to request amendment of the student's education record(s) that the student believes is/are inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student's privacy rights under FERPA. A student who wishes to ask the College to amend a record should write the college official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record the student wants changed, and specify why it should be changed.

If the College decides not to amend the record as requested, the College will notify the student in writing of the decision and the student's right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.

iii. The right to provide written consent before the College discloses personally identifiable information (PII) from the student's education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. The College discloses education records without a student's prior written consent under the FERPA exception for disclosure to college officials with legitimate educational interests in the record(s). These individuals typically include an individual employed by the college in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or support staff position (including security personnel). A college official typically has legitimate educational interest if the individual needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibilities to the College.

The College may also disclose information to a volunteer or contractor outside of the College who performs and institutional service or function for which the College would otherwise use its own employees and who is under direct control of the College with respect to the use and maintenance of PII from education records, such as an attorney or auditor.

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

  • To the student
  • 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 in cases where FERPA applies, prior to the release of 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 Attorney General of the United States, the Secretary of the Department of Education, or state educational authorities
  • To the Veterans Administration to determine compliance with educational assistance
  • To officials of another school or 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

c. Any student may refuse to permit the College from designating any or all of the PII designated as directory information below. Any student wishing to exercise this right must inform the SKC Registrar in writing no later than the 10th class day of the academic term and must specifically list the PII which are not to be designated as directory information for that student.

d. Complaints

Students who believe the college has failed to comply with the requirements of FERPA have the right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures to comply with the requirements of FERPA by contacting the following office:

Family Policy Compliance Office

U.S. Department of Education

400 Maryland Avenue, SW

Washington, DC  20202