Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974 is a federal law requiring an educational institution to maintain the confidentiality of student educational records. Bethel College accords all the rights under the law to students who are declared independent. No one outside the institution shall have access to, nor will the institution disclose, any information from a student’s educational records without prior written consent of the student except to personnel within the institution who have a legitimate educational interest, to persons or organizations providing student financial aid, to accrediting agencies carrying out their accreditation function, to persons in compliance with a judicial order, and to persons in an emergency in order to protect the health and safety of students or others. All these exceptions are permitted under the act.
Within the Bethel College community, only those members, individually and collectively acting in the students’ educational interest, are allowed access to student educational records. These members include personnel in:
- Vice President for Academic Affairs Office
- Office of Admissions
- Office of the Registrar
- Student Life
- Business Office
- ACCK Computer Center
- Financial Aid Office
- Career Planning and Placement
- and other administrative and academic personnel within the limitation of the need to know
Social Security number and student status data may be provided to other state agencies for use in the detection of fraudulent or illegal claims against state monies. At its discretion, Bethel College may provide “directory information” to anyone in accordance with the provisions of the act.
Public notice designating “directory information”
Bethel College hereby designates the following student information as public or “directory information”:
- local address(es)
- telephone number(s)
- e-mail address(es)
- date of birth
- place of birth
- parent(s) and/or next of kin name(s) and address(es)
- major field(s) of study
- participation in officially recognized activities and sports
- weight and height of members of athletic teams
- dates of attendance
- enrollment status (full-time/part-time)
- degree(s) and award(s) received
- previous educational agency(ies) or institution(s) attended
Currently enrolled students may withhold disclosure of all or some of this information to non-institutional persons or organizations. To withhold disclosure, written notification must be received in the Office of the Registrar by the end of the fifth day of classes. Forms requesting the withholding of “directory information” are available in the registrar’s office. This will also keep you out of Bethel’s pictorial campus directory, published each fall. In the absence of written notification otherwise, the college assumes you approve of disclosure of this information. The directory is primarily an internal document for use by students, staff, faculty and administration, used to facilitate communication and advising. The student directory is distributed at the discretion of Bethel College. The college does not give or sell lists of students to private companies. Request for non-disclosure will remain in effect until rescinded in writing.
Open record policy
Students have the right, upon written request, to inspect and review information in their educational records maintained by the college. The college has 45 days to respond to individual requests, though in most situations this should not be necessary. Students must present appropriate identification before being permitted to review records. Students wishing to challenge the accuracy of the records are entitled to a hearing. This should be requested in writing from the vice president for academic affairs. Exceptions to the policies involving student records and public directory information are noted in Public Law 93-380 (copies are available in the registrar’s office).