FERPA Annual Notification - Gordon Conwell

FERPA Annual Notification

Annual FERPA Notification

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their educational records.

The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days of the day the seminary receives a written request for access.

Students should submit to the Registrar, Academic Dean, head of the academic department or other appropriate official, written requests that identify the record(s) they wish to inspect. The seminary 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 seminary official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.

The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes are inaccurate or misleading.

Students may ask the seminary to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate or misleading. They should write the seminary official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading.  If the seminary decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the seminary will notify the student of the decision and advise the student of 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.

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.

One exception which permits disclosure without consent is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the seminary in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research or support staff position; a person or company with whom the seminary has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, collection agent, pastor or mentor, and the National Student Clearinghouse); a person serving on the Board of Trustees; 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 education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility.

Upon request, the seminary may disclose education records without consent to officials of another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll.

The seminary may disclose personally identifiable information from education records to appropriate parties in connection with an emergency if knowledge of the information is necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or other individuals.

The seminary reserves the right to release, without consent, personally identifiable information (PII) that is designated as Directory Information. If the student does not wish to have all or part of this information released without consent, he or she must notify the Registration Office, in writing, and the request will be honored within the academic year the letter is received. Students must re-petition at the start of each academic year.

The Seminary has designated the following personally identifiable information as Directory Information:

  • Student’s Name
  • Spouse’s Name
  • Children’s Name(s)
  • Mailing Address
  • Campus Address
  • E-mail Address
  • Home Phone Number
  • Student’s Photograph
  • Degree Program and Dates of Attendance
  • Graduation Date
  • Honors & Awards Received

As of January 3, 2012, the U.S. Department of Education’s FERPA regulations expand the circumstances under which a student’s education records and personally identifiable information (PII) contained in such records — including the student’s Social Security Number, grades, or other private information — may be accessed without the student’s consent.

First, the U.S. Comptroller General, the U.S. Attorney General, the U.S. Secretary of Education, or state and local education authorities (“Federal and State Authorities”) may allow access to a student’s records and PII without the student’s consent to any third party designated by a Federal or State Authority to evaluate a federal- or state-supported education program. The evaluation may relate to any program that is “principally engaged in the provision of education,” such as early childhood education and job training, as well as any program that is administered by an education agency or institution. Second, Federal and State Authorities may allow access to a student’s education records and PII without the student’s consent to researchers performing certain types of studies, in certain cases even when Gordon-Conwell objects to or does not request such research. Federal and State Authorities must obtain certain use-restriction and data security promises from the entities that they authorize to receive the student’s PII, but the Authorities need not maintain direct control over such entities. In addition, in connection with Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems, State Authorities may collect, compile, permanently retain, and share without a student’s consent PII from the student’s education records, and they may track the student’s participation in education and other programs by linking such PII to other personal information about the student that they obtain from other Federal or State data sources, including workforce development, unemployment insurance, child welfare, juvenile justice, military service, and migrant student records systems.

The student has the right to file a complaint with the respective authorities concerning alleged failures by Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The links below will direct you to the instructions for filing a complaint for each authority.

Written request for review and/or amendment of record(s) should be made to the director of the office which contains the record being sought. Education records are located in the following offices at the Hamilton campus:

Type of Education Record Custodian of Records Office & Address
Academic Record & Judicial Committee Records Registrar Registration Office, Kerr Building
Mentored Ministry Records Director of Mentored Ministry Mentored Ministry Office, Academic Center
Counseling Program Records Coordinator of Counseling Program Counseling Department Office, Academic Center
Financial Accounts Director of Student Accounts Students Accounts, Kerr Building
Financial Aid Transcripts & Scholarship Records Director of Student Financial Aid Financial Aid Office, Kerr Building
Student Employment Records Director of Human Resources Human Resources Office, Kerr Building
Judicial Appeals & Byington Applications Academic Dean Academic Dean’s Office, Academic Center
Guidance Committee Records & Community Life Reports Dean of Students Student Life Services Office, Kerr Building
Incident Reports Campus Safety Campus Safety Office, Kerr Building
Housing Leases, Dormitory Contracts, and Rent Records Housing Manager Housing Office, Kerr Building


Correspondence is maintained by the office with which the student is communicating.


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