The Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) establishes policies of the law under which a student may have access to educational records on that student that are maintained by the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, and under which those records may be disclosed by the Middlebury Institute to others.
"Students" are defined as those individuals who have applied for admission to the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, were admitted, and are or have been enrolled in classes for credit at the Middlebury Institute. FERPA does not apply to records of applicants for admission to the Middlebury Institute who are denied acceptance or, if accepted, do not enroll in classes for credit, whether or not previously or currently enrolled in a different entity within Middlebury College.
B. "Education Records"
"Education records" are those records that are directly related to and identify the student, and that are maintained by the Middlebury Institute for the purpose of providing educational services to the student. The Middlebury Institute does not maintain audio, video, and digitized records for this purpose. For example, if an email contains information that is part of a student’s educational record, the contents of that email will be recorded other than on the Middlebury Institute’s email system.
"Education records" also do not include:
- Records made by or stored by instructional, supervisory, administrative, and educational personnel that are in the sole possession or access of, or within the privacy expectations of the maker, e.g., a faculty member's grade book, or a dean's advising notes.
- Records relating to individuals who are employed by the Middlebury Institute that are made and maintained in the normal course of business and relate exclusively to individuals in their capacity as employees.
- Records relating to a student that are (1) created or maintained by a physician, psychiatrist, psychologist, or other recognized professional acting in his or her professional capacity or assisting in a paraprofessional capacity; (2) used solely in connection with the provision of treatment to the student; and (3) not disclosed to anyone other than individuals providing such treatment (or to a physician or other appropriate professional of the student's choice).
- Records that contain information relating to a person after that person is no longer a student at the Middlebury Institute (e.g., information gathered on the accomplishments of alumni).
- Records created and maintained by the Middlebury Institute in connection with its Campus Security Department for law enforcement purposes.
- Records created for purposes of legal compliance or to secure or act upon the advice of attorneys for the Middlebury Institute.
C. " Directory Information"
The Middlebury Institute determines the following to be student "directory information" which may be available to the public if the student has not restricted its release:
- Home address (while enrolled at the Institute)
- College address
- Campus telephone number
- E-mail address
- Dates of attendance and graduation
- Class standing, e.g., first-year student, second-year student
- Major field(s) of study
- Degrees received
- Honors and awards received
"Directory information" for purposes of FERPA is not the same as the information that is available in the on-line Middlebury Institute directory, where students may choose their own options for how others may access their data both on campus and off campus, when searching the online directory.
The Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey without the student’s written consent will not disclose education records unless disclosure is permitted by certain exceptions under FERPA, which exceptions are summarized in this policy below.
B. Student's Written Consent
The student's written, signed consent must:
- Specify the records to be released;
- Identify the party or class of parties to whom the records should be released;
- Indicate the reason for the release.
C. Student Access to Educational Record
FERPA provides that students are permitted to inspect their own education records. A student has the right to:
- Inspect and review his or her education records;
- Request an amendment to an education record if the student believes there is an inaccuracy;
- Restrict the release of his or her "Directory Information" from public access;
- File a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education if he or she feels the Institute has failed to follow FERPA guidelines.
D. Administering Office
The Records Office is responsible for the administration of this FERPA policy at the Middlebury Institute. Students and others who have questions regarding the treatment of specific information in a specific circumstance should contact a staff member in the Records Office.
Without the student's written, signed consent, FERPA generally prohibits the release of information in a student’s education record. Other than for "directory information" (the release of which the student has agreed to) it may be expected by the student that personally identifiable student data will be held confidential. Examples of confidential information include, but are not limited to, social security number, date of birth, ethnicity, country of citizenship, class schedules (including meeting times and locations), grades, grade point averages, and parents' or guardians' names and addresses.
Students cannot expect that the following information will be held confidential:
A. Directory Information
Directory information, as defined above, may be made available to the public if the student has not restricted its release. The Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey will honor requests to restrict release of directory information but cannot assume responsibility for contacting students to later request their permission to release this directory information. Students should consider very carefully the consequences of any decision to restrict release of directory information. When a student instructs the Middlebury Institute to not release directory information, any future requests for such information from persons or organizations outside the Middlebury Institute will be refused, unless a legal exception applies, or unless the student subsequently files a written request that the information be released. Requests to restrict release of directory information must be submitted in writing to the Records Office. Forms for making such requests may be obtained from the Records Office.
B. Disclosure For Legitimate Educational Interest
Education record information may be disclosed for a legitimate educational interest, without the student's written consent, if disclosure is to a person at the Middlebury Institute or agent of the Middlebury Institute, such as a person employed by the Middlebury Institute in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or support staff position (including campus security staff); a person or company with whom the Middlebury Institute has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); a person serving on the Board of Trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another Middlebury Institute official in performing his or her tasks. A legitimate educational interest means that the information in the education record is for the person to perform a function in relation to the Middlebury Institute.
C. Other Exceptions
Education record information may be disclosed without the student's written consent in the following instances:
- To the student.
- If it is "Directory Information" and the student has not restricted its release.
- If properly subpoenaed pursuant to a judicial, legislative, or administrative proceeding, in which case the Middlebury Institute will make a reasonable attempt to notify the student of the subpoena, in cases where FERPA applies, prior to the release of the information, unless the subpoena specifically directs that the student is not to be notified.
- In connection with the student's application or receipt of financial aid, as necessary to determine the eligibility, amount or conditions of the financial aid, or to enforce the terms or conditions of the aid.
- In connection with audits or evaluation of federal or state supported educational programs requiring disclosure of information.
- To effect collection of past due financial obligations to the Middlebury Institute.
- To authorized representatives of the Comptroller General of the United States, the Attorney General of the United States, the Secretary of the Department of Education, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services bureau of the Department of Homeland Security (with respect to international students), or state or local educational authorities.
- To the Veterans Administration to determine compliance with educational assistance.
- In connection with a health or safety emergency as determined by the Institute.
- To parents of financially dependent students.
A student has the right to inspect and review his or her education record within 45 days of submitting a request to the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey for such access. Students wishing to review their educational record should submit to the Records Office a written notice to that effect. The Records Office will notify the student of a convenient time for the review.
FERPA does not provide the student with the right to access records that are not within the educational record, such as:
- Records made by or stored by instructional, supervisory, administrative, and educational personnel that are in the sole possession, access of, or within the privacy expectations of, the maker, e.g., a faculty member's grade book, or a dean's advising notes.
- Parents' financial records used for financial aid purposes.
- Confidential letters and statements of recommendation placed in the student's education record prior to January 1, 1975, or confidential recommendations to which the student has given prior written waiver of access and which are used for job placement, admission, or award purposes.
- Admissions-supporting documentation such as letters of recommendation, readers' notes, and interview reports.
- Records related to student employees of the Middlebury Institute in their capacity as employees.
AMENDMENT OF RECORDS
A student may request amendment of the student's education records that the student believes are inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the student's privacy rights.
The student should submit a request for amendment of a student’s education record in writing. The request should state what record the student believes is inaccurate or identify the part of a record the student wants changed, and should state why the student believes the record is inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the student's privacy rights. If the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey decides not to amend a record as requested, the Middlebury Institute will notify the student of its decision and advise the student of his or her right to a hearing regarding the issue. Additional information regarding a hearing procedure will be provided to the student when notified of such decisions.
FERPA was not intended to provide a process to be used by students to question substantive judgments that are accurately recorded. The FERPA rights of challenge are not intended to allow a student to contest, for example, a grade in a course because he or she felt a higher grade should have been assigned. FERPA is intended to ensure the accurate nature of the information in the student's education records and the student's right to verify that information.
If the Middlebury Institute decides, as a result of a hearing, not to amend the education record in accordance with the student's request, the student may place a written statement in the record commenting upon the information therein, and/or setting forth any reason for disagreement with the institutional decision not to amend the record. Such a statement will become part of the student's education record and will be disclosed with it.
A student has the right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey to comply with requirements of 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 20202-5920.