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U.S. Department of Education

FERPA- Frequently Asked Questions:


The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords student certain rights with respect to their education records. They are:

These rights include:

  1. The right to inspect and review the student’s Peralta Community College District education records within 15 calendar days of the request for access. Students should submit a written request to the Office of Associate Vice Chancellor of Student Services that identifies the record(s) they wish to inspect. The Office of Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs 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 Admissions and Records Office, the student shall be advised of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.
  2. The right to request an amendment to the education records that the student believes is inaccurate. Students should write to the Associate Vice Chancellor of Student Services, clearly identifying the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate. If Peralta Community College District decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the student shall be notified of the decision and advised as to his or her 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.
  1. 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. Student records may be released to authorized representatives of the Comptroller General of the United States, the Secretary of Education, an administrative head of an education agency, state education officials, or their respective designees or the United States Office of Civil Rights, where that information is necessary to audit or evaluate a state or federally supported educational program or pursuant to federal or state law. Exceptions are that when the collection of personally identifiable information is specifically authorized by federal law, any data collected by those officials shall be protected in a manner that will not permit the personal identification of students or their parents by other than those officials, and any personally identifiable data shall be destroyed when no longer needed for that audit, evaluation, and enforcement of federal legal requirements. An exception which permits disclosure without consent is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the Peralta Community College District in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or support staff position (including law enforcement personnel and health staff); a person or company with whom Peralta Community College District has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, collection agent, degree conferral & transcript processing agent, document managing agent, and placement sites for internship or similar student work/study opportunities); a person serving on the Board of Trustees; 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; consultants, volunteers or other outside parties to whom Peralta Community College District has outsourced institutional services or functions that it would otherwise use employees to perform. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility. Student records shall be released pursuant to a judicial order or a lawfully issued subpoena. As allowed within FERPA guidelines, the Peralta Community College District may disclose education records without consent to officials of another school, upon request, in which a student seeks or intends to enroll.
  1. Theright to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the Peralta Community College District 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, 20202-4605

At its discretion Peralta College District may provide Directory Information in accordance with the provisions of the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act. Directory Information is defined as that information which would not generally be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed. Designated Directory Information at the Peralta Community College District includes the following: student participation in officially recognized activities and sports, including weight and height, and high school of graduation of athletic team members; degrees and awards received by students, including honors, scholarships awards, athletic awards, and other types of recognition.

Students may withhold Directory Information by notifying the Admissions and Records Office  in writing; please note that such withholding requests are binding for all information to all parties other than for those exceptions allowed under the Act. Students should consider all aspects of a Directory Hold prior to filing such a request. Requests for non-disclosure will be honored by the Peralta Community College District.

Student Services may only release student records directly to the student, unless prior written authorization is given by the student. By filling the Authorization for Release of Student Records form you give permission for others to view and have access to your student records. By default, your records will not be released to anyone else until this form is properly filled out.

For additional information on FERPA or student confidentiality contact the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs at 510 466-7355.

  • Admissions & Records

    Tuesday 27 September 2022
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  • Since 1964, the Peralta Community College District - comprised of Berkeley City College, College of Alameda, Laney College and Merritt College - has served the cities of Alameda, Albany, Berkeley, Emeryville, Oakland and Piedmont by providing 25,000 students each semester with a range of educational programs and life-long learning opportunities.