FERPA - Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

Home » About NWTC » Student Conduct and Community Standards » FERPA - Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

FERPA – Federal Government

Access to a Northeast Wisconsin Technical College student’s educational record is governed by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) and in conjunction with the Wisconsin Technical College System and Wisconsin Statutes. 

FERPA is a law which protects the educational records of students. A student’s official educational records are all paper and electronic records kept about the student which relate to being a student. Under FERPA, students have the right to access or deny access to their records. In compliance with these laws, the College annually notifies students of their rights regarding student information. 

A student’s official education record is confidential and shall not be released to anyone except the student (Under FERPA, parents are third parties, with no rights to the record.) Except under the following conditions:

  • A Release of Student Records form duly signed by the student or a parent/legal guardian, is received and on file with the Northeast Wisconsin Technical College Student Records Department. This form can be obtained at any NWTC campus or regional center in the registration office.
  • A request for specific information is received from a court or in compliance with judicial order pursuant to any lawfully issued subpoena. Only the specific information will be provided.
  • Under the FERPA exception for disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official includes a person employed by NWTC in an administrative, supervisory, academic, institutional research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person serving on the board of trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee. A school official also may include a volunteer or contractor outside of NWTC who performs an institutional service of function for which the school would otherwise use its own employees and who is under the direct control of the school with respect to the use and maintenance of PII from education records, such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent or a student volunteering to assist another school official in performing his or her tasks. A school official typically has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibilities for NWTC.
  • Request from representatives of agencies or organizations from which the student is receiving financial aid.
  • Request from officials of other postsecondary educational institutions to which the student has applied for admission.
  • Under FERPA, as long as the student fits the category of "seeks or intends to enroll" at another institution, you can provide any information you want from the education records to that next college. There's no difference under FERPA whether the information is the current ongoing progress or a final semester grade. If your college includes in its notice of FERPA rights that it will provide records to a succeeding school, you don't have to check with the student before forwarding the records.
  • Request from other persons or agencies specifically exempted from the prior consent requirement by the Act. This includes certain federal and state officials of the District accrediting agencies, etc.
  • Request for NWTC student directory information.

Students do have the right to inspect their education records. The process to do so is:

  • Submit a written request for the inspection of identified records to the NWTC Registrar’s Office.
  • The Registrar will contact you with a day, time and place for the inspection. 
  • The notification and inspection shall occur within 45 days from the receipt of the written request for inspection on records. 

After inspection, the student has the right to request the amendment of student education records that the student feels are inaccurate or misleading. They should write the Registrar, clearly identifying the part(s) of the record that they want changed, and specify why they feel the record(s) is inaccurate or misleading.

If Northeast Wisconsin Technical College decides not to amend the record as requested, the College will notify the student of the decision and advise the student of his or her right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. 

For more information about FERPA, contact:

Mark Franks, Registrar at (920) 498-6269 or (800) 422-NWTC, ext. 6269

Public Records and Directory Information

A request may be submitted for “directory information”. Each institution defines what they consider to be directory and non-directory information. The student also has the right to withhold any directory information that they wish from any third party by filling out a Privacy Request Form. Please consider carefully the consequences of any decision made to withhold directory information, as any future requests for such information from non-institutional persons or organizations such as prospective colleges and employers will be refused. NWTC will honor an individual’s request to withhold directory information until removed by the person but cannot assume responsibility to contact a student for subsequent permission to release information.

NWTC does not sell directory information to any outside entity for commercial, marketing or solicitation purposes (only released for non-commercial use).

Directory Information Public record that may be released:

  • Student’s Name
  • Current mailing address
  • Email address
  • Phone
  • Date of Birth
  • Participation in officially recognized activities
  • Major field of study
  • Full-time or part-time enrollment status
  • Dates of attendance
  • Degrees and awards received
  • Date(s) of degree(s)

Hold Status on Education Records

With the understanding that it cannot deny a student’s review and inspection of their records, NWTC reserves the right to withhold release of copies of a student’s education records and transcripts or grades in the following situations:

  • A student has an outstanding financial obligation to NWTC (including, but not limited to, unpaid tuition or financial aid, book or supply fees, library fines, NSF checks, etc.)
  • There is an unresolved disciplinary action against the student.

Student Records

Transcripts of educational records will contain only information about educational status.  Information from disciplinary or counseling files will not be available to unauthorized persons on campus or to any person off campus without the expressed consent of the student involved except under legal compulsion or in cases where safety of persons or property is involved.  No records will be kept which reflect the political activities or beliefs of students.  Provisions will also be made for periodic routine destruction of non-current disciplinary records.  Administrative staff and faculty members will respect confidential information about students that they acquire in the course of their work.  Students can have access to their personal educational records through a member of the Enrollment Services professional staff.