Student Records & Privacy Act (FERPA)
Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act (FERPA)
College of the Desert student education records are maintained in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974 and the California Education Code, Sections 76200 et seq and Title 5, Sections 54600, et seq., U.S. Patriot Act; Civil Code 1798.85. Written student consent is required for access and release of information defined as educational records in federal and state law as described in College of the Desert Board Policy 5040. More information about the federal regulation may be found here Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
Students will be notified of their FERPA rights annually by publication in the College Catalog and by email to their COD email address. Questions regarding annual notification can be directed to the Admissions & Records Office.
Amendment of Student Records
Any student may file a written request with the appropriate dean to correct or remove information recorded in his or her student records that the student alleges to be: (1) inaccurate; (2) an unsubstantiated personal conclusion or inference; (3) a conclusion or inference outside of the observer’s area of competence; or (4) not based on the personal observation of a named person with the time and place of the observation noted.
Within 30 days of receipt of the request, the Superintendent/President or designee shall meet with the student and the employee who recorded the information in question, if any, if the employee is presently employed by the District. Should the employee no longer be employed, the appropriate dean will meet with the student. The Superintendent/President or designee shall then sustain or deny the allegations.
If the Superintendent/President or designee sustains any or all of the allegations, he or she shall order the correction or removal and destruction of the information. If the Superintendent/President or designee denies any or all of the allegations and refuses to order the correction or removal of the information, the student, within 30 days of the refusal, may appeal the decision in writing to the Board of Trustees.
Within 30 days of receipt of an appeal, the Board of Trustees shall, in closed session with the student and the employee who recorded the information in question, if any, and if that employee is presently employed by the District, determine whether to sustain or deny the allegations. If the Board of Trustees sustains any or all of the allegations, it shall order the Superintendent/President or designee, to immediately correct or remove and destroy the information. The decision of the Board of Trustees shall be final.
If the final decision is unfavorable to the student, the student shall have the right to submit a written statement of his or her objections to the information. This statement shall become a part of the student’s record until the information objected to is corrected or removed.
Disclosure of Educational Records
The District may permit access to student records to any person for whom the student has executed written consent specifying the records to be released and identifying the party or class of parties to whom the records may be released. The District may not permit access to student records to any person without the written consent of the student or under judicial order except:
- To officials and employees of the District who have a legitimate educational interest to inspect a record. A school official is:
– A person employed by the District in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, support staff, or security position.
– A person elected to the Board of Trustees.
– A student government officer conducting student elections.
– A person employed by or under contract to the District to perform a special task, such as the attorney or auditor.
School officials have a legitimate educational interest if they are:
– Performing a task that is specified in their position description or by a contract agreement.
– Performing a task related to a student’s education.
– Performing a task related to the discipline of a student.
– Providing a service or benefit relating to the student such as health care, counseling, job placement, or financial aid.
- To officials of another school or school system, upon request, in which a student seeks, intends, or is directed to enroll, including local, county, or state correctional facilities where educational programs are provided.
- To certain officials of the U. S. Department of Education, the Comptroller General, and state and local educational authorities, in connection with certain state or federally supported education programs.
- In connection with a student’s request for or receipt of financial aid, as necessary to determine the eligibility, amount, or conditions of the financial aid, or to enforce the terms and conditions of the aid.
- To other state and local officials or authorities to the extent that information is specifically required to be reported pursuant to state law adopted prior to November 19, 1974.
- To organizations conducting certain studies for or on behalf of the College.
- To organizations conducting studies for, or on behalf of, educational agencies or institutions for the purpose of developing, validating, or administering predictive tests, student aid programs, and improving instruction.
- To accrediting organizations in order to carry out their accrediting functions.
- To comply with a judicial order or a lawfully issued subpoena.
- To appropriate persons in connection with an emergency if the knowledge of that information is necessary to protect the health or safety of a student or other persons.
- To an alleged victim of any crime of violence, or the results of an institutional disciplinary proceeding against the alleged perpetrator of that crime with respect to that crime.
Inspection & Review of Educational Records
All currently enrolled or former students have a right to inspect and review all student records relating to them. Student record is defined according to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). To access any student documentation, students must file a letter of request with the Admissions & Records Office. Access shall be granted no later than 15 school days following the date the written request is received. Within the same 15 school days, the student will be notified of the location of all official student records if not centrally located and qualified personnel will be made available to interpret records where appropriate. At that time the student must present appropriate identification verifying their identity.
Release of Student Information
The District does not release student record information without the written consent of the student, except as outlined under Disclosure of Education Records. Although the District adheres to this policy, the law allows the College to release student directory information, except when students have specifically requested that directory information be kept confidential. Directory information may be released by exception upon determination of the Vice President or designee, that such release is appropriate and not likely to put students at risk. The District directory information shall include:
- Name, address, phone number, internet address, dates of attendance, major field of study, awards, certificates and degrees received, previous institutions, current enrollment status, photographs, date, and place of birth.
- Student participation in officially recognized activities and sports including weight, height, and high school of graduation of athletic team members.
- Degrees and awards received by students, including honors, scholarship awards, athletic awards, and Dean’s List recognition.
In completing the admission application, students are provided the opportunity to request that their directory information be maintained as confidential. Students who wish to change their request may do so in writing to the Admissions & Records Office. (Education Code, section 76240; Title 5 section 54626)
Questions concerning student rights under the privacy act should be directed to the Admissions & Records Office 760.776.2516.
An official transcript of a student’s record may be obtained by completing an online request on the Admissions & Records Office webpage under “COD Transcripts.” This process has several options of delivery service and the processing time varies according to the service selected.
Sealed transcripts sent directly from the College to the destination requested by the student are considered official. Current students may print an unofficial transcript for their own records via the web.