Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

Notification of Rights under FERPA for Postsecondary Institutions

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; CFR Part 99) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. These rights include:

  1. The right to inspect and review the student's education records within 45 days of the day the College receives a request for access.

    A student should submit to the Enrollment Services office written request that identifies the record(s) the student wishes to inspect. The College official will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place and where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the College official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.

  2. The right to request the amendment of the student's education records that the student believes 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.

  3. The right to provide written consent before the College discloses personally identifiable information 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 school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the College in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position (including Public Safety unit personnel) a person or company with whom the College has contracted as its agent to provide a service instead of using College employees or officials (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent) or a person serving on the Board of Trustees.

    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 responsibilities for the College.

    Upon request, the College also discloses education records without consent to officials of another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll.

  4. 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. The name and address of the Office that administers FERPA is: Family Policy Compliance Office
    U.S. Department of Education
    400 Maryland Ave., SW
    Washington, D.C. 20202-5901
    202-260-3887 - Telephone
    202-260-9001 - Fax
    ferpa@ed.gov- Email

Any student who has reason to believe that Southwestern Illinois College is not complying with the Act or this policy should inform the dean of Enrollment Services in writing (Enrollment Services office, Belleville Campus Information Sciences Building, Room 1050, 618-235-2700, ext. 5400.

Public Notification of Directory Information

At its discretion, Southwestern Illinois College may provide "directory information" in accordance with the provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA). Directory information is defined as that information which would not generally be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed. Designated directory information at Southwestern Illinois College includes the following: student's name, address, enrollment status (full- or part-time), dates of attendance at SWIC, honors (including honor roll), degree(s) conferred (including dates), past and present sports participation and physical factors of athletes (height and weight). Students may block the public disclosure of directory information by submitting a Request to Prevent Disclosure of Directory Information form to the Enrollment Services office. This request will stay on file until removed by the student. SWIC retains the right to exercise discretion in determining the release of directory information.

Please consider very carefully the consequences of a decision to withhold directory information. A non-disclosure block will call for Southwestern Illinois College not to release any of this "directory information;" thus, any future requests for such information from non-institutional persons or organizations will be refused.

Southwestern Illinois College will honor your request to withhold directory information but cannot assume responsibility to contact you for subsequent permission to release this information. Regardless of the effect upon you, Southwestern Illinois College assumes no liability as a result of honoring your instructions that such information be withheld.

Although the initial request may be filed at any time, request for non-disclosure will be honored by the College until removed, in writing, by the student.