Registrar

Registrar

FERPA Information for Students

Annual Notification of Rights Under FERPA for Students at Canisius College

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended (FERPA), affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. These rights are detailed below. In addition, Canisius College has established policies with respect to how information from student educational records may be shared with third parties. The full policy can be found in both the Canisius College Catalog and the Student Handbook, as well as in this message.

The College considers its students to be adult decision-makers; as such, students have the right and responsibility to share information about their grades and degree pursuit with their parents and/or guardians. This means that the staff of the College normally will not give out information about grades or degree pursuit and will suggest that parents or guardians have conversations directly with students about these matters. The staff of the College, however, may share information about grades and degree pursuit if the status of the student may change as a result of academic probation or academic dismissal, as well as in cases of reduced course loads or delay of degree completion.

Directory Information: This includes but is not limited to name, address, email address, phone number, photograph, date and place of birth, major field of study, dates of attendance, grade level, enrollment status, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, degrees, honors and awards, received, and most recent education agency or institution attended.

This information is released freely unless students specifically request that it not be by signing a form in the Office of Student Records and Registration (Bagen 106). Once you sign the form, the request for confidentiality is in effect until you ask that it be removed, or until you graduate or separate from the College.

Educational Records: This includes, but is not limited to, information about your midterm progress or final grades. This information is generally NOT released unless a student specifically requests that it be released by signing and submitting an "Authorization to Disclose Grades" form to the Office of Student Records and Registration (Bagen 106). Once you sign the form, the request for disclosure is in effect until you ask that it be removed, or until you graduate or separate from the College.

Even if you have not signed an "Authorization to Disclose Grades" form, however, Canisius policy permits release of information to the parent or guardian of a dependent child in the following circumstances: When a student is failing a course at midterm and fails to make or keep a progress appointment with the designated academic advisor, when a student has conditions placed on number and kind of courses for which s/he can register because of probationary grade point average, and/or when a student has conditions placed on number and kind of course for which s/he can register because the student has been academically dismissed but reinstated through appeal.

Additional Information regarding the College’s Policy regarding education records can be found in the Graduate and Undergraduate Catalogs.

Your Rights:

The rights students have with respect to their educational records, under FERPA, are:

(1) The right to inspect and review the student's education records within 30 days of the day the College receives a request for access. Students should submit to the registrar, dean, head of the academic department, or other appropriate official, written requests that identify the record(s) they wish to inspect. The College 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 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.

(2) The right to request the amendment of the student's education records that the student believes are inaccurate or misleading. Students may ask the 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. Forms for amending education records are available in the Office of Student Affairs, OM 102. If the 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.

(3) 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. 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 Public Safety personnel as well as Health Center and Counseling Center 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  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. The College also discloses education records without consent to officials of another school, upon request, in which a student seeks or intends to enroll.

(4) The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by Canisius 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
400 Maryland Avenue, SW.
Washington, DC, 20202-4605

(5) The right to block disclosure of directory information to persons who do not otherwise have access to personally identifiable information in student education records. Directory information includes but is not limited to name, address, email address, phone number, photograph, date and place of birth, major field of study, dates of attendance, grade level, enrollment status, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, degrees, honors and awards, received, and most recent education agency or institution attended. The College may disclose directory information unless the student has filed the appropriate form with Registrar, Bagen 106 within two weeks of the beginning of each semester.

Additional Information regarding the College’s Policy regarding education records can be found in the Graduate and Undergraduate Catalogs.

Policy on Student Records:

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended (FERPA), is the federal law governing individuals’ access to student records. The guiding principle of FERPA is that education records are private and that students have the right to limit their disclosure to third parties.

FERPA grants students the right to inspect and review their education records, the right to request to amend their education records and the right to limit disclosure of some personally identifiable information known as directory information. For purposes of FERPA, “education records” are all records which contain information directly related to a student and maintained by Canisius College. Records that are not “education records” include but are not limited to sole possession, law enforcement, employment, medical and counseling, and post-attendance records. A "student" is defined as one who has attended or is attending Canisius College and regarding whom Canisius College maintains education records.

Normally, education records will not be released – nor access given – to third parties without written consent of the student unless the party meets one of the following:

  • To school officials who have a legitimate educational interest in the records.
  • To Federal, State, and local officials involving an audit or evaluation of compliance with educational programs.
  • To anyone who is providing financial aid to the student (“financial aid” does not include any payments made by parents).
  • To organizations conducting certain studies for or on behalf of the College.
  • To accrediting organizations to carry out their functions.
  • To comply with a judicial order or a lawfully issued subpoena.
  • To parents of a dependent student.
  • To appropriate parties in a health or safety emergency.
  • To schools in which a student seeks or intends to enroll.
  • To an alleged victim of a crime of violence of the results of a disciplinary hearing regarding the alleged perpetrator of that crime with respect to that crime.
  • To parents/legal guardian when their children (under age 21) are found to have violated the Canisius College alcohol or drug policy
  • To military recruiters who request “Student Recruiting Information” for recruiting purpose only.
  • To the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for purposes of complying with the
    Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997.
  • To the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (BCIS) for purposes of the Student and Exchange Visitor Program.
  • To authorized representatives of the Department of Veterans Affairs for students receiving educational assistance from the agency.

It should be noted that FERPA permits the disclosure of education records to the parents of a dependent student. The College, however, considers its students to be adult decision-makers; as such, students have the right and responsibility to share information about their grades and degree pursuit with their parents and/or guardians. This means that the staff of the College normally will not give out information about grades or degree pursuit and will instead suggest that parents or guardians have conversations directly with students about these matters. The college’s policy provides a greater degree of privacy for dependent students than FERPA would require. If the student or the parent wish to have this information released to the parents, the student must sign an Authorization to Disclose Grades form with the Office of Student Records and Registration, Bagen 106.

A notification of releases made to third parties shall be kept in the student’s record (unless forbidden by a judicial order or subpoena). The third party shall be informed that no release of personally identifiable data is authorized without the written consent of the student.

The college has established the following procedures enabling students to have access to their records:

1. The student may inspect and review his or her record by filling out a request form at the office where the record of interest is maintained. Students may not inspect and review the following:

  • Financial information submitted by parents.
  • Confidential letters and recommendations placed in their files prior to January 1, 1975.
  • Confidential letters and statements of recommendation placed in records after January 1, 1975, to which the student has waived his or her right to inspect and review.
  • Education records containing information about more than one student; however, in such cases, students will be given access to the part of the record which pertains only to the inquiring student.

2. Access is to be granted promptly and no later than 30 days from the date of the request.

3. The student may obtain copies of documents to which he or she is entitled. The college may charge for these copies.

4. The student may request and receive interpretation of his or her record from the person (or designee) responsible for maintaining the record

Students have the right to challenge the content of their education records if they consider the information contained therein to be inaccurate, misleading or inappropriate. The process includes an opportunity for amendment of the records or insertion of written explanations by the student into such records. The procedures for challenging records can be found in the Office of Student Affairs, Old Main 102.

Unlike education records, directory information shall be released freely unless the student files the appropriate form requesting that certain information may not be released. This form is available at the Office of Student Records and Registration, Bagen 106. Directory information includes but is not limited to name, address, email address, phone number, photograph, date and place of birth, major field of study, dates of attendance, grade level, enrollment status, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, degrees, honors and awards, received, and most recent education agency or institution attended.

This policy does not preclude the destruction of any record the college does not consider germane. Persons in charge of records shall ensure that only pertinent items are retained in student files. The forms for "Request for Confidential Status of Directory Information" and "Authorization to Disclose Grades" shall be removed from a student's educational records upon graduation unless the student makes a specific request that these forms remain.