FERPA Privacy Issues

Overview

Educational records are kept by South Hills to facilitate the educational development of students. Faculty and staff members may also keep informal records relating to their functional responsibilities with individual students.

The federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974 identifies and protects the rights of students and their families with respect to student educational records kept by institutions. As part of the requirements of FERPA, South Hills has a policy on the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act.

For additional info, visit the U.S. Department of Education—Family Policy Compliance Office page.

What is FERPA?

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974 identifies and protects the rights of students and their families with respect to the privacy of student educational records kept by institutions.

The following is considered "Directory Information" at South Hills, and will be made available to the general public unless the student notifies the Academic Affairs Office in writing, stating that they wish for this information to be withheld:

  • Student's Name
  • Address
  • Telephone Number
  • E-mail Address
  • Date and Place of Birth
  • Program
  • Enrollment Status
  • Dates of Attendance
  • Degree or Diploma
  • Honors and Awards
  • Graduation Employers and Job Titles
Annual Notification

FERPA gives parents certain rights with respect to their children's education records. These rights transfer to the student when he or she reaches the age of 18 or attends a school beyond the high school level. Students to whom the rights have transferred are "eligible students." These rights are:

1. Parents or eligible students have the right to inspect and review the student's education records maintained by the school within 45 days of the day that South Hills receives a request to access. Students should submit a written request to Academic Affairs and identify the record they wish to inspect.

2. Parents or eligible students have the right to request that a school correct records which they believe to be inaccurate or misleading. If the school decides not to amend the record, the parent or eligible student then has the right to a formal hearing. After the hearing, if the school still decides not to amend the record, the parent or eligible student has the right to place a statement with the record setting forth his or her view about the contested information.

3. Schools must have written permission from the parent or eligible student in order to release any information from a student's education record. However, FERPA allows schools to disclose those records, without consent, to the following parties or under the following conditions:

  • 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; and
  • State and local authorities, within a juvenile justice system, pursuant to specific State law.

4. Schools may disclose, without consent, "directory" information such:

  • Student's Name
  • Address
  • Telephone Number
  • E-mail Address
  • Date and Place of Birth
  • Program
  • Enrollment Status
  • Dates of Attendance
  • Degree or Diploma
  • Honors and Awards
  • Graduation Employers and Job Titles

5. Student educational records are defined as records, files, documents and other materials that contain information directly related to a student and maintained by South Hills or someone acting for South Hills. Excluded from student educational records are:

  • Notes made by instructors and administrative personnel
  • Application records of students not admitted to South Hills
  • Records of physicians, psychiatrists, psychologists, or other recognized professionals.

6. Student educational records can be shared within South Hills only among appropriate "school officials" whom South Hills has determined to have a “legitimate educational interest” in which reviewing the educational record is necessary the school official to fulfill his or her professional responsibility. A school official can be:

  • Instructors
  • Administrators
  • Clerical Staff
  • Counselors
  • Attorneys

7. Parents and eligible students have the right to request that the school not disclose directory information about them. Schools must notify parents and eligible students annually of their rights under FERPA.

8. Parents and eligible students have the right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by South Hills 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, S.W.
Washington, DC 20202-4605
Directory Information

Student record information is confidential and private. In accordance with the federal law South Hills does not release student record information without the student’s prior written consent. The exception to this is that South Hills will release the following "directory information" without prior student consent.

  • Student's Name
  • Address
  • Telephone Number
  • E-mail Address
  • Date and Place of Birth
  • Program
  • Enrollment Status
  • Dates of Attendance
  • Degree or Diploma
  • Honors and Awards
  • Graduation Employers and Job Titles

Any student may request that directory information not be released publicly. Students who do not want their directory information released must complete and sign an Authorization to Withhold Directory Information form. This signed form must be presented or mailed to the Academic Affairs Office. Processing this form will prevent South Hills from disclosing any directory information to a third party. This will also prevent South Hills from releasing the student's name to newspapers where it could have appeared on the graduation or Dean's list. Also, the student's name would not be released to military recruiters or potential employers who may be requesting graduates' names for job searches.

South Hills will honor a request to withhold directory information but cannot assume responsibility to contact the student for subsequent permission to release the hold. Regardless of the effect upon the student, South Hills assumes no liability as a consequence of honoring instructions that directory information be withheld.

South Hills will honor a request to withhold directory information until a student submits a Request to Release Directory Information form to the Academic Affairs Office. Processing this form will allow the College to release directory information to the general public.

General Guidelines
Educational Records

South Hills student educational records are defined as records, files, documents and other materials that contain information directly related to a student and maintained by South Hills or someone acting for South Hills. Excluded from student educational records are:

  • Notes made by instructors and administrative personnel
  • Application records of students not admitted to South Hills
  • Records of physicians, psychiatrists, psychologists, or other recognized professionals
School Officials

Information from a student's educational record can be shared within South Hills only among appropriate "school officials" whom South Hills has determined to have a “legitimate educational interest”. School officials can be:

  • Instructors
  • Administrators
  • Clerical Staff
  • Counselors
  • Attorneys
Legitimate Educational Interest

A school official generally has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an educational record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility.

Immunization Policy

South Hills School of Business & Technology does not require proof of immunization in order to enroll in classes or programs. However, proof of immunization may be required prior to beginning an internship. This will be based on the policies of the internship sites.

* For a complete list of all South Hills School of Business & Technology policies and procedures, please download the Student Handbook.

Voter Registration

On Election Day, every vote matters. Please take the time to Register to Vote. Remember that the deadline for registering is 30 days prior to each election.

Register to Vote in PA Online

You can register to vote through the Pennsylvania Department of State's online application. Before you begin, be sure to have your Pennsylvania driver's license or PennDOT ID card handy. If you don't have one, there are other options. Once you submit your online application, it will be forwarded to the appropriate county voter registration office for processing.

Register to Vote in PA by Mail

You can register to vote by mail in two ways:

  • Get a Voter Registration Mail Application form from the state or federal government. The Secretary of the Commonwealth and all county registration commissions supply Voter Registration Mail Applications to all persons and organizations who request them, including candidates, political parties and political bodies and o​​ther federal, state, and municipal offices.
  • Download the Voter Registration Application​ (PDF). Print, complete, sign, and deliver to your County Voter Registration Office by mail or in person.
  • To request multiple Pennsylvania Voter Registration Mail Applications for voter registration drives, please call 1-800-552-VOTE.
Register to Vote in Person

You can register to vote at a PA Department of Transportation photo license center when you obtain or update your driver's license. In addition to PennDOT, you can register to vote at many other state government offices, including:

  • State offices that provide public assistance and services to persons with disabilities
  • Armed Forces Recruitment Centers
  • County Clerk of Orphans' Court offices, including each Marriage License Bureau
  • Area Agencies on Aging
  • Centers for Independent Living
  • County Mental Health and Mental Retardation offices
  • Student disability services offices of the State System of Higher Education
  • Offices of Special Education
  • DA Complementary Paratransit offices