4.02 Student Records (Transcripts) Policy

I. Rules

A. Definition of Term "Educational Records"

Central Piedmont Community College, in accordance with the North Carolina Community College System's Standard Records Retention and Disposition Schedule, defines a student's permanent record as his or her transcript and follows the schedule established by the State in the disposal of other documents.

Educational records as defined under the provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 include files, documents, and other materials which contain information directly related to students and which are maintained by an educational institution or by an authority on behalf of the institution. The term "educational record," under the provisions of the law, does not include the following:

  1. Records of institutional, supervisory, and administrative personnel which are in the sole possession of the maker and which are not accessible or revealed to any other person except a substitute for the above named personnel;
  2. Records and documents of security officers of the institution which are kept apart from such educational records;
  3. Records on students which are made or maintained by a physician, psychiatrist, psychologist, counselor, or other recognized professional or paraprofessional acting in his/her official capacity and which are made, maintained, or used only in connection with a provision for treatment for the student and are not available to anyone other than the persons providing such treatment, except that such records can be personally reviewed by a physician or other appropriate professional of a given student's choice;
  4. Financial records of the parents of the students or other information therein contained;
  5. Confidential recommendations if a given student has signed a waiver of the student's rights of access, provided such a waiver may not be required of the student; and
  6. Confidential letters or statements of recommendation which were placed in educational records prior to January 1, 1975, if such records or statements are not used for purposes other than those for which they were specifically intended.

B. Control Provisions on Student Records and Student Information

  1. Transcripts and other information are released only with written permission of the student. When information other than the transcript is released from the student's official record (Office of Student Records), the student will receive a copy of the release.
  2. Students have the right to inspect their own records, whether recorded in hard copy form or recorded in the form of magnetic disks, microfilm, or other media. Upon inspection of their records, students are entitled to an explanation of any information contained in their records.
  3. The official student file shall not be sent outside official custodial areas (e.g., Counseling, Records, Admissions, and Veterans Affairs) except in circumstances specifically authorized by the appropriate dean. The authorization for such special circumstances must be in writing.

C. Release of a Student's Educational Records to Educational Institutions, State, and Federal Agencies

1. Such requests for confidential information shall not be honored without proper written consent by the student for the release of such records except under conditions indicated in paragraphs 2 and 5.

a. The written consent must specify the records or the specific data to be released, to whom they are to be released, and the reasons for release.

b. Each request for consent must be specific, and each request must be handled separately.

2. Requests for confidential information will be honored without prior consent of the student in connection with an emergency if, in the view of a reasonable person, the knowledge of such information by appropriate persons is necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or other persons. However, such a release shall have the approval of the Senior Registrar unless it can be shown that under the circumstances either time would not permit or no authorized administrator was available.

3. The following "Directory Information" may be made available to the public by the College unless students notify the Senior Registrar in writing by the third week of the term that such information is not to be made available:

a. Student's name and hometown;

b. Major field of study or program;

c. Dates of attendance, degrees, diplomas, or awards received;

4. The college designates the following student information as "limited-use directory information":

  • Photographs
  • videos, or
  • other media containing a student's image or likeness

As designated limited-use directory data, this information will not be provided to external parties not affiliated with the college. Use and disclosure of this information shall be limited to (a) publication on websites hosted by, on behalf of, or for the benefit of the college, including social media sites; (b) publication in print, broadcast, digital, and/or other media for purposes, including, but not limited to, college marketing, public relations, outreach, and press releases; at college events, including, but not limited to, college fairs and open houses, student organization activities, campus atmosphere, etc. (c) college officials who have access, consistent with FERPA, to such information and only in conjunction with a legitimate educational interest; and (d) external parties affiliated or associated with the college, including official third party vendors, and partner institutions and organizations. Students who choose to opt-out must notify, in writing, the Senior Registrar by the third week of the term that such limited-directory information is not to be used.

Any release of student information for public use or use by the media except that designated in Part C. 3, 4 must have prior written approval by the students involved.

5. Disclosure to Government Agencies

Properly identified and authorized representatives of or bona fide written requests from the Comptroller General of the United States; an administrative head of a federal health, education, or human services agency; or state educational authorities may have access to student or other records which may be necessary in connection with the audit and evaluation of federal or state-supported educational programs or in connection with the enforcement of the federal or legal requirements which relate to such programs. Routine requests for student data from such agencies as the Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO), research agencies, and state reporting agencies may be honored without prior approval of the student only in formats where students are not identified.

6. Faculty and administrative officers of the College who demonstrate a legitimate educational need will be permitted to look at the official student file for a particular student.

7. Confidential information requested by other than federal or state agencies as specified in Part C. 5. will be released only under the following conditions:

a. An official order of a court of competent jurisdiction, or

b. Subpoena. (Students will be notified immediately by registered mail that their records are being subpoenaed.)

8. Record of Who Has Access

A record of access to the official student file will be maintained within the file itself. This record will show the name, address, date, and purpose of the person who has been granted access. All persons who have access will be included in this record except those institutional employees who, because of the nature of their duties, have been granted access.

II. Procedure for Student Review and Appeal of Content of Official Student Record

A. Students have the right to review their official records maintained by the College. Furthermore, students may question any inaccurate or misleading information and request correction or deletion of such data from their files.

B. All such requests will be sent to the Senior Registrar and will become part of that student's file.

C. All requests for correction of a student file will be acted upon within 45 work days of receipt of the request. If the custodian can verify that such data are, in fact, in error, appropriate corrections will be made, and the student will be notified in writing when the correction has been completed. If an error cannot be readily substantiated, the request will be referred to an Ad Hoc Hearing Committee appointed by the Vice President for Student Affairs.

D. After a student has had the opportunity to present the case to the hearing committee, the committee will render a decision in writing, stating the reasons for its decision. If the decision is in agreement with the student's request, the student will be permitted to review the file to verify that the change has been made correctly. If the student's request is denied, the student will be permitted to add a statement to the record in question, showing the basis for the disagreement with the denial. Such additions will become a permanent part of the record.

III. Regulations

A. Central Piedmont Community College, in the fulfillment of its responsibilities to students, must maintain accurate and confidential student records. The College staff must recognize the rights of students to have access to their academic and personal records in accordance with existing College policy and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (Buckley Amendment).

B. Students' records are their own property; therefore, this information is released only when a student signs a Student Information Release Authorization form (PDF). Students may have copies of their transcripts sent to any institutions or individuals they choose or may order copies for their own use. The College charges a nominal amount for copies of transcripts.

C. The rules and regulations on access to and release of student information will be made available to students, faculty, and staff. This information will be placed in the Student Handbook and will specify the procedures for release of student information, student access to records, a description of all student records being maintained by the College, and the procedure for students to initiate a hearing to challenge accuracy of educational records.

Related Procedures

Student Records and Privacy Rights Procedures


Changes approved by the Board of Trustees on July 10, 2019; May 6, 2020