FERPA for Staff

Who can release student information?
An institution may disclose personally identifiable information without the student's written consent to "school officials" who the institution has determined to have a "legitimate educational interest." A school official is a person employed by the college in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position. A legitimate educational interest exists if the official needs to review a student's education record in order to fulfill his/her professional responsibility.

What is directory information?
Directory information is information Clark College may choose to release to a third party without the student's written consent. Please consult with the Registrar when a third party is requesting directory information. Clark College has designated the following as directory information and may release it, unless the student has submitted a request for non-disclosure:

- Student’s name
- Major field of study
- Enrollment status
- Dates of attendance
- Participation in recognized sports
- Degree or certificate earned
- Term degree or certificate awarded
- Honors

Obligation to release record information
An institution is not obligated to release directory information to anyone. FERPA only stipulates that an institution MAY release information, but there is no obligation to do so. Always contact the Registrar before releasing directory information to a third party who is not a school official.

What is a request for non-disclosure?
While enrolled, a student may request that the institution not release directory information about him/her. Institutions must comply with this request. At Clark College, students who wish to restrict the release of directory information about themselves must complete a "Request To Restrict Directory Information" form, available by visiting the Enrollment Services Office in Gaiser Hall 128. The completed form must be submitted in person to the Enrollment Services Office with photo ID.

Students who wish to restrict directory information should know that THIS ACTION COULD HAVE NEGATIVE CONSEQUENCES. The names of students who have requested non-disclosure of their directory information will not appear in the commencement bulletin and other college publications. Also, employers, loan agencies, scholarship committees and the like will be denied any of your directory information. 

DO NOT RELEASE will show as a student's postal address in SMS if he or she has requested non-disclosure. If you are asked any question by a third party about this student, you should respond: "I have no information on that person."

Deceased students
The privacy rights of an individual expire with that individual's death. Deceased students' records are governed by institutional policy rather than FERPA. Clark College exercises its own discretion in deciding whether and under what conditions information should be disclosed to survivors or third parties.

Student workers
FERPA allows institutions to identify students as "school officials" with a "legitimate educational interest" for specific purposes. The same requirements and responsibilities for a full-time school official exist for student workers. Student workers must be trained on FERPA as if they were faculty or staff.

Many fraternities and sororities maintain scholarship committees, academic excellence awards and related types of activities that are based upon personally identifiable information. However, fraternity and sorority members in charge of these activities are not "college officials" and may not have access to student record information, unless the student has provided written authorization.

Financial holds
Students have the right to inspect the contents of their student records, regardless of their financial status with the institution. However, an institution is NOT REQUIRED to release an official transcript if the student has a past due account.

At Clark College, all subpoenas are first reviewed by the Attorney General to determine the appropriate course of action.

Crisis situations/Emergencies
If non-directory information is needed to resolve a crisis or emergency situation, an education institution may release that information if the institution determines that the information is "necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or other individuals." Factors to be considered or questions to be asked in making a decision to release such information in these situations are: (1) the severity of the threat to the health or safety of those involved; (2) the need for the information; (3) the time required to deal with the emergency; (4) the ability of the parties to whom the information is to be given to deal with the emergency.  Contact the Registrar for assistance in making this decision.