Educational Records Policy
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (Notification to Students) Policy
Western Illinois University, in full compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, shall make educational records available to students upon request. Likewise, in accordance with the law, individually identifiable educational records will not be released to other than authorized individuals without written consent of the student. Students have the right to file complaints with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) Office concerning alleged failures by the institution to comply with the Act.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. (An “eligible student” under FERPA is a student who is 18 years of age or older or who attends a postsecondary institution.) These rights include:
- T he right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days after the day Western Illinois University receives a request for access. A student should submit to the registrar, dean, head of the academic department, or other appropriate official, a written request that identifies the record(s) the student wishes to inspect. The school 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 school official to whom the request was submitted, that official 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, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights under FERPA.
A student who wishes to ask the school to amend a record should write the school official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record the student wants changed, and specify why it should be changed.
If the school decides not to amend the record as requested, the school will notify the student in writing of the decision and of the student’s 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.
- The right to provide written consent before the university discloses personally identifiable information (PII) from the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
The school discloses education records without a student’s prior written consent under the FERPA exception for disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by Western Illinois University in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person serving on the board of trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee. A school official also may include a volunteer or contractor outside of Western Illinois University who performs an institutional service or function for which the school would otherwise use its own employees and who is under the direct control of the school with respect to the use and maintenance of PII from education records, such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent or a student who is volunteering to assist 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 responsibilities for Western Illinois University.
Upon request, the school also discloses education records without consent to officials of another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll. The Access to and Release of Student Information Policy ( wiu.edu/policies ) includes additional disclosures that are permitted by FERPA without prior written consent.
- The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by Western Illinois University to comply with the requirements by 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
Western Illinois University considers the following categories to be directory information, and, as such, may release it to any or all inquirers in such forms as news releases, directories, or computer address lists:
- the student’s name,
- shool and home address,
- WIU e-mail address,
- telephone number,
- major field of study,
- dates of attendance,
- f ull- or part-time status,
- degrees, honors, and awards received (including Dean’s List) and date granted,
- anticipated graduation date,
- most recent previous educational agency or institution attended,
- participation in officially recognized activities and sports, and for members of athletic teams, weight and height.
Students who do not wish this information to be released may prevent such release by submitting an Exclusion of Directory Information Form to the Office of the Registrar, Sherman Hall 110. The request for exclusion of directory information will be honored indefinitely; however, it does not affect directory information already published or released. By requesting exclusion of directory information, students should be aware that all future requests for this information by anyone other than school officials with legitimate educational interests will be refused.