Privacy of Student Records

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) gives students the following rights with respect to their education records: 

1. The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days after the day A-B Tech receives a request for access. Any such requests should be submitted in writing to the Records and Registration Office, either by email to registrar@abtech.edu or by hand-delivering or mailing a letter to: Records and Registration, K. Ray Bailey Student Services Building, 340 Victoria Rd., Asheville, NC 28801. The written request must identify the record(s) the student wishes to inspect. The Registrar 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 Registrar, the Registrar 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. Any such requests should be submitted in writing to the Records and Registration, either by email to registrar@abtech.edu or by hand-delivering or mailing a letter to: Records and Registration, K. Ray Bailey Student Services Building, 340 Victoria Rd., Asheville, NC 28801. The written request must identify the part(s) of the record the student wants changed, and specify why it should be changed. If A-B Tech decides not to amend the record as requested, A-B Tech 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 A-B Tech discloses personally-identifiable information from the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. 

4. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by A-B Tech to comply with the requirements of FERPA. 

As a general rule, a student’s parents/guardians do not have access to a student’s education records. When a student turns 18 years old or enrolls at an institution of postsecondary education (such as A-B Tech), a student’s rights under FERPA transfer from the parent to the student. In order for parents to have access to a student’s education records, beyond Directory Information and without written permission from the student, a parent must certify that the student is economically dependent as defined in Section 152 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986. If a parent can prove dependency to the Records and Registration Office by showing a copy of the parent’s most recent tax return or other acceptable documentation, then the parent may have full access to the student’s education records.

Directory Information 

In compliance with FERPA, A-B Tech will not disclose a student’s education records without his or her consent except as otherwise stipulated herein. 

Directory Information will be released to anyone who requests it, and Limited Directory Information will be released under specific conditions unless the student requests in writing to the Records and Registration Office that his or her Directory Information be withheld. In such case, no Directory Information or Limited Directory Information will be released. 

Directory Information is information contained in a student’s education record that would not generally be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed. At A-B Tech, Directory Information includes: 

• Name 

• Major field of study 

• Dates of attendance/enrollment 

• Enrollment status (full-time or part-time) 

• Degrees, honors, and awards received 

Limited Directory Information is information contained in a student’s education record that may only be disclosed under certain circumstances. This includes: 

• Date of birth, which may be disclosed only as a means of verifying a student’s identity when a College employee has no other means of doing so 

• Mailing address, telephone number, and email address, which may be disclosed only for educational purposes, at the discretion of College administration 

Blocking the Release of Directory Information 

A student may request that A-B Tech not release his or her Directory Information unless the student first provides written consent, except for the circumstances in which FERPA authorizes disclosure without student’s consent. To request a block on the release of Directory Information, a student must submit their request in writing, either by submitting the “Request to Block the Release of Directory Information” form to the Records and Registration Office or emailing a written request to registrar@ abtech.edu. Emailed requests must be sent from the student’s official A-B Tech email account. A student’s request to block the release of his or her Directory Information will remain in effect until the student requests that the block be removed. 

A block on the release of a student’s Directory Information will prevent the student’s name and information from appearing in public directories, without the student’s written consent, such as the Commencement Booklet, Dean’s/President’s lists, etc. In addition, a block will prevent A-B Tech from confirming a student’s enrollment status, degrees, and other Directory Information with third-parties such as prospective employers, unless the student first provides his or her written consent. 

Disclosure Without Student Consent 

FERPA permits the disclosure of personally identifiable information from a student’s education records, without the consent of the student, only under limited circumstances. These circumstances include the release of education records to: 

• A-B Tech officials who have a legitimate educational interest in the records. A school official typically includes a person employed by A-B Tech in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or support staff position; a person serving on the Board of Trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or appeals committee. A school official also may include a volunteer or contractor outside of A-B Tech 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 personally identifiable information from education records, such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent or a student volunteering to assist another school official in performing their tasks. A school official typically has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibilities for A-B Tech. 

• Officials of another college or university in which the student seeks or intends to enroll. 

• Officials of secondary schools in which the student is concurrently enrolled. 

• Certain federal and state educational authorities for purposes of meeting legal requirements in federally supported educational programs. 

• Persons involved in granting financial aid or scholarships for which the student has applied or received. 

• Testing and research organizations conducting certain studies for or on behalf of the school. 

• Accrediting organizations to carry out their accrediting functions. 

• Individuals named in a court order or lawfully issued subpoena, but only after the student has been duly notified. The College will then comply in the absence of any legal order canceling the subpoena. 

• Parents/guardians, law enforcement, and first responders in very narrowly defined emergencies affecting the health and safety of the student or other persons.

• State and local authorities, within a juvenile justice system, pursuant to specific state law. 

• Parents/guardians who have certified with the Records and Registration Office that the student is economically dependent as defined in Section 152 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986. 

• The public, when the discloser is the final results of an institutional disciplinary proceeding regarding a crime of violence or “non-forcible sex offense” where the institution has determined that a policy violation occurred. 

• The victim of an alleged crime of violence or a non-forcible sex offense when the disclosure is the final results of an institutional disciplinary proceeding regarding that offense, regardless of whether the institution determined that a policy violation occurred. 

• Certain individuals, pursuant to the specific conditions outlined in FERPA, in connection with a disciplinary proceeding when the student is an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence or non-forcible sex offense and, with respect to the allegation made against him or her, the student has committed a violation of A-B Tech policy. 

• Parents of students under the age of 21 regarding the student’s violation of any Federal, State, or local law, or of any A-B Tech policy, governing the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance. 

• Certain individuals when a student has been designated a sex offender or otherwise required to register under section 170101 of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994.