The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) grants students certain rights, privileges, and protections relative to individually identifiable student educational records that are maintained by Montana Western. Specifically:
- Students’ educational records (with the exception of directory information) will be released to third parties only with the written consent of the student.
- Students have the right to inspect and review their own individually identifiable educational records. This right may be exercised by contacting the Registrar.
- Students have the right to challenge information contained in individually identifiable educational records. Contact the Registrar for information.
- A copy of the policy statement describing Montana Western’s regulations for this Act is contained in the University Catalog.
FERPA permits the release of directory-type information to third parties without written consent of the student provided the student has been given the opportunity to withhold such disclosure. As of January 3, 2012, The U.S. Department of Education’s FERPA regulations expand the circumstances under which your education records and personally identifiable information (PII) contained in such records – including your Social Security Number, grades, or other private information – may be accessed, without your consent. First, the U.S. Comptroller General, the U.S. Attorney General, The U.S. Secretary of Education, or state and local education authorities (Federal and State Authorities”) may allow access to your records and PII without your consent to any third party designated by a Federal or State Authority to evaluate a federal-or state-supported education program. The evaluation may relate to any program that is “principally engaged in the provision of education,” such as early childhood education and job training, as well as any program that is administered by an education agency or institution. Second, Federal and State Authorities may allow access to your education records and PII without your consent to researchers performing certain types of studies, in certain cases even when we object to or do not request such research. Federal and State Authorities must obtain certain use-restriction and data security promises from the entities that they authorize to receive your PII, but the Authorities need not maintain direct control over such entities. In addition, in connection with Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems, State Authorities may collect, compile, permanently retain, and share without your consent PII from your education records, and they may track your participation in education and other programs by linking such PII to other personal information about you that they obtain from other Federal or State data sources, including workforce development, unemployment insurance, child welfare, juvenile justice, military service, and migrant student records systems. Montana Western releases, upon inquiry from third parties and for Montana Western’s News & Publications Office purposes, directory information without written consent of students. Directory information includes names, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, age, date, and place of birth, gender, names and addresses of parents, student classification, class schedules, photos of students (if available), class, major, dates of attendance, and degrees, honors, and awards conferred; and/or the height, weight, name of high school attended and year of graduation of members of athletic teams.
Students may withhold directory information by checking the appropriate box on Montana Western’s registration form for that particular semester/term, or by contacting the Registrar’s Office, ADM-105, (406) 683-7371.
NOTE: While a request to withhold directory information may be made at any time, students wishing to have directory information withheld from the student directory for a specific term/semester should submit their requests no later than the end of the second week of classes for that particular term.