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Colby accords its students all rights under The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974. The College will not disclose information from students’ education records without the written consent of students except as permitted by the act. Exceptions include disclosure to personnel within the institution, to officials of other institutions in which students seek to enroll, to persons or organizations providing students financial aid, to accrediting agencies carrying out their accreditation function, to persons in compliance with a judicial order, and to persons in an emergency in order to protect the health or safety of students or other persons.
The College may inform a parent or legal guardian of pending disciplinary action without the student's consent if knowledge of the information is necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or other individuals or if the student is a dependent of the parent or legal guardian.
At Colby, only those persons acting in the students’ educational interest are allowed access to student education records. These include personnel in the offices of the Dean of Students, Registrar, Admissions and Financial Aid, Student Financial Services, Career Services, and Institutional Research and Assessment and to faculty members within the limitations of their need to know. This includes faculty liaisons who serve as academic advisors to varsity athletic teams and their coaches.
At its discretion, the College may disclose Directory Information in accordance with the provisions of the act. Directory Information includes a student’s name, address, telephone listing, electronic mail address, photograph, date and place of birth, major and minor fields of study, grade level, enrollment status (e.g. full-time or part-time), weight and height of members of athletic teams, dates of attendance, degrees and awards received, and the most recent educational agency or institution attended.
Students may withhold Directory Information by contacting the Dean of Students within 10 days after the first day of classes for the fall semester. Requests for nondisclosure will be honored by the institution for only one academic year; therefore, authorization to withhold directory information must be filed annually.
As a student at Colby, your Directory Information may be included in publicity about the College. In addition, press releases containing accomplishments and other Directory Information (e.g. dean’s list, graduation, other honors or activities) may be sent to local or hometown newspapers and other media unless a student contacts the Office of Communications (ext. 4353, firstname.lastname@example.org) to request that a student’s Directory Information not be included in College publicity and/or that press releases not be sent.
Students may inspect their education records, challenge any content, have a hearing if the outcome of the challenge is unsatisfactory, and submit explanatory statements for inclusion in their files if they feel the decisions of the hearing panel are unsatisfactory.
Student education records may be maintained in the offices of the Dean of Students, Registrar, Student Financial Services (Garrison-Foster), Career Services, and Admissions, along with the student's faculty advisor and within academic departments in which the student has taken courses.
Students wishing to examine their education records must make written requests to the appropriate office listing the item or items of interest. Only records covered by the act will be made available within 45 days of the requests. Students may have copies made of their records, except for an academic record for which a financial “hold” exists or a transcript of an original or source document which exists elsewhere. Copies will be made at the students’ expense at prevailing rates.
Students may not inspect the following as outlined by the act: financial information submitted by their parents; confidential letters and recommendations associated with admissions, employment, job placement, or honors to which they have waived their rights of inspection; or education records containing information about more than one student, in which case the College will permit access only to that part of the record which pertains to the inquiring student.
The College is not required to permit students to inspect and review confidential letters and recommendations placed in their files prior to January 1, 1975.
Students who believe that their education records contain information that is inaccurate or misleading may discuss the matter with the chief administrator of the office involved. If that person is in agreement with the students’ requests, the appropriate records will be amended. If not, the students will be notified within a reasonable period of time that the records will not be amended and will be informed of their right to a formal hearing.
Requests for a formal hearing must be made in writing to the Dean of Students, who, within a reasonable period, will inform students of the date, place, and time of the hearing. Students may present evidence relevant to the issues raised and may be assisted or represented at the hearing by one or more persons of their choice, including attorneys, at the students’ expense. The Dean of Students will appoint a hearing officer to conduct the hearing ans issue a decision.
The decision of the hearing panel will be based solely on the evidence presented at the hearing, will consist of written statements summarizing the evidence and stating the reasons for the decision and will be delivered to all parties concerned. The education record will be corrected or amended in accordance with the decision of the hearing panel, if the decision is in favor of the student. If the decision is unsatisfactory to the student, the student may place with the education record a statement commenting on the information in the record, or statement setting forth any reason for disagreeing with the decisions of the hearing panel. The statement will be released whenever the record in question is disclosed.
Students who believe that the adjudication of their challenges were not in keeping with the provisions of the act may request, in writing, assistance from the president of the College. Further, students who believe that their rights have been abridged may file complaints with The Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 600 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20202-4605, concerning the alleged failures of Colby to comply with the act.