The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. These rights are:
- The right to inspect and review the student's education records within 45 days of the day the College receives a written request for access. Students should submit to the registrar a written request that identifies the record(s) they wish to inspect. The registrar 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 Office of the Registrar, the registrar 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 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 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. Changes of grades are an exception to this policy. The current policy, published in this catalog, regarding grade changes is not affected by a student's right to request an amendment to his/her educational records.
- The right to restrict disclosures of personally identifiable information (a.k.a. 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 defined as a person employed by the University in an administrative, supervisory, academic, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit 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 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 second exception permits disclosure of personally identifiable information to governing agencies to which the College must report. The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) collects both directory and non-directory information (including social security numbers) regarding students enrolled at Odessa College. Any student who wishes to restrict the disclosure of directory information may do so by completing the appropriate form in the Office of the Registrar. When this form is completed, the Office of the Registrar will relay that restriction to the THECB, who will enforce that restriction when redisclosing student information to other parties.
- The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the 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, S.W.
Washington, DC 20202-4605