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Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

Security and Privacy of Educational Records

The following material is based on Ozarka College's Student Education Records Policy. You may obtain a complete copy of this policy document by contacting Ozarka's FERPA administrator, in Student Services.

Ozarka's student education records policy is designed to meet the provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, 20 USC 1232(g) (FERPA). Ozarka College, with its primary campus in Melbourne, Ark., (the College) is committed to the policy and will follow the procedures.

FERPA defines regulations with regard to the maintenance of student records. It is incumbent on those of us who have access to Ozarka's database to conform to the FERPA regulations and protect the privacy of our fellow employees, our students and the parents of our students.

According to FERPA, education records are records (in handwriting, print, tape, film, electronic, or other medium) maintained by the College, an employee of the College, or an agent of the College which are directly related to a student, except as may be provided otherwise. Education records do not include sole possession records, employment records, admission records, alumni records, campus security records, and counseling records. These exceptions are carefully defined in Ozarka's policy.

One must be especially careful when distributing information which is personally identifiable. For example, the average GPA of Ozarka freshmen can be released because it is not information about individuals. However, releasing a list of each freshman's GPA would be in violation of the law. Therefore, we must be very careful when we are dealing with records which contain "personally identifiable information." According to FERPA, personally identifiable information is any data or information that relates to a record of an individual.

This includes the following:
  1. Individual's name
  2. The name of the individual's parents or other family members
  3. The individual's address
  4. The individual's social security number
  5. Any other number or symbol which identifies the individual
  6. A list of the individual's personal characteristics
  7. Any other information which would make the individual's identity known and can be used to label a record as the individual's
College employees are bound by the FERPA policy to limit the disclosure of information contained in a student's education records to the following circumstances:
  1. With the student's prior written consent
  2. As an item of directory information (see the definition of directory information which follows) which the student has not refused to permit the College to disclose
  3. Under FERPA provisions which allow the College to disclose information without the student's prior written consent to the following: institutions in which the student seeks to enroll, to persons or organizations providing students with financial aid, to accrediting agencies carrying out their accreditation function, to persons in compliance with judicial order, and to persons in an emergency in order to protect the health and safety of students or other persons
The College designates personally identifiable information contained in a student's education records listed below as "directory information" in order that the College may, at its discretion, disclose the information without a student's prior written consent:
  1. Name
  2. Permanent Address
  3. Telephone number
  4. Date and place of birth
  5. Major field of study
  6. Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
  7. Dates of attendance
  8. Degrees, achievements, academic awards and honors
  9. The most recent previous educational agency or institution attended
  10. Social clubs
  11. Academic clubs and societies
In addition to these items, by enrolling at the College, the student consents to the College photographing her or him for promotional and identification purposes.

The student has the right to further restrict the release of directory information if he or she chooses to do so by visiting the tools tab in their myOzarka account, selecting “Edit Biographic” and then selecting the directory items he or she wishes to restrict.

The College maintains education records in order for faculty and staff to perform their proper functions to serve the student. To carry out their responsibilities, these officials will have access to student education records for legitimate educational interests.

To establish who are College officials having access to Education Records, the College will apply the criteria listed below. A College official is:
  1. A person appointed as a member of the College Board of Trustees.
  2. A person approved by and under contract to the College Board of Trustees in an academic or research faculty position.
  3. A person under contract to the College Board of Trustees to serve in a College administrative position.
  4. A person employed by the College as a temporary substitute for an administrative staff member or faculty member for the period of his or her performance as a substitute.
  5. A person employed by the College or under contract to the College Board of Trustees to perform a special administrative task. These would be persons such as secretaries, clerks, attorneys, auditors and consultants for the period of their performance as an employee or contractor.
  6. A person under contract to assist faculty or staff persons in his or her official duties. This would involve student workers and graduate assistants. This person has access only to those education records necessary to perform his or her duties under such contract.
Legitimate educational interest defined. College officials who meet the criteria listed above will have access to personally identifiable information contained in student education records if they have a legitimate educational interest in doing so. A "legitimate educational interest" is the person's need to know in order to:
  1. Perform an administrative task outlined in the official's position, description or contract approved by the College Board of Trustees
  2. Perform a supervisory or instructional task directly related to the student's education
  3. Perform a service or benefit for the Student such as health care, counseling, job placement or financial aid
College officials may not disclose personally identifiable information contained in a student's education records except directory information or under the circumstances listed above except with the student's prior written consent

The College reserves the right to refuse access to the following records:
  1. Financial statement(s) of the student’s parents.
  2. Education records containing information about more than one student, in which case the College will permit access only to the part of the record pertaining to the student.
  3. The records excluded from the FERPA definition of education record.
  4. Copies of transcripts or other records (not required to be made available under FERPA) if the student has an overdue financial obligation to the College, or if there is an unresolved disciplinary or academic dishonesty action against the student.
If you have any further questions about Ozarka's student education records policy or the FERPA regulations, please contact Ozarka's FERPA administrator at 870.368.2027.

Please be especially cautious when you are releasing material to off-campus people or organizations including churches and civic groups.

Phone: 870-368-2300

Postal Address:
PO Box 10
Melbourne, Ar 72556

Physical Address:
218 College Drive
Melbourne, Ar 72556