Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

Students Notification of Rights

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. These rights include:

  • The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days of the day the college receives a request for access.

    A student should submit to the MWCC Records Office a written request that identifies the record(s) the student wishes to inspect. The Records Office 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 college official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.

  • The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes are inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights under FERPA.
    A student who wishes to ask the college to amend a record should write the college official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record the student wants changed, and specify why it should be changed.  If the college decides not to amend the record as requested, the college will notify the student in writing of the decision and 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.
  • The right to provide written consent before the college discloses personally identifiable information from the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorized disclosure without consent.
    The college discloses education records without a student’s prior written consent under the FERPA exception for disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the college in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research role; a support staff person (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person or company with whom the College has contracted as its agent to provide a service instead of using college employees or officials (such as an attorney, auditor, or college agent); a person serving on the Board of Trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks.  A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record to fulfill his or her professional responsibilities for the college.  Upon request, the college discloses, education records without consent to officials of another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll.
  • The right to be notified annually by the college of what student record information the college designates as “directory information” and the right to request that no student information be designated as directory information.
    The college identifies the following student information as directory information:
    1. the student’s first and last name and middle initial
    2. the student’s billing address
    3. MWCC sponsored e-mail address
    4. the student’s declared program(s) of study at the college
    5. the student’s enrollment status (full-or part-time)
    6. degree or certificate earned and academic honors
    Directory information may be released by the college to a requesting third-party without a student’s prior written consent. A student has the right to request that his/her student record information not be designated as directory information. A student must notify the college’s Records Office, in writing, if he/she does not wish to have his/her student information designated as directory information.  Please allow up to 10 business days for the processing of these requests. Notwithstanding the college’s definition of directory information, the Department of Defense (the “DOD”), pursuant to the Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Act of 1997 (the “Solomon Amendment”), identifies the following information as “student recruiting information”: NAME, ADDRESS, TELEPHONE LISTING, AGE (or year of birth), PLACE OF BIRTH, LEVEL OF EDUCATION (e.g., freshman, sophomore), DEGREE AWARDED, MOST RECENT EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTION ATTENDED, and CURRENT MAJOR(S).
  • The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the college to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the office that administers FERPA is:

    Family Policy Compliance Office
    U.S. Department of Education
    400 Maryland Avenue, SW
    Washington, DC 20202-5920

Directory Information

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), a federal law, requires that Mount Wachusett Community College, with certain exceptions, obtain your written consent prior to the disclosure of personally identifiable information from your education records. However, Mount Wachusett Community College may disclose appropriately designated “directory information” without written consent, unless you have advised MWCC to the contrary in accordance with MWCC procedures. The primary purpose of directory information is to allow MWCC to include this type of information from your education records in certain publications.

Directory information, which is information that is generally not considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if released, can also be disclosed to outside organizations without prior written consent. Outside organizations include, but are not limited to, companies that manufacture class rings or publish yearbooks. If you do not want Mount Wachusett Community College to disclose directory information from your education records without your prior written consent, you must notify MWCC through the Records Office that you wish to be excluded. MWCC has designated the following information as directory information:

  • the student’s first and last name and middle initial
  • the student’s billing address
  • MWCC sponsored e-mail address
  • the student’s declared program(s) of study at the college
  • the student’s enrollment status (full- or part-time)
  • degree or certificate earned and academic honors