Student Records and Privacy Rights Procedures

Policy Statement

Central Piedmont Community College is committed to the protecting the privacy of all student records. As a recipient of federal funds under programs managed by the U.S. Department of Education, Central Piedmont has a legal responsibility under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), as amended, to protect these records. It is the policy of the College, therefore, to comply with all FERPA requirements related to educational records, directory, and personally identifiable information. FERPA requires that all educational records are private to the student, the student’s family until the rights transfer to the student, and the College, with exceptions set forth in this policy and as allowed by law. Students will be granted access rights to their records, and such records shall be open to revision only as allowed by this policy.


I. Control Provisions on Student Records and Student Information

A. Transcripts and other education or personally identifiable information are released only with written permission of the student or parent, as appropriate. When information other than the transcript is released from the student's official record, housed in the Office of Student Records, the student will receive a copy of the release. The College adheres to the following procedures related to disclosure:

  1. The parent or eligible student shall provide a signed and dated written consent before the College discloses personally identifiable information from the student's education records.
  2. The written consent must:
    1. Specify the records that may be disclosed;
    2. State the purpose of the disclosure; and
    3. Identify the party or class of parties to whom the disclosure may be made.
  3. A disclosure is made pursuant to this section:
    1. If a parent or eligible student so requests, the College will provide him/her with a copy of the records disclosed; and,
    2. If the parent of a student who is not an eligible student so requests, the College will provide the student with a copy of the records disclosed.
  4. “Signed and dated written consent” may include a record and signature in electronic form that:
    1. Identifies and authenticates a particular person as the source of the electronic consent; and,
    2. Indicates such person's approval of the information contained in the electronic consent.

B. Students have the right to inspect their own records, whether recorded in hard copy form, or recorded in the form of e-records or other media. The student may not inspect information about another student, if contained within their file, nor have access to portions of their records protected by State or federal law. Upon inspection of their records, students are entitled to an explanation of any information contained therein.

C. The official student file shall not be sent outside official custodial areas of the College (e.g., Counseling, Records, Admissions, Veterans Affairs), except in circumstances specifically enumerated in federal or state law, or as authorized by the appropriate dean. The authorization for such special circumstances must in every instance be in writing.

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

A. Such requests for confidential information shall not be honored without proper written consent by the student. In every instance, the College will comply with the requirements of Code of Federal Regulations 34 CFR §99.34 and .35 for the release of such records. Exceptions are indicated in the following paragraphs B and E.

  1. 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.
  2. Each request for consent must be specific, and each request must be handled separately.

B. 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.

C. The following "Directory Information" may be made available to the public by the College. The College may disclose directory information when it has given public notice to parents of students and eligible students in attendance of:

  1. The types of personally identifiable information that the agency or institution has designated as directory information;
  2. A parent's or eligible student's right to refuse to let the agency or institution designate any or all of those types of information about the student as directory information; and
  3. The period of time within which a parent or eligible student has to notify the agency or institution in writing that he or she does not want any or all of those types of information about the student designated as directory information.

D. Parents and students must notify the Senior Registrar in writing by the third week of the term that such information is not to be made available. Otherwise, the following information will be made available:

  1. Student's name and hometown;
  2. Major field of study or program;
  3. Dates of attendance, degrees, diplomas, or awards received; and
  4. Information Other than "Directory Information"

Any release of student information for public use or use by the media except that designated in this procedure must have prior written approval by the students involved.

E. Disclosure to Government Agencies: Properly identified and authorized representatives of or bona fide written requests from the following agencies 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 program:

  1. Comptroller General of the United States;
  2. An administrative head of a federal health, education, or human services agency; or,
  3. State educational or audit authorities.

Routine requests for student data from such agencies as research agencies and state reporting agencies may be honored without prior approval of the student only in formats where students are not identified.

F. 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.

G. Confidential information requested by other than federal or state agencies, as specified in this procedure, will be released only under the following conditions:

  1. An official order of a court of competent jurisdiction, or
  2. Subpoena. In this instance, students will be notified immediately by registered mail that their records are being subpoenaed.

H. 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.

III. 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. A student who objects to a decision by the College not to make a requested amendment to his or her education records, or who otherwise wishes to challenge the content of his or her education records on the grounds that the information contained in the education records is inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of his or her rights of privacy, has a right of request to appeal.

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 agrees 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.

IV. Regulations

A. Central Piedmont Community College, in the fulfillment of its responsibilities to students, must maintain accurate and confidential student records. College staff must recognize the rights of students to have access to their academic and personal records in accordance with existing College policy and FERPA, as amended.

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 College will publish both FERPA guidelines and Central Piedmont policies and procedures related to access to and release of student records and information in the college catalog in the student handbook and on the college website.

Related Policies

Policy 4.02 Student Records