Jul 18, 2024  
Catalog/Handbook 2019-2020 
Catalog/Handbook 2019-2020 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

FERPA -Notification to Students

Pursuant to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) regulations (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99.37) and Florida Statute 1002.22, Polk State College hereby designates the following categories of student information as “directory information,” which may be made public for College purposes unless the student is in an exempt category as defined by Florida Statute 119.071(4(d)1).

  • Student’s name
  • Student’s email address
  • Student’s primary address
  • Dates and status of college enrollment
  • Classification (e.g., freshman, sophomore)
  • Previous institutions attended
  • Photos
  • Student’s current primary program objective
  • Awards received
  • Honors
  • Degree(s) conferred (including dates and any graduation honors)
  • Past and present participation in officially recognized sports and activities
  • Physical factors of athletes


Such information may be disclosed at the discretion of the College for any legitimate purpose as defined by the College, except as provided in the opt-out option. The College may share any portion of student records with postsecondary institutions in which the student is enrolled or intends to enroll, or with the student’s high school or governing school board, as would be necessary to provide for pathways of transfer, degree completion, or other legitimate educational purposes to 20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99.33 and 99.34.

Opt-Out Option
A student may opt-out of disclosure of this information. To do so, the student must meet with the Registrar or an Assistant Registrar and complete, sign, and submit a FERPA Non-Disclosure Request Form. Students who qualify as exempt from disclosure of directory information by Florida Statute 119.071 (4(d)1) and current and former military service members who served since September 11, 2001, their spouses, and dependents are required to notify the Registrar by completing, signing, and submitting the FERPA Non-Disclosure Request Form. The request may be made at any time and remains in effect unless and until the student submits to the Registrar a request for it to be removed (or the student is deceased). An Online@PolkState student may contact the Registrar or an Assistant Registrar for assistance in submitting a FERPA Non-Disclosure Request Form at registrar@polk.edu.

If the student does not complete and submit the appropriate form requesting the withholding of directory information, the College assumes the student consents to the disclosure of such information.

The College disclaims any and all liability for inadvertent disclosure of directory information designated to be withheld.


Granting FERPA Permission to Others

A student may choose to grant the College permission to disclose FERPA-protected information to named individuals and entities. To do so, the student must complete a FERPA-Release Form outside of the presence of and influence of the named party. A person with FERPA privileges gained through this permission form is not guaranteed information. Professors, in particular, do not have to share information. Any person or entity given access to FERPA-protected information must provide a password that, which is retained in the student record and is required in any email or phone communication before College personnel can communicate information.


Student Rights under FERPA
Annually, Polk State College informs currently attending students of their rights under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the regulations relating to FERPA Public Law 20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99 promulgated by the Department of Education and Florida Statute 1002.22. These rights include:

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

  • A student should submit to the Admission and Registrar’s Office a written request with signatory that identifies the record(s) the student wishes to inspect. A College official makes arrangements for access and notifies the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained or are not obtainable by the Admission and Registrar’s Office, the student is informed as to whom the request should be addressed.

2. The right to request the amendment of education records that the student believes are inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights under FERPA.

  • A student may request that such records be amended if he or she believes those records to be inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of his or her privacy rights. The student must follow Polk State College’s procedures to request a change in records. Procedures vary depending on the change requested. A request to amend record(s) should be submitted in writing to the Registrar with proper signatory and must clearly identify the record and the requested change. If the College decides not to amend the records, the student is notified in writing. The student has the right to appeal the decision by completing a petition with an student success advisor. The Petition Committee provides the student with its final decision in writing. 

3. The right to provide written consent before the College discloses personally identifiable information from the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.

  • The College discloses education records without a student’s prior written consent under the FERPA exception for disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the College in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person or company with whom Polk State College has contracted as its agent to provide a service instead of using the College’s employees or officials (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agency); 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 responsibilities for the College. Upon request, the College also discloses education records without consent to officials of another school for the purpose of improving students’ pathways for overall educational pursuits.  

4. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the College to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The address of the Family Policy Compliance Office is:

Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-5901
Phone: 202.260.3887   Fax: 202.260.9001
Email: ferpa@ed.gov

Each Polk State College student is notified of FERPA rights annually through the Polk State College Catalog and the College website.