2019-2020 Catalog

Privacy Rights of Parents and Students

Moraine Valley complies with all rules and regulations issued by the United States Department of Health and Human Services with respect to privacy rights of parents and students.

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) as amended This act requires that students be advised of their rights concerning education records and of certain categories of public information which the college has designated “directory information.” Moraine Valley Community College sends an email notification to all students on an annual basis explaining these rights. This notification’s purpose is to explain the requirements designed to protect the privacy of student records, student’s ability to access their record and under what conditions the records may be released. The full policy and procedures regarding the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act can be found on the college’s website.

Students have the right to inspect and review all records that meet the act’s definition of “education records.” Education records are all records maintained by the college about each student.

The following are exceptions:

  • employment records
  • medical, psychological and counseling records used solely for treatment
  • records of the Police Department
  • financial records of a student’s parents
  • confidential letters and statements of recommendations placed in records prior to Jan. 1, 1975
  • confidential letters and statements of recommendation for admission, employment or honorary recognition placed in records after Jan. 1, 1975, for which students have waived the right to inspect and review

Records are not maintained in a central location on campus. Requests to review records must be made separately to each office that maintains records. Requests must be made in writing and presented to the appropriate office. That office will have up to 45 days to honor requests. For most students these offices include the Cashier’s Office; Bookstore; Admissions; Records; Registration; Financial Aid; Corporate, Community and Continuing Education; Counseling and Career Development Center; Library; Academic Skills Center; Center for Disability Services; and Code of Conduct.

Students may challenge any information contained in education records that may be misleading or inappropriate. This right does not extend to reviewing grades unless the grade assigned by an instructor was inaccurately recorded. To challenge information in a file, students must make a written request for a hearing to the vice president of Student Development.

The hearing shall be held within a reasonable period of time after the administration has received the request. The student shall be given notice of the day, place and time well in advance of the hearing. The hearing will be conducted by three staff members and two students appointed by the vice president of Student Development. A decision of the panel will be final and based solely on the evidence presented.

If the hearing is not conducted according to the student’s expectation, he or she may insert a note of exception in the record. The institution will correct or amend any documented record in accordance with the decision of the hearing panel.

Under the act, prior written consent must be obtained before information may be disclosed to third parties unless they are exempted from this provision. These exemptions include the following:

  • requests from the college staff with a legitimate educational “need to know”
  • requests in accordance with a lawful subpoena or court order
  • requests from representatives of agencies or organizations from which students have received financial aid
  • requests from officials of other educational institutions in which students enroll
  • requests from other persons specifically exempted from the prior consent requirement by the act (certain federal and state officials, organizations conducting studies on behalf of the college, accreditary organizations)
  • requests for directory information

In accordance with the act, the college has designated the following categories of information as public. This information will be released to any inquirer with the approval of the dean of Enrollment Services unless students request that all or part of this list be withheld. These categories are the following:

  • name
  • city/town of residence
  • major field of study
  • participation in officially recognized activities and sports
  • weight and height of members of athletic teams
  • dates of attendance (including current classification and year, matriculation and withdrawal dates)
  • degrees and awards received (type of degree and date granted)

If students wish to file a request withdrawing some or all of the information in the directory classification, they should report to the Registration Office and complete the necessary form. After students file this form, the Registration Office will notify the appropriate college offices and begin to comply as soon as possible.

All information, records, and correspondence are directed only to the student. These rights to educational records transfer to the student when he/she reaches the age of 18 or attends a school beyond the high school level. Under the act, prior written consent from the students must be obtained before information may be disclosed to a third party unless they are exempted from the provision.

Requests in accordance with a lawful subpoena or court order:

This request must be routed to the dean of Enrollment Services Office. The dean will notify the owner of the student records about the lawful order to release student records. Illinois court rules require seven days before the date on which the appearance is required for a deposition, hearing, or trial. See guidelines from Illinois Council of School Attorney at iasb.com/law/FAQsubpoena.pdf.

If students have questions regarding the provisions of the act, they may contact the office of the dean of Enrollment Services, S116.