Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
Notification of Student Rights Under FERPA
The FERPA affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. They are:
The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days of the day Rock Valley College’s Records & Registration office receives a request for access. Students should submit to the Records & Registration office written requests that identify the record(s) they wish to inspect. The college 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 college 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 Rock Valley College to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate or misleading. They should write the college official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading. If Rock Valley College decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the college will notify the student of the decision and advise the student of his or her 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 (not “Directory Information”) contained in 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 is a person employed by the college in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person or company with whom the college has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); 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 task. 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.
The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by Rock Valley College 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
600 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20202-4605
Notice of Public Student Information
Rock Valley College has designated the following categories of student information as public or directory information:
- First and last name
- Dates of attendance
- Part-time/full-time enrollment status
- Degrees/certificates earned
- Awards received
- Participation in officially recognized activities
- College-assigned e-mail address
- Height and weight of athletic participants
Such information may be disclosed by the college for any purpose at its discretion. However, the student may withhold disclosure by filing written notification with the college.
Information may be withheld by filing written notification with the Records & Registration office, located on the second floor of the Student Center, prior to the tenth day of classes each semester. Forms requesting the withholding of categories of directory information are available in the Records & Registration office.
Rock Valley College assumes that failure on the part of any student to specifically request the withholding of directory information indicates approval of disclosure.
Student Optional Disclosure of Private Mental Health Information (MHA)
Pursuant to Illinois’ Student Optional Disclosure of Private Mental Health Information Act, a student has the right to authorize the college, in writing, to disclose his or her private mental health information to a person of the student’s choosing by filling out a FERPA Authorization Form and returning it to the Records and Registration office. For additional information, please contact Records & Registration.
Please be advised that, consistent with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, 20 U.S.C. § 1232g and its regulations at 34 CFR § 99.36, the college may disclose a student’s private information to persons who need to know that information in the event of or to avert a health or safety emergency, even if those persons have not been designated by the student on his or her Student Optional Disclosure of Private Mental Health Information Act.
More About MHA
Rock Valley College is required to provide the Student Optional Disclosure of Private Mental Health Information to all newly-enrolled students.
In accordance with the Student Optional Disclosure of Private Mental Health Act, an institution of higher learning may disclose mental health information if a physician, clinical psychologist, or qualified examiner makes a determination that the student poses a clear danger to himself, herself, or others.
What Information Will Be Disclosed
Rock Valley College (RVC) is providing students the written opportunity to authorize the disclosure of certain private mental health information to a designated person of their choosing by completing and filing a FERPA Authorization Form which includes the Mental Health Act Disclosure. This policy allows students to designate a person(s) to whom RVC may disclose certain private mental health information. RVC will contact the person(s) of choice if RVC’s Personal Counseling Services determines that:
- The disclosed student poses a clear danger to oneself or to others.
- Protection is needed for the disclosed student or another person from a clear, imminent risk of serious mental or physical injury, disease or death.
- If the physician, clinical psychologist, or qualified examiner has made a determination that a student poses a clear, imminent danger to himself, herself, or others, the designated person will be contacted and notified as soon as possible but no more than 24 hours after making the determination.
Students are not required to designate a person. Should a student choose to designate a contact person, it can be anyone over the age of 18 (e.g., parent, sibling, friend, etc.).
Students may change their designation at any time.
Please note that RVC reserves the right to contact the student’s designated emergency contact as required or permitted by law.
In accordance with Rock Valley College (RVC) policy, mental health information is considered private in nature and will not be released without prior approval from the student. This policy is located in the RVC Student Handbook and College Catalog.
- Students who request to authorize the disclosure of certain private mental health information to a designated person must complete a FERPA Authorization Form (also available in the Records and Registration office located on the second floor of the Student Center on the main campus). Upon receipt, the form will be scanned and kept confidential.
- RVC students shall be given the option to rescind their authorization at any time and may also change their designated person at any time by updating the FERPA Authorization Form in the Records and Registration office.
- In the event that a physician, clinical psychologist, or qualified examiner (RVC Personal Counselor) employed by RVC makes a determination that a student poses a clear danger to himself, herself, or others, they will access the student file at the Records and Registration office to determine if the student has authorized the disclosure of certain private mental health information to a designated person by the completion and filing of a FERPA Authorization Form.
- If the student has filed a FERPA Authorization Form and the physician, clinical psychologist, or qualified examiner employed by RVC has deemed that the student poses a clear danger to himself, herself, or others, the designated person(s) will be contacted within 24 hours.
- Starting January 1, 2016, all RVC students will be notified no later than February 15, 2016, by email to their RVC student email account of the opportunity to authorize a disclosure.