Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (F.E.R.P.A.) of 1974
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education. The University of Central Oklahoma complies with the guidelines of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974.
1. Directory Information and Withholding Procedures Public Directory Information and student access to official educational records at the University of Central Oklahoma (UCO) designates the following student information as public or directory information:
Student's name, local and permanent address, e-mail address, telephone number(s), classification, dates of attendance at UCO, enrollment status (full-time, half-time, or less than half-time).
Major field of study / degree program, educational institutions previously attended, degrees and awards granted, educational background, degree(s) held, date(s) granted and, institutions granting such degree(s).
Date and place of birth, participation in officially recognized organizations, activities and sports, and weight and height of participants in officially recognized sports.
This information may be disclosed by the University for any purpose, at its discretion.
The University of Central Oklahoma assumes approval for disclosure of Directory Information unless a student specifically requests the withholding of such information. In accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, the University reserves the right to release personally identifiable information from the educational records of a student, without written consent, to University officials (faculty, staff, and agents of the University having responsibility for working with that student in admissions, registration, advisement, housing, counseling, student discipline, teaching, financial aid, payment of fees, or any other activity directly related to the student's academic program, or pursuant to law or governmental regulation, including, but not limited to contractors, consultants, volunteers, and other outside parties to whom the University has outsourced services or functions it would otherwise use employees to perform) with a legitimate educational interest. A University official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review the contents of an educational record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibilities. The University reserves the right to disclose educational records, including, but not limited to, disciplinary records, to another institution at which the student seeks or intends to enroll, without the consent of the student. In addition to the aforementioned rationale, the University may elect disclose educational records of a student, without the consent of the student, to the following parties or under the following conditions:
Parent(s) of a student, who has been involved in an emergency health or safety incident;
Parent(s) of a student, who has been found responsible for violating any local, state, or federal law and / or alcohol or controlled substance policies if the student is under 21 years of age;
Parent(s) of a student, who has official verification that the student has been claimed as a dependent on most recent income tax return forms;
Alleged victims of a crime of violence or non-forcible sex offense, once a final decision has been made regarding the allegation of violence;
Specified University officials for purposes of audit or evaluation;
Appropriate parties in connection with financial aid to a student;
Organizations conducting certain studies for or on behalf of the University;
Appropriate court officials, in order to comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena;
Appropriate University Officials in cases of health and safety emergencies; and
State and local authorities, within a juvenile system, pursuant to specific state laws.
Students may withhold disclosure of all categories of directory information and other personally identifiable information disclosures under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974. Forms requesting the withholding of Directory Information are available in Enrollment Management, Nigh University Center 124, (405) 974-2338.
2. Notice and Access Rights
In accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, eligible students are entitled to access and review official educational records directly related to the student, including the right of inspection and review within forty-five (45) days of the day that the University receives a request for access from an eligible student. Requests for academic records are directed to the appropriate academic department or Enrollment Services, Nigh University Center 124, (405) 974-2338. Student Conduct records may be requested by contacting the Office of Student Conduct, Nigh University Center, Room 136, (405) 974-5380.
The right of access shall include:
The right to a list of the types of educational records maintained by the institution and directly related to students;
The right to inspect and review the content of those records;
The right to inspect and review records, which may be at the expense of the eligible student or parent. Parents of a dependent student as defined in Section 152 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 are entitled to access to official educational records of that student;
The right to a response from the institution to reasonable requests for explanations and interpretations of those records;
The right to inspect and review or to be informed of specific information about themselves which is contained in any material or document; and
The right to an opportunity for a hearing to challenge the content of those records under subsection VI. A. 4. of this code.
3. Records Access Procedures
Prior to acquiring access to their records, students must provide the department which maintains the desired educational record(s) with identification to verify the identity of the requesting and eligible student. In addition, the department may require that requesting and eligible students submit a signed and dated written request or a completed Personal Record Access Request form prior to receiving access to the educational record. The Personal Record Access Request form may be acquired from the Office of Student Conduct, Lillard Administration Building 213, (405) 974-2361. These aforementioned procedures shall serve as a safeguard to protect the privacy of student educational records.
Attempts by other individuals or organizations to gain access to student records without the express written consent of the student are considered a violation of University policy and federal law. Examples of violations include, but are not limited to:
Illegally accessing information from student or faculty information terminals;
Misrepresentation to obtain another student's transcript, semester grades, or class registration; and,
Using a student's ID number without his / her permission to gain access to any University services.
4. Content of Records Hearing
a) The hearing shall be conducted and decided within a reasonable period of time following the request for the hearing;
b) The hearing shall be conducted, and the decision rendered by a University official or other party who does not have a direct interest in the outcome of the hearing;
c) The eligible student shall be afforded a full and fair opportunity to present information relevant to the issues raised under subpart C, section 99 of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974; and,
d) The decision shall be rendered in writing within a reasonable period of time after the conclusion of the hearing.
5. Compliance Complaints
Eligible students and eligible parents of students have the right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the University of Central Oklahoma to comply with the requirements of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974. The name and address of the office that administers FERPA of 1974 is:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
600 Independence Ave., SW
Washington, DC 20202-5901