Tennessee Technological University intends to fully comply with The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). FERPA affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. These rights include:
(1) The right to inspect and review the student's education records within 45 days of the day the University receives a request for access.
A student should submit to the registrar, dean, head of the academic department, or other appropriate official, a written request that identifies the record(s) the student wishes to inspect. The University official will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the University official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.
(2) The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes are inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights under FERPA.
A student who wishes to ask the University to amend a record should write the University official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record the student wants changed, and specify why it should be changed.
If the University decides not to amend the record as requested, the University will notify the student in writing of the decision and the student’s right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.
(3) The right to provide written consent before the University discloses personally identifiable information from the student's education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
The University discloses education records without a student’s prior written consent under the FERPA exception for disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the University in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel, human resources, academic affairs and health staff); a person or company with whom the University has contracted as its agent to provide a service instead of using University employees or officials (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 school official in performing his or her tasks.
A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibilities for the University. Upon request, the University also discloses education records without consent to officials of another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll. TTU intends to forward records upon request.
Schools may disclose, without consent, "directory" information such as a student's name, address, telephone number, date and place of birth, honors and awards, and dates of attendance. However, schools must tell parents and eligible students about directory information and allow parents and eligible students a reasonable amount of time to request that the school not disclose directory information about them. Schools must notify parents and eligible students annually of their rights under FERPA. The actual means of notification (special letter, inclusion in a PTA bulletin, student handbook, or newspaper article) is left to the discretion of each school.
The following information will be considered public directory information and may be released without student consent; however, a student may restrict the release of this information by annually notifying the registrar in writing by the last day of fall registration (or the initial registration if other than fall) that he/she does not want the information released.
Public directory information includes:
(4) The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the University to comply with the 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 20202-5901
TTU conforms to fair information practices. We must annually notify students about their rights under FERPA. The annual notification includes the procedure for a student to follow who believes his or her rights under FERPA have been violated. In addition to, or in place of, the University’s grievance procedure, students have a right to file a complaint directly to the Department of Education. Students are informed of their rights to privacy via the University's Office of Registrar's web site.
For a more detailed definition of FERPA and student rights to privacy, view the FERPA tutorial.