5.24 Data Privacy

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Chapter 5: Administration

Related Minnesota State Board Policy: 5.23 Security and Privacy of Information Resources
Related Minnesota State Board Procedure: -

Purpose:  Minnesota State Colleges and Universities comply with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), 20 U.S.C. §1232g, 34 CFR 99; the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act, (MGDPA) Minn. Stat. Ch 13, Minn. Rules Ch 1205; and other applicable laws and regulations concerning the handling of education records. Accordingly, Normandale Community College adopts the following policy:

Part 1: Definitions
  1. A student is an individual currently or formerly enrolled or registered, applicants for enrollment, or individuals who receive shared time educational services from Normandale.  All students at Normandale have the same rights regarding their educational data regardless of age.
  2. Education records are data in any form directly relating to an individual student maintained by Normandale or by a person acting for Normandale.

    Education records do not include:
    1. Financial records of the student's parents or guardian;
    2. Confidential letters or statements of recommendation placed in education records before January 1, 1975, or after January 1, 1975, if the student waived right of access;
    3. Records of instructional personnel that are kept in the sole possession of the maker and are not accessible or revealed to any other individual except a temporary substitute for the maker and are destroyed at the end of the school year;
    4. Records of law enforcement units (if law enforcement unit is a separate entity and the records are maintained exclusively by and for law enforcement purposes);
    5. Employment records related exclusively to a student’s employment capacity (not employment related to status as a student, such as work study) and not available for use for any other purpose;
    6. Medical and psychological treatment records that are maintained solely by the treating professional for treatment purposes;
    7. Records that only contain information about a student after that individual is no longer a student at the institution (alumni data).
  3. Legitimate educational interest is:
    1. The information requested is necessary for a school official to perform appropriate tasks that are specified in his or her position description or by a contract agreement.  Simply being a college employee does not constitute legitimate educational interest. 
    2. The information is to be used within the context of official agency or school business, or to improve student success and the quality of student education.
    3. The information is relevant to the accomplishment of some task or to a determination about a student.  Curiosity alone is not a legitimate educational interest.
    4. The information is to be used consistently with the purposes for which the data are maintained.  Having access to education records or the information within the records does not constitute authority to share this information with anyone not given access through the written policy.*
  4. A school official is a person employed by the college in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person or company with whom the college has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); a person serving on the Board of Trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks.
  5. Directory information is demographic and enrollment information on students that has been designated as public.

    * This is particularly critical if the data are to be used away from the agency or school by contractors or consultants.
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Part 2: Annual Notification

Students are informed of their rights under federal and state privacy laws through an annual notice of rights and this policy.

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Part 3: Access to Student Records

Subpart A: Public student data (i.e. directory information) is available upon request to all parties, with the exception of credit card marketers.  Students have the right to request the college withhold their directory information.


Subpart B:  Students have the right of access to their own private education records and to challenge the accuracy of the information contained therein.  They have the right to authorize the release of any private education records to a third party. Parents are considered a third party regardless of the student’s age, dependent status, or enrollment category.


Subpart C: School officials with legitimate educational interest have the right of access to student education records.


Subpart D:  Other circumstances authorize the college to release education records to a third party without the student’s written consent.

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Part 4: Complaints

Students have the right to file a complaint regarding alleged failures to comply with the provisions of FERPA and the Minnesota Government Data Privacy Act.

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  Policy History:
Date of Adoption:  Established prior to 2011
Date of Implementation:
Date and Subject of Revisions:
Next Review Date:  2014-15
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