Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA)
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords parents and students
certain rights with respect to the student's education records. These rights are:
- The right to inspect and review the student's education records within 45 days after
the day SUNY Cobleskill receives a request for access.
Parents or eligible students should submit to the College Registrar a written request
that identifies the records they wish to inspect. The school official will make arrangements
for access and notify the parent or eligible student of the time and place where the
records may be inspected.
- The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the parent
or eligible student believes are inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation
of the student’s privacy rights under FERPA.
Parents or eligible students who wish to ask SUNY Cobleskill to amend a record should
write the College Registrar, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed
and specify why it should be changed. If the school decides not to amend the record
as requested by the parent or eligible student, the school will notify the parent
or eligible student of the decision and of their right to a hearing regarding the
request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will
be provided to the parent or eligible student when notified of the right to a hearing.
- The right to provide written consent before the school discloses personally identifiable
information (PII) from the student's education records, except to the extent that
FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
One exception, which permits disclosure without consent, is disclosure to school officials
with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the
school as an administrator, supervisor, instructor, or support staff member (including
health or medical staff and law enforcement unit personnel) or a person serving on
the school board. A school official also may include a volunteer or contractor outside
of the school who performs an institutional service of function for which the school
would otherwise use its own employees and who is under the direct control of the school
with respect to the use and maintenance of PII from education records, such as an
attorney, auditor, medical consultant, or therapist; a parent or student volunteering
to serve on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee;
or a parent, student, or other volunteer 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 professional responsibility.
Upon request, the College may disclose education records without consent to officials
of another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll or is already enrolled
if the disclosure is for purposes of the student’s enrollment or transfer.
- The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged
failures by the SUNY Cobleskill to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name
and address of the Office that administers FERPA are:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202
SUNY Cobleskill and SUNY System Administration are deemed ‘school officials’ with
‘legitimate educational interest’ under FERPA. SUNY Cobleskill and SUNY System Administration
share student record information regularly in support of student needs. Students personally
identifiable information is protected within both entities and requires student authorization
to share any non-directory information with a third-party request.
A “school official” does not need student consent to access the record of a student.
Who can be a “school official”?
- A person employed by the college in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research,
or support staff position (including law enforcement and health staff personnel),
- Board of Trustees,
- Or a company employed by or under contract to the college to perform a specific task,
such as, an agent, an attorney, an auditor, or an outsourced service provider,
- A person serving as a student representative or as a volunteer on an official committee,
such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official
in performing his or her tasks.
A person with “legitimate educational interest” is a “school official” who is contracted
by Cobleskill as a volunteer, vendor, auditor, attorney, collection agency, administrator,
supervisor, instructor, or support staff member (including healthcare medical staff
and law enforcement unit personnel) or a person serving on the Board of Trustees or
System Administration and needs to review educational records in order to fulfill
his/her/their professional responsibilities.
Cobleskill Directory Information under FERPA
SUNY Cobleskill has designated directory information, according to FERPA as Amended,
to be the student’s:
- full name
- campus, home address or local address
- local telephone number
- dates of attendance
- date(s) of graduation
- degree(s) awarded
- full-time/part-time status
- e-mail address
- college ID photo
This information can be released without written prior consent from the student. All
other education records will be released only under compliance with FERPA. Students
currently enrolled at SUNY Cobleskill may object to the release of “directory information”
pertaining to them by completing the FERPA Confidentiality Directory Exclusion Request
and submitting the form to the Registrar’s Office, Knapp Hall 101, within fourteen
(14) days following the first day of classes each semester. Completion of this document
means Directory Information will be excluded indefinitely unless a student completes
and submits the FERPA Revocation of Confidentiality Directory Exclusion Request.
Parental Access under FERPA
A parent’s access to their eligible students’ records requires student authorization
by filling out the FERPA Student Records Access Authorization form and submitting
it to the Office of the Registrar. Faculty, staff and administration are not able
to discuss student academic records unless authorization from the student is provided.
Requests to revoke access to a student’s record must be submitted in writing to the
Office of the Registrar in Knapp Hall.