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Student Records Policy

CONFIDENTIALITY-Howard Community College’s policies concerning confidentiality are written and published in accordance with the amended Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974.  No one outside the college shall have access to, nor will the college disclose any personally identifiable information, from a student’s record without the student’s written consent.  This policy applies to all students enrolled in credit classes.  This policy also applies to all students taking noncredit Continuing Education classes and to the processes associated with those classes. 

Some exceptions included within the limits of the need to know are as listed below:

  • College employees who have legitimate educational interest
  • Officials of other institutions in which students seek to enroll or are already enrolled 
  • Persons or organizations providing students with financial aid
  • Accrediting agencies carrying out their accrediting function
  • Persons complying with a judicial order or court ordered subpoenas
  • Those who in the event of an emergency must protect the health or safety of students or others.

All these exceptions are permitted in accordance with FERPA.

DIRECTORY INFORMATION-The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) allows for the release of student directory information. Directory information includes names, addresses, e-mail addresses, phone numbers, high school attended, major fields of study (e.g., learning programs), attendance dates, degrees, honors and awards or lack thereof, participation in officially recognized college activities or sport, and HCC athletes’ weight and height.  However, the college generally releases only the following directory information; student’s name, dates of attendance, degrees and honors earned or lack thereof.  Directory information may be withheld.  Students who want the college to withhold directory information must notify the Office of Records, Registration and Veterans Affairs in writing during their enrollment; requests will be honored until revoked in writing.

ACCURACY OF RECORDS-Students must notify the Office of Records, Registration & Veterans Affairs in writing of record changes involving name, address, and telephone numbers.  Currently enrolled international citizens should inform the Office of Admissions and Advising of immigration status changes.  Students who are no longer enrolled at the college should still officially change their address and other contact information.  The Office of Admissions and Advising must also be notified in writing about learning program changes; students must obtain an advisor’s signature as part of this process.  Change of Information and Change of Learning Program forms are available at www.howardcc.edu/rrvaforms.

TRANSCRIPTS AND ENROLLMENT VERIFICATION-Students may request official copies of their transcripts through the National Student Clearinghouse, by mailing a written request to the Office of Records, Registration & Veterans Affairs, or visiting the office in person (photo identification required for in-person requests).  The National Clearinghouse processes requests within twenty-four hours; there is a $2.25 (subject to change) charge per transcript.  The Office of Records, Registration & Veterans Affairs processes requests for official transcripts within two business days of receiving an official request; there is no charge.  Students may access the National Student Clearinghouse directly from www.howardcc.edu/enrollverify.

Students may view and print unofficial copies from myHCC.

Enrollment Verification- Instant enrollment verification certificates are available free of charge from The National Student Clearinghouse; the link to the clearinghouse is available in myHCC

RECORD INSPECTION-The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) gives students the right to inspect and review information contained in their education records and to challenge the content of their records.  The Registrar coordinates the inspection and review procedures for student education records.  Students seeking to review their records should contact the Office of Records, Registration & Veterans Affairs (RCF-233, 443-518-1240, register@howardcc.edu).

In accordance with FERPA, students may request inspection and review of all or part of their records by writing to the registrar.  Records covered by FERPA will be available within 45 days of the request. 

Education records include admissions, financial, academic, and financial aid files as well as cooperative education and placement records.  

Disciplinary records are held by the vice president of Student Services separate from education records in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct.  Alumni, student health and security records are not considered education records.      

Students may not review financial information submitted by their parents, confidential letters and recommendations tied to admissions, employment, job placement or honors to which they have waived inspection and review rights or records involving more than one student or sole possession records.  Also, the college is not required to let students review confidential letters and recommendations placed in their files prior to January 1, 1975 if they were collected under established policies of confidentiality and used only for purposes for which they were collected.

Any student who believes his/her rights were violated may file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education Family Policy Compliance Office, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, DC  20202-4605.