What is FERPA?
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) is a federal law designed to protect the confidentiality of your education records. FERPA governs the release and access to these records.
What are my rights under FERPA?
You have the right to:
- Inspect and review your education records.
- Request the amendment of education records that you believe to be inaccurate or misleading.
- Consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in your education records except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
- File a complaint with U.S. Department of Education if you believe that Madison College has failed to comply with the requirements of FERPA:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-4605
Is Madison College required to obtain written consent to disclose my education records?
Information that is designated to be directory information does not require your consent prior to disclosure.
FERPA requires that Madison College obtain your written consent prior to disclosing any other personally identifiable information contained in your education records except to school officials with legitimate educational interests or other authorized representatives under FERPA. The following are examples of valid FERPA exceptions for releasing education record information:
- request from Department of Defense representatives for student recruiting information
- legal subpoena
- in an emergency situation where knowledge of the information is necessary to protect the health or safety of students or other persons.
Who is considered a school official with legitimate educational interest?
Madison Area Technical 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 Madison College in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position (including security personnel)
- a person or company with whom Madison College has contracted as its agent to provide a service instead of using Madison College employees (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent)
- a person serving on the Board of Trustees
- 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 in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibilities for the college.
What is directory information?
Directory information is information which would not generally be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy. Madison College considers the following directory information:
- Major field of study
- Dates of attendance (term start/end date)
- Enrollment status (full or part-time)
- Degrees and awards received
- Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
- Weight and height of members of athletic teams
- Madison College email address
You have the right to request that all directory information not be disclosed. This request can be completed online in your myMadisonCollege Classic Portal under Personal Information. You may also visit the Enrollment Services office to make this request. You must present a picture ID at the time of your request. Revoking prior requests also requires a visit to the Enrollment Services office with a picture ID.
How do I make a request to review my education records?
You should submit a written request identifying the records you wish to inspect. The request should be delivered or sent to Madison College Enrollment Services. It may take up to 45 days to process this request.
What if I find a part of my education record to be inaccurate or misleading?
You should submit a written request to Enrollment Services clearly identifying the part of the record you are requesting to be changed and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading. If the decision is not to amend the record as requested, you will be notified and advised as to your right to a hearing as well as hearing procedures.
Release of Other Records
Non-directory information is not released to anyone, except for the following agencies which can receive this data without the student’s permission as provided by the Privacy Act:
- Agencies providing financial assistance to the student, such as employers, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation and the Veterans Administration
- The Wisconsin Technical College Board as part of the process of securing state funds
- Madison College designated school officials who have a legitimate educational need for the information. Designated school officials are defined as faculty, employees, auditors and outside service vendors, who require non-directory information to perform a task or assignment
- Courts or legal officers on the basis of a subpoena
- Properly authorized educational authorities for the purpose of research, provided that the information is not given in personally identifiable format
- State and local officials to whom disclosure is required by state statute adopted prior to November 19, 1974.
More information on the protection of student records is available at madisoncollege.edu/ferpa. For assistance, submit a question on askMadisonCollege or contact Enrollment Services at (608) 246-6210.