Student Education Records and Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

College of the Ozarks complies with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974. In accordance with the federal law, the College has adopted policies and procedures governing the confidentiality of student educational records. In general, no individual shall have access to, nor will the College disclose any information from, a student’s education record without the written consent of the students. Exceptions allow certain personnel of the College to see records as well as procedures for release in emergency situations.

FERPA affords students certain rights with respect to the student’s educational rights. They are:

  1. Annual Notification
  2. Access to Education Records: The right to inspect and review student’s education records with 45 days of the date of the day the College receives a request for access.
  3. Request for Amendment of Education Records: The right to request the amendment of the student’s education record that the student believes is inaccurate or misleading.
  4. Disclosure of Education Records: The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
  5. Compliance: The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the College to comply with the requirements of FERPA.

Annual Notifications

Notification of the rights under FERPA will be made annually by means of an e-mail to all students.

Access to Education Records

All students have 24 hour a day web access to certain student records (including grades and financial account information) through College of the Ozarks “Campusweb”. The login information protects the security and privacy of the records; so make sure to protect your password. Students should also make sure to logout, especially when accessing the web from campus labs; otherwise, the next user may have access to education records of the previous user.

A student or former student has the right to inspect and review other education records within 45 days of the day the College receives a written request for access, anytime after matriculation. Submit a written request, identifying the records you wish to review, to the appropriate College official.

Definitions

Education Records: Any recorded material (written, handwritten, or stored on disc, tape or any other medium) containing information directly related and identifiable to a student and maintained by the College, such as admissions data, Social Security number, student financial account data, grades and transcript. The following exceptions apply:

  1. Records made by College employees who are kept in the sole possession of the maker, and are not accessible or revealed.
  2. Records maintained by College security solely for law enforcement purposes.
  3. Employment records unless the employment is contingent on the fact that the employee is a student. Records relating to work study participants are education records, and not exempt.
  4. Records made, maintained and used by professionals or paraprofessionals (e.g., physician, psychiatrist, psychologist, or counselor) only in connection with treatment of the student, and disclosed only to individuals providing the treatment. (Treatment does not include remedial education activities or activities that are part of the program of instruction at the College.) Such records may be reviewed by a physician of the student’s choice.
  5. Alumni records containing information about individuals after they are no longer students at the College.

Legitimate Educational Interest: 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.

School Official: A person employed by the College in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person or company with whom the University has contracted (such as attorney, auditor, the National Student Clearinghouse); individuals serving on the Board of Trustees, and students conducting University business.

Student: Any individual for whom an educational institution maintains education records and who attends or has attended the College.

Types, Locations and Custodians of Education Records: A list of the types of education records that the College maintains are listed below, with the location, and responsible official indicated. Subject to other provisions a listed record may or may not be available to the student.

Type of Record Location College Official E-Mail Address
Academic Administration Bldg. Registrar Reg1@cofo.edu
Admission Administration Bldg. Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid Admiss4@cofo.edu
Advising Faculty offices, various Faculty campusweb.cofo.edu
select Campus Directory
Athletic Trainer Office Keeter Gymnasium Athletic Trainer turbak@cofo.edu
Career Services Berger Bldg Director, Career Development career@cofo.edu
Disability Records Administration Bldg. Dean of the College academic@cofo.edu
Disciplinary Administration Bldg. Dean of Students sharp@cofo.edu
Financial Aid Administration Bldg. Director, Financial Aid FinancialAid2@cofo.edu
Financial Accounts Berger Bldg Controller Ketcher@cofo.edu
Medical McDonald Armstrong Health Clinic Nurse lvanderpool@cofo.edu
Nursing Education McKibben Building Director of Nursing jwilliams@cofo.edu
Teacher Education McKibben Center Teacher Certification Officer kswofford@cofo.edu
Student worker Administration Bldg. Dean of Work dofw@cofo.edu

Waivers: Students may waive any or all rights to review confidential letters and statements of recommendation. Often, faculty or administrators requested to write letters of recommendation will ask for a waiver to assure the confidentiality of the recommender’s observations. The Career Development office provides for the student to elect to have a confidential file, which waives the student’s right to examine the documents in the file.

Waivers may be signed only for the specific purposes of application for admission, candidacy for honorary recognition (including merit-related financial aid) and application for employment. Waivers will not be required and the student may be told, at his request, the names of those supplying references. A waiver may be revoked, in writing, for future actions but not for letters or recommendations already in educational records.

Closed Records

Closed Records: In accordance with federal regulations, students do not have the right to review:

  • The financial records of the student’s parents.
  • Letters and statements of recommendation for which the student has waived his or her right of access, or which were placed in the file before January 1, 1975.
  • Education records containing information about more than one student.
  • Records which are excluded from the FERPA definition of education records.

Copies

Students may copy most education records at a cost of $.50 per page. College of the Ozarks official transcripts will be provided for $6.25 - $10.00 per transcript depending upon request method as long as the student does not have a financial or other hold. See Transcript Request to order. Transcripts and other documents from other institutions may be viewed but may not be copied. Copies of these documents should be obtained from the issuing institution.

Request for Amendment of Education Records

Students have the right to request amendment of education records that are believed to be inaccurate or misleading. Students should write the College official responsible for the specific record, clearly identifying the part of the record to be changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading. The official will notify the student of the decision and his/her right to a formal hearing on the matter.

Disclosure of Education Records

A student has the right to consent to the disclosure of his/her education records, except to the extent that FERPA or any superseding law authorizes disclosure without student consent. Other than directory information, the College will disclose student education records only with the written consent of the student, except where the College retains discretion under FERPA or is authorized or required, by law, to disclose such records without consent, including the following:

Conditions Where Prior Consent Not Required

  1. to school officials who have a legitimate education interest in the records.
  2. to officials of another school in which the student has sought or intends to enroll.
  3. to authorized representatives of the Comptroller General of the United States ; the U.S. Department of Education; Veterans Administration officials (Title 38, Section 1790 (c), US Code) or state and local educational authorities.
  4. in connection with financial aid for which the student has applied or which the student has received, if the information is necessary for such purposes as (a) determining eligibility for the aid; (b) determine the amount of the aid; (C) determine the conditions for the aids: or (d) enforce the terms and conditions of the aid.
  5. if required by a state law requiring disclosure that was adopted before November 19, 1974.
  6. to state and local authorities to whom such information is specifically allowed to be reported or disclosed under state law in connection with the juvenile justice system.
  7. to organizations conducting studies for educational purposes for the College.
  8. to accrediting organizations to carry out their accrediting functions.
  9. to parents of a dependent student as defined in the Internal Revenue Code of 1954.
  10. to comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena after the College has made a reasonable effort to notify the student so that he/she may seek protective action, unless the disclosure is in compliance with a grand jury subpoena or where the College is involved in a legal action with a parent or student.
  11. in connection with a health or safety emergency.
  12. to an alleged victim of any crime of violence, as that term is defined in Section 16 or title 18, United States Code, of the results of any disciplinary proceeding conducted by an institution of postsecondary education against the alleged perpetrator of that crime with respect to that crime.
  13. to a parent or legal guardians of a student less than 21 years of age; information regarding any violation of law or of policy with respect to campus rules regarding the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance.
  14. to comply with a court order obtained under the USA PATRIOT Act of 2001 (http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d107:HR03162:|TOM:/bss/d107query.html|): for education records considered relevant to a terrorism investigation or prosecution, without advance notice to the student.
  15. to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USICS) (http://usics.gov/graphics/index.htm) / Department of Homeland Security (DHS) (http://www.dhs.gov/dhspublic/) concerning an F,J, or M nonimmigrant alien, to the extent necessary to comply with Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) (http://www.ice.gov/graphics/sevis/index.htm) reporting requirements.

Consent for Disclosure

Consent for Disclosure of a student’s education records must be in writing, signed and dated by the student. Each department on campus that keeps education records (See Types, Locations and Custodians of Education Records) maintains its own authorization forms e.g. Registrar, Transcript Request. Please note that the business office will not provide any student account information to students or parents over the telephone.

Record of Disclosures

The college will maintain a record of requests and disclosures of a student’s education record by third parties except where not required by FERPA (e.g., disclosures of directory information, disclosures under USA PATRIOT Act, disclosures to College officials). Such record will be available only to the student and the custodian of the records. A record will not be maintained if the student provides written consent prior to the disclosure. FERPA does not require specific documents to be maintained as education records and most education records are subject to periodic purging and destruction.

Directory Information

College of the Ozarks has designated the following information as directory information and may disclose such information at its discretion:

  • Name
  • Current enrollment status, including full or part-time
  • Address, Local, Permanent or e-mail
  • Telephone number
  • Date of birth
  • Major Fields of Study
  • Student’s photographic or videotaped image
  • Dates of attendance
  • Academic classification by year (e.g. freshman)
  • Awards and Honors (e.g. Dean’s list)
  • Degree conferred (including dates)
  • Past and present participation in officially recognized sports and activities
  • Weight/Height of members of athletic teams

Currently enrolled students may withhold disclosure of any or all of these types of information by contacting the Registrar’s office, in writing, within 30 days from the first class day of any semester. The written notification does not apply retroactively to previous releases of directory information, for example once the campus student directory is published, the information contained therein will remain. The request for nondisclosure will affect only the academic year within which it is requested. Note that directory information MAY be released; it is not required and the institution may choose not to release it. For instance, for security reasons, the College does not give out telephone extensions for dorm rooms to people calling from off campus.

Students should understand that, by withholding directory information, some information considered important to students may not reach them.

Compliance

For further information about education records and the process of obtaining access to records contact any of the college officials listed as custodians of education records. Students may contact the Family Policy compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, S.W., Washington, DC 20202-4605, e-mail address ferpa@ed.gov, with a complaint about the College’s compliance with FERPA. The complete regulations and full definitions of terms can be found at http://ed.gov/offices/OII/fpco/pdf/ferparegs.pdf or http://www.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/ferpa/index.html.

 


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