Student Privacy Policies (FERPA)  

WCIU maintains all records required by the California Educational Code in student files located at the Office of Admissions and Records for a minimum of five years. When student paper files are purged after five years, WCIU retains student transcripts permanently in digital form.

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their records. “Student,” is defined as one who has at one time been admitted to William Carey International University for a course or program of study. 

These rights are:

• The right to inspect and review the student's records within 45 days of the day William Carey International University receives a request for access. Students must submit to the Office of the Registrar written requests that identify the record(s) they wish to inspect. The Registrar will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the Office of Admissions and Records, the student shall be advised of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.

• The right to request the amendment of the student's education records that the student believes are inaccurate. Students may ask William Carey International University to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate. They should write to the Registrar, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate. If William Carey International University decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the student shall be notified of the decision and advised as to his or her right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.

• The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student's education records, except to the extent that FERPAconsent. One exception that permits disclosure without consent is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by William Carey International University in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position (including law enforcement personnel and health staff); a person or company with whom William Carey International University 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, 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 responsibility. consent. One exception that permits disclosure without consent is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by William Carey International University in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position (including law enforcement personnel and health staff); a person or company with whom William Carey International University 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, 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 responsibility. 

• The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by William Carey International University to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the Office that administers FERPA is: Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., Washington, DC, 20202- 4605. 

Students may release information in educational records by emailing the request to the WCIU Registrar. Please designate the specific categories of information that may be released, the specific individuals to whom it may be released, and the end date for the agreement.

WCIU reserves the right to refuse student inspection of the following records:

  • the financial statement of the student’s parents.
  • statements of recommendation for which the student has waived right of access, or which were placed on file before Jan. 1, 1975.
  • records that are excluded from the FERPA definition of education records. 

In addition, WCIU reserves the right to deny transcripts or copies of records not required to be made available by FERPA

  • the student has an unpaid financial obligation to WCIU.
  • there is an unresolved disciplinary action against the student.

Note that federal law allows for several additional circumstances listed (see the full list below) under which PII (Personally identifiable information, which includes information that can be used to distinguish or trace an individual’s identity either directly or indirectly through linkages with other information) may be disclosed to third parties without the student’s prior written consent. In all other circumstances, the university must obtain prior written consent before disclosing non-directory information.

List of Disclosures Postsecondary Institutions May Make Without Consent

Except for disclosures to school officials, disclosures related to some judicial orders or lawfully issued subpoenas, disclosures of directory information, and disclosures to the student, §99.32 of FERPA regulations requires the institution to record the disclosure. Eligible students have a right to inspect and review the record of disclosures. Except for disclosures to school officials, disclosures related to some judicial orders or lawfully issued subpoenas, disclosures of directory information, and disclosures to the student, §99.32 of FERPA regulations requires the institution to record the disclosure. Eligible students have a right to inspect and review the record of disclosures.

William Carey International University may disclose PII from the education records without obtaining prior written consent of the student

• To other school officials, including teachers, within the university whom the school has determined to have legitimate educational interests. This includes contractors, consultants, volunteers, or other parties to whom the school has outsourced institutional services or functions, provided that the conditions listed in §99.31(a)(1)(i)(B)(1) - (a)(1)(i)(B)(2) are met. (§99.31(a)(1))

• To officials of another school where the student seeks or intends to enroll, or where the student is already enrolled if the disclosure is for purposes related to the student’s enrollment or transfer, subject to the requirements of §99.34. (§99.31(a)(2))

• To authorized representatives of the U. S. Comptroller General, the U. S. Attorney General, the U.S. Secretary of Education, or State and local educational authorities, such as a State postsecondary authority that is responsible for supervising the university’s State-supported education programs. Disclosures under this provision may be made, subject to the requirements of §99.35, in connection with an audit or evaluation of Federal- or State-supported education programs, or for the enforcement of or compliance with Federal legal requirements that relate to those programs. These entities may make further disclosures of PII to outside entities that are designated by them as their authorized representatives to conduct any audit, evaluation, or enforcement or compliance activity on their behalf. (§§99.31(a)(3) and 99.35)

• In connection with financial aid for which the student has applied or which the student has received, if the information is necessary to determine eligibility for the aid, determine the amount of the aid, determine the conditions of the aid, or enforce the terms and conditions of the aid. (§99.31(a)(4)) 30

• To organizations conducting studies for, or on behalf of, the school, in order to: (a) develop, validate, or administer predictive tests; (b) administer student aid programs; or (c) improve instruction. (§99.31(a)(6))

• To accrediting organizations to carry out their accrediting functions.

Right to Inspect Records and Disclosure of Educational Records

WCIU adheres to the requirements of Section 438 of the General Education Act. Students have the right to inspect their educational records. Further, students must give permission in writing before their records may be released to others, to others, except for directory information and disclosure to WCIU faculty and staff with a legitimate educational interest.

At William Carey International University, directory information is designated to be the following:

• Student name

• Verification of enrollment status including full-time, part-time, graduate, undergraduate, and classification.

• Student major and minor fields of study, academic honors, and degrees.

• Dates of attendance.

The primary purpose of directory information in the higher education context is to provide enrollment information to employers or other interested parties. Students have the right to “opt out” of providing directory information. Requests to limit the release of directory information must be submitted by email to the Office of the Registrar at registrar@wciu.edu.

Before a student opts out of providing directory information (also known as requesting a "FERPA directory block"), it should be considered that this may make it impossible for employers or other interested parties to verify the student's dates of attendance at William Carey International University. Even if a student requests a FERPA directory block, lending agencies will still be able to confirm dates of attendance.

Students have the right to refuse to let WCIU designate any or all of those types of information about the student designated as directory information, by notifying WCIU in writing. Students also have the right to challenge inaccurate or misleading material in their records and the opportunity for a hearing before a neutral committee. If this committee decides that the challenged information is not inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the student’s right of privacy, the student has the right to have placed in the record a statement commenting on the challenged information and/or a statement setting forth reasons for disagreeing with the committee’s decision. If the University discloses the contested portion of the record, it must also disclose the student’s statement.

If the University decides that the information is inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the student’s right of privacy, it will amend the record and notify the student in writing that the record has been amended.