Student Rights and Responsibilities


CONFIDENTIALITY OF STUDENT RECORDS: FERPA

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 with 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 to 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 3007 N. 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/Records/pdf/FERPA_withhold_Public_Information_Form.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 maintained 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 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 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 a 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 Education 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 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 a 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 know”. 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 of 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” (required 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 proceedings 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 of 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 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 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 right 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 right 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 accurate, 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. A 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

Schools 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.

Disability Services for Students

Office of Disability Services
Room 132B
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 Office

Financial Aid Records

Office of Financial Aid
Room 110
UHV West Building

Director, Financial Aid

Intercollegiate Athletics

Department of Athletics

3007 N. Ben Wilson

Athletics Director

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.