Family Education Rights and Privacy Act

American Jewish University Privacy Rights of Students in Education Records:

POLICIES AND IMPLEMENTING PROCEDURES STUDENT RECORDS ADMINISTRATION 
as mandated by Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA)

A. PURPOSE

The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), also referred to as the Buckley Amendment, requires the issuance of policies and regulations by the campus to protect the access to and dissemination of student education records. The policies and procedures adopted herein constitute American Jewish University’s procedures related to administering FERPA and are cognizant of the requirements set forth in California’s Information Practices Act of 1977.

B. DEFINITIONS

  1. Student: Means any person who attends or who has attended American Jewish University. The term does not apply to applicants for admission to any component unit of the campus.
  2. Student Record: Means those records that are directly related to a student (recorded by the campus in any way, including, but not limited to handwriting, print, tape, film, microfilm, and microfiche) maintained by American Jewish University or an agent of the campus. As contained in state and federal law, the term student record does not include:
    1. Personal records of instructional, supervisory, and administrative personnel that are kept in the sole possession of the maker of the record, and are not accessible or revealed to any other person other than the maker of the record.  Peer-graded papers become an education record at the time that the information is recorded and kept by the professor.
    2. Employment records of an individual whose employment is not contingent on the fact that he/she is a student, provided the record is used only in relation to the individual’s employment.
    3. Records made or maintained by a physician, psychiatrist, psychologist, or other recognized professional (or paraprofessional acting in his or her professional capacity or assisting in a paraprofessional capacity), which fall into the following two categories:
      1. Made, maintained, or used only in connection with the treatment of the student
      2. Disclosed only to individuals providing treatment.
    4. Alumni records which contain information about the student after he/she is no longer a student, and do not relate directly to that person’s attendance.
    5. Information provided by parents related to student application for financial aid or scholarships.
    6. Confidential letters or statements of recommendation filed on or before January 1, 1975.
    7. Records connected with an application to attend the institution if that application was denied.
  3. Custodian of Student Records: The Registrar, whose office is located in the Administrative Building, room 167D, is American Jewish University’s designee for student records administration and the custodian of student academic records.  Other records may be kept by various departments including but not limited to the Dean’s office, Department Chairs, Office of Student Affairs, and Office of Residence Life.
  4. Disclosure: Means permitting access to or the release, transfer, or other communication of student records, or the personally identifiable information contained in those records, to any party, by any means, including oral, written or electronic means.
  5. Personally Identifiable Information: Includes, but is not limited to, the following:
    1. The names of the student’s parents or other family members.
    2. A personal identifier, such as the student’s social security number.
    3. A list of personal characteristics or other information that would make the student’s identity easily traceable.

 C. STUDENT RIGHTS RELATED TO NOTIFICATION AND ACCESS

  1. The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (20 U.S.C. 1232g) and regulations adopted there under, entitled Family Educational Rights and Privacy (34 C.F.R.99) vests students with the following rights and responsibilities:
    1. To be advised when initially enrolling at American Jewish University or any other courses given for academic credit, and on a continuing basis thereafter, of their rights of access, review, and challenge of the records maintained by the institution which are personally identifiable.
    2. To be apprised through continuous notices in College and University publications of the institutional official responsible for executing FERPA mandates; to be apprised of the types and location of records subject to review and the identity and campus location of the official(s) responsible for those records.  At American Jewish University, FERPA information is disseminated to students through the Student Handbook at the school’s website.
    3. The right, substantively and procedurally, to challenge a record. Challenge of information in a record may be predicated on the belief that it is inaccurate, misleading, an unsubstantiated personal conclusion or interference, a conclusion or interference outside the person’s area of competence, not based upon the personal observation of a named person with the time and place of observation noted, or otherwise in violation of their privacy or other rights.
    4. An expectation that the University will prevent any and all unauthorized access or release of personally identifiable information in the records amassed while enrolled.
    5. A right, when exercised, which prevents the University from releasing "Directory Information".
    6. A right to be notified of judicial orders or lawfully issued subpoenas in advance of the University’s compliance therewith.

D. PROCEDURE TO INSPECT EDUCATION RECORDS

  1. The University shall allow students to inspect and review all student records relating to them, within 45 days of the day the University receives a request for access, except those records which include information on more than one identifiable student, in which case only that information related to the student requesting information shall be revealed.
    1. A student’s, or former student’s, right of access, review and/or inspection of his or her records requires that he/she make a specific formal request in writing to the Office of Student Affairs. The request must identify as precisely as possible the records he/she desires to inspect. Access must be given in 45 days or less from the receipt of the request.
    2. Upon submission of the student’s formal written request, the student or former student will be advised by mail by the relevant University official as to eligibility for access. Copies of records and services associated with records will be denied if those records are encumbered by reasons of indebtedness to American Jewish University or if there is an unresolved disciplinary action against the student. However, personal visual inspection of records must be granted in all cases in which students or former students have submitted a formal written request to the University.
    3. Arrangements for the place, date and time for review will be made by the student and the University by mail or by telephone.
    4. The right of students to have access to inspect and review their student records does not include the right to copies of such records unless at least one of the following conditions exist:
      1. Failure to provide a copy would effectively prevent a student or former student from exercising the right to inspect and review the student record. For example, the student does not live within commuting distance of the campus. A copy of the record(s) requested should be provided to such persons upon written request or;
      2. When a student provides:
        1. written consent to disclose personally identifiable information to another college or university; and
        2. has no outstanding debts to the University.

E. STUDENT WAIVERS OF CONFIDENTIAL LETTERS OR STATEMENTS OF RECOMMENDATION:

  1. Students may waive their right to inspect and review confidential letters or statements of recommendation regarding:
    1. Admission to American Jewish University or any other educational institution;
    2. An application for employment;
    3. The receipt of an honor or honorary recognition.
  2. Waivers may apply to confidential letters or recommendations only if:
    1. The student or applicant is notified of the names of all persons providing such letters or recommendations;
    2. The letters or statements are used for the purpose for which they were intended;
    3. Such waivers are not required or requested of students by the University.

F. RELEASE OF PERSONALLY IDENTIFIABLE INFORMATION

  1. Except as specifically authorized by law, the University will not release personally identifiable information from a student record without the student’s written consent, which must be signed and dated. The consent shall include:
    1. A specific delineation of the records to be disclosed,
    2. The purpose(s) of the disclosure,
    3. The person, class of persons or organization to whom the disclosure may be made. Every written consent provided by a student for the release of personally identifiable information shall be maintained for a period of at least one year. When the University releases such information from a student record, as authorized by the student, it will advise the person, institution, agency, or organization to which it is disclosed that the information provided should be used only for the purposes for which the disclosure was made.

2.   The University may forward education records to schools in which the student seeks to enroll (or is enrolled) so long as the disclosure is related to enrollment or transfer.  Sending information to a school where a student seeks to enroll may include updated or corrected information.  This includes disciplinary and health records.  The University will pass along this information when it has been requested in writing from the student that the University do so.  When asked directly by another institution, the University will make every possible attempt to get the student’s verification before sending the information.

G. PERSONS OR PARTIES WHO MAY ACCESS STUDENT RECORDS WITHOUT THE STUDENT’S PERMISSION:

  1. School officials who have a legitimate educational interest in those records. A school official is:
    1. A person employed by the campus in an administrative, supervisory, academic research, or support staff position,
    2. A person employed by or under contract to the University to perform a special task, such as an attorney or auditor.  This includes contractors, consultants, volunteers and other outside parties providing services and functions or otherwise acting for an agency or institution.  All contractors and similar personnel will be briefed on FERPA regulations and required to adhere to its regulations.
    3. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official is:
      1. Performing a task that is required by his position.
      2. Performing a task related to a student’s education.
      3. Performing a task related to the discipline of a student.
      4. Providing a service or benefit relating to the student or student’s family, such as health care, counseling, job placement or financial aid.
  2. Parents of a dependent student, as defined in Section 152 of the Internal Revenue Code.   The University may rely on a student’s assertion that he/she is a dependent for tax purposes.  The release of this information is at the University’s discretion.
  3. Parties responding to the student’s request for financial aid, as necessary to determine eligibility, amount, or condition of aid, or to enforce terms/conditions of that aid.
  4. Accrediting agencies carrying out their accreditation function.
  5. Organizations conducting certain studies for or on behalf of the University.  These organizations will be required to sign agreements containing restrictions on re-disclosure and destruction of information once the study is complete.
  6. Certain officials of the U.S. Department of Education, the Controller/General, and state or local educational authorities, in connection with certain state or federally supported education programs.
  7. Persons or parties in compliance with a subpoena or court order.
  8. Appropriate parties in a health or safety emergency if it determines that there is an articulable and significant threat to the health or safety of a student or other individuals.  Parents of a student are appropriate parties to whom schools may disclose information without consent in a health or safety emergency, even if the student is not a dependent for tax purposes.  A record will must be kept of the threat and the parties to whom the information was disclosed.
  9. The University may disclose a student’s information without consent when the school is returning records to the apparent creator in order to verify authenticity.
  10. The University may disclose information received under a community notification program about a student who is required to register as a sex offender.  The University may not require the accuser to execute a non-disclosure agreement or otherwise interfere with the re-disclosure of information about alleged sex offenses released under the Clergy Act.

H. REGARDING STUDENT COMPLAINTS CONCERNING THEIR RECORDS

  1. Students may challenge information in their records considered to be either inaccurate or misleading, or an unsubstantiated personal conclusion or inference, a conclusion or inference outside of the observer’s area of competence, not based upon the personal observation of a named person with the time and place of the observation noted; or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy or other rights.
  2. Students wishing to challenge a record or portion thereof, based upon one or more of the criteria outlined above must adhere to the following:
    1. The student must forward to the relevant University official a letter which identifies the record being challenged and delineate specifically the reason(s) for such challenge. The student must also delineate any desired change(s) or amendment(s) made to said record.
    2. The relevant University official will, within 45 school days after receipt of the student’s challenge, determine whether to amend the record(s) as requested. A written notification to the student of that decision will be provided. If the decision is to amend the record, as requested, the record will be corrected, removed, or destroyed and the student will be so notified.
    3. In the event that the University denies the student’s request, the student shall be advised of his/her rights; first, the right to appeal the decision to the Office of Student Affairs in accordance with FERPA 99.21, and second, the right to submit a statement commenting upon the information in the challenged record and/or setting forth any reasons for disagreeing with the decision. Such a statement shall be maintained as a permanent part of the student’s record in accordance with FERPA Section 99.21.
    4. Upon request, the Office of Student Affairs will arrange for a hearing, prior to which the student will be notified, reasonably in advance of the date, place, and time of the hearing.
    5. At the hearing where the Office of Student Affairs shall preside, the student shall be afforded the full and fair opportunity to present evidence relevant to the issues raised in the original request to amend the student’s education records. The student may be assisted by one or more individuals, including an attorney.
    6. The University will prepare a written decision based solely on the evidence presented at the hearing. The decision will include a summary of evidence presented and the reasons for the decision.
    7. If it is decided by the University that the challenged information is not inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the student’s right of privacy, the University will notify the student that he/she has the right to place in the record a statement commenting on the challenged information and/or a statement setting forth the reasons for disagreeing with the decision.
    8. If the University decides that the information is inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the student’s right of privacy, it will amend the record and notify the student, in writing, that the record has been amended.
  3. The right of challenge cannot be interpreted so as to authorize students to contest the assignment of grades, academic or disciplinary/administrative probation, academic disqualification or disciplinary suspension/expulsion. Academic dispositions or actions considered incorrect may be the subject of the Multiple Petition Form available through the Office of the Registrar.
  4. Students who believe that the adjudications of their challenges were unfair, or not in keeping with the provisions of law, may request in writing the assistance of the President of the University, or his designee.
  5. Students who believe their privacy rights under FERPA have been abridged may file complaints with the Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 600 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20202-4605, concerning the alleged failure of American Jewish University to comply to its requirements.

I. RECORDS OF REQUEST FOR DISCLOSURE

  1. American Jewish University will maintain a record of all requests for and/or disclosure of information from a student’s educational records. The record will indicate the name of the party making the request, any additional party to whom it may be disclosed, and the legitimate interest the party had in requesting or obtaining information.

J. TYPES, LOCATIONS, AND CUSTODIANS OF EDUCATION RECORDS

            This information is not intended to be an all-inclusive list, but rather a guide to assist students.

 

TYPES

LOCATION

CUSTODIAN

Admissions and Cumulative Academic Records

Registrar’s Office, Administration Building.

Arnie Weisberg, Registrar

Health Records

Health Center, Administration Building.

Nurse, Health Center

Financial Records

Accounting Office, Administration Building.

Margarita Shab, Student Account Administrator

Career Records

Career Center, Administration Building.

Assistant Dean for Academic and Career Services

Progress Records

Faculty Offices

Instructor(s) of Course(s)

Disciplinary Records

Office of Student Affairs, Administration Building.

Student Affairs

Financial Aid Records

Financial Aid Office, Administration Building.

Larisa Zadoyen, Financial Aid Administrator

Residence Life Records

Housing Office, Residence Life Office, Residence Complex

Residence Life