The purpose of this page is to provide basic FERPA information for Bluegrass Community and Technical College faculty and staff. BCTC is legally and ethically obligated to protect the confidentiality of our students. In our high-tech environment, how we handle or mishandle student information could have significant consequences.
Please visit the FERPA F.A.Q.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, commonly known as FERPA, or the Buckley Amendment, is a federal law governing the privacy of educational records. FERPA gives students five rights:
FERPA defines an educational record as: "Information about a student that is maintained by the university as part of the educational process."
The following are not considered educational records:
Be aware, though, that contents of an educational record may appear in a variety of forms, such as:
FERPA allows colleges and universities to classify part of the educational record as "directory information". Normally, schools may disclose directory information without the written consent of the student. Directory information includes:
Students have the right to require that directory information about them not be disclosed. To activate a privacy flag, a student must submit a request in writing to the Registrar's Office. Please note that students who request suppression of directory information usually do so for serious, even dangerous, circumstances. It is critical that their absolute privacy be protected in every situation.
If a student has elected to suppress all directory information, the college will respond to all inquiries as follows:
"There is no information available for any student by that name."
Non-Directory Information is any educational record not classified as directory information (this includes grades, social security number, GPA, etc...). This private information may not be released to anyone, including parents of the student, without written consent from the student. College staff may access this information only if they have a legitimate need to use it to fulfill official duties. There are some legitimate exceptions to this rule, however. Directory and non-directory information may be released without the student's consent in the following instances:
Please remember that if you have access to student data, you are responsible for its proper handling. No matter what the form or content, you are accountable for handling student records in accordance with the law and college policy. It is always better to err on the side of caution where confidential information is concerned. Please contact the Registrar's Office if you have any further questions.