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Privacy of Educational Records (FERPA)

Under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, the rights of the student and the responsibilities of the institution concerning the various types of student records maintained by the institution are established. Pitt Community College supports the rights and privacies afforded each student by the Act and is in compliance with its provisions.

Within the College, only those individuals acting to facilitate the student's educational pursuits shall have access to a student's educational records. This includes instructors, advisors, department chairs, Deans, student services personnel, and other staff and faculty with an educational responsibility to the student. The College will not release educational records to individuals or agencies not associated with the College without the prior written consent of the student with the exception of those situations exempted by statute in the Act.

Each student has the right to inspect and review the educational records maintained by the College that are directly related to that student. Educational records include admission documents, registration documents, grades, and other supporting documents which are maintained in the student's permanent academic file in the Admissions and Records Office. Educational records also include tests, assignments, and grade calculations maintained by faculty in departmental files. A student does not have the right to inspect documents containing educational information related to other students.

Requests to inspect and review educational records shall be made by the student in writing to the Admissions and Records Office. The College will comply with such requests within a reasonable time period not to exceed forty- five days after the written request is made. Requests by students to challenge the contents of educational records must be made in writing to the Admissions and Records Office.

Directory information (student's name, address, e-mail address, telephone, date of birth, major, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, dates of attendance, degrees and awards received, and the most recent previous educational institute attended) may, at the discretion of the College, be released without written consent of the student in accordance with the provisions of the Act. A student may prevent disclosure of directory information by notifying the Admissions and Records Office in writing. Requests for non-disclosure must be filed annually.

Under the FERPA guidelines, an educational agency or institution may disclose personally identifiable information from an education record to appropriate parties, including parents of an eligible student, in connection with an emergency if knowledge of the information is necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or other individuals.

If PCC determines that there is an articulable and significant threat to the health or safety of a student or other individuals, we may disclose information from education records to any person whose knowledge of the information is necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or other individuals.

All official documents, such as transcripts from other colleges, become the property of PCC and cannot be returned or reissued.

A parent or eligible student may file a written complaint with the Family Policy Compliance Office regarding an alleged violation by the school to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The Office's address is: Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, S.W., Washington, DC 20202-4605.

Additional information concerning the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 may be obtained from the Admissions and Records Office or the Library.