The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, commonly referred to as FERPA, is a federal law designed to protect the privacy of your student education records (defined below). The information in your education record is yours, and you have the right view it, request changes to it, and make it confidential. FLC is responsible for protecting your education record. We can only share that information under certain circumstances, which are explained below. Read down for more information about FERPA and the privacy of your education record.
FERPA protects all current and former FLC students, including students under the age of 18. Prospective students' records, like application materials, are not protected until they are officially "attending" FLC, which begins on the first day of classes of the student’s first term of enrollment.
FERPA only protects "education records", which are records that are directly related to you and maintained by Fort Lewis College or an organization acting for FLC, like the National Student Clearinghouse.
However, not all information about you is considered part of your "education record". The following are not considered "education records":
FERPA gives you the right to:
Generally, Fort Lewis College can't disclose your personally identifiable information (PII) or education record to anyone other than you without your prior written consent. However, there are exceptions (FERPA §99.31).
The circumstances under which Fort Lewis College may disclose information from a student's education record without their consent include, but may not be limited to, the following:
A "school official" is defined as:
A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official is:
What is NOT a "legitimate educational interest"?
Under FERPA, Fort Lewis College may, but is not required to, disclose "directory information" without a student's consent or knowledge.
Students may request confidentiality of their education record, including their directory information, at any time. Please see the next section for details.
At Fort Lewis College, the following is considered "directory information":
IMPORTANT NOTE: Although Fort Lewis College has designated the information listed above as directory information, FLC officials disclose only a limited amount of this information on a routine basis. The College retains the right to refuse disclosure of directory information if it believes such disclosure would be an infringement on student privacy rights, or if disclosure would put the student in danger.
*As outlined in College policy, FLC recognizes that some faculty, staff, and students may prefer to use a first name other than their legal name. The College is committed to making every effort to use preferred first names whenever possible in the course of College business and education. This includes, but it is not limited to, the use of preferred first names in email address, directory listings, recognitions, and any printed materials. Please be aware that, when communicating with a third party about a student, it may be necessary to use their legal name, rather than their preferred name.
Although Fort Lewis College may release directory information, FLC officials disclose only a limited amount of this information on a routine basis. The College retains the right to refuse disclosure of directory information if it believes such disclosure would infringe on student privacy rights, or if disclosure would put the student in danger.
Students may also make their education record completely confidential at any time, should they so choose, using our Confidentiality/Student Record Privacy Request form. Students can also remove a confidentiality restriction at any time. If a student requests that their record remain confidential:
Now that your student is in college, the best way to find out how they are doing in their classes is to talk with them.
When a student reaches the age of 18 or begins attending a post-secondary institution (e.g. Fort Lewis College), regardless of age, FERPA rights transfer from the parent/legal guardian to the student. Fort Lewis College officials will not disclose information from a student's record to their parent(s)/legal guardian(s) in the absence of their student's signed consent.
Fort Lewis College officials reserve the right to refuse to disclose a student's information to a parent/legal guardian, even if the student has signed a FERPA release for them.
If you have additional questions or concerns, stop by Skyhawk Station, send us an email, or give us a call at 970-247-7301. We’re here to help!