FERPA & Records Retention

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords eligible students certain rights with respect to their education records. (An “eligible student” under FERPA is a student who is 18 years of age or older or who attends a postsecondary institution.) These rights include:

  1. The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days after the day Jefferson State Community College receives a request for access. A student should submit to the Admission’s Office, dean, head of the academic department, or other appropriate official, a written request that identifies the record(s) the student wishes to inspect. The school 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 school 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 is inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights under FERPA.  A student who wishes to ask the school to amend a record should write the school 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 school decides not to amend the record as requested, the school 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 (PII) from the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. The school 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 Jefferson State Community College in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person serving on the board of trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee. A school official also may include a volunteer or contractor outside of Jefferson State Community College who performs an institutional service or function for which the school would otherwise use its own employees and who is under the direct control of the school with respect to the use and maintenance of PII from education records, such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent or a student volunteering to assist 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 Jefferson State Community College.
  4. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by Jefferson State Community College 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, D.C. 20202

The act further provides that certain portions of the student record are deemed directory information and under some circumstances may be released without the student’s written permission. Directory information includes name, current address, major, dates of attendance, full-time or part-time enrollment status, degrees and awards received and dates granted, previous educational institution(s) attended, and eligibility and participation in officially recognized activities and sports. It should be noted that current address is considered restricted directory information. These items are released only if a legitimate educational interest is established.

Note: Email addresses are not considered directory information. A student may request that all items of directory information be kept confidential by contacting the campus Admissions or Records Office. A written request is required. The request may be canceled only upon receipt of the student’s written authorization.

FERPA permits the disclosure of PII from students’ education records, without consent of the student, if the disclosure meets certain conditions found in §99.31 of the FERPA regulations. Except for disclosures to school officials, disclosures related to some judicial orders or lawfully issued subpoenas, disclosures of directory information, and disclosures to the student, §99.32 of FERPA regulations requires the institution to record the disclosure. Eligible students have a right to inspect and review the record of disclosures. A postsecondary institution may disclose PII from the education records without obtaining prior written consent of the student:

  • To other school officials, including teachers, within the [School] whom the school has determined to have legitimate educational interests. This includes contractors, consultants, volunteers, or other parties to whom the school has outsourced institutional services or functions, provided that the conditions listed in §99.31(a)(1)(i)(B)(1) – (a)(1)(i)(B)(2) are met. (§99.31(a)(1))
  • To officials of another school where the student seeks or intends to enroll, or where the student is already enrolled if the disclosure is for purposes related to the student’s enrollment or transfer, subject to the requirements of §99.34. (§99.31(a)(2))
  • To authorized representatives of the U. S. Comptroller General, the U. S. Attorney General, the U.S. Secretary of Education, or State and local educational authorities, such as a State postsecondary authority that is responsible for supervising the university’s State-supported education programs. Disclosures under this provision may be made, subject to the requirements of §99.35, in connection with an audit or evaluation of Federal- or State supported education programs, or for the enforcement of or compliance with Federal legal requirements that relate to those programs. These entities may make further disclosures of PII to outside entities that are designated by them as their authorized representatives to conduct any audit, evaluation, or enforcement or compliance activity on their behalf. (§§99.31(a)(3) and 99.35)
  • In connection with financial aid for which the student has applied or which the student has received, if the information is necessary to determine eligibility for the aid, determine the amount of the aid, determine the conditions of the aid, or enforce the terms and conditions of the aid. (§99.31(a)(4))
  • To organizations conducting studies for, or on behalf of, the school, in order to: (a) develop, validate, or administer predictive tests; (b) administer student aid programs; or (c) improve instruction. (§99.31(a)(6))
  • To accrediting organizations to carry out their accrediting functions. ((§99.31(a)(7))
  • To parents of an eligible student if the student is a dependent for IRS tax purposes. (§99.31(a)(8))
  • To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena. (§99.31(a)(9))
  • To appropriate officials in connection with a health or safety emergency, subject to §99.36. (§99.31(a)(10))
  • Information the school has designated as “directory information” under §99.37. (§99.31(a)(11))
  • To a victim of an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence or a non-forcible sex offense, subject to the requirements of §99.39. The disclosure may only include the final results of the disciplinary proceeding with respect to that alleged crime or offense, regardless of the finding. (§99.31(a)(13))
  • To the general public, the final results of a disciplinary proceeding, subject to the requirements of §99.39, if the school determines the student is an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence or non-forcible sex offense and the student has committed a violation of the school’s rules or policies with respect to the allegation made against him or her. (§99.31(a)(14))
  • To parents of a student regarding the student’s violation of any Federal, State, or local law, or of any rule or policy of the school, governing the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance if the school determines the student committed a disciplinary violation and the student is under the age of 21. (§99.31(a)(15))

Jefferson State Community College sends an annual notification of student’s rights under FERPA.  Students should also read the Jefferson State Community College Catalog and Student Handbook to become familiar with all college policies and procedures.  The Jefferson State Community College Catalog and Student HandbookReferral services are available for student needs for the college are found here, or by contacting the Dean of Enrollment Services office at 205-856-8543 or in person in the Allen Library, room 207.

  • The contents of the catalogs are for informational purposes only and are not to be considered as a contract between a student and Jefferson State. Jefferson State reserves the right to change any provision listed in this catalog without notice to individual students.
  • Information on any changes will be available in the offices of the president and the dean of Instruction. Every attempt will be made to advise students if any changes do occur. It is the student’s responsibility to know and follow all requirements.
  • College Catalogs and Student Handbooks from 1967 to the present are available in the Graduation Office and the Records Office on the Jefferson Campus in the James B. Allen Library (AL).  Digital copies from 2004 to the present are available on https://www.jeffersonstate.edu/catalogs/.  Anyone may request any information regarding previous editions at any time by contacting either office (205-856-7738-Records Office or 205-856-7793-Graduation Office) or by e-mailing [email protected].
  • Jefferson State does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or age in its admissions, programs and services in compliance with Title VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, and Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.
  • Any member of the college community who believes that he or she has been subjected to discrimination prohibited by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Pregnancy Discrimination Act, Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), or under section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, may bring the matter to the attention of any academic or administrative officer, dean, associate dean, director, supervisor, or adviser. When a written or verbal complaint has been reported to any of these individuals, the recipient of the complaint will immediately forward the complaint to the Dean of Enrollment Services.
  • Complaints involving students (student against student), may be forwarded to the Dean of Enrollment or to the responsible party, to be handled according to usual and customary student discipline procedures, as outlined in the Catalog and Student Handbook.  Also, any student wishing to file a complaint or appeal must follow the procedures located in the student handbook. Students must submit the College Policies Complaint Appeals form, in writing.
  • Campus crime statistics are reported in the Jefferson State Community College Catalog and Student Handbook and are required under the Student Right-to-Know and Campus Security Act.  All inquiries concerning the information contained in this disclosure should be directed to the Chief of Police at 205-856-6093.
  • All students are encouraged to review consumer information about Jefferson State Community College.  Consumer information is required by the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 and institutions of higher education must disclose information.  This information is beneficial to current and prospective students, and employees, and is available on the college’s website at https://www.jeffersonstate.edu/about-jscc/consumer-information/.

Records Disposition Authority


Please visit the Alabama Secretary of State’s website regarding Records Disposition Authority.

National Student Clearinghouse


Jefferson State Community College has partnered with the National Student Clearinghouse to provide enrollment and degree verifications. Third parties should direct enrollment and/or degree verification requests to National Student Clearinghouse or (703) 742-4200.