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Home » Registrar’s Office » Academic Policies

What is FERPA?

FERPA is the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act. This law ensures that a student’s educational records are protected. Only the student may access his/her educational records (including financial information) without expressed written consent from the student.

A student may grant permission for another person to access his/her educational records by completing the FERPA Permissions Form found in MyKC. These permissions remain in effect as long as the student is enrolled at the College. These permissions may be revoked at any time by submitting a new FERPA Permissions form in MyKC and deselecting the previously chosen access options.

FERPA Policy Statement

Overview

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), also known as the Buckley Amendment, protects the privacy of a student’s educational records. All of the rights under FERPA belong to the student, once he or she has enrolled in a post-secondary institution. Students’ rights under FERPA include:

  • the right to inspect and review information contained in educational records;
  • the right to request amendment of educational records to ensure they are not inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of privacy or other rights;
  • the right to consent to disclosure, with certain exceptions that are specified in the Act (see below under Directory Information), of personally identifiable information contained in educational records;
  • the right to be apprised of this policy on an annual basis;
  • the right to file complaints with the Department of Education concerning alleged failure of the College to comply with the Act.

Waivers
No one other than the student is granted access to the student’s educational records unless the student has granted that person permission through MyKC, the College’s student portal. Students have the opportunity to grant and remove permissions at any point after their initial orientation day at Keystone College. Persons identified by the student will have access to the students educational records through a unique log on for MyKC. This access does not provide the ability for the designee to act on the student’s behalf.

Directory Information
FERPA allows the College to release certain “Directory Information” about our students without the need for a waiver. This information includes:

  • full name
  • address
  • College e-mail address
  • telephone number
  • date and place of birth
  • major
  • degrees and awards received
  • dates of attendance
  • most recent previous school attended
  • classification (first-year, sophomore, junior, or senior)
  • participation in College-recognized activities and sports
  • weight and height (members of athletic teams only)
  • photograph
  • enrollment status (full- or part-time)

Directory Information does not include:

  • Social Security number
  • student identification number
  • race
  • ethnicity
  • nationality
  • gender

A student can direct the College not to release her/his Directory Information by completing Directory Information Opt-Out Procedure and submitting appropriate form in the Registrar’s Office. The College accepts no liability for any Directory Information released before a student completes this form.

Releasing Information

Keystone College does not publish Directory Information to vendors. A student’s educational records may not be released without the student’s specific written consent, with the following exceptions:

  • to College officials, including instructors, who have a legitimate educational interest and need to know;
  • to officials at institutions at which the student is seeking to enroll;
  • to the parents of a dependent student as defined by the Internal Revenue Code;
  • upon receipt of a lawfully issued subpoena or court order;
  • in a health or safety emergency; or
  • in any other circumstances permitted by the regulations of the U.S. Department of Education.

Billing and Grade Reports

Bills are sent in the student’s name directly to the permanent address listed for the student. For students who have signed waivers, grade reports (mid-term and final) are mailed to the person(s) listed on the waiver upon request. Mid-term grades are unofficial records of student performance and attendance up to that point in the semester. It should be noted that mid-term grades are assigned only for the purpose of informing students of their progress. Only final grades become part of a student’s official transcript.

Student Access to their Records

In accordance with FERPA, students, upon request, will be given access to all of their evaluative or opinion records established by Keystone College. Such records include those maintained by the Registrar, the Career Development Center, and the Office of the Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students and Dean of Students. These records will be open to inspection in the presence of the appropriate College official. A student must make an appointment at least one day in advance to review his/her records. The College will also maintain, as part of the student’s education records, a list of all outside people or agencies who have had access to the student’s records without the student’s prior consent.

Information Students May Not Access

The following information will not be released to any student:

  • letters of reference and recommendation placed in a student’s file prior to January 1, 1975;
  • confidential letters and statements of recommendation placed in the student’s education records after January 1, 1975, if the student has waived his or her right to inspect and review those letters
  • and statements and those letters and statements are related to the student’s admission to an educational institution, application for employment, or receipt of an honor or honorary recognition;
  • parents’ financial records, unless written authorization has been obtained from the parents;
  • private notes created by College officials to serve as memory aids.

Other Types of Information

FERPA deals with students’ educational records. The College maintains other records on current and former students (such as medical records, counseling records, employment records of students working for the College, and alumni records). These other records, while not specifically covered by FERPA, are still carefully safeguarded in order to protect privacy rights. Specifically, medical records are covered by HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) and Keystone’s Health Services follow these regulations. In addition, our Office of Human Resources follows all regulations pertaining to the employment of a student. For information on records not covered by FERPA, the student should contact the appropriate office.

Definition of Terms in this Policy

A “College official” is:

  • a person employed by the College in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or support staff position;
  • a person employed by or under contract to the College to perform a special task, such as an attorney or auditor;
  • 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 College official has a “legitimate educational interest” if the official is:

  1. performing a task that is specified in his/her position description or by a contract agreement;
  2. performing a task related to a student’s education;
  3. performing a task related to the discipline of a student; or
  4. providing a service or benefit relating to the student or student’s family, such as health care, counseling, academic or job placement, or financial aid.

Dissemination of this Policy

FERPA requires that students be notified and reminded of this policy annually. Therefore, this policy will be published in the Student Information Guide, and on the College’s web site. In addition, students will be reminded of the policy once each semester by way of campus-wide e-mails and notices in billing statements.

Amending Educational Records and Registering Complaints

Under FERPA regulations, Keystone College must allow students to inspect and review their educational records. A student may seek to amend those records if he or she thinks the records contain inaccurate or misleading information contained in them. However, the College is not required to consider requests for amendment that seek to change a grade or disciplinary decision, or to seek to change the opinions or reflections of a school official or other person reflected in an educational record. In addition, students have the right to file a complaint with the US Department of Education if they feel their rights under FERPA have been compromised. Any student wishing to pursue such issues should contact the Registrar’s Office for appropriate processes, forms, and addresses.

Sources Consulted in Developing this Policy

  • http://www.ed.gov/print/policy/gen/guid/fpco/ferpa/students.html
  • http://www.unt.edu/ferpa/index.html
FERPA Opt-Out Procedure

FERPA Regulations

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), a Federal law, required that Keystone College, with certain exceptions, obtain your written consent prior to the disclosure of personally identifiable information from your education records. However, Keystone College may disclose appropriately designated “directory information” without written consent, unless you have advised us to the contrary in accordance with College FERPA policy. The primary purpose of directory information is to allow Keystone College to include this type of information from your education records in certain school publications. Examples include:

  • A playbill, showing your role in a theatre production
  • Honor roll or other recognition lists
  • Commencement programs and news releases
  • Sports activity sheets, such as for baseball, showing weight and height of team members.

Directory information, which is information that is generally not considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if released, can also be disclosed to outside organizations without your prior written consent. Outside organizations include, but are not limited to, federal and state agencies offering jobs and educational benefits, media sources, companies that manufacture class rings or publish yearbooks, etc.

In addition, two federal laws require Keystone College to provide military recruiters, upon request, with your name, addresses, and telephone number unless you have advised us that you do not want your information disclosed without prior written consent.

Directory Information Opt-Out Procedure

If you do not want Keystone College to disclose directory information from your education records without your prior written consent, you must notify us in writing. Download and complete the FERPA Directory Information Opt-Out form and return it to the Registrar’s Office. Upon receipt, your information will not be released from the time of receipt forward. If directory information is released prior to receiving your opt-out request, Keystone College may not be able to stop the use of your information.

Keystone College has designated the following information as directory information:

  • Full name
  • Address
  • College e-mail address
  • Telephone number
  • Date and place of birth
  • Major
  • Degrees and awards received
  • Dates of attendance
  • Most recent previous school attended
  • Classification (first-year, sophomore, junior, or senior)
  • Participation in College-recognized activities and sports
  • Weight and height (members of athletic teams only)
  • Photograph
  • Enrollment status (full- or part-time)

Academic Policies

Academic Probation

Any student with a cumulative grade point average below 2.00 is on academic probation. Students who are on academic probation have one academic year to obtain academic good standing, provided they make progress toward good academic standing at the conclusion of the first fall or spring probationary grading period (possess a higher cumulative grade point average than the cumulative grade point average that placed them on probation initially). Students on academic probation may be required to participate in special academic programs.

Contact Information
Department of Academic Affairs
Phone: 570-945-8316
Email: AcademicAffairs@keystone.edu

Academic Dismissal

Students who are on academic probation due to low cumulative grade point average who also then fail to make progress towards good academic standing after one semester or fail to achieve good academic standing after one academic year are excluded from registration, and their academic records are marked “academic dismissal.” Unless reinstated by the Academic Review Board, students issued an academic dismissal are ineligible to attend any courses in any capacity offered by the College for a period of at least one academic year. At the conclusion of this period of separation, they are eligible to seek readmission. For information regarding an appeal of an academic dismissal see page 49 of the 2016-2017 Undergraduate Catalog.

Contact Information
Department of Academic Affairs
Phone: 570-945-8316
Email: AcademicAffairs@keystone.edu

All other academic and student affairs policies can be found in the College Catalog or the student handbook.