Revised 23 June 2016
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended (“FERPA”), is a federal law that gives students certain rights with respect to their education records. HMX complies with FERPA to the extent that FERPA applies to its activities.
At HMX we keep records for our participants that describe and document their work and progress. These education records generally include items such as address, admissions records, enrollment status, course grades, reports and evaluations, completion of requirements, and progress toward the credential.
To be useful, students’ records must be accurate and complete. Students whose records are subject to FERPA may have access to their own education records and may contribute to them if they feel there is need for clarification. Students wishing to access their HMX education records should contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Students will be asked to send a written request that identifies the specific record or records they would like to inspect. Access to FERPA-protected records will be given within 45 days of receipt of the request. When a record contains information about more than one student, the student requesting access may inspect and review only the portion of the record relating to him or her.
Students should direct any questions they have about the accuracy of HMX records to email@example.com. Should it be necessary, a hearing may be held to resolve challenges concerning the accuracy of FERPA-protected records in those cases where informal discussions have not satisfactorily settled the questions raised.
Directory Information can be made available to the general public under FERPA. HMX defines the following as Directory information: full name, email address, date of birth, program name and dates of enrollment, dates of completion, and credential in progress or received. Please note that Harvard University’s definition of “directory information,” found here, may include elements in addition to those used by HMX, and that requests for directory information received at the University level thus may result in disclosure of those additional elements.
Students may direct HMX not to disclose their Directory Information. This is sometimes known as a ‘FERPA Block.’ Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Students should be aware of the possible consequences of putting in place a FERPA Block, such as missed mailings, messages and announcements, and non-verification of enrollment. Students who have previously chosen to put in place a FERPA Block may decide to reverse this decision, also by contacting email@example.com.
Other Disclosures Permitted Under FERPA
There are certain other circumstances where FERPA also permits disclosure of education records without a student’s knowledge or consent. For example, disclosure is permitted to Harvard officials with a legitimate educational interest in the records. This means that the person needs the information in order to fulfill their professional responsibilities, including instructional, supervisory, advisory, administrative, academic, research, staff support or other duties. “Harvard officials” include: faculty; administrators; clerical employees; professional employees; other employees and agents of Harvard University; independent contractors, consultants, volunteers and other parties performing services or functions on behalf of HMX, Harvard Medical School or the University; members of Harvard’s governing boards; and students serving on an official HMX, Harvard Medical School or University committee, or assisting another Harvard official in performing his or her tasks. A student’s education record also may be shared with parties outside the University under certain conditions, including, for example, in situations involving a health and safety emergency. In addition, HMX may forward a student’s education records to other agencies or institutions that have requested the records and in which the student seeks or intends to enroll or is already enrolled so long as the disclosure is for purposes related to the student’s enrollment or transfer.
Student Rights Under FERPA
Under FERPA to the extent that it applies, students and former students have the right to: inspect and review certain of their education records that are maintained by HMX, as described above; exercise limited control over other people’s access to their education records; seek to correct their education records if they believe them to be inaccurate, misleading or otherwise in violation of their FERPA rights; file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education if they believe HMX has not complied with the requirements of FERPA; and be fully informed of their rights under FERPA.
Complaints regarding alleged violation of rights of students under FERPA may be submitted in writing within 180 days to the Family Policy Compliance Office, US Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, S.W., Washington, DC 20202-5920.