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Student Handbook

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

In compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (commonly called the Buckley Amendment), SWOSU hereby institutes the following policies effective November 19, 1974. These policies shall be published annually in the Update on Contemporary Issues. Additional copies are available to any student or interested party, on request, in the Registrar’s Office.

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) afford 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. 

    Students should submit to the registrar, DOS, head of the academic department, or other appropriate official, written requests that identify the record(s) they wish 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 is inaccurate.

    Students may ask the University to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate. They should write the University official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate. If the University decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the University will notify the student of the decision and advise the student of his or her 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 consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student's education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. One exception, which permits disclosure without consent, is 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 and health staff); a person or company with whom the University has contracted (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. Another exception permits a school to disclose personally identifiable information from education records without consent when the disclosure is to the parents of a “dependent student” as that term is defined in Section 152 of the Internal Revenue Code. Generally if either parent has claimed to student as a dependent on the parent’s most recent year’s income tax statement, the school may non-consensually disclose the eligible student’s education records to both parents under this exception. (SWOSU processes student information through the Dean of Student/Title IX Office and student consent.)

    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 responsibility. Upon request, the University discloses education records without consent to officials of another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll.
  4. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by Southwestern Oklahoma State University to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the Office that administers FERPA are:

    Family Policy Compliance Office
    U.S. Department of Education
    400 Maryland Avenue, SW
    Washington, DC 20202-4605
    202-260-3887

Directory Information

In accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, SWOSU identifies the following numbered items as "directory information." This information can be released to interested parties on a "need to know" basis unless the custodian of the record is notified in writing to the contrary by the tenth class day at the beginning of each semester:

Students who do not want their directory information to be made public must notify the Registrar no later than the 10th class day of the semester.

  1. Student's name
  2. Local and permanent address
  3. Telephone number
  4. Date and place of birth
  5. Major and field of study
  6. Academic classification
  7. Participation in officially recognized organizations, activities & sports.
  8. Weight and height of participants in officially recognized sports
  9. Educational institutions previously attended
  10. Dates of attendance at SWOSU
  11. Degrees and awards granted
  12. Degree(s) held, date(s) granted and institution(s) granting such degree(s)
  13. Part or full-time enrollment status
  14. Photographs of students
  15. E-mail address

Types of Records

In accordance with item one in the preceding subsection, SWOSU provides the following list of educational records maintained and the title of the individual(s) in custody of those records:

type of records
Record Type Custodian of Record
Academic Registrar
Discipline Dean of Students, Dean of the College of Pharmacy
Health University Nurse
Placement Director of Placement
Financial Aid Director of Student Financial Services
Admissions Registrar/Admissions Counselor

An official copy of the Student Privacy Rights can be found in the Registrar's Office, Hays Administration Building, Room 108, (580)774-3777.

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