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FERPA for Students

CSULB complies with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) which affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) also known as the “Buckley Amendment”, was established to protect the privacy of students. The primary rights of students under FERPA include:

  • The right to inspect and review educational records.
  • The right to seek to amend educational records.
  • The right to have some control over the disclosure of information from educational records.

The purpose of the Student Records Procedures is to ensure that the campus community is aware of, and complies with, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy regulations (FERPA), Statute: 20 U.S.C. 1232g; Regulations: 34 C.F.R. Part 99.

 

Student's Right to Inspect Records

Students who wish to view the contents of their Educational Records must contact the appropriate unit custodian (in person or by phone) to make an appointment to view these records. Access to inspect educational records normally shall be granted to the student no later than 15 working days following the date of request from the student. If the records the student wishes to view are under the control of various Unit Custodians, the student must make individual requests to each Unit Custodian (See section on Types, Locations, and Custodians of Records). The responsible department Unit Custodian will meet with the student during normal business hours, at the scheduled appointment time and place. The original records may not leave the office where the records are maintained.

The Right of the University to Refuse Access to Records

The following limitations exist on the right to inspect and review records:

  • No review of a record containing information about another student
  • No review of a record containing information about the student’s parents, e.g., financial records
  • No review of a record containing confidential letters or confidential statements of recommendation placed in the education record of the student before January 1, 1975
  • No review of a record containing confidential letters or confidential statements of recommendation placed in the education record of the student after January 1, 1975, if the student has waived his or her right to inspect and review those letters and statements
  • No review of a record connected with a student’s admission application, if that application was denied

The Right to Request Amendment of Education Records

Students have the right to request amendment of the education records that the student believes are inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of privacy rights. Students should direct any such requests to the university official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of privacy rights. If the university denies such a request, the student will be notified of the decision and advised of his/her right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment.

Following are the procedures for the correction of records:

  1. A student must make a written request to amend a record that he or she feels is inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of their rights of privacy.  This request should be submitted on the “Student Challenge on Content/Accuracy” form, available in the Office of Student Conduct and Ethical Development. In so doing, the student should identify the part of the record to be amended and specify
  2. why the student believes it is inaccurate, misleading or in violation of his or her rights of privacy.
  3. This challenge shall be presented to the Unit Custodian where the records in question are maintained or, if not known, to the Director of Student Conduct and Ethical Development.
  4. The Unit Custodian will, within 15 working days after the request has been received, make a final determination to comply with the request to amend the record or decide not to comply.
  5. If the campus decides to amend the record, the information in the record shall be corrected or removed or destroyed as determined by the University and the student shall be notified of the decision in writing.
  6. If the campus decides not to amend the record, the student shall be advised, in writing, of the decision and the right to a formal hearing.
  7. Upon receiving a written request for a hearing, the Department Chairperson or Department Director will arrange for a hearing, and notify the student, reasonably in advance, of the date, place, and time of the hearing.
  8. Once a formal request for hearing has been received, the directives outlined in the document “Hearing Procedures for Challenge or Access to Educational Records” shall become immediately effective.
  9. The Hearing Officer will prepare a written recommendation based solely on the evidence presented at the hearing. The recommendation will include a summary of the evidence presented and the reasons for the decision.
  10. If the University decides that the information is inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the student’s right of privacy, it will amend the record and notify the student, in writing, that the record has been amended.
  11. If the University decides that the challenged information is not inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the student’s right of privacy, it will notify the student that he or she has a right to place in the record a statement commenting on the challenged information and/or a statement setting forth reasons for disagreeing with the decision.
  12. The statement will be maintained as part of the student’s education record as long as the contested record is maintained. This statement will be disclosed whenever the Records Custodian discloses the portion of the record to which the statement relates.

The Right to Consent to Disclosures

Students have the right to consent to disclosure of personally identifiable information contained in education records, except to the extent that privacy settings authorizes disclosure without consent. For example, one exception permits disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests.

A school official is a person employed by the university in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person or company with whom the university has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection 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 in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility.

Each Unit Custodian will maintain a record of all requests for access to and each disclosure of personally identifiable information from a student’s education records. This record must be kept with the education records of the student as long as the records are maintained. The record must include:

  1. The name of the party making the request,
  2. The legitimate interest the party had in requesting or obtaining the information, and
  3. Any additional party to whom the records may be re-disclosed and the legitimate interests under which each of the additional parties had in requesting or obtaining this information. Any such additional party must provide those records within 30 days of a request by CSULB. For its part, CSULB must list in each student’s record the names of the state, federal, or local agencies that may make further disclosures and must accommodate parent or student requests to review student’s record of disclosures.

Additional third parties that receive subpoenas or court orders are responsible for notifying the students subject to those subpoenas. If a third-party recipient does not provide the notification required, CSULB is not allowed to grant access to education records to that third party for at least five years.

The Right to File a Complaint Under FERPA

Students have the right to file a complaint with the United States Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the University to comply with the requirements of FERPA.

The federal office that administers FERPA is:

Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Ave., SW
Washington, D.C. 20202-4605

Directory Info under FERPA

CSULB designates the following items authorized by FERPA as Directory Information:

  • Student's name,
  • Address (see below for conditions)
  • Telephone number (see below for conditions)
  • Major field of study
  • Dates of attendance
  • Grade Level
  • Enrollment Status
  • Degrees, honors and awards received
  • Email address (see below for conditions)

Addresses, telephone numbers and email addresses for currently enrolled students will be released to CSULB personnel and units solely for the purpose of conducting legitimate University business. They may not be shared with individuals or organizations outside the University except in accordance with the provisions immediately below:

Addresses, telephone numbers and email addresses may be released for non-commercial use by individuals or organizations outside the University provided the requests for such information have been reviewed and approved by the appropriate University personnel. Requests from the academic offices of accredited educational institutions shall be reviewed by the Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs or designee. All other requests shall be reviewed by the Vice President for Student Services or designee. FERPA allows CSULB to make students’ electronic identifiers and e-mail addresses available within the institution but not release them to the general public as directory information.

Otherwise, the University may disclose any of the items designated above without prior written consent, unless the student provides a request that certain information not be released (non-disclosure). Requests for non-disclosure may be made directly by the student online through My.CSULB.edu. If the student does not have access to the Internet, their request for non-disclosure must be requested on the “Authorization to Withhold Student Information” form, available in the Office of Enrollment Services. If the request is not removed before the student leaves or graduates from CSULB,at the point of graduation or at the time the student leaves CSULB, this non-disclosure restriction will normally remain indefinitely or until written notification is received asking that the restriction be removed.

Specifying items as directory information allows the University to disclose this information without prior written consent. It does not require that the University release the information except under court direction. Any requests for directory information will be directed to the Office of Enrollment Services. Each request for release of directory information will be reviewed. Any requests for access to non-directory information from academic or administrative offices of the University, or offices allied to the University, such as the Alumni Association, who have a legitimate educational interest in utilizing the information, will be directed to the Office of Enrollment Services.

In addition to the above, The Director of Athletics may provide information concerning participation of students in athletic events, including the height and weight of athletes. The University will also respond to requests for information regarding the employment status of students serving as Teaching Associates (TA’s), Graduate Assistants (GA’s), or Instructional Student Assistants (ISA’s) and the departments that employ them.

NOTE: CSULB has designated student ID numbers as directory information only for the purpose of displaying the ID number on a student’s ID card as the ID card is not the sole method of obtaining access to the student’s education records and is used with other credible identifiers.

Restricting Directory Information

FERPA, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, allows you to restrict the release of certain personal or 'directory' information. You may indicate your restrictions online through your MyCSULB Student Center.   Select "FERPA Restrictions" under "Personal Portfolio." You will then have the ability to restrict all categories defined on the page, restrict specific categories, or select individual items. Click on the respective button for the categories or click on the checkboxes for individual items. You may release restrictions by clicking the Release All Restrictions button, clicking on Release All within a category, or clicking on a checkbox to remove an individual restriction.

If you do not have Internet access, your request for non-disclosure may be made on the "Authorization to Withhold Student Information" form, available in the Office of Enrollment Services.

Authorization to Release

The Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act allows CSULB to release "directory information" about current and former students to other people, organizations, and agencies (see the CSULB Catalog). Effective Fall 2003, CSULB designates the following items authorized by FERPA as Directory Information:

  • Student's name
  • Address and Telephone number (see below for conditions)
  • Major field of study
  • Dates of attendance, grade level, and enrollment status
  • Degrees, honors and awards received
  • E-mail address

Addresses and telephone numbers for currently enrolled students will be released to CSULB personnel and units solely for the purpose of conducting legitimate University business. They may not be shared with individuals or organizations outside the University except in accordance with the following provisions. Addresses and telephone numbers may be released for non-commercial use by individuals or organizations outside the University provided the requests for such information have been reviewed and approved by the appropriate University personnel. Requests from the academic offices of accredited educational institutions shall be reviewed by the Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs or designee. All other requests shall be reviewed by the Vice President for Student Services or designee.

In addition to the above, the Director of Athletics may provide information concerning participation of students in athletic events, including the height and weight of athletes. The University will also respond to requests for information regarding the employment status of students serving as Teaching Associates (TAs), Graduate Assistants (GAs), or Instructional Student Assistants (ISAs) and the departments that employ them. CSULB is also required by law to release specific information for U.S. military recruiting purposes and to comply with the USA Patriot Act of 2001.

Students may authorize the University to release other information to specific parties by submitting an Authorization to Release Student Information form (PDF). This form may be submitted in person at the Enrollment Services windows, Brotman Hall 101, or as an attachment via email if the student is not in attendance on the CSULB campus. The form must be sent from the email address on record for the student. Please contact Enrollment Services at 562.985.5471 to obtain the appropriate recipient email address at CSULB, or for any other questions.

Disclosure for Federal and State Data Collection and Use

FERPA regulations have expanded the circumstances under which the education record and personally identifiable information contained in such records-including the social security number, grades, and other private information may be accessed without student consent. A request for disclosure is not required in the following:

  • CSULB may allow access to student records and personally identifiable information to any third party designated by a Federal or State Authority to evaluate a federal-or state-supported education program. The evaluation may relate to any program that is principally engaged in the provision of education, such as early childhood education and job training, as well as any program that is administered by an education agency or institution
  • CSULB may allow access to the information above to researchers performing certain types of studies, in certain cases even when we object to or do not request such research. CSULB must obtain certain use-restriction and data security promises from the entities that we authorize to receive this information but CSULB need not maintain direct control over such entities.
  • In connection with Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems, CSULB may collect, compile, permanently retain, and share students’ education records and may track students’ participation in education and other programs by linking such to other personal information about students obtained from other Federal or State data sources, including workforce development, unemployment insurance, child welfare, juvenile justice, military service, and migrant student records systems.

Disclosure To and From Institutions Where Student Enrolled

  • A student’s education record may be received from or disclosed to officials of another institution of postsecondary education without the consent of the student—not only when the student seeks or intends to enroll, but also after the student is already enrolled , so long as the disclosure is for purposes related to the student’s enrollment or transfer.
  • Any student records or information, including health records and information about disciplinary proceedings, that could have been disclosed when the student was seeking or intending to enroll, may be exchanged between CSULB and another institution without the student’s consent.
  • These regulations apply to any institution that a student previously attended, not just the institution that the student attended most recently.

Exceptions to Prohibition Against Disclosure

CSULB will not permit third-party access to non-directory, personally identifiable information contained in a student’s educational record without the written consent of the student, except under the following circumstances permitted under FERPA:

  • To CSULB officials who have a legitimate educational interest in the records (as defined under the Definitions Section of this document)
  • To officials of another school, upon request, in which a student seeks to enroll or is enrolled
  • To certain officials of the U.S. Department of Education, the Comptroller General, and state and local educational authorities, in connection with audit or evaluation of certain state or federally supported education programs
  • In connection with a student’s request for or receipt of financial aid to determine the eligibility, amount, or conditions of the financial aid, or to enforce the terms and conditions of the aid
  • To state and local officials or authorities if specifically required by a state law that was adopted before November 19, 1974
  • To organizations conducting certain studies for or on behalf of the university
  • To accrediting organizations to carry out their functions
  • The discretionary release to parents of an eligible student who is claimed as a dependent for income tax purposes
  • To comply with a federal or California judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena
  • To appropriate parties in a health or safety emergency
    • A CSULB campus-wide health and safety emergency can be declared by the President, the Vice President for Student Services, the Vice President for Administration and Finance, or the Chief of Police; the authorization and recording of education-record releases during declared emergencies are the responsibilities of the Associate Vice President for Enrollment Services
    • CSULB may take into account the totality of the circumstances pertaining to a threat to the safety or health of students or other individuals in making a determination concerning disclosures of student records
    • CSULB may disclose personally identifiable information from an education record to appropriate parties, including parents of an eligible student, if knowledge of the information is necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or other individuals.
    • If there is a rational basis for the determination concerning disclosure of student records, DOE’s Family Policy Compliance Office will not substitute its judgment for that of CSULB leadership in evaluating the circumstances and making its determination
  • To individuals requesting directory information designated by the University
  • The discretionary release by the university of the results of any disciplinary proceeding conducted by the university against and alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence to the alleged victim of that crime
  • To U.S. military recruiters pursuant to 32 CFR 216 (Solomon Amendment)
  • The discretionary release to a parent or legal guardian regarding a student’s violation of any law or university rule or policy governing the use or possession of alcohol or a control substance if the student is under 21 years old and has committed a disciplinary violation (1988 HEA Amendments)
  • To comply with the U.S.A Patriot Act of 2001, under ex parte court orders for relevant investigations and prosecutions of specified crimes or acts of terrorism
  • To comply with other federal legislation passed subsequent to FERPA, including but not limited to the Student Right to Know Act and the Taxpayer Relief Act
  • To comply with State and local authorities, within a juvenile justice system, pursuant to specific State law
  • To comply with Federal and State data collection use.

Fees for Copies of Records

The student may request copies of pages contained within the education record. With the exception of CSULB academic transcripts, the fee for copies will be $1.00 per page. Requests for copies of an official CSULB academic transcript are not part of this record access process. Official copies of CSULB academic transcripts are available through the normal transcript request process and for the regular transcript processing fees. Information is available from the Office of Enrollment Services.

Although the student retains the right to inspect his or her records, CSULB is not normally required under FERPA to provide copies of documents contained in the education record. Therefore, CSULB may deny copies of records if the student has an unpaid financial obligation to the University.

Who are/is the Custodian of Records?

The “Unit Custodian” is the person who possesses the records or is in charge of the office that possesses the records. It is the Unit Custodian’s responsibility to ensure proper access control and to handle, store, and dispose of the records as appropriate.

The following is a list of the major types and locations of Records that the University maintains and the unit custodian for their respective type of records:

Custodian of Records

Types

Location

Unit Custodian

Academic Advising Records

Academic Advising Centers

Directors

Academic Department / Program Records

College Office / Individual Departments

Associate Dean / Dept. Chair or designee

Administrative Computing Records

Information Technology 
Brotman Hall, Room 188

Director

Admissions and Academic Records
(e.g., applications, transcripts, transfer work, class schedule, degree audit, probation or disqualification, petitions, etc.)

Enrollment Services 
Brotman Hall, Room 123

Assistant Vice President,  Enrollment Services (or designee)

Alumni Records

Alumni Office 
Foundation Bldg., Room 324

Director

Student Disciplinary Records

Office of Student Conduct & Ethical Development
USU, Room 224

Director

Educational Equity Services 
Advising Records

E.E.S. Office LA1, Room 104

Director

Employment Records

Staff Personnel Office 
Brotman Hall, Room 335

Director

Extension Records

College of Continuing and Professional Education (CCPE)
Foundation Bldg., 104

Associate Dean

Financial Aid Records

Enrollment Services 
Brotman Hall, Room 123

Director

Housing Records

Housing & Residential Life 
Earl Warren Drive

Director

ID Card Records

ID Card Office 
SW side of University Bookstore

I.D. Card Manager

Library

Library West

Dean

Occasional (e.g., correspondence in office not listed above or below)

Student will be directed to the appropriate location for inspection and review of information.

University staff person who maintains this occasional record.

Student Campus Organizational Records

Student Life and Development 
USU, Room 215

Director

Student Health Records

Student Health Center

Director

Student Payroll Records

Payroll Office 
Brotman Hall, Room 353

Director

Teacher Educational Placement Records

Credential Processing Ctr. ED1-042

Director