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2013-2014 Catalog

Registration & Records

Student Records / FERPA


Registration Information | Student Records | Undergraduate Transfer Credit | Graduate Transfer Credit

Notice of Student Rights
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. These rights are as follows:

1.     Students have the right to inspect and review their education records within 45 days of the day the university
        receives the request.

2.     Students have the right to request the amendment of their education records that they believe are inaccurate,
        misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights under FERPA. If the university denies a
        student's requested amendment, the student has the right to a hearing regarding the requested amendment to
        his/her education record.

3.     Students have the right to provide written consent before the university discloses personally identifiable
        information in their education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without
        consent.

4.     Students have the right to file a complaint with the U. S. Department of Education concerning alleged
        failures by the university to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the Office
        that administers FERPA is:

        Family Compliance Office 
        U.S. Department of Education
        400 Maryland Avenue, S.W. 
        Washington, D.C. 20202-5901. 

Definitions Related to FERPA:

Act : Refers to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy act of 1974, as Amended, enacted as Section 438 of the General Education Provisions Act (20 U.S.C. 1232g).

Agent : A person or business formally authorized to act on another’s behalf.

Attendance : Is defined currently to include attendance in person or by correspondence, including participation via paper correspondence, video conference, satellite, Internet or other electronic or telecommunication method where students are not physically present in a classroom. (A “student” is defined as an individual who is or has been “in attendance” at an educational agency or institution and regarding whom the agency or institution maintains education records.)

Directory Information : Information contained in an education record of a student that generally would not be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed. Within guidelines of FERPA, the following is considered “Directory Information” at UH-Victoria and the institution will release and make available to the public unless notified by the student to withhold release of this information:

  • Name
  • Address (all addresses listed in myUHV)
  • University issued Email address
  • Telephone listing
  • Date of birth
  • Photograph
  • Classification (undergraduate or graduate)
  • Major, degrees and awards received
  • Dates and types of awards received
  • Dates of attendance (ex. Fall 2001 to Fall 2005)
  • Most recent previous educational agency or institution attended
  • Enrollment status (full-time or part-time)
  • Participation in officially recognized activities or sports
  • Weight and height of members of athletic teams.
If a student does not want “directory information” regarding him or her to be released (i.e., opt out of directory information disclosures), the student can update their records by logging into Student Self-Service (see Campus Personal Information/Privacy Settings) to place a privacy restriction on their records. The student may also notify the Office of the Registrar and Student Records in writing at 3007N. Ben Wilson, Victoria, TX 77901, or submit the Request to Withhold Public Information Form in person to the Office of the Registrar (University West Building, Room 122), or by fax to (361) 580-5545.

A student's request to opt out of directory information disclosure remains in effect until the student “releases” the hold in the Student Self-Service system or revokes the request in writing to the Office of the Registrar and Student Records. (The Withhold Public Information Form can also be found at:

http://www.uhv.edu/oar/pdf/request_to_withhold_public_information.pdf )

Note: An opt out of directory information disclosures does not prevent a school from identifying a student by name or from disclosing a student’s electronic identifier or institutional email address in class. The right to opt out of directory information disclosures does not include a right to remain anonymous in class, and may not be used to impede routine classroom communications and interactions, whether the class is held in a specified physical location or online through electronic communications.

Education Institution (or Agency): Generally means (1) any public or private agency or institution (including governing boards which provide administrative control or direction of a College system) of post-secondary education that (2) receives funds from any federal program under the administrative responsibility of the Secretary of Education. The term refers to the institution as a whole, including all of its components (e.g., schools or departments in a College).

Education Records: Those records directly related to a student and maintain by the institution or by a party acting for the institution. The Office of the Registrar and Student Records retains a minimum of the following documents in a student’s permanent education record: approval letter(s), application form(s), transfer transcripts, undergraduate and graduate admission test scores (if applicable), degree plan, and any other document(s) pertaining to the student’s academic career at UHV. The term “education records” does not include the following:

  •  records of institutional, supervisory, administrative, and certain educational personnel which are in the sole possession of the maker and are not accessible or revealed to any other individual except a substitute who performs on a temporary basis (as defined in the institutional personnel policy) the duties of the individual who made the records
  • records maintained by a law enforcement unit of the education agency or institution that were created by that law enforcement unit for the purpose of law enforcement.
  • records relating to individuals who are employed by the institution which are made and maintained in the normal course of business, relate exclusively to individuals in their capacity as employees, and are not available for use for any other purpose. (Records of individuals in attendance at an institution who are employed as a result of their status as students are education records, e.g.; work-study, graduate assistance.)
  • records relating to a student (see the definition of “eligible student”) which are (1) created or maintained by a physician, psychiatrist, psychologist, or other recognized professional or paraprofessional acting in his or her professional capacity or assisting in a paraprofessional capacity; (2) used solely in connection with the provision of treatment to the student; and (3) not disclosed to anyone other than individuals providing such treatment, so long as the records can be personally reviewed by a physician or other appropriate professional of the student’s choice. (Appropriateness may be determined by the institution.) “Treatment” in this context does not include remedial educational activities or activities which are part of the program of instruction at the institution.
  • records of an institution which contain only information relating to a person after that person is no longer a student at the institution (e.g., information gathered on the accomplishments of alumni).

Eligible Student: Means a student who has reached 18 years of age OR is attending an institution of post-secondary education.

Enrolled Student: For the purposes of this publication, this term refers to a student who has satisfied all of the institutional requirements for attendance at the institution. The Family Policy Compliance Office has stated that each institution may determine when a student is “in attendance” in accordance with its own enrollment procedures. At UH-Victoria, a student is considered “enrolled” when he/she has registered for one or more courses or academic instruction to be given at the university (including any off-campus locations operating under an academic agreement with the university as part of a university-approved program of study).

Family Policy Compliance Office: The office within the U.S. Department of Education that is responsible for enforcing/administering the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as Amended. This office has responsibility for FERPA at all levels of education (K-12, post-secondary).

“Final Results” of a Disciplinary Proceeding: A decision or determination, made by an honor court or council, committee, commission, or other entity authorized to resolve disciplinary matters within the institution. The disclosure of final results must include only the name of the student, the violation committed, and any sanction imposed by the institution against the student.

“In Attendance”: When a student is “in attendance”. See “Attendance” and “Enrolled Student” above.

Institution of Postsecondary Education: An institution that provides education to students beyond the secondary school level. “Secondary school level” means the education level (not beyond grade 12) at which secondary education is provided.

Law Enforcement Unit: Any individual or other component of an institution, including commissioned police officers and noncommissioned security guards, officially authorized by the institution to enforce any local, state, or federal law and to maintain the physical security and safety of the institution. (Although the unit may perform other non-law enforcement functions, it does not lose its status as a law enforcement unit.)

Law Enforcement Unit Records: Those records, files, documents, and other materials that are (1) created by a law enforcement unit, (2) created for a law enforcement purpose, and (3) maintained by the law enforcement unit. Law enforcement records do not include: (1) records created by a law enforcement unit for a law enforcement purpose other than for the law enforcement unit; (2) records created and maintained by a law enforcement unit exclusively for non-law enforcement purposes, such as disciplinary action or proceeding conducted by the institution.

Legitimate Educational Interest: The demonstrated “need to know” by those officials of an institution who act in the student’s educational interest, including faculty, administration, clerical and professional employees and student employees who manage student record information, and contractors, volunteers, and other non-employees performing institutional services or functions for which the university would otherwise use employees.

Parent: Includes a natural parent, a guardian, or an individual acting as parent in the absence of a parent or a guardian.

Personally Identifiable Information: Data or information including a student’s name and other direct personal identifiers, such as the student’s social security number or student number; indirect identifiers such as the name of the student’s parent or other family members; the student’s or family’s address, and personal characteristics or other information that would make the student’s identify easily traceable; biometric records defined as a record of one or more measurable biological or behavioral characteristics that can be used for automated recognition of an individual (e.g., fingerprints, retina and iris patterns, voiceprints, DNA sequence, facial characteristics, and handwriting); any other information that would allow a reasonable person in the school community, who does not have personal knowledge of the relevant circumstances, to identify the student with reasonable certainty.

Records: Any information or data recorded in any medium (e.g., handwriting, print, tapes, film, microfilm, microfiche, any form of electronic data storage).

School Officials: Those members of an institution who act in the student’s educational interest within the limitations of their “need to now.” These may include faculty, administration, clerical and professional employees and student employees who manage student education record information, and contractors, volunteers, and other non-employees performing institutional services or functions for which the university would otherwise use employees.

Sole Possession Records: Records that are kept in the sole possession of the maker, are used only as a personal memory aid, and are not accessible or revealed to any other person except a temporary substitute for the maker of the record. Any record that is made in conjunction with a student or other school official is not a sole possession record.

Student: Any individual for whom an education institution maintains education records. The term does not include an individual who has never attended the institution. An individual who is or has been enrolled in one component unit of an institution and who applies for admission to a second unit has no right to inspect the records accumulated by the second unit until enrolled therein. At UH-Victoria, a student is considered “enrolled” when he/she has registered for one or more courses or academic instruction to be given at the university (including any off-campus locations operating under an academic agreement with the university as part of a university-approved program of study).

Subpoena: A command from a court to require the person named in the subpoena to appear at a stated time and place to provide testimony or evidence. There are two main types of subpoenas: “duces tecum” (requires the production of documents, papers, or other tangibles) and “ad testificandum” (requires person to testify in a particular court case).

Disclosure of Education Records
The University of Houston-Victoria will not disclose information from a student's education records without the written consent of the student, except in the following instances in which FERPA authorizes disclosure without prior student consent:

1.     To school officials who have a legitimate educational or administrative interest in the records.

        A school official is defined as a person employed by the university in an administrative, supervisory,
        academic or research, or support staff position; a person or company with whom the university has
        contracted as its agent to provide a service instead of using university employees or officials (such as an
        attorney, auditor, or collection agent); a person serving on the UH System Board of Regents; or a student
        serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or a person assisting another
        school official in performing his or her official duties. A school official has a legitimate education interest if
        the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibilities.

2.     To other schools in which the student seeks to enroll. The student’s former school may provide education
        records, including health records and disciplinary records, to the student’s new university that it could have
        disclosed at the time the student was seeking or intending to enroll at the new university. The disclosure
        must be for purposes related to the student’s enrollment or transfer to that university.

3.     To authorized representatives of the U. S. Secretary of Education, the U. S. Comptroller General, and state
        and local educational authorities, in connection with certain state or federally supported education programs;
        and the U. S. Attorney General for law enforcement purposes.

4.     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.

5.     To state and local officials or authorities in accordance with state law.

6.     To organizations conducting studies for or on behalf of the university to develop, validate, or administer
        predictive tests; administer student aid programs; or improve instruction.

7.     To accrediting organizations to carry out their functions.

8.     To parents of a “dependent” student as defined under the federal tax laws.

9.     To comply with a judicial order or a lawfully issued subpoena.

10.   To appropriate parties in connection with a health or safety emergency.

11.   As it relates to “directory information,” unless the student restricts “directory information.”

12.   To an alleged victim of any crime of violence or non-forcible sex offense regarding the final results of any
        disciplinary proceeding conducted against the alleged perpetrator of that crime or offense with respect to
        that crime or offense, regardless of whether the student was found to have committed the violation.

13.   To the public regarding the final results of any disciplinary proceeding in which the student was alleged to
        have committed a crime of violence or non-forcible sex offense and pursuant to the disciplinary proceeding
        the student was found to have violated a university disciplinary rule or policy.

14.   To parents of a student who is under the age of 21 regarding the student's violation of federal, state, or local
        law, or any university rule or policy,governing the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance.
        Please see UHV’s "Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention" policy for additional information.

15.   To the court where the student has initiated legal action against the university or the university has initiated
        legal action against the student.

16.   If there is an articulable and significant threat to the health and safety of the student or other individuals. In
        determining whether to release information, campus officials may consider the “totality of the circumstances”
        regarding the health or safety of the student or others.

17.   To “any person whose knowledge of the situation is necessary to protect” the health or safety of the student
        or others.

18.   The university is allowed to disclose, without consent, any information it receives regarding registered sex
        offenders pursuant to the Wetterling Act and other applicable federal guidelines. In addition, the university
        may make available to the campus community additional information about a student who is also a
        registered sex offender where the information is relevant to protecting the public (e.g., the campus at which
        a student is enrolled).

Note: A student’s choice to opt out of directory information disclosures does not prevent a school from identifying a student by name or from disclosing a student’s electronic identifier or institutional email address in class. The right to opt out of directory information disclosures does not include a right to remain anonymous in class, and may not be used to impede routine classroom communications and interactions, whether the class is held in a specified physical location or online through electronic communications.

Procedure to Inspect Education Records
A student has the right to inspect his or her educational records and to challenge the contents. To review records, a student must make a request in writing to the Registrar of the University of Houston-Victoria, 3007 N. Ben Wilson, Victoria, TX 77901. The written request must identify as precisely as possible the record or records he or she wishes to inspect.

Procedure to Amend Education Records
If a student believes the information in his or her education record contains information that is inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the student's rights of privacy, the student should submit a written request for amendment to the Registrar. The written request should clearly identify the part of the record the student wants changed and specify why it is inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the student's rights of privacy. The university will notify the student within a reasonable time regarding whether or not the record will be amended. If the university denies the student's request for amendment of his or her record, the student has the right to a hearing regarding the requested amendment.

**Note: This procedure does not govern grade appeals.

Procedure for a Hearing under FERPA

1.     To request a hearing pursuant to the university's denial of a student's request to amend information in his or
        her education record that the student believes is inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the student's rights
        of privacy, the student should submit a written request for a hearing that clearly identifies the part of the
        record the student wants changed and specifying why it is inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the
        student's rights of privacy to the custodian of the record that the student seeks to challenge. The written
        request should be submitted to the university Registrar, Office of the Registrar and Student Records
        (registration@uhv.edu).

2.     The university will hold a hearing within a reasonable time (typically within two business weeks) after
        receiving the student's written request for a hearing.

3.     The university will give the student notice of the date, time, and place of the hearing, reasonably in advance
        (typically within one business week) of the hearing.

4.     The hearing will be conducted by an individual who does not have a direct interest in the outcome of the
        hearing. The hearing official will be appointed by the vice president to whom the custodian of the records in
        question reports.

5.     The student will be provided the opportunity to present evidence supporting his or her allegation that his or
         her education record contains information that is inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the student's rights
         of privacy. The student may, at his or her own expense, be assisted during the hearing by one individual,
         including legal counsel. The student must notify the hearing official no later than three (3) business days
         before the hearing that he or she will have legal counsel present at the hearing.

6.     The custodian of the record in question and the author of that record (if appropriate) will also be provided
        an opportunity to respond to the student's allegations.

7.     Upon hearing all of the evidence, the hearing official will render a written determination within a reasonable
        time after the hearing (typically within one business week). The written determination will include a summary
        of the evidence and the reasons for the hearing official's determination.

8.     Any information in the student's education record that is determined to be inaccurate, misleading, or a
        violation of the student's rights of privacy will be amended with the correct information and the student will
        be notified in writing of the change.

9.     If it is determined that the student record is correct and does not merit amendment, the university will notify
        the student of his or her right to place a statement in the education record commenting on the information in
        the record, and/or presenting any reasons for disagreeing with the university's decision.

10.    Any statement placed by the student in his or her education record shall remain a part of the record for as
        long as the University of Houston-Victoria maintains the record.

Custodians of Records:
The following is a list of types of records that the university maintains, their locations, and their custodians (custodian includes his/her designee).

If there is a question about whether it is appropriate to release information, please contact the Office of the Registrar and Student Records, (361)570-4368 or toll-free 877-970-4848 x4368.

Types

Location

Custodian

Academic Records/Advising Records (progress, advising, evaluations)

Office of the Dean of each Undergraduate/Graduate Program

School of Arts & Sciences

Room 213, UHV West Building

School of Business Administration

Room 219, UHV West Building

School of Education and Human Development

Room 228, UHV West Building

School of Nursing

Room 122, UHV Center Building

Office of the Registrar

Room 122, UHV West Building

Dean of the Appropriate Academic School

University Registrar

Admissions File

Office of Admissions

Room 104, UHV West Building

Admissions Administrator

Career Services Records

Career Services

Room 133, UHV West Building

Manager, Career Services

Counseling Records

Counseling Center

Room 132, UHV West Building

Director, Counseling Center

Note: The confidentiality of counseling records is maintained in accordance with applicable state and federal law defining the circumstances under which information may be released.

Disabled Student Services

Office of Disability Services

Room 133B, UHV West Building

Manager, Disability Services

Disciplinary Records

Office of Student Life and Services

Room 1135, Jaguar Hall

Director, Student Life and Services

Enrollment Records

Office of the Registrar

Room 122, UHV West Building

University Registrar

Financial Records

Office of Business Services/Student Billing and Card Services

Room 113, UHV West Building

Student Billing and Card Services

Financial Aid Records

Office of Financial Aid

Room 110, UHV West Building

Director of Financial Aid

Intercollegiate Athletics

Department of Athletics

Room 1122A, Jaguar Hall,

Athletics Director


Types

Location

Custodian

International Student Records

Office of International Admissions

Room 104, UHV West Building

Office of the Registrar

Room 122, UHV West Building

International Admissions Coordinator

University Registrar

Miscellaneous Records (student education records not included in the above list)

The appropriate university official/employee will locate and collect such records.

The university official/employee who maintains such records.

For further information, please contact the Office of the Registrar and Student Records, (361)570-4368 or toll-free 877-970-4848 x4368.

Retention of Education Records:
At UHV, students’ education records are kept permanently in either paper or electronic format. According to the Texas Government code, Chapter 441, “Certified output from electronically digitized images or other electronic data compilations created and stored in accordance with the rules of the [Texas State Library and Archives] Commission shall be accepted as original state records by any court of administrative agency of this state unless barred by a federal law, regulation, or rule of court.”

UHV’s policy on retention and disposal of records is based on the University of Houston System policy. In accordance with the Texas Government Code, Chapter 441, the UHS, which serves as the official records scheduler for all UH System universities, has filed a records retention schedule with the State and Local Records Management Division of the Texas State Library, as described in UHS Administrative Memorandum 03.H.01.

Maintenance of Records
A change of plan and/or name must be filed promptly by the student. Depending on the record being changed, this may be done online through the StudentSelf-Service System (myUHV) or by submitting a form to the Office of Admissions. A list of Admissions and Student Records forms are available at www.uhv.edu/oar/forms.

Change of Address
The student’s current mailing address and permanent address must be correctly listed on university records. Any change in the student’s address should be entered promptly in the Student Self-Service System (myUHV). A student will not be excused from penalties on grounds of not receiving communications mailed from the university if the student failed to report the new address.

Change of Plan (Major)
A student may change the plan established at the time of first enrollment, but should not apply for a change until the student has consulted an academic advisor. Faculty advisors can provide information concerning curricular requirements and advice related to their respective fields.

Undergraduate Students:The undergraduate change of plan approval form is available online. http://www.uhv.edu/oar/pdf/changeofmajor.pdf

Graduate Students: Each graduate program has different graduate requirements and, therefore, students cannot change graduate programs without first being fully admitted into the new program. A graduate student requesting to change to another graduate program should complete the Graduate Studies Form or click this link for direct access to the form. http://www.uhv.edu/oar/pdf/AppGradStud.pdf

Change of Name
University records of a student’s name are based upon the application for admission. A student may change his/her “preferred” name in the Student Self-Service system. In order to change a student’s “primary” name due to marriage, divorce, legal name change, etc., a student should submit a Change ofName form and a copy of supporting documentation to the Office of the Registrar and Student Records. A “primary” name change form may be obtained online at www.uhv.edu/oar/forms .

Final Grade Reports
Semester final grades are typically available through the Student Self-Service system approximately one week after the official close of the semester. However, semester grade reports are not routinely mailed to students. Students may view their grades by logging onto the Student Self-Service system (Student Service Center/Academic Records /View My Grades).

UHV Transcripts
Unofficial Transcripts – Students may view and print an unofficial transcript by logging into the Student Self-Service system (Academic Records / View Unofficial Transcript).

Official Transcripts – Only official transcripts will be issued by the Office of the Registrar and Student Records, and will be issued if the student does not have a financial stop on his/her records at UHV or any of the other UHS campuses.

Requests for official transcripts must be made either online through

Student Self-Service

(Academic Records / Request Official Transcript) or in writing to the Office of the Registrar and Student Records (see link below). For requests of three or fewer copies, a fee is no longer charged to provide a transcript to students and former students. However, requests for special delivery services may be subject to additional fees. The Registrar will have authority to deny unreasonable requests, and the university reserves the right to reinstate any/all fees at any time.The transcript request form is available online at http://www.uhv.edu/Records/pdf/TranscriptRequest.pdf.