843.00 Access to SKC Student Data


This policy applies to employees, students, contractual agents of the institution, and individuals requesting access to student information. In compliance with Section 438 of the “General Education Provisions Act” (as amended) entitled “Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act,” or FERPA, the following constitutes the College’s policy for protection of student records. 


Certain definitions and principles contained in the law and proposed guidelines are specifically adopted in the policy:

“Student” is defined as one who has attended or is attending Salish Kootenai College, and whose records are in the files of the College.

“Educational Officials” are Salish Kootenai College employees in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or support staff positions and volunteers or third parties who perform an institutional service or function for which the College would otherwise use its own employees and who are under the direct control of the College with respect to the use and maintenance of the education records.  

“Record” means any information or data recorded in any medium, including but not limited to: handwriting, print, tapes, film, microfilm, and electronic media that contains data elements as defined in “Student Record”.

“Legitimate educational interest” is defined as the need to review an education record in order for an educational official to carry out their responsibilities on behalf of the College, such as performing an administrative task outlined in the official’s duties, performing a supervisory or instructional task directly related to the student’s education, or providing a service or benefit relating to the student.   

“Student Record” is define as data elements for individual students including biographical or demographic information such as student ID number, current or permanent address, ethnicity, and birth date; past and current educational data such as grades and credit hours earned; and other data for individual students outside of the directory information elements listed below. Student records as defined in this policy do not include records retained by individuals which are not accessible to other persons except a substitute faculty/staff member, such as counseling or disciplinary records.

“Emancipated Minor” means an individual under 18 years of age who is or has been married, is separated from the individual’s parent(s) or guardian and is self-supporting, or has been granted the right to consent to medical treatment pursuant to an order of limited emancipation.

  1. Public Information
    1. Salish Kootenai College considers the following to be student directory information that may be released freely unless the student files a request for a FERPA block, asking that the public information not be released.
      1. Name
      2. Dates of attendance
      3. Academic major or program of study
      4. Number of credits for current enrollment period
      5. Class standing (Freshman, Sophomore, etc.)
      6. Degrees, certificates, certifications, or endorsements awarded
      7. Honors awarded and the GPA of students recognized for honors
      8. Date(s) of completion
      9. Participation in college-recognized sports
      10. Student’s college email address
      11. Photographic, video or electronic images of students taken and maintained by the College
    2. Procedures for student access to their records are provided in the SKC Catalog.
  2. Dual Enrollment Student Records
    1. Access to Dual Enrollment Student Records by Parents/Guardians
      1.  Per the U.S. Department of Education, if a student is attending a postsecondary institution – at any age – the rights under FERPA transfer to the student. If the student is enrolled in both high school and a postsecondary institution, the two schools may exchange information about that student. If the student is under 18, parents/guardians retain rights under FERPA at the high school and may inspect and review records sent by the postsecondary institution to the high school. 
      2. The postsecondary institution may disclose personally identifiable information from the student’s education records to parents/guardians, without the consent of the student, if the student is determined as a dependent for tax purposes under IRS rules. College personnel, including faculty members, may not discuss dual enrollment student status with parents/guardians unless such a determination is made. 
  3. Release of Student Record Data
    1. Access to Student Record Data by SKC Educational Officials
      1. Educational Officials may request and use student unit-record data in the discharge of their assigned duties. Access by these officials is restricted where practical, and only to that portion of the student record necessary for the discharge of assigned duties.
    2. Disclosure of Student Record Data to Third Parties
      With the exception of directory information, the College will not disclose identifiable information from a student’s education record to a person or entity outside of the College without the student’s written consent or as specifically authorized by law.  

      FERPA permits the College to disclose information from a student’s education record to a third party without the student’s written consent in limited exceptions as follows:
      1. Third party contractors under contract with the College to provide institutional services or functions on behalf of the College and who are under control of the College with respect to the use and maintenance of the records. 
      2. Other educational institutions to which the student has applied and where that student intends to enroll or is enrolled so long as the disclosure is for purposes related to the student’s enrollment or transfer.
      3. Certain federal, state, and accrediting authorities. This policy shall not preclude access to student records by authorized federal and state officials in connection with the audit and evaluation of federally supported education programs, or in connection with the enforcement of federal and state legal requirements that relate to such programs. Information may also be released to accrediting organizations in order to carry out their accrediting functions.  Except when collection of personally identifiable data is specifically authorized by federal and state law, any data collected and reported with respect to an individual student shall not include information (including Social Security number) that would permit the personal identification of such a student.
      4. Student information relating to financial aid. Disclosure of information may be made in connection with the student’s application for, or receipt of, financial aid, so long as the information is necessary for determining eligibility of aid, amount of aid, conditions of aid, or to enforce the terms and conditions of the aid.
      5. Disclosure to the parent or legal guardian of a student who is a minor, defined as an individual under the age of 18 who is not emancipated.
      6. Pursuant to judicial order or legal action. 
      7. Health or safety emergency. Disclosure of information in connection with an emergency may be made to the appropriate parties if knowledge of the information is necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or other individuals.  The College is responsible for making this determination, which is made on a case-by-case basis and access is temporally limited to the period of the emergency.  If it is determined that disclosure is appropriate, the College must maintain a record demonstrating (i.) the articulable and significant threat to the health or safety of a student or other individuals that formed the basis for the disclosure; and (ii.) the parties to whom the College disclosed the information.
    3. Release of SKC Student Record Data to Third Parties
      1. SKC employees who have access to student academic records as part of their position at the College may NOT provide data to faculty or staff for research purposes OR provide student data to third parties unless those entities have provided a signed Data Use Agreement and documented the legitimate educational or other interest in seeking this information. Only the Office of Institutional Effectiveness has the authority to review the Data Use Agreement and release data.
      2. When academic departments are required to release regular (e.g. annual) data to a state or federal agency, students should provide written consent for such release.
      3. A complete and signed Data Use Agreement is required prior to disclosure of student unit-record data to third party entities. The Salish Kootenai College Office of Institutional Effectiveness (OIE) will maintain a record of all requests for and/or disclosures of information from a student’s education records, as specified. The record will indicate the name of the party making the request, any additional parties to whom it may be re-disclosed, and the legitimate interest the party had in requesting or obtaining the information. 

        All software vendors and service providers where SKC student record data will be utilized or stored must complete and submit to the SKC OIE a HECVAT questionnaire


U.S. Department of Education Federal Education Right to Privacy Act, https://www2.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/ferpa/index.html

Montana Code Annotated 2021, Rights and Obligations of Minors. https://leg.mt.gov/bills/mca/title_0410/chapter_0010/part_0040/section_0010/0410-0010-0040-0010.html


Adopted: 3/17/2023

Theme: Overlay by Kaira
Salish Kootenai College is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. Salish Kootenai College | PO Box 70 | 58138 US Highway 93 | Pablo, MT 59855 | 406.275.4800.