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Understanding FERPA

Know Your Student Rights: Privacy and Appeals

Anyone entering the counseling process has certain rights, including the right to privacy and the right to appeal any decisions or recommendations made by BIT.​

Right to Privacy

North Lake College recognizes the importance of maintaining certain records for each student, and that these records can confirm the student’s educational progress. To protect the rights of students, the College has established policies and guidelines which describe the records maintained and provisions for releasing information. These rules conform to State and Federal laws (the U.S. Department of Education guidelines for the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 as amended, known as the Buckley Amendment, or FERPA).

If the student referred to BIT is already receiving care at the NLC Counseling Center or an outside mental health provider, information about that student’s relationship may not be obtained by the team from those agencies without written authorization from the student in question, in accordance with federal and state law.
Exceptions to the Right to Privacy
Members of the team may provide each other or faculty/staff involved in a particular case, or outside parties in connection with the situation (such as parents/guardian), information in situations that concern protecting the health and safety of that student or others in the community.  The college has the duty to warn members of the community when potential harmful or dangerous situations have been reported and after a review by campus officials warrant such notification.  In these situations, BIT may breach confidentiality in order to warn identified victims.

Appeal Process

If BIT recommends a student take an Interim Suspension or Involuntary Leave of Absence, the student has the right to appeal. In this case, the student may make an appointment to appear personally before the Vice President of Student Affairs (or designee) within five (5) business days from the effective date of the suspension or leave. The Interim Suspension or Involuntary Leave of Absence may continue after this hearing or it may be discontinued.