Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
Access to Student Records is handled by the Registrar and observes the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974. This federal law governs the release and access of student records.
Schools must have written permission from the 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 (34 CFR § 99.31):
- 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.
Disclosure of a disability is voluntary, and a student’s records will be handled in a confidential manner as outlined in the amended Section 504 of the rehabilitation Act of 1973, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Amendment Act of 2008 and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended. Records that document a student’s disability are securely housed in the Support Services Center, Knox Learning Center, Building 300, Room 314, of the Southwest Tech campus. Personal information pertaining to a student’s disability will only be shared with a signed, written release at Southwest Tech.
Social Security Numbers
Although providing social security numbers is voluntary, Southwest Tech is required to furnish them to the Wisconsin Technical College System State Board for reporting purposes, to the Internal Revenue Service for tax purposes, and to Wisconsin state and federal government officials for financial aid. The College does not use social security numbers for student identification. Each student is assigned a unique identification.
Student Rights Under FERPA
- You have a right to review and inspect your Southwest Tech education records within 45 days of Student Services receiving your written request.
- You have the right to make a written request to amend your education records if you believe they are inaccurate or misleading.
- You have the right to provide written consent before Southwest Tech discloses personally identifiable information from your educational record except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
- You have the right to request that the college withhold directory information. You may do this online at https://www.swtc.edu/forms/privacy-request-form.
- You have the right to revoke a previously submitted request. You may do this by submitting the written request to Student Services.
- You have a right to file a complaint with the US Department of Education if you believe Southwest Tech has failed to comply with FERPA requirements (Family Policy Compliance Office, US Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Washington DC, 20202-4605).
Southwest Tech may release the following information, considered to be directory information, to the public without the student's prior consent. Students have the right to withhold any directory information that they wish by filling out a privacy request form. Once a year, Southwest Tech sends all students an annual notification of their rights.
- Student Name
- SWTC Email address
- Program of Study
- Enrollment Status (full- or part-time)
- Dates of Attendance
- Degrees and Awards Received
- Dates of Degrees
- Participation in officially recognized activities
A fee may be imposed for the location, reproduction and/or delivery of records. The fee will reflect the necessary and direct cost of location, reproduction or delivery of said record(s). There will be a special fee assigned to rush requests.
Release of Student Lists
Anyone can request what is defined as "directory information". Students have the right to withhold any directory information that they wish by filling out a privacy request form. Directory releases are limited to inquiries for non-commercial use. Military branches of service may receive student list information of currently enrolled students as per Solomon Amendment. A Solomon Amendment request must be in writing stating that the information requested is for "recruitment purposes only.”
Enrollment and Degree Verification
Southwest Tech has authorized the National Student Clearinghouse to provide enrollment and degree verifications. The National Student Clearinghouse can be contacted at:
National Student Clearninghouse Verification Services can be used to verify your enrollment at Southwest Tech. This verification has many uses such as:
- Verification for health insurance
- Reduction of auto insurance premiums
- Financial Aid deferment