Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA)
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA”) affords eligible students certain rights with respect to their education records. An eligible student is an individual for whom California Institute of the Arts (“CalArts”) maintains education records, and who is or has been enrolled in and attended CalArts, the Los Angeles Conservatory of Music, or the Chouinard Art Institute.
These rights include:
The right to inspect and review education records, with certain exceptions.
Education records are defined as records maintained by CalArts, or persons acting for CalArts, that contain information directly related to the student.
Students who wish to review their education records must submit a written request to the Office of the Registrar identifying the specific records they wish to review; as a general rule, a request to review “all records” is not sufficiently specific. CalArts will make the education records available for inspection by the student within forty-five days of receiving the written request, and the Office of the Registrar will notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. A student will not typically be provided with copies of any part of their record other than the transcript.
FERPA does not provide students with the right to access certain records, including but not limited to financial records of a parent, and confidential letters or statements of recommendation for admission, employment, or honorary recognition. In addition, where a record contains information that concerns more than one student, a student requesting inspection will be informed about the information only insofar as it pertains to that student.
The right to seek to amend education records.
Students who believe that specific items contained in their education records are inaccurate, misleading, or an invasion of privacy may seek to have their records amended.
Requests to amend education records must be submitted in writing to the Office of the Registrar, clearly identifying the record(s) that the student seeks to have amended and specifying the reasons they believe the record(s) to be inaccurate, misleading, or an invasion of privacy. If CalArts declines to amend the records as requested, the Registrar will notify the student in writing of the decision and advise the student of their right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. If, after the hearing, CalArts determines that no amendment will be made to the record(s), the student has the right to place in their records a statement commenting upon the information and/or setting forth any reasons for disagreeing with the decision of CalArts. This statement will be maintained and released with future requests for information regarding the student.
The right to seek to amend an education record under this procedure may not be used to question substantive educational judgments that have been correctly recorded, or to contest a final grade or other written evaluations that reflect institutional judgment of the quality of a student's academic and artistic performance. For example, FERPA does not give a student the right to contest a grade given in a course, but does give the student the right to seek to correct an improperly recorded grade.
The right to exercise certain control over the disclosure of information contained in the student’s education records.
Personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records may not be disclosed without the student’s prior written consent, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
CalArts has designated the following student information as directory information: name; address; telephone number; email address; date and place of birth; dates (terms) of attendance; enrollment status (full-time/part-time status and class level); degrees and awards received; program of study; photographs; most recent previous school attended; and participation in officially recognized activities. Directory information does not include social security number, student ID number, race, ethnicity, nationality, or gender.
FERPA does not require consent for the disclosure of “directory information,” which may be disclosed for any purpose, at the discretion of CalArts. Students who wish to restrict the release of their directory information must notify the Office of the Registrar in writing. Upon receipt of this request, a hold will be placed to prevent further disclosure of directory information. This hold will then remain in effect until the student files a written request to remove it.
Additionally, FERPA does not require consent for disclosure of information to “school officials” with “legitimate educational interest.” A “school official” is any person employed by CalArts in any administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position; any person or company with whom CalArts has contracted to provide a service to or on behalf of CalArts (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agency); any person serving on CalArts’ Board of Trustees; or any student serving on an official committee. A school official has a “legitimate educational interest” if the official needs to review specific information in an education record in order to fulfill the official’s professional responsibility.
FERPA identifies other exceptions in which CalArts is permitted, and sometimes required, to make disclosures of personally identifiable information from student records without the student's prior written consent. Some of these exceptions are (i) to schools where the student plans to enroll or transfer; (ii) in connection with financial aid for which the student has applied or which the student has received; (iii) to authorized representatives of the U. S. Comptroller General, the U.S. Attorney General, the U.S. Secretary of Education, or state and local educational authorities; (iv) in connection with studies conducted for the purpose of development and validation of predictive tests, administration of student aid programs, or improvement of instruction; (v) to accrediting organizations to carry out their accrediting functions; (vi) to parents of an eligible student if the student is a dependent for IRS tax purposes; (vii) to comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena; (viii) to appropriate parties including, but not limited to, parents of an eligible student, whose knowledge of the information is necessary to protect the health or safety of a student or another individual; (ix) to the general public, the final results of a disciplinary proceeding if CalArts determines the student is an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence or non-forcible sex offense, and the student has committed a violation of the school’s rules or policies with respect to the allegation made against him or her; (x) to the victim of a crime of violence or non forcible sexual offense, who will be provided with the results of a disciplinary hearing conducted by CalArts against the alleged perpetrator; and (xi) to parents of a student regarding the student's violation of any federal, state, or local law, or of any rule or policy of CalArts, governing the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance if the student is under the age of 21. Information concerning these and other exceptions is available through the Registrar’s Office.
A student may not use the withholding of directory information to prevent CalArts from disclosing or requiring the student to disclose their name, identifier, or e-mail address in a class in which the student is enrolled, or to prevent disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests, or to prevent disclosure otherwise required or permitted by law.
The right to file a complaint for alleged violations of their FERPA rights.
Students who have questions about their FERPA rights should be directed to the Registrar. Official complaints are submitted in writing within 180 days of the alleged violation to the US Department of Education at the following address:
The Family Policy Compliance Office
US Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue SW
Washington DC 20202-5920