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Student Records Policy

Student Records Policy:
Disclosure of Student Information

In accordance with the provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (commonly referred to as FERPA or the “Buckley Amendment”), The Master’s University and Seminary has adopted this Student Records Policy to protect the privacy of the education records of its students. This policy will be published annually and may be amended from time to time to conform to the requirements of any changes in the governing law. Students will be informed of this policy and any amendments through their Master’s University e-mail account.

The term “education records” means those records, files, documents, and other materials in handwriting, print, tape, film, electronic, or other media that contain information directly related to a student and are maintained by The Master’s University and Seminary (TMUS) or a party acting for The Master’s University and Seminary. A “student” is any person who currently attends or has attended TMUS.

TMUS holds various types of education records in various locations on campus. The records and their typical locations are as follows:

  1. The official education record, which includes TMUS transcript, records relating to prior educational experience, and admissions documents, are on file in the Office of the Registrar.

  2. Working academic files are maintained by deans, department chairpersons, and academic advisers in their respective offices.

  3. Records related to a student’s nonacademic activities are maintained in the Office of Student Life.

  4. Records relating to a student’s financial status and financial aid are maintained in the Office of the Controller and the Student Financial Services Office.

Education records do not include:

  1. Records created or held by instructional, administrative, and educational personnel that are in the sole possession of the maker and are not accessible or revealed to any other individual except a temporary substitute.

  2. Records of Campus Security.

  3. Employment records.

  4. Alumni records that contain information about an individual after he or she is no longer a student at TMUS.

  5. Medical or health records made and maintained in the course of treatment and disclosed only to those individuals providing treatment.

  6. Records that contain information about the spiritual development of candidates maintained, in addition to basic academic records, by seminaries or schools or departments of divinity or theology.

Directory Information

In accordance with the provisions of FERPA, The Master’s University and Seminary has the right to provide “directory information” without the student’s written consent. The Master’s University and Seminary currently defines “directory information” to mean the following:

  • student name
  • major field of study
  • dates of attendance
  • degrees and awards received
  • grade level
  • enrollment status (i.e., full-time, part-time, undergraduate, graduate)
  • name of the most recent previous educational institution attended
  • participation in official activities or sports
  • the weight and height of members of athletic teams
  • photographs (but for university use only)

In addition, if a person contacts TMUS seeking verification of a student’s date of birth, TMUS will only confirm or deny the accuracy of the requestor’s information and will not independently disclose the student’s date of birth.

Under FERPA, students have the right to withhold directory information by notifying TMUS. A student must choose to withhold information on the Registration form or present a signed letter to the Registrar’s Office specifying what information they do not want released. Directory information will be withheld indefinitely unless the request to withhold disclosure is revoked in writing at the Registrar’s Office.

Even if a student has submitted a request to withhold directory information, federal law (pursuant to the “Solomon Amendment,” effective March 1, 1997) requires TMUS to provide address listings for all students, on demand, to any legitimate United States military recruiter, without the need to obtain the student’s consent.

Disclosure of Information

The Master’s University and Seminary (TMUS) will not disclose personally identifiable information, other than directory information, from a student’s education records without the student’s written consent, except as follows:

  1. To school officials with a legitimate educational interest. A “school official” is:

    • A person employed by or under contract with TMUS in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or support staff position
    • A person serving on the Board of Trustees
    • A person or firm retained by TMUS to perform professional services, such as legal services or accounting or auditing services
    • A person or company under contract with TMUS to manage or perform operations functions, such as food services, the bookstore, or food and beverage vending.

    A school official has a “legitimate educational interest” if the official is:

    • Performing a task that is specified in his or her position description or by a contract
    • Performing a task related to a student’s education
    • Performing a task related to the discipline of a student
    • Providing a service or benefit relating to the student or student’s family, such as health care, counseling, job placement, or financial aid
  2. To officials of other educational institutions in which students seek to enroll

  3. To persons or organizations providing students with financial aid

  4. To accrediting agencies carrying out their accreditation functions

  5. To authorized representatives auditing and evaluating federal and state supported programs

  6. To organizations or firms conducting studies on behalf of TMUS or other educational institutions

  7. To either of two parents when at least one parent has established the student’s status as a dependent according to Section 152 of the Internal Revenue Code

  8. To the legal guardian of a student when the guardian has established the student’s status as a dependent according to Section 152 of the Internal Revenue Code

  9. To comply with a judicial order or subpoena (and, unless the subpoena is signed by a grand jury or issued for law enforcement purposes, the Office of the Registrar will make reasonable efforts to notify the student and give the student a minimum of 20 business days to legally respond to the order or subpoena)

  10. To persons in an emergency situation to protect the health or safety of students or other persons

  11. To persons, as described by state law, serving a juvenile student within the juvenile system, who first certify in writing that the information will not be disclosed to any other party without the prior consent of the parent/legal guardian or student

  12. The final results of a disciplinary hearing to an alleged victim of a crime of violence

  13. The final results of a disciplinary hearing concerning a student who is an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence and who is found to have committed a violation of TMUS’s rules or policies

  14. To the court in the event of legal action between TMUS and the student

  15. To a parent or legal guardian when a student under the age of 21 has committed a disciplinary violation with respect to the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance

The Dean of Student Life, or designee, has the authority to determine when and by what means to notify parents or legal guardians, without a student’s consent, when a student under the age of 21 is found to have violated any law or TMUS rule or policy related to the possession, use, or distribution of alcohol or controlled substances.

The Dean of Student Life, or designee, may delegate to other University or Seminary officials the notification of parents or legal guardians. Whenever possible, a student will be informed that disclosure to parents is planned in advance of the student’s parent receiving the notice.

Nothing in these guidelines prevents University and Seminary officials from disclosing information in connection with an emergency if knowledge of the information is necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or other individuals.

Except as provided by FERPA, a student must provide a signed and dated written consent before TMUS will disclose personally identifiable information from the student’s education record. The written consent must (1) specify the records that may be disclosed; (2) state the purpose of the disclosure; and (3) identify the party or class of parties to whom the disclosure may be made.

Records of Requests for Disclosure

The Master’s University and Seminary (TMUS) will maintain a record of all requests for or disclosure of information from a student’s education records, except as provided by FERPA. The record will indicate the name of the party making the request, any additional party to whom it may be re-disclosed, and the legitimate interest the party had in requesting or obtaining the information. The record may be reviewed by the eligible student or by his or her parents/legal guardian if the student is a dependent (as defined by the Internal Revenue Code). Any third party to whom records were disclosed may not release that information to any other party without the student’s permission. Third parties who disclose information in violation of this standard will be prohibited for five years from any further inspection of records at TMUS.

The recordkeeping requirement does not apply when the disclosure is to the student, the student’s parent or legal guardian, if the student is a dependent as defined by the Internal Revenue Code; a party with written consent from the student; a school official; a party seeking directory information; a party seeking records as directed by a grand jury or law enforcement subpoena.

Inspection and Review of Records

Students may inspect and review their education records on written request to the person in charge of the records. That person will comply with the request as soon as reasonably possible, but in all events within 45 days after the request has been made, as required by law.

Students have the right to review and inspect all education records in their file except:

  1. Financial information submitted by their parents;

  2. Confidential letters and recommendations associated with admissions, honors, employment, or job placement to which they have waived their rights of inspection and review or which were placed in the file before January 1975;

  3. Education records containing information about more than one student, in which case the institution will permit access only to that part of the record pertaining to the inquiring student;

  4. Records connected with an application to attend TMUS if that application was denied.

If, after inspecting and reviewing their records, students have any questions about them, they may request an oral or written explanation and interpretation of the records.

Students who request a copy of their education records must pay a reasonable charge for the copies. No copies of education records will be released to a student if the student has an outstanding balance due at The Master’s University and Seminary.

Right of Complaint

Copies of this statement and the full text of FERPA are available in the Office of Financial Aid.

Students who believe The Master’s University and Seminary is not complying with the requirements of FERPA or the regulations issued by the Department of Education implementing FERPA may file complaints in writing with:

The Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20202-4605
(202) 732-1807

The Master’s University and Seminary may amend this policy from time to time. Students will be notified of any amendments to this policy through their University and Seminary e-mail accounts, and the amendments will be effective as of the first business day following the transmission of the e-mail.

Policy Written: 6-22-2005
gedwards / Office of Financial Aid

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