Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
The federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), as amended, gives students certain rights concerning their educational records. The primary rights afforded are the right to inspect and review their educational records, the right to seek to have the records amended, the right to have some control over the disclosure of information from the records, and the right to file a complaint concerning alleged failures by Trinity Lutheran Seminary to comply with the requirements of FERPA.
The right to inspect and review education recordsA student should submit to the registrar a written request that identifies the record(s) the student wishes to inspect. The registrar will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the registrar, the register shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed. Records covered by FERPA will be made available to the student in a reasonable time, not to exceed 45 days from receipt of the written request.
The right to request the amendment of education recordsA student who believes his/her education records are inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of student privacy rights under FERPA should submit a written request to the seminary official responsible for that record, clearly identify the part of the record the student wants changed, and specify why it should be changed. If the seminary decides not to amend the record as requested, the seminary will notify the student in writing of the decision and of 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.
Note: the right to challenge a grade does not apply under FERPA unless the grade was inaccurately recorded, in which case the record will be corrected. See Community Life Handbook for procedures for Appeals of Grades.
The right to file a complaintA student who believes that the seminary is in violation of FERPA may file a complaint with the Family Policy Compliance Office, United States Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20202.
The right to provide written consent to disclosure of certain education recordsA student has the right to provide written consent before the seminary releases personally identifiable information from the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. Written consent will specify the records to be released, state the purpose of the disclosure, and identify the party or class of parties to whom disclosure may be released. It must be signed and dated by the student.
The seminary discloses education records without a student’s prior written consent under the FERPA exception for disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. Within the Trinity Lutheran Seminary community, only those members acting in the student’s educational interest are allowed access to student education records. These members include the President, the Academic Dean, the Associate Academic Dean, faculty members of the Academic Affairs and Admissions Committees, the Registrar, the Director of Admissions; the Director of Financial Aid; the Director of Contextual Education; the student’s academic advisor(s); a staff member acting solely as an agent of one of the above individuals; a student serving on an official committee, and other faculty, administrative, clerical, and professional employees of the seminary within the limitation of their need to know. This also includes persons or companies with whom the seminary has contracted as its agent(s) to provide a service instead of using seminary officials (such as enrollment verification, auditors, or a collection agency). 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.
Upon request, Trinity discloses education records without consent to officials of another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll.
Directory information is information that may be given out to any requestor at the discretion of the seminary. Directory information at Trinity includes the student’s name, date of birth, home and school address, email address, home and school telephone numbers, photographs, degree program, dates of attendance, enrollment status, class rosters, and undergraduate and graduate degrees and dates. Students may withhold directory information from being released outside of the seminary community by notifying the Registrar in writing within two weeks of the first day of class for the term in which they entered. Forms are available in the Registrar’s office.