Procedures To Seek To Correct Education Records
Request for Correction—Sinclair Community College encourages students to periodically inspect and review their education records to be sure the records correctly reflect their academic progress and other achievements. The College will permit students to challenge the contents of their education records to ensure that the records are not inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of their privacy or other rights of students.
 
For the purpose of outlining the procedure to seek to correct education records, the term “incorrect” will be used to describe a record that is inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the privacy or other rights of students. The term “requester” will be used to describe a student or former student who is asking the college to correct a record. If a student or former student discovers an incorrect item in his/her education record, the individual should informally discuss the problem with the record custodian. If the custodian finds the record is incorrect because of an obvious error, and it is a simple matter to correct it to the satisfaction of the requester, the custodian may make the change. If the custodian cannot change the record to the requester’s satisfaction or the record does not appear to be obviously incorrect, the custodian will:
 
1.    Provide the requester a copy of the questioned record at no cost; and,
2.    Ask the requester to initiate and provide the custodian a written request for the change.
 
The written request should identify the item the requester believes is incorrect and state whether it:
 
1.    Is inaccurate and why;
2.    Is misleading and why, and/or;
3.    Violates the privacy or other rights of students and why.
 
The requester must date and sign the request.
 
The record custodian will then add any material to support his/her refusal to change the record to the request and send it to the FERPA Coordinator. The FERPA Coordinator will examine the request; discuss it with appropriate Sinclair officials, including the person who initiated the record and other persons who might have an interest in the questioned item. At the conclusion of this investigation, the FERPA Coordinator will summarize his/her findings, make a recommendation for College action, and deliver the request, the custodian’s statement, his/her summary of findings, and his/her recommendation to the Senior Vice President of the division that houses Registration and Student Records.
 
The Senior Vice President of the division that houses Registration and Student Records will instruct the FERPA Coordinator whether the record should or should not be changed in accord with the request. If the decision is to change the record, the FERPA Coordinator will advise the custodian to make the change. The custodian will advise the requester in writing when he/she has changed the record and invite the requester to inspect the corrected record.
 
If the college’s decision is that the record is correct and should not be changed, the FERPA Coordinator will prepare and send the requester a letter stating the decision. This letter will also inform the requester that:
 
1.    The College will provide an opportunity for a hearing for the requester to present evidence that the record is inaccurate, misleading, or that it violates the privacy or other rights of students.
2.    The requester may be represented or assisted in the hearing by other parties including an attorney. (The College will not assume the costs for such assistance or representation.)
3.    The requester (if he/she wishes a hearing) should contact the FERPA Coordinator to discuss such details as an acceptable hearing officer, time and place for the hearing, and the time needed to present evidence. (The College will not be bound by the requester’s wishes in these matters but will, as far as possible, arrange the hearing as the requester wishes.)
 
The hearing—The FERPA Coordinator will report to the Senior Vice President of the division that houses Registration and Student Records that the requester has asked for a hearing and recommend a hearing officer, time, and place. The Senior Vice President of the division that houses Registration and Student Records will formally appoint a hearing officer and advise the FERPA Coordinator of the appointment. The FERPA Coordinator will then arrange for the place, set a time for the hearing, and notify the requester of the arrangements.
 
At the hearing, the requester will be allowed a full and fair opportunity to present evidence and testimony to support his/her belief that the challenged material in his/her education record is inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the privacy or other rights of students. The College reserves the right to challenge evidence and cross-examine witnesses, and it will allow the requester to challenge evidence it presents and cross-examine witnesses it calls in the hearing.
 
Within two weeks after the hearing, the hearing officer will prepare a summary of the evidence presented at the hearing and make a recommendation, based solely on evidence presented at the hearing, concerning the request to change the record. The hearing officer will present the summary of the evidence and the recommendation to the Senior Vice President of the division that houses Registration and Student Records.
 
The Senior Vice President of the division that houses Registration and Student Records will advise the FERPA Coordinator of the college’s decision and provide him/her a copy of the summary of the evidence presented at the hearing.
 
Post hearing decision—if the college’s decision is that it should change the student’s record, the FERPA Coordinator will advise the record custodian to make the change. The FERPA Coordinator will then advise the requester in writing outlining the exact changes which the custodian will make. If the college decides it will not change the record, the FERPA Coordinator will prepare a written notice to the requester. The notice will include:
 
1.    The College’s decision not to change the record;
2.    A copy of the summary of the evidence presented at the hearing and a written statement of the reasons for the college’s decision; and,
3.    Advice to the requester that he/she may place in the record his/her explanatory statement giving any reason she may have for disagreeing with the college’s decision and the basis for his/her belief that the record is incorrect.
 
Final administrative step—When Sinclair Community College receives an explanatory statement from a requester after a hearing, it will maintain the statement as part of the student’s education record as long as it maintains the questioned part of the record. Whenever the questioned part of the record is disclosed, the explanatory statement will also be disclosed.