Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC)

Community College of Allegheny County

FERPA–Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974, otherwise known as the Buckley Amendment, allows students access to their own school records and sets guidelines for the viewing of a student’s records by outside agencies. CCAC has adopted a student records policy which is a consistent general statement appearing on all registration forms.

The college is subject to the provision of and complies with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974. A statement of the college policy can be found in the college catalog, the dean of Student Development office, the Registration and Advisement office and the Academic Deans office. The college not only provides a student access to his or her official records, but also provides an opportunity to challenge those records on the grounds that they are inaccurate, misleading or otherwise inappropriate.

Written permission of the student must be obtained before releasing personal information about that student. The policy lists the following rights of students regarding their official records:

  • Right to inspect and review information contained in educational records.

  • Right to challenge the contents of their educational records.

  • Right to submit an explanatory statement for inclusion in the educational records if the outcome of the hearing is unsatisfactory.

  • Right to prevent disclosure, with certain exceptions or personally identifiable information.

  • Right to secure a copy of the college policy, which includes the location of all educational records.

  • Right to file complaints with the Department of Health, Education and Welfare, concerning the alleged failures by institutions to comply with the act.

The college policy also lists the materials to which the students do not have access. This information includes parents’ confidential financial statements; medical, psychiatric or similar records which are confidential in nature and only available to professionals and paraprofessionals; confidential letters and letters of recommendation which were placed in the educational records prior to January 1, 1975; and records issued by another educational agency or institution prior to a student’s first registration at the college.

Students should be aware that the college (at the discretion of the Assistant Dean of Academic Management) releases directory information requested by interested persons or agencies, unless the student submits a written request to the college (addressed to the director of Registration & Advisement at the campus attended) that any or all of this information should not be released. Directory information includes a student’s current and former name, postal and email addresses, registration period(s), number of credits, program of study and degrees awarded.

Due to amendments to FERPA, CCAC will disclose student information to state agencies for longitudinal studies on student outcomes. Students may opt-out. For more information, see the Student Handbook.