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Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) is a federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. City Colleges of Chicago requires all full and part-time officers, faculty, and staff to adhere to the federal guidelines regarding the privacy of student education records under FERPA. Specifically, the law requires higher education institutions to:                
  • Maintain the privacy of and security of student records
  • Provide students access to their education records upon request
  • Allow students to seek to correct inaccurate or misleading information in their records
  • Limit the release of records to third parties without the express, written consent of the student​ - except to the extent FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.

What You Need to Know                

FERPA Training​               
Student rights under FERPA                 

FERPA Training               

All City Colleges employees - full-time, part-time and temporary - are required to complete CCC's Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) training.  CCC is legally and ethically obligated to protect the confidentiality of student records.  Because during your employment you may have access to student records, you must complete this training.               

Completing this training program demonstrates your understanding of the standards of professional conduct outlined under FERPA, and satisfies the training requirement for all CCC employees.​               

Click here​ to begin the training.             

Contact your Human Resources Director if you have questions about this requirement.  And should you have any technical issues while completing this training, please contact the District Office Help Desk at (312) 553-2600 or            

Rights Granted Under FERPA                 

Students who reach the age of 18 or any student who attends a higher education institution are covered under FERPA. A student's FERPA rights begin once the​ college receives an application for admission. Parents may be granted access to a student's education records if the student has authorized and signed a FERPA Release Flag or if the student is listed as a dependent of either parent for tax purposes.

Eligible students and parents have the right to:            
  • Inspect and review educational records maintained by the college
  • Request corrections to education records
  • Request a formal hearing if the institution decides not to amend or correct an education record
  • Place a statement with the educational record concerning the contested information
  • File a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education

​Education Records

Under FERPA, education records are defined as records that are directly related to a student and are maintained by an education agency or institution or party acting on behalf of the agency or institution. FERPA generally prohibits the improper disclosure of personally identifiable information derived from a student's education records.                 

Exceptions to FERPA

Colleges must have written permission from a student to release any information included in a student's education records. However, there are exceptions that permit colleges to disclose a student's education records without their consent. Colleges may provide student's education records to:                
  • *School officials with legitimate education interests
  • Other education institutions to which a student is transferring
  • Officials using records for audit or evaluations
  • Appropriate parties providing a student's financial aid
  • Organizations conducting approved studies for, or on behalf of, the college
  • Accrediting organizations
  • Comply with judicial order or lawfully issues subpoena
  • Appropriate officials in cases of health and safety emergencies
  • State and local authorities, within a juvenile justice system, pursuant to a specific state law

Directory Information

Student directory information is not protected under FERPA. Students or parents may request non-disclosure of directory information, which will "flag" this information in CCC's Student PeopleSoft system. Without a request for non-disclosure, this information may be shared without prior consent:
  • Student name
  • Address
  • Telephone listing
  • CCC Electronic mail (email) address
  • Photograph
  • Major field of study
  • Dates of attendance
  • Grade level (freshman, sophomore, etc.)
  • Enrollment status (full or part-time)
  • Participation in official recognized activities and sports
  • Weight and height of members of athletics teams
  • Degrees/certificates, honors, and awards received
  • Most recent educational agency or institution attended

How CCC Complies With FERPA Requirements

CCC will require all employees, including administrators, faculty, staff, engineers, and security personnel to complete FERPA training through an online assessment tool. The online tool provides information on FERPA guidelines and allows employees to test their knowledge using real-world scenarios. Completing this program will satisfy the FERPA training requirement.

FERPA Compliance - Quick Tips

  • ​Keep confidential papers, files, and records in a secure, locked cabinet or storage area.
  • Be aware of others who may overhear your conversations about a student's education records or come across this information on your computer screen.
  • Do not leave grade assignments unattended or in a public place.
  • Never ask for or use student Social Security information.
  • Do not disclose protected information in a letter of recommendation
  • Do not download protected information to an external device (e.g. laptop, tablet, USB drive, phone, etc.).
  • Before providing student information to a parent or external party, contact the college's Registrar to ensure that the release of the student's information is permissible and/or falls within a FERPA exception, or the student has provided written authorization to release the records.

Legal Issues or Complaints                

All CCC employees are held accountable for the protection and privacy of student education records. If you have a legal question or complaint or believe a CCC employee has co​mmitted a FERPA violation, please contact the Office of the General Counsel at (312) 553-2920.

You may also contact the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) at 1 (800) 872-5327, or write to the DOE at the following address:          
Family Policy Compliance Office                 
U.S. Department of Education                 
400 Maryland Avenue, SW                 
Washington, D.C. 20202-8520​​​​​​​​​​​                 
*School O​fficial
A school official is a person employed by CCC in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position (including but not limited to law enforcement unit personnel, counselors, attorneys and health staff); a person serving on the Board of Trustees; or a person (including students) serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or a student assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks.  A school official can also include a contractor, consultant or other party under CCC’s direct control with whom CCC has contracted with to provide an institutional function or service for which CCC would otherwise use its own employees.   

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 CCC.  

Learn More

Related Services

FERPA Release and Restrict Forms

Contact Your Registrar

Harold Washington College
(312) 553-6061

Truman College
(773) 907-6814

Kennedy-King College
(773) 602-5062

Malcolm X College
(312) 850-7107

Olive-Harvey College
(773) 291-6401

Daley College
(773) 838-7600

Wright College
(773) 481-8080         
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