Access to Student Information Procedure
Because of the federal requirements governing the protection of student academic records, it is important that students know their responsibilities when they are provided access to sensitive information. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) applies to all schools that receive funding from the Department of Education. Breach of FERPA enforcement could result in the revocation of all federally awarded financial aid funding. Therefore, compliance with FERPA requirements is stringently monitored and reported. Breach of institutional procedure could result in revocation of student access privileges or revocation of a computer account, depending upon the severity of the breach.
Upon reaching the age of 18 years, the right of ownership for one's decisions transfers from the parent to the student. ( Northwestern Michigan College has determined any student who is attending receives the right of ownership even if they are under 18 years of age.) A student is defined as one who has been admitted to the college. Applicants for admission are not protected by FERPA until they enroll in classes and attend.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act stipulates that information may be released to college employees only when the disclosure of information is to staff members who have a "legitimate educational interest" in the student information. "Legitimate educational interest" is defined by your role with the college. Acceptable usage of the information is:
- Academic advising
- Letters of recommendation on behalf of the student
- Verification of major or degree requirements
- Verification of admission enrollment requirements (testing, ESL, academic literacy, etc.)
- Discipline or divisional recommendation for scholarship or awards
- Discipline, divisional, or school/college program reviews
The college will not disclose any personally identifiable information about students (except directory information listed below) without the written consent of the student. Each student, however, has the right to restrict the release of any or all of this information by submitting a written request to the Registrar's Office. Directory information includes:
- Telephone number
- Date and place of birth
- Major field of study
- Participation in officially recognized activities
- Enrollment status (full-time, three-quarter time, or part-time)
- Dates of attendance
- Degrees and awards received
FERPA mandates protection of student information from third-party disclosure. The following guidelines will help toward that aim:
- Do not release information about students to other persons except those that meet the criteria of acceptable usage identified above.
- Do not release information that is not considered "directory" as identified above.
- Do not release information that could easily be traceable to an individual student.
- Do not give your computer account passwords to others and do not store written passwords in your desk.
- Turn your computer monitor away from the view of others who may enter your office or workstation.
- Do not leave your computer unattended when logged into the Banner student account.
- Do not release any information about a grade over the phone.
- Carefully shred all printed documents no longer needed.
- Do not leave printed documents in view of others who may enter your office or workstation.
- Do not release information, specifically grades, to parents or spouses of students in your class.
- Do not release information about student's class schedules
Access to Student Information Procedure
By your signature, you agree:
- that you have read the Access to Student Information Procedure.
- that you understand your responsibilities with regard to institutional procedures relative to the protection of protected student information and FERPA.
- that you understand that disclosure of protected student information could result in harm to a student, loss of federal funds for the college, disciplinary action of an employee or a lawsuit.
- to abide by the procedures set forth relative to FERPA and understand the consequences for non-compliance with the procedures.
Training Instructor or Registrar Signature
If you have questions about your responsibilities or need further instructions, please consult the Registrar.