Student Record Policy

FERPA Rights

Confidentiality and access to student record information at Northeast Alabama Community College is administered in accordance with the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974. A student’s FERPA rights include:

  1. The right to inspect and review your education record within a reasonable time after Northeast Alabama Community College (NACC) receives a request for access. If you want to review your record, contact the registrar’s office to make appropriate arrangements.
  2. The right to request an amendment of your education record if you believe it is inaccurate or misleading. If you feel there is an error in your record, you should contact the registrar’s office and they will advise you regarding the appropriate steps for you to take.
  3. The right to provide written consent before NACC discloses personally identifiable information from the student's education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. One exception which permits disclosure without consent is disclosure to school officials with “Legitimate educational interests”. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official has a need-to-know information from your educational record in order to fulfill his or her official responsibilities.

Northeast Alabama Community College may release a student’s educational records without his or her approval as follows:

  • To NACC faculty and staff with legitimate educational interests
  • To representatives of agencies under contract with NACC
  • To certain federal and state educational authorities for purposes of enforcing legal requirements in federally supported educational programs
  • To persons involved in granting financial aid for which the student has applied
  • To testing, research, and accrediting organizations
  • In compliance with a court order or lawfully issued subpoena
  • In very narrowly defined emergencies affecting the health and safety of the student

In addition, Directory Information, which is defined by FERPA as information contained in an education record that would not generally be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed, can be disclosed to outside organizations or agencies upon request unless the student specifies otherwise. Directory information may include the following:

  • Name
  • Home address
  • Email address
  • Telephone Number
  • Date and place of birth
  • Major field of study
  • Enrollment status (e.g. full-time or part-time)
  • Withdrawal status
  • Honors, degrees, and awards received
  • Participation in and personal statistics associated with officially recognized activities and sports
  • Photograph
  • Most recent educational institution attended
  • Dates of attendance - The term “dates of attendance” refers to general periods of time, such as an academic year or a specific semester. It does not include specific daily records of a student’s attendance, which may not be disclosed without consent under FERPA.
  1. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of education concerning alleged failure by NACC to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the Office that administers FERPA is:

Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC  20202

Student’s at NACC have the right to withhold the release of directory information. To do so, you must contact the Admissions Office to place a “No Release” on your record. Please note an important detail regarding placing a “No Release” on your record: NACC received many inquiries for directory information from a variety of sources outside the institution, including prospective employers, the news media and honor societies, parents, and relatives. Having a “No Release” on your record will preclude release of such information, even to those people.

Any additional questions concerning FERPA should be referred to the registrar’s office.

Safeguarding Information

Original, paper copy student records are maintained by the functional areas responsible for the creation, collection, maintenance, and retention of those records. Electronic versions of each record are maintained on the College’s central computer system. Access to both record forms is controlled by the dean or director responsible for the area. Admissions Office records access is controlled by the Dean of Student Services. Financial Aid record access is controlled by the Director of Financial Aid. Student transcripts access is controlled by the Dean of Administrative Services, responsible for Management of Informational Services and Registrar functions.

Record integrity is maintained by restricting records creation and modification access to employees within each functional area. Employees are given user identification and password access to each computer record with specific creation, update, or read only access to the record commensurate with the employee’s job duties, and approved by the President of the institution. Control documents for all modifications to records are processed and maintained within the functional areas.

Student transcripts are created by computer programs which process faculty grade rolls. Student transcripts may only be modified by written documentation signed by the instructor who originally assigned the grade and the Dean of Instruction. Transcript modifications can be performed only by specific personnel within the MIS office controlled by the Dean of Administrative Services.

Student record retention is governed by the guidelines of the Alabama State Records Manual, developed by the Functional Analysis and Records Disposition Authority of the Alabama Department of Archives and History (ADAH) for all state agency records, including colleges and universities.

Records are identified by record type and assigned a retention period, after which they may be destroyed. Northeast retains student records for periods which meet or exceed the minimum periods specified in the manual. Non-permanent, paper records are physically stored in filing cabinets within each functional area for the retention period or longer. Electronic versions of the files are maintained on computer for periods exceeding the guidelines.

Safety and security of student records is provided commensurate with the record type and retention period. Nonpermanent records, such as admission records and student financial aid records, are maintained in storage filing cabinets and on computer. Permanent student records, such as faculty grade reports and student transcripts, are maintained in a concrete, reinforced, fire-proof vault with access controlled by the Dean of Administrative Services. Nightly backup computer files of all records are maintained in the fire-proof vault within the MIS area. A weekly backup tape is stored in a fire-proof filing cabinet in the Business Office safe. An off-campus backup tape is kept in a safe at a local bank.


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