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Student Education Records

Responsible Department
Student Affairs
Effective Date
12/19/2019
  1. .

    Policy Purpose

    This policy governs information maintained by the University of North Georgia (“University”) in the performance of its functions as an educational institution regarding enrolled or prospective students.

  2. .

    Definitions

    1. Directory Information: The student related directory information is defined by the University of North Georgia as: name, mailing and permanent addresses, telephone numbers, University e-mail address, degree(s) pursued and/or awarded and dates, major, minor, and/or concentration, enrollment status (i.e., full- or part-time), class standing (i.e., senior, freshman, etc.), dates of attendance, anticipated graduation date, participation in University-sponsored activities and sports, and honors and awards received.

    2. Student Education Records: Any record maintained by the University that contains personally identifiable information about a student, regardless of its format or method of storage.  Student educational records shall not include law enforcement records maintained separately from educational records or University employment records, all of which are protected according to provisions of state and federal law and University policy.

    3. Legitimate Educational Interests: An interest in reviewing student education records for the purpose of performing an appropriate University research, educational or administrative function.

    4. School Official: A person employed by the University in an administrative, supervisory, academic, or research position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person or company with whom the University has contracted to perform an institutional service or function in accordance with law; a person serving on the University System of Georgia staff; or a student serving on a University committee or otherwise assisting another school official in performing institutional tasks.
  3. .

    Policy Statement

    1. Access to Student Records

      1. Directory Information

        Directory Information shall be publicly available and may be disclosed to any person without the student’s consent, unless the student has suppressed or prohibited disclosure of the information.  Students shall be given the opportunity to suppress their Directory Information during the term of their enrollment.

      2. Access to Private Student Education Records

        Student Education Records, other than publicly available Directory Information, are private and shall not be disclosed except as appropriate and to the extent permissible under federal and state laws as follows:

        1. To the student;

        2. To School Officials with a Legitimate Educational Interest in the information;

        3. To persons specifically authorized by the student in writing to receive the information;

        4. To other educational institutions in which the student seeks to enroll or is already enrolled so long as the disclosure is for purposes related to the student’s enrollment or transfer;

        5. To other organizations conducting educational research studies, provided the studies are conducted in a manner that does not permit identification of students and the information will be destroyed when no longer needed for a specific purpose;

        6. To persons in compliance with a court order or lawfully issued subpoena, provided that a reasonable attempt is made to notify the student where required prior to release;

        7. To appropriate members of the court system when legal actions against the University are initiated by the student and the disclosure is part of the University’s defense;

        8. To appropriate persons in connection with an emergency if knowledge of the information is necessary to protect the health and safety of students or other individuals;

        9. To an accrediting organization and state or federal education authorities using information for auditing, evaluating, or enforcing legal requirements of educational programs, provided the data is protected to prohibit the identification of students and all personally identifiable information is destroyed when no longer needed;

        10. To appropriate persons or agencies in connection with a student’s application for or receipt of financial aid to determine eligibility, amount, or conditions of financial aid and to enforce the terms and conditions of the aid;

        11. To parents of a dependent student as defined under the Internal Revenue Code;

        12. The final results of a disciplinary proceeding that a student has violated an institutional rule or policy in connection with a crime of violence or non-forcible sex offense; and

        13. Disclosures concerning sex offenders and other persons required to register as offenders under federal law.

      3. Students are entitled by law to review portions of their records at the University and to request amendment of such records if the student believes they are inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the privacy or other rights of the students.

      4. University employees who have access to Student Education Records are obligated to carefully protect them and will be held accountable for safeguarding them.  Policy or procedure violations may result in disciplinary action, including possible termination of employment, and applicable civil or criminal sanctions.

    2. Other Requirements

      The University must (i) provide students with an annual notice of rights, (ii) regulate access to educational records in accordance with law and policy, (iii) maintain records as required by law and policy, (iv) provide students with the right to request amendment to their education records and the right to a hearing concerning their educational records, (v) provide complete records, from all units at the University, in response to a student’s request that the records be provided.

    3. Disclosure of Student Educational Records

      1. The posting of grades or examination results with personally-identifiable information (i.e., student ID number, Social Security Number, student name) is prohibited.  Examinations, papers, blue books, or any other graded materials that contain personally-identifiable student information (i.e., name, student ID number) should be distributed directly to students or made available for pick up in departmental offices in a manner that ensures the privacy of each student’s grade.

      2. Personally-identifiable student information may only be released under the conditions outlined in the procedures or with the written permission of the student.  When a student provides a valid authorization to release student records to a third party, all records that are legally covered by the authorization must be released as requested by the student.  Units responding to external requests for information must ensure the response includes all requested information that exists at the University.
  4. .

    Procedures

    The University shall maintain administrative procedures that fulfill its legal obligations regarding student educational records, including, but not limited to, notice of rights to students, access to educational records, record keeping requirements, the right to request amendment of educational records, and hearing rights.

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