Release of Information and FERPA
Notification of Rights under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records.
- The right to inspect and review the student's education records within 45 days from the day the University receives a request for access. Students should submit to the registrar, dean, head of the academic department, or other appropriate official, written request that identifies the record(s) they wish to inspect. The University official will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the University official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.
- The right to request the amendment of the student's education records that the student believes is inaccurate or misleading.
Students may ask the University to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate or misleading. They should write the University official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading.
FERPA was not intended to provide a process to be used to question the substantive judgments which are correctly recorded. The rights of challenge are not intended to allow students to contest, for example, a grade in a course because they felt a higher grade should have been assigned.
If DWU decides not to amend the record as requested, the student will be notified in writing of the decision and the student’s right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.
- The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student's education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent if the disclosure meets certain conditions found in §99.31 of the FERPA regulations.
DWU discloses education records without a student’s prior written consent under the FERPA exception for disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the University in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person serving on the board of trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee. A school official also may include a volunteer or contractor outside of the university who performs an institutional service of function for which the school would otherwise use its own employees and who is under the direct control of the school with respect to the use and maintenance of personally identifiable information from educational records, such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent or a student volunteering to assist another school official in performing his or her tasks.
A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility for the University. As of January 3, 2012, the U.S. Department of Education's FERPA regulations expand the circumstances under which your education records and personally identifiable information contained in such records — including your Social Security Number, grades, or other private information — may be accessed without your consent. First, the U.S. Comptroller General, the U.S. Attorney General, the U.S. Secretary of Education, or state and local education authorities ("Federal and State Authorities") may allow access to your records and personally identifiable information without your consent to any third party designated by a Federal or State Authority to evaluate a federal- or state-supported education program. The evaluation may relate to any program that is "principally engaged in the provision of education," such as early childhood education and job training, as well as any program that is administered by an education agency or institution. Second, Federal and State Authorities may allow access to your education records and personally identifiable information without your consent to researchers performing certain types of studies, in certain cases even when we object to or do not request such research. Federal and State Authorities must obtain certain use-restriction and data security promises from the entities that they authorize to receive your personally identifiable information, but the Authorities need not maintain direct control over such entities. In addition, in connection with Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems, State Authorities may collect, compile, permanently retain, and share without your consent personally identifiable information from your education records, and they may track your participation in education and other programs by linking such personally identifiable information to other personal information about you that they obtain from other Federal or State data sources, including workforce development, unemployment insurance, child welfare, juvenile justice, military service, and migrant student records systems.
- The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by Dakota Wesleyan University 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, 20202-4605
These items listed below are designated as "directory information" and may be released for any purpose at the discretion of Dakota Wesleyan University (DWU).
Under the provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as Amended, you have the right to withhold the disclosure of the "Directory Information." Should you decide to inform DWU not to release this "Directory Information," any future requests for such information from non-institutional persons or organizations will be refused.
DWU will honor your request to withhold the "Directory Information" listed below, but cannot assume responsibility to contact you for subsequent permission to release them. Regardless of the effect upon you, DWU assumes no liability for honoring your instructions that such information be withheld.
Directory Information at Dakota Wesleyan University is defined as:
Student name, telephone number, address, campus mail box #, parents' names, hometown, high school attended, email address, dates of attendance, full time/part time status, honors, awards, special recognition, degree(s) received, major, classification (Senior, Junior, etc.), activity, photographs (still and video) and sports participation (including height and weight of team members).
If you choose to withhold directory information, you must complete a "Request to Prevent Disclosure of Directory Information" at the Registrar's Office by the end of the add/drop period. A new form for non-disclosure must be completed each academic semester. When you leave the University the non-disclosure will remain in effect until you rescind it.
Note: "Directory Information" is a term used by FERPA to designate information which may be released without your consent. Dakota Wesleyan University is committed to insuring that student information is only released for legitimate requests that will assist our students in their educational experience at Dakota Wesleyan University.
Release of Information Statement 2013