Student Identification Numbers and FERPA
As of January 1, 2000, Wisconsin Act 128 limits the disclosure and release of student Social Security numbers. In order to comply with Act 128, BTC assigns a unique identification number to each student. This identification number does not incorporate the student's Social Security number. BTC may collect and report Student Social security numbers for state and federal reporting requirements. BTC procedures are designed to ensure that student Social Security numbers remain confidential.
The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. They are:
- The right to inspect and review the student’s education records
- The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes are inaccurate or misleading.
- 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.
- The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by Blackhawk Technical College to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the Office that administers FERPA is:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Dept. of Education
600 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-4605
Privacy and Access to Student Records
Blackhawk Technical College (BTC) policy on privacy of records and releasing of information follows the directives outlined in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), the federal law governing the protection of educational records. Registered students will be notified of this policy on an annual basis. Others can find the policy in the BTC Handbook, on http://www.blackhawk.edu or may obtain a copy of the policy upon request from the College.
Personally identifiable information will not be released from an education record without the prior, written consent of the student unless an exception has been granted by FERPA (see exception section below).
Rights under FERPA
FERPA affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. They are:
- The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days of the day the College receives a request for access.
You should submit to the Registrar written requests that identify the record(s) you wish to inspect. The Registrar will arrange for access and notify you of the time and place where the records may be inspected. At the time of viewing, the student will present some form of picture identification, such as a valid driver's license, before being allowed to view the record.
- The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes is inaccurate or misleading.
You should write to the Registrar, clearly identifying the part of the record you want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading. If BTC decides not to amend the record as requested, the college will notify you of the decision and advise you of your right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to you when you are notified of the right to a hearing.
- 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 (see section on exceptions below).
- The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures of the College to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the office that administers FERPA is:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
600 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20202-4605
Exceptions under FERPA
Under certain conditions, as authorized by FERPA, information can be released without student consent. They are:
The use of the term Directory Information does not imply that the College actually has a document containing Student Directory Information, or that the College has any obligation to produce such a document.
BTC, under most circumstances, will not release information in your file without your written consent (Release of Student Records , complete this form in its entirety). Please see Express Services at Central Campus or Registration at Monroe Campus for questions on this policy and/or form. However, the Blackhawk Technical College Board has designated the following information as directory information and therefore can be released without your written consent:
The College has defined Directory Information as the following:
- Student Name
- Student Address and Phone Number
- Date and Place of Birth
- Full-time or Part-time Status
- Major Field of Study
- Dates of Attendance
- Credits Earned Toward a Diploma
- Degrees and Awards Received
- Photos and Videos of Students for use in College Press Releases, Publications, and WEB Sites
- BTC Assigned Student Email Accounts
Students have the right to restrict the disclosure of "Directory Information" at any time. To restrict the disclosure of Directory Information, a student may file a Privacy Request Form to the Express Services or Registration Office on Central or Monroe Campuses. The request to restrict disclosure of Directory Information will be honored until the student notifies the Express Services or Registration Office in writing to the contrary.
According to federal law, the College must release to the U.S. Armed Forces student name, address, phone number, date of birth, and field of study.
Authorized Federal, State, and Local Authorities
Student authorization is not required for disclosure to an authorized representative of the following individuals or entities:
- The Comptroller General of the United States
- The Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education
- State educational authorities
- Any party legitimately connected with a student’s application for, or receipt of, financial aid
- Accrediting organizations
- Agencies involving an audit or evaluation of compliance with education programs
- Organizations conducting studies for or on behalf of educational institutions
Information can be released to other schools to which a student seeks or intends to enroll.
Information can be released to law enforcement personnel, emergency personnel, and College officials in an emergency in order to protect the health or safety of students or other persons.
Legitimate Educational Interest
Officials of the College who are determined by the College to have a legitimate educational interest may have access to student records without obtaining consent from the student. Officials of the College are defined as:
- Persons employed by the school in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or support staff position,
- Persons serving on school governing bodies, and
- Persons employed by or under contract to the College to perform a specific task, such as an attorney or auditor.
An official has a legitimate educational interest if they need to:
- Perform duties specified in their job description or under terms of contractual agreement,
- Provide campus services related to a student, such as advising, financial aid, and counseling, or
- Conduct tasks related to a student’s education or campus discipline.
Information must be released to comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena. However, the College will make a reasonable effort to notify the student of the order or subpoena in advance of compliance, so that the student may seek protective action. However, if the court (or other issuing agency) has ordered that the existence or the contents of the subpoena or judicial order not be disclosed, the College will comply and notification to the student will be withheld.
Information about a student or students involved in a grievance investigation or grievance hearing may be released to members of the grievance committee, including any students assigned to that committee, if such information is germane to the investigation or hearing.
The results of a disciplinary hearing may be released to an alleged victim of a crime of violence without the permission of the accused.
Blackhawk Technical College Foundation
Student names and addresses may be released to the Blackhawk Technical College Foundation for foundation-related activities. The Foundation is considered part of the College and will hold such information confidential, using the information only in specific activities intended to aid and support the College. Release of such information to the Foundation will be made only with the approval of the College President or his/her designee.
U.S. Patriot Act
The College must release, without consent or knowledge of the student, personally identifiable information from a student’s education record to the Attorney General of the United States or his/her designee in connection with the investigation or prosecution of terrorism crimes specified in sections 233b (g)(5)(B) and 2331 of Title 18, U.S. Code.
Personnel employed by the College who have consent in the form of a written release of information, signed by the student, may disclose student information to appropriate outside agencies or persons.
Note: A record of disclosure will be maintained within a student’s file indicating when information has been released from that file and to whom.
Note: A fee of five dollars may be assessed for the copying of all or a portion of a student record.