Policy VI-P Policy on Student Records
This policy outlines the regulations that pertain to records of San Jacinto College students.
Records of present or former students of the College are confidential and are not public information. Therefore, the following regulations regarding student records shall apply.
1. Type of Records Maintained:
- Records maintained are:
- Academic progress
- Permanent academic data
- Attendance records
- Standardized test results
- Psychological tests and evaluations
- Discipline records
- Book records
- Office information
- Counselor’s information
- Other records related to a student’s day-to-day status
- Any other information in a file assigned to a student
- Notes and observations recorded by an individual teacher or other employee and kept for personal use are not student records except under the following conditions:
- The information is shared with someone other than a substitute for the employee.
- The information is used in preparation of student records.
- Each student record shall be identifiable as to the source.
2. Definition of Terms:
The following terms are interpreted as indicated:
- Student Records—any personally identifiable information concerning a student maintained for use by the college
- Eligible Student—a student who attends or has attended the school from which records are requested
- Custodian—the chancellor of the college district
- Custodian’s Agent—the vice chancellor, provost, presidents, vice presidents of instruction, vice presidents of student services, directors of technical education, registrars and those persons appointed by any of these to safeguard or to use student records
- E-Mail Address
- Telephone Listing
- Degrees earned and dates
- Major program of study
- Dates and terms of attendance
- Number of term hours in progress
- Previous educational institutions attended
- Eligibility for and honors and awards received with dates that the honor or award was received
- Eligibility for and participation in officially recognized activities and sports
- Weight and height of members of athletic teams and sports statistics
- Enrollment status (full-time or part-time)
- School Official—a trustee, employee, or designated agent of the school
- Legitimate Educational Interest—any interest which affects the student’s educational contact with the school.
3. Review of Records:
- A student’s file may at any time be reviewed and records no longer pertinent to the student may be destroyed. An inaccurate or inappropriate entry into the records may not be corrected or removed when an eligible student has made a request to review the record and the request has not yet been honored.
- Request for examination of personally identifiable information must be made in person in writing by the eligible student to the responsible agent. The request shall identify the specific record(s) to be examined. Requests shall be honored as soon as practical, but the request must be honored within 45 days.
- Requests for copies of student records may be made by an eligible student to the appropriate agent.
- A log of requests for a student’s records shall be maintained in the student’s file indicating all requests, date of requests, by who made, and whether or not each request was honored.
4. Accuracy of Information:
- If an eligible student believes that information in his or her educational records is inaccurate or misleading or otherwise violates the student’s privacy, a request for correction may be given in writing to the custodian of the record or other school official who is responsible for the record. If the correction is not made within a reasonable length of time (a maximum of 30 school days), the student may request a hearing. The Dean of Student Development shall serve as the hearing officer; however, if the Dean of Student Development is the custodian of the record in question or otherwise has a direct interest in the outcome of the hearing, then the Vice President of Instruction shall serve as the hearing officer.
- A hearing must be held within a reasonable length of time (a maximum of 30 school days) after the request has been made. The hearing officer shall provide the eligible student and the custodian of the record reasonable notice of the date, time and place of the hearing. In advance of the hearing, the custodian of the record shall prepare a packet containing copies of the contested records and any other relevant records or documents, including any applicable policies and procedures. The custodian of the record shall prepare a memorandum summarizing the reasons why he or she believes that the challenged record is not inaccurate or misleading or otherwise a violation of the student’s privacy. The custodian shall provide the packet and memorandum to the student and hearing officer at least one school day prior to the hearing. The student shall have a full and fair opportunity to present his or her own evidence related to the accuracy of the record. The student, at his or her own expense, may be represented by counsel or any other individual.
- The hearing officer shall prepare a written ruling within a reasonable time after the hearing (a maximum of 30 school days). The ruling must be based solely on the evidence presented at the hearing. The ruling must include a summary of the evidence and the reasons for the ruling.
- If hearing officer concludes that no correction to the record is warranted, the eligible student is to be notified and informed of the right to place in the records a statement either commenting on or setting forth a reason for disagreeing with the school’s decision.
- If the eligible student has a legitimate complaint following a hearing, it may be filed with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act Office, Department of Education, in Dallas, Texas.
- A hearing pertaining to student records may be scheduled to challenge the accuracy of recording but not the assignment or merits of a grade.
5. Release of Records:
- With the exceptions recognized in this policy, the release of student records shall require written approval of an eligible student.
- In all instances, legal directives and requirements of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 and the Texas Open Records Law pertaining to student records shall be followed.
6. Accessibility of Records:
Student records shall be accessible without consent to the following:
- Officials, faculty and staff of the college who have a legitimate educational interest in the student’s record.
- Officials of other schools in which the student seeks or intends to enroll. The student is entitled to a copy of the record forwarded to the other institutions if the student so desires.
- Individuals needing the information in connection with a student’s application for or receipt of financial aid.
- State or local officials to whom educational data must be reported.
- Legitimate organizations (ACT, CEEB, ETS) developing, validating, or administering predictive tests or student aid programs. Such data are not to be released in any identifiable form and will be destroyed by the organization after the research has been completed.
- Accrediting agencies.
- Parents of a dependent student as defined in Section 152 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954.
- In compliance with judicial order or pursuant to any lawfully issued subpoena.
- Representative of the Comptroller General of the United States, Department of Education, administrative heads of educational agencies, or state education authorities.
For purposes of this policy, a "school official" is:
- a person employed by the College in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff);
- a person or company with whom the College has contracted as its agent to provide a service (such as an attorney, auditor, health care professional or diagnostician, computer services professional, or insurer);
- a person serving on the Board of Trustees; a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee;
- a student assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks.
- representatives of hospitals and clinical sites with whom the College has a contractual relationship that permits students to receive clinical training as part of their educational programs;
- and companies or organizations with whom the College has contracted to provide plagiarism-detection services. Such companies may receive a student’s work product for purpose of comparing the student’s work with a reference database.
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 College.
- Personally identifiable information may also be released to legitimate agencies providing financial assistance to students, to organizations conducting studies for the purpose of developing, validating, or administering tests, or for the purpose of improving instruction, provided that the information is not to be revealed to a third party.
- Directory information will be released without consent by the custodian or an agent. An eligible student must object in writing within the first 12 days of fall or spring term, or first four days of a summer term, to the release of any directory information.
- The agent may require a conference with the eligible student during a review or with anyone entitled to access to any records prior to release of the records if necessary to an understanding of the records.
7. Policy Availability and Notice:
- A copy of this policy will be made available upon request to eligible students.
- At least once annually, an effort shall be made to inform eligible students of their rights under the provisions of this policy. Such effort shall be made through the college, student handbook, and each term’s class schedule.
(See Guidelines and Procedures, Section 6-9)
(Effective March 2, 1989. Revised May 2, 1994; August 11, 2008; Revised February 9, 2009; July 11, 2011)