123 - Educational Records
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Ct (FERPA), 20 U.S.C.
MN Government Data Practices Act (MGDPA) - MN Stat. Chapter 13
The purpose of this policy describes how the college complies with the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act, (FERPA), as amended, and the Minnesota Date Practices Act (MGDPA).
Whenever MSC Southeast collects private student data, the College will be in compliance with FERPA and MGDPA requirements. It will inform the student of:
- The purpose and intended use of the information;
- Whether the individual may refuse, or is legally required, to provide the information;
- Any known consequences from giving or refusing to supply the data; and,
- The identity of individuals who will have access to the information.
The College will provide students with access to their records upon written request as outlined in the Procedures accompanying this policy. The College will not disclose or release to a third party identifiable information from education records without prior written consent except as authorized by law and/or as described in the Access to Student Records Procedure.
Student Directory information will be regarded as public data unless the student requests otherwise as described in the Directory Information Procedure.
Students may challenge the accuracy of their education records and grades through the process as outlined in the Challenge of Records Procedure.
Complaints regarding failure of the College to comply with the Family Educations Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and/or the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act (MGDPA) may be submitted in writing as outlined in the Complaints Procedure.
Student Discipline Records
Records maintained by the College relating to student disciplinary proceedings and results are generally classified by federal and state law as "private" information and may not be released to third parties without the student's prior, written consent or as permitted by law which specifically authorizes the disclosure. Information that a named student has been charged and is the subject of disciplinary proceedings is also considered "private" information.
However, the 2008 Minnesota Legislature amended the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act (MGDPA) to allow colleges and universities to disclose without student consent specific information pertaining to disciplinary proceedings on crimes of violence and nonforcible sex offenses as permitted and defined by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). This information can be released only after the college or university has made a final determination that a student has committed a crime of violence or nonforcible sex offense. No criminal charge or proceeding need have been initiated; the criminal laws are only relevant in defining the conduct. The information that may be made public is limited to:
- Name of student
- The violation committed; and
- Any sanction imposed by the institution against the student.
Crime of violence includes the following offenses: arson; assault offenses; burglary; criminal homicide – negligent or non-negligent manslaughter, or murder; destruction, damage or vandalism of property; kidnapping or abduction; robbery; or forcible sex offenses. Nonforcible sex offense means statutory rape or incest. For further clarification of these offenses, consult the FERPA Regulations at 34 CFR Part 99, Appendix A.
Access to Student Records Procedure
Access by Student
Upon written request, the College shall provide a student with access to their education records, unless limited by law. All students at a college have the same rights regarding their education records irrespective of age.
There is no charge for viewing the records even if the college is required to make a copy for the record in order to provide access. Responses to requests by students to review their education records shall be immediate, if possible, or within ten business days.
Upon request, the meaning of their education record shall be explained to the student by Southeast l personnel assigned to, and designated by, the appropriate office.
Students have the right to review only their own records. When a record contains private information about other individual(s), disclosure cannot include information regarding the other individual(s). A student does not have access to financial information and statements of the student’s parents or any information contained therein.
A student may gain access to their educational records in writing. Requests should be directed as follows:
- Accounting Supervisor
- Director of Financial Aid
Students do not have access to confidential letters or statements of recommendation placed in education records before January 1, 1975 or after January 1, 1975 if the student waived his/her right of access as permitted by law.
Consent for Release to Third Parties Generally Required
The College will not disclose or release to a third party personally identifiable information from education records without the prior written consent of the subject student except as authorized by law.
To be valid, a written consent for the disclosure of education records must: 1) specify the records to be disclosed; 2) state the purpose of the disclosure; 3) identify the party or class of parties to whom the disclosure may be made; and 4) be signed and dated by the student. If the disclosure is to an insurer or its representative, the release must also include an expiration date no later than one year from the original authorization, or two years for a life insurance application. If the student requests, the school shall provide them with a copy of the records released pursuant to the consent. A consent to release education records is available in the Student Affairs Office.
Release Without Consent
As required or permitted by law, the College will release personally identifiable information in an education record without consent as follows:
- to college school officials who have been determined to have a legitimate educational interest in the records; Note: Southeast has defined school official as: a person employed by the College in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel); a person or company with whom the College has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); a trustee of Minnesota State Colleges and Universities; or a student serving on an official committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks. A school official has a legitimate education interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her official responsibilities.
- to federal, state, or local officials or agencies authorized by law, including, but not limited to authorized representative of: The Comptroller General of the United States; the Attorney General of the United States; the Secretary of the United States Department of Education; or state and local educational authorities;
- in connection with a student’s application for, or receipt of, financial aid;
- to accrediting organizations or organizations conducting educational studies, provided that these organizations do not release personally identifiable data and destroy such data when it is no longer needed for the purpose it was obtained;
- upon adequate proof, to the parents of a dependent student as defined in section 152 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954;
- in compliance with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena, provided a reasonable effort is made to notify the student in advance unless such subpoena is a Federal grand jury subpoena or other subpoena issued for a law enforcement purpose and the court or issuing agency specifically directs the institution not to disclose the existence of a subpoena;
- to appropriate persons in an emergency situation if the information in necessary to protect the health or safety of the students or other persons; the information has been designated by the college as "Directory Information" and the student has not exercised their rights of non-disclosure;
- the information is the final result of the alleged student perpetrator’s disciplinary proceeding to an alleged victim of a crime of violence (as defined in 18 U.S.C. Sect 16) or non-forcible sex offense; or
- the information is the final result of a disciplinary hearing finding that a student has violated the college's rules or policies by conduct defined as a crime of violence in 18 U.S.C. Sec 16, or non-forcible sex offense, and the final results were reached on or after October 7, 1998.
- If you are currently enrolled in, receiving services, seek or intend to enroll at a college or university within the Minnesota State College and University System, your academic records from that institution are available to officials of other schools within the System while you are in attendance. Disclosures of your records to other schools under other circumstances require your prior written consent.
The College will inform a third party to whom personally identifiable information is released of the applicable limitations on re-disclosure. If the institution discovers that a third party who has received student records from the institution has released or failed to destroy such records in violation of such limitations, it will prohibit access to education records for five (5) years.
Record of Requests for Disclosure
Where required by law, a record of requests for disclosure and such disclosure of personally identifiable information from student education records shall be maintained by MSC Southeast for each student and will be also made available for inspection pursuant to this policy. Records of requests for disclosure no longer subject to audit or under active request for access will be maintained according to the applicable records retention policy.
Directory Information Procedure
The following information on students at Southeast is designated as Directory Information, which is public data accessible to the public upon request pursuant to Minn. Stat. Sect. 13.03:
- student’s name
- major field of study
- participation in officially recognized activities and sports
- dates of attendance
- degrees and awards received
- date of graduation
Because Directory Information is considered public, Minnesota State College Southeast will release such information to anyone upon request except for the Directory Information of students who have requested suppression. Students who wish to suppress their Directory Information must submit a written request by completing an Authorization to Withhold Directory Information form, which will remain in effect until a change is requested in writing. This form can be picked up in Student Affairs or found on our college website on the Student Forms page.
Students who wish to restrict their names should realize that their names will not appear in the President's List, commencement bulletin and other Minnesota State Southeast College publications. Also, third parties will be denied all of the student's Directory Information and will be informed that there is no information available about the student's attendance at Minnesota State College Southeast. Students who wish to override a suppression request for a specific party or purpose may do so by providing a written authorization to the Registrar's Office.
Minnesota State College Southeast designates the following information as Limited Directory Information. These are defined as Limited Directory Information for enterprise technology related purposes internal to the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system that are approved by the System Office IT, including but not limited to inclusion of email addresses and StarID numbers in a directory accessible to Minnesota State students and employees.
- Student email addresses
- Student StarID numbers
Notice to Students About Directory Information
Students may direct that the above-listed Directory Information be withheld from public disclosure by notifying the Office of the Registrar in writing by the fifth day of your starting semester. The Authorization to Withhold Directory Information Form is valid until a written request to rescind is received in the Office of Registrar. Students who request suppression of their Directory Information will also be deemed to have requested suppression of their Limited Directory Information.
Challenge of Record Procedure
Students may challenge the accuracy or completeness of their education records. Note: the right to challenge a grade does not apply under this policy unless the grade assigned was allegedly inaccurately recorded. Students may challenge a grade within one academic term after the grade has been posted to their official transcript.
The student may discuss his or her problems informally with the college Registrar. If agreement is reached with respect to the student’s request, the appropriate records will be amended, and a reasonable attempt will be made to notify past recipients of inaccurate or incomplete data, including recipients named by student. If not, the student will be notified within a reasonable period of time that the records will not be amended, and will be informed by the Registrar.
Student requests for a formal hearing must be made in writing to the Minnesota Commissioner of Administration within 60 days of receiving the decision. The request must bey directed to: Commissioner of Administration, State of Minnesota, 50 Sherburne Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55155, who, within a reasonable period of time after receiving the request, will inform the student of the date, place and the time of the hearing. The hearing will be conducted by the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) and according to the procedures set forth in Minn. Stat. Chapter 14. Students may present evidence relevant to the issues raised and may be assisted or represented at the hearings by one or more persons of their choice, including attorneys, at the student’s expense.
Decisions of the hearing officer will be based solely on the evidence presented at the hearing, will consist of the written statements summarizing the evidence and stating the reasons for the decisions, and will be delivered to all parties concerned.
The education records will be corrected or amended in accordance with the decision of OAH if the decision is in favor of the student. If the decision is unsatisfactory to the student, the student may place with the education records statements commenting on the information in the records or statements setting forth any reasons for disagreeing with the decision of the hearing officer, or both. The statements will be placed in and maintained as part of the student's educational records, and released whenever the records in questions are disclosed.
Students may have copies of their education records and this policy upon request. There will be a fee for copies of records and transcripts, at the student's expense.
Copies of academic records or transcripts will not be released for students who have a delinquent financial obligation or financial "hold" at the college, unless otherwise required by law.
Complaints regarding alleged failures to comply with the provisions of FERPA may be submitted in writing to the Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 600 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, D.C. 20202-4605.
Complaints may also be submitted to the following designated college official.
Complaints about compliance with the MGDPA may be brought to the college Data Practices Compliance Official, Megan Zeches, Chief Human Resources Officer, or to the Minnesota Commissioner of Administration.
Approved: June 7, 2004
Reviewed: December 28, 2010; February 7, 2011; October 23, 2013; May 2020
Revised: October 8, 2008; May 13, 2020