2.0 – Confidentiality of Student Records
Part 1: Policy Statement. Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, including the Office of the Chancellor, must comply with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), 20 U.S.C. §1232g, and the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act, (MGDPA) Minn. Stat. Chapter 13, in handling education records. In accordance with these and other applicable laws, Lake Superior College has adopted the following policy.
Part 2: Definitions
Subpart A: Student. An individual currently or formerly enrolled or registered at Lake Superior College, applicants for enrollment or registration at Lake Superior College, or individuals who receive shared time educational services from Lake Superior College.
Subpart B: School Official. A person employed by the college in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position; a person or company with whom the college has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); a trustee of Minnesota State Colleges and Universities; or a student serving on an official 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 in order to fulfill his or her official responsibilities.
Subpart C: Educational data or education records
Information recorded in any form directly related to a student that has been collected, created, received, maintained or disseminated by Lake Superior College or by a person acting for Lake Superior College. Education records do not include:
- Records of instructional personnel which are kept in the sole possession of the maker and are not accessible or revealed to any other individual except a temporary substitute for the maker and are destroyed at the end of the school year;
- Employment records related exclusively to a student’s employment capacity (not employment related to status as a student, such as work study) and not available for use for any other purpose;
- Medical or psychological treatment records, which are maintained and accessible only to professionals for treatment purposes;
- Records that only contain information about a former student after that individual is no longer a student at the institution (alumni data).
Part 3: Notice of Rights and Policy
Enrolled students will be provided information about their rights under FERPA via notice, including, but not limited to, the following rights to:
- Inspect and review the student’s education records;
- Seek amendment of the student’s education records if believed to be inaccurate, misleading, incomplete, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights;
- Consent to disclosure of personally identifiable information contained in education records, as required by law;
- File a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged violations of FERPA.
A College FERPA Notice will be provided to enrolled students at least annually by email. Alternative formats or translations may be access through the Office of the Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs.
Part 4: Data Privacy Collection Notice
Pursuant to the requirements of the MGDPA, whenever the college collects private data from an individual who is the subject of the information, the college shall inform the individual:
- The purpose and intended use of the information;
- Whether the individual may refuse or is legally required to provide the information;
- Any known consequences from giving or refusing to supply the data;
- The identity of individuals who will have access to the information.
Part 5: Access to Student Records
Subpart A: Access by Student
Upon signed written request or email from the student’s college email account, the college shall provide a student with access to his or her education records, unless limited by law. All students at the college have the same rights regarding their education records irrespective of age.
There is no charge for viewing the records even if the college is required to make a copy of the record in order to provide access with the exception of requests for transcripts. Responses to requests by students to review their education records shall be immediate, if possible, or within ten business days.
Upon request, the meaning of their education record shall be explained to the student by college personnel assigned to, and designated by, the appropriate office.
Students have the right to review only their own records. When a record contains private information about other individual(s), disclosure cannot include information regarding the other individual(s). A student does not have access to financial information and statements of the student’s parents or any information contained therein.
Student requests should be directed as follows:
- Academic or Student Records:
- Financial Records:
- Student Payment Office
- Financial Aid Office
Subpart B: Consent for Release to Third Parties
The college will not disclose or release to a third party personally identifiable information from education records without the prior written consent of the subject student except as authorized by law.
To be valid, a written consent for the disclosure of education records must:
- Specify the records to be disclosed;
- State the purpose of the disclosure;
- Identify the party or class of parties to whom the disclosure may be made;
- Be signed and dated by the student. The release must also include an expiration date no later than one year from the original authorization. At a student’s request the school shall provide him or her with a copy of the records released pursuant to the consent.
A consent to release education records is available on the Lake Superior College’s Records and Registration website.
Subpart C: Release Without Consent
As required or permitted by law, the college will release personally identifiable information from education records without consent as follows:
- To college school officials who have been determined to have a legitimate educational interest in the records;
- To officials of other schools in which the student seeks or intends to enroll, upon request of these officials, and upon the condition that the student be notified and receive a copy of the record if desired;
- To federal, state, or local officials or agencies authorized by law, including, but not limited to authorized representatives of: the Comptroller General of the United States; the Attorney General of the United States; the Secretary of the United States Department of Education; or state and local educational authorities; the US Armed Forces (Solomon Amendment);
- In connection with a student’s application for, or receipt of, financial aid;
- To accrediting organizations or organizations conducting educational studies, provided that these organizations do not release personally identifiable data and destroy such data when it is no longer needed for the purpose it was obtained;
- In compliance with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena, provided a reasonable effort is made to notify the student in advance unless such a subpoena is a Federal grand jury subpoena or other subpoena issued for a law enforcement purpose and the court or issuing agency specifically directs the institution not to disclose the existence of a subpoena;
- To appropriate persons in an emergency situation if the information is necessary to protect the health or safety of the students or other persons;
- The information has been designated by the college as “Directory Information” and the student has not exercised his/her right of non-disclosure;
- The information is the final result of the alleged student perpetrator’s disciplinary proceeding to an alleged victim of a crime of violence (as defined in 18 U.S.C. Sect 16) or non-forcible sex offense; or
- The information is the final result of a disciplinary hearing finding that a student has violated the college’s rules or policies by conduct defined as a crime of violence in 18 U.S.C. Sect 16, or non-forcible sex offense, and the final results were reached on or after October 7, 1998.
The college will inform a third party to whom personally identifiable information is released of the applicable limitations on re-disclosure. If the institution discovers that a third party who has received student records from the institution has released or failed to destroy such records in violation of such limitations, it will prohibit access to education records for five (5) years.
Part 6: Record of Requests for Disclosure. Where required by law, a record of requests for disclosure and such disclosure of personally identifiable information from student education records shall be maintained by the Registrar’s Office for each student and will also be made available for inspection pursuant to this policy. Records of requests for disclosure no longer subject to audit or under an active request for access will be maintained according to the applicable records retention policy.
Part 7: Directory Information
The following information is designated as Directory Information, which is public data accessible to the public upon request pursuant to Minn. Stat. Sect. 13.03 and FERPA:
- Student’s name
- Major field of study
- Dates of attendance
- Enrollment status (e.g., full-time or part-time)
- Degrees, honors and awards received
- Date of graduation
- LSC student e-mail address
Part 8: Notice to Credit Card Issuers. Effective July 1, 2007, Minnesota Statutes 135A.145 prohibits colleges and universities and any affiliated organization from providing a “card issuer” with the names, addresses, phone numbers or other contact information about its undergraduate students without the student’s consent.
Part 9: Notice to Students about Directory Information. Students may direct that all of the above-listed directory information be withheld from public disclosure by submitting an online request to the Office of the Registrar. Students may make a request at any time and requests will be honored until such time that the student requests it be rescinded.
Part 10: Challenge to Record
Students who believe that their education records contain information that is inaccurate, misleading, incomplete, or is otherwise in violation of their privacy rights may challenge the record through the complaint process. Students whose records are not amended will be informed of their right to a formal hearing.
Student requests for a formal hearing must be made in writing to the Minnesota Commissioner of Administration within 60 days of receiving the decision. The request must be directed to: Commissioner of Administration, State of Minnesota, 50 Sherburne Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55155, who, within a reasonable period of time after receiving the request, will inform the student of the date, place and the time of the hearing. The hearing will be conducted by the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) and according to the procedures set forth in Minn. Stat. Chapter 14. Students may present evidence relevant to the issues raised and may be assisted or represented at the hearings by one or more persons of their choice, including attorneys, at the student’s expense.
The hearing officer will provide a written response to all parties concerned to include a summary of the evidence and reasons for his/her decision.
The education records will be corrected or amended in accordance with the decision of OAH if the decision is in favor of the student. If the decision is unsatisfactory to the student, the student may place with the education records statements commenting on the information in the records or statements setting forth any reasons for disagreeing with the decision of the hearing officer, or both. The statements will be placed in and maintained as part of the student’s educational records, and released whenever the records in question are disclosed.
Subpart A: Exception. The right to challenge a grade does not apply under this policy unless the grade assigned was allegedly inaccurately recorded. Substantive challenges to grades shall be according to the Grade Appeals policy and procedure.
Part 11: Request for Copies. Students may have copies of their education records and this policy upon request. The college will assess a transcript fee for releasing transcripts. Transcripts will not be released for students who have a delinquent financial obligation or financial “hold” at the College, unless otherwise required by law.
Part 12: Complaints. Complaints regarding alleged failures to comply with the provisions of FERPA may be submitted in writing to the Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Washington, D.C. 20202-4605. Complaints may also be submitted to the Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs.
Complaints about compliance with the MGDPA may be brought to the College’s Data Practices Compliance Official: The Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs or to the Minnesota Commissioner of Administration.
Date Implemented: September 2006
Date Updated: March 7, 2014