J. Privacy Rights and Access to Educational Records
Illinois Institute of Technology respects the rights of privacy of its students and acknowledges the responsibility to maintain confidentiality of personally identifiable educational records.
1. FERPA - Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act
Please visit http://www.iit.edu/registrar/student_records/ferpa.shtml for the university’s official FERPA information. For general information about FERPA, please visit the U.S. Department of Education's website at http://www.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/ferpa/index.html.
Students can grant permission to release all or part of their record to specific individuals by completing this FERPA release form http://www.iit.edu/registrar/student_records/pdfs/FERPA_FORM_2009_03_19.pdf.
The following policies and procedures will be followed in regard to such records.
2. Accessibility of Educational Records – Position of IIT
IIT has adopted a policy of not disclosing personally identifiable information, other than directory information, from the educational records of a student without his or her prior written consent, except in the following instances:
- To school officials, including teachers, within the educational institution who have a legitimate educational interest.
- To officials of another school in which the student seeks or intends to enroll, provided that a documented attempt will be made to notify the student of intended disclosure prior to submission of such information.
- To certain authorized representatives of the United States and state agencies who require such information to carry out lawful functions.
- In connection with the student’s application for, or receipt of, financial aid.
- To organizations conducting studies for, or on behalf of, educational agencies or institutions, if these studies are conducted in a manner that will not permit the personal identification of students and if the information will be destroyed when no longer needed for the purpose for which it is conducted.
- To accrediting organizations in order to carry out their accrediting functions.
- To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena.
- To appropriate parties in health or safety emergencies.
- To parents of dependent IIT students, as defined in Section 152 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986. For purposes of this section, all students enrolled in the university shall be deemed to be independent of their parents. Any parent may challenge this assumption by presentation of evidence that such student does qualify as a dependent for federal income tax purposes.
School officials shall be deemed to include members of IIT’s faculty and administrative staff that have a legitimate educational interest in such records and other personnel whose duties involve establishment and maintenance of such records and development of institutional reports. A “legitimate educational interest” shall be deemed to mean having a direct involvement in establishing or reviewing a student’s academic record or performance.
3. Student Accessibility of Educational Records
Students and former students of IIT shall be granted access to all of their personally identifiable educational records originated at IIT or submitted to IIT in connection with their admission, employment or the granting of financial assistance with the following exceptions:
- Notes or records of instructors, advisors or counselors that would not be shown to any other individual except another faculty member, an advisor or a teaching assistant.
- For records involving other individuals (e.g., course grade lists, disciplinary reports) only that portion applicable to the respective student will be disclosed.
- Records or statements supplied by the individuals within or outside IIT and other educational institutions or agencies that have been submitted under the assumption of confidentiality in connection with the admission, employment or provision of financial assistance, including financial statements provided by parents for purposes of supporting the student’s application for financial aid; and letters of recommendation written, for which the student has signed a waiver of the right to inspect the letter.
- Records of medical or psychological tests or treatment. The student nevertheless has the right to obtain a professional explanation of information in such records and to request that the records be referred for inspection to another qualified professional of the student’s choice.
For records originating at IIT, any person or organization having the right of access to any educational record may also obtain a copy of that record at a reasonable fee. In general, IIT will not provide to anyone, other than authorized faculty and staff at IIT, copies of any items in a student’s educational record that have been submitted by individuals or organizations outside IIT; such copies should be requested from the source from which the record originated. An exception may be made in instances when the student can demonstrate that the original record has been lost, destroyed or is otherwise unavailable (e.g., international students from schools no longer in existence or the death of a person from whom a reference was obtained). A cumulative record of all individuals or organizations other than the individual student and authorized faculty and staff at IIT who are granted access to and/or copies of a specific educational record will be maintained along with that record. On making a request, a student may inspect the cumulative list of all those who have been granted access to his or her educational record.
The right to inspect educational records does not apply to applicants for admission until such time as the applicant may be admitted and has completed registration at IIT.
Students and former students of IIT may make an appointment to inspect individual educational records during regular office hours. A list of where specific records are maintained is available in the Student Services Center, 104 Main Building (312.567.3100, firstname.lastname@example.org).
4. Directory Information
Illinois Institute of Technology reserves the right, absent submission of a written request by the student to the Office of the Registrar indicating that he or she does not want IIT to release his or her directory information, to release at its own discretion the following items of directory information about any student registered during a given term. Directory information includes:
- Name of student.
- Date and place of birth.
- Dates of attendance at IIT.
- Local address, phone number and e-mail address of student.
- Home address and phone number of student.
- Positions held, place of employment, and extension number of students employed by IIT.
- Department of specialization and educational level (undergraduate; non- degree-seeking student; graduate student in masters or Ph.D. program) and most recent institution previously attended.
- Membership in officially recognized campus organizations and on teams; offices held in such organizations.
- Degrees earned and special awards and recognition given.
- Photograph of student.
Such directory information available from educational records kept by IIT may also be released concerning former students at IIT for the time during which they were registered as students at IIT.
5. Procedures for Requesting Amendment of Educational Records
A student may request that his or her educational records be amended if the student believes the records contain information that is inaccurate, misleading or in violation of the student’s privacy rights. The request should be made in writing to the IIT official maintaining the record and state specifically which part of the records should be amended and explain why the student believes such part is inaccurate, misleading or a violation of his or her privacy rights. The IIT official will review the request and respond to the student within a reasonable amount of time. If there is a decision to amend the record, the student will be informed of such in writing.
If the IIT official decides against amending the record, the student may request a hearing on the matter. The request for a hearing must be in writing and be directed to the Registrar, who shall appoint a hearing officer to decide the matter. The hearing officer, a disinterested person in the matter, will conduct a hearing during which the student may be assisted by one or more individuals. The hearing officer shall prepare a written decision which will be based solely on the information presented at the hearing and contain a summary of what was presented and the reasons for the decision. As noted in paragraph above, if there is a decision to amend the record, the student will be informed of such in writing.
If the hearing officer denies the student’s request to amend his or her record, the student will be notified in writing of his or her right to place in the record a statement commenting on the challenged information or stating why the student disagrees with the decision. This statement will remain a part of the student’s record along with the contested portion of the record for as long as the record is maintained. The statement will be disclosed whenever the contested portion of the record is disclosed.
6. FERPA Complaint Procedure
Students and eligible parents have the right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by Illinois Institute of Technology to comply with requirements of FERPA.
In many situations, complaints relative to FERPA can be resolved within the University on an informal basis. Any student who wishes to discuss a FERPA complaint may contact the Office of the Registrar, Main Building Room 104.
To file a FERPA complaint with the U.S. Department of Education, contact the Office that administers FERPA at: Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., Washington, DC, 20202-5920.
For additional information, refer to www.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/index.html .