Student Records, Privacy & FERPA

The College maintains records for each student. Student records include the student’s enrollment application and agreement, semester registration contract(s), any personal information necessary for the College’s business, transcripts, comments, evaluations, letters of concern and appreciation, and records of any College action. College staff and the applicable regulatory agencies have access to student files for educational and business purposes. Third party access to student records is limited unless the student has provided written consent. Students have rights of inspection and correction of their records. Student information of a private, personal, or confidential nature that is provided to the College will only be disclosed in compliance within the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Information required for transcripts of all former students will be kept for at least 25 years from the date of termination of enrollment.

As an Institute of Higher Learning, the federal rules provided by FERPA govern student privacy.

FERPA requires that ACHS maintains the confidentiality of academic and personal records of each student. Directory information, including name, major field of study, dates of attendance, degrees, honors and awards received, and enrollment status may be released at the discretion of the Registrar. If a student does not wish any of this information to be released, he or she must notify the Registrar once each year in writing by the end of the second week of the term.

To ensure maximum safeguards of information contained in a student’s personal record, ACHS will disclose information of a confidential nature only to the student, to a parent/guardian claiming that student as a dependent (as demonstrated through provision of a copy of the parent/ guardian’s most recent federal income tax return), or to a third party upon receipt of expressed written permission of the student. Students should complete the Authorized Agent form online at http://tinyurl.com/authorized-agent if they wish to nominate an agent that will have full access to their student account and information.

FERPA does allow schools to disclose student records, without consent, to the following parties or under the following conditions (34 CFR § 99.31):

  • School officials with legitimate educational interest
  • Other schools to which a student is transferring
  • Specified officials for audit or evaluation purposes
  • Appropriate parties in connection with financial aid to a student
  • Organizations conducting certain studies for or on behalf of the school
  • Accrediting organizations
  • To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena
  • Appropriate officials in cases of health and safety emergencies
  • State and local authorities, within a juvenile justice system, pursuant to specific state law

For more information about FERPA including what constitutes directory information, go to http://www.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/index.html

ACHS requires that all documents containing sensitive information be encrypted prior to transmission. This can include using a secure file sharing system or sharing documents via PDF secured with a password.

FERPA and the Solomon Amendment

The Solomon Amendment is a federal law that allows military recruiters to access some address, biographical, and academic program information for students age 17 and older.

Under the Solomon Amendment, it is required that the institution fill certain military requests for student recruiting information. Information that can be included: name, address, telephone, date /place of birth, program of study, class level, most recently attended schools. Information that can not be included: social security, race, ethnicity, nationality, GPA, grades, religion, low performing students list, students with defaulted loans list. The Solomon Amendment allows personally identifiable student information to be released to recruiters that would have been denied them under FERPA.

Definition—“Student Recruitment Information” or “Solomon Information”

  • Name
  • Address (home and mailing)
  • Telephone (home and mailing)
  • Age (is not defined as directory information at ACHS)
  • Place of birth (is not defined as directory information at ACHS)
  • Level of education
  • Academic major
  • Degrees received
  • Educational institution in which the student was most recently enrolled

Procedure for Releasing Information to Military Recruiter

Under the Solomon Amendment, information will be released for military recruitment purposes only. The military recruiters may request student recruitment information once each term or semester for each of the 12 eligible units within the five branches of the service:

  • Army: Army, Army Reserve, Army National Guard
  • Navy: Navy, Navy Reserve
  • Marine Corps: Marine Corps, Marine Corps Reserve
  • Air Force: Air Force, Air Force Reserve, Air Force National Guard
  • Coast Guard: Coast Guard, Coast Guard Reserve

The request should be submitted in writing on letterhead clearly identifying the unit of service requesting the student recruitment information. The request should specify whether the information needed is for the current or previous semester.

Authorized Agent

For students’ convenience, they have the option to appoint an authorized agent. This allows ACHS to deal with the agent on the student’s behalf, for example if he or she is sick, on vacation, or otherwise indisposed. Students may wish to appoint a parent, spouse, or friend, but should be sure to select someone they trust. ACHS may freely deal with this person as if he or she is the student. Students may assign an authorized agent or update their agent by submitting the ACHS Authorized Agent form available online at http://tinyurl.com/authorized-agent.

Annual Notice of Rights Under FERPA

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) as amended was designated to protect the privacy of educational records. FERPA affords eligible students certain rights with respect to their education records. (An “eligible student” under FERPA is a student who is 18 years of age or older or who attends a postsecondary institution at any age.) 

These rights include:

  1. The right to inspect and review the student's education records within 45 days after the day the American College of Healthcare Sciences (ACHS) receives a request for access. A student should submit to the Registrar a written request that identifies the record(s) the student wishes to inspect. The school official 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 school official to whom the request was submitted, that official 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. A student who wishes to ask ACHS to amend a record should write the Registrar, clearly identify the part of the record the student wants to be changed, and specify why it should be changed. If ACHS decides not to amend the record as requested, ACHS 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 ACHS discloses personally identifiable information (PII) from the student's education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. ACHS discloses education records without a student’s prior written consent under the FERPA exception for disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official typically includes a person employed by ACHS in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person serving on the board of directors; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee. A school official also may include a volunteer or contractor outside of ACHS who performs an institutional service of 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 PII from education records, such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent or a student volunteering to assist another school official in performing his or her tasks. A school official typically has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record to fulfill his or her professional responsibilities for ACHS.
  4. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by ACHS 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
             400 Maryland Avenue, SW
             Washington, DC 20202

FERPA permits the disclosure of PII from students’ education records, without the consent of the student, if the disclosure meets certain conditions found in § 99.31 of the FERPA regulations. This only occurs in very limited instances, such as: 

  • To verify student status: If you list your enrollment at ACHS on an employment application, a potential employer may contact ACHS to confirm that you are a current student at the College.
  • Including you on graduate lists: Graduation lists include your name, program(s) graduated, and city and state. These are published on ACHS website and in press releases.
  • To verify graduation: Employers may call us to verify credentials, as may organizations with which you've applied for liability insurance or other benefits. 

Please note that if you DO NOT WANT to be included in graduation rosters, or have your student or graduate status confirmed for employment or insurance purposes, you MUST contact the Registrar's Office at registrar@achs.edu or 800-487-8839 and state that you do not want to have ANY directory information released. Please note that this means your name would not be included in our graduation ceremony or graduate lists nor provided to employers.