Policies and Procedures
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA)
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) governs the College's collection, retention, and dissemination of information about students.
Students' basic rights under the law and the College's procedures for compliance follow:
- Northwest College defines "directory information" as: name, local address and telephone listing, e-mail address, photography and video, permanent address, date of birth, major field of study, previous schools attended, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, dates of attendance, degrees and awards received and classifications.
- Northwest College may disclose directory information unless a student requests a restriction of disclosure. Such requests must be made to the Registrar (or Designee) at any time.
- Students may examine or obtain a copy of their Northwest College transcripts in the Registrar’s Office during regular office hours.
- Students who wish to examine records other than transcripts must file a written request to the Vice President for Student Affairs specifying the records the student wishes to examine. Requests to examine records are generally honored as soon as an appointment with the appropriate office can be arranged. The College must honor the request within 45 days.
- Students may request that their records be amended to eliminate information the students believe to be inaccurate, misleading, or a violation of their rights, and are entitled to a hearing to challenge the contents of their records if a request for amendment is denied.
- Any materials placed in a student's file before January 1, 1975, under assurance of confidentiality, shall continue to be held in confidence.
- The College may not release or disclose any personally identifiable information to any individual (including parents, spouse, or other students) or organization except as follows:
- Disclosure is authorized in writing by the student. When the College releases or discloses information to third parties pursuant to a student's written authorization, it is done on the condition that the third party to whom the information or record is released or disclosed will not, in turn, release or disclose it to anyone else without the express written consent of the student.
- Disclosure is to College officers or employees who need to know so as to accomplish legitimate purposes related to their functions.
- Disclosure is to officials of other schools in which a student intends to enroll.
- Disclosure is to parents of dependent students of general information. Dependency status, for the purpose of this policy statement, is defined by Internal Revenue Service guidelines. Documentation must be provided prior to release of information.
- Disclosure is to specified representatives of governmental agencies, educational organizations or other entities as described by federal regulations or otherwise required by state or federal law. Custodians of records should obtain interpretations whenever third parties request personally identifiable information.
- Disclosure is in connection with a student's application for, or receipt of, financial aid.
- Disclosure is in compliance with a conduct order or subpoena. The staff member receiving such order, shall, if possible, immediately notify the student concerned in writing prior to compliance with such order or subpoena.
- Disclosure is to parents of students under the age of 21 who are found to be in violation of alcohol and/or drug policies.
- Information from College records may be released to appropriate persons in connection with an emergency if the knowledge of such information is necessary to protect the health or safety of a student or other persons.
- Northwest College's guidelines for implementing FERPA are maintained by the Vice President for Student Affairs. Students should address questions, concerns, or problems to the Vice President for Student Affairs Office.
- Students may file formal complaints regarding alleged failure of the College to comply with FERPA with the Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20202-4605.