Student Privacy Guidelines
Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act (FERPA)
TSTC Harlingen complies with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act and informs students of their rights under the act. Student’s rights covered by the act are as follows:
1. The right to inspect and review the academic record within 45 days after the day Texas State Technical College receives a request for access.
A student should submit to the registrar or other appropriate official, 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 of a student to petition to the college to amend or correct any part of his/her academic record which is believed to be inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the privacy or other rights of the student. When the college decides it will not amend or correct a student’s record, the student has a right to a hearing to present evidence that the record is inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the privacy or other rights of the student.
A student who wishes to petition to amend or correct a record may submit a written statement to the Custodian of Student Records identifying the part of the record the student wants changed, and specify why it should be changed. If the college decides not to amend the record as requested, the college will notify the student in writing of the decision and the student’s right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment.
3. The right to provide written consent before the college discloses personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
Texas State Technical College discloses education records without a student’s prior written consent under the exception for disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is as a person employed by Texas State Technical College in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person approved by and under contract to TSTC Harlingen in a faculty position; a person or company with whom the college has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); a person appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the State Senate as a member of the Texas State College Board of Regents; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an educational record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibilities for Texas State Technical College.
Upon request the college may also disclose educational records without student written consent to the following:
4. The right of a student to consent to release of semester credit hours taken at other institutions to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.
Under the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, the following is designated by TSTC as directory information and may be made public unless the student desires to withhold all or any portion of it: name, preferred address, preferred telephone number, email address, classification of course work level, enrollment status, major field of study, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, dates of college attendance, photograph images, degrees, certificates and awards received and most recent previous educational agency or institution attended by the student. A currently enrolled student may prohibit the release of directory information by completing an appropriate request form in the Office of Admissions and Records during registration or within the first five (5) class days of each term. Under the Privacy Act of 1974, official records are not open to the public and will not be divulged without consent from the student. Minors attending the college have the same right regarding their records as adult students. If a student is still a legal dependent of a parent or guardian, the parent has the right to access the records of the dependent student provided the parent can establish this dependency as defined by the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, section 152. This request must be made in person at the Office of Admissions and Records by providing a copy of the most recent federal income tax return and required picture identification.
If you have any questions concerning disclosure of information contact the Office of Admissions and Records.
More detailed information is available at the following websites: