FAMILY EDUCATIONAL RIGHTS AND PRIVACY ACT
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974 is a federal law that gives students certain rights with respect to their education records. The following constitutes the College’s policy regarding FERPA:
I. The rights provided to students are as follows:
- The right to inspect and review their education records;
- The right to control disclosure of personally identifiable information contained in their education records;
- The right to request amendments to their education records to correct inaccurate or misleading information;
- The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education if the College violates FERPA regulations.
II. Education Records are defined as follows:
- Career Services Office: test scores (GRE, GMAT, etc.)
- Education Department: teacher certification records
- Financial Aid Office: financial aid records
- Public Relations Office: student media release forms, P.R. information
- Records Office: academic transcript, registration information, application for admission, high school transcript, college transfer work, test scores, work evaluations, letters of recommendation, activities lists, general correspondence
- Student Life Office: disciplinary records, immunization records
- Work Office: work records
III. The following records are exempt from FERPA regulations and may not be viewed by students:
- personal notes of faculty and staff;
- medical and counseling records used solely for treatment;
- financial records of parents;
- confidential letters and statements of recommendations placed in student files prior to January 1, 1975;
- confidential statements of recommendation of admission, employment or honorary recognition placed in student files after January 1, 1975, for which the right to inspect and review has been waived by the student.
IV. The College routinely releases the following directory information when requested:
- student name;
- dates of attendance;
- major field of study;
- classification by year;
- degrees, honors, awards, certificates earned ;
- address (home, local & campus);
- telephone number (home, local & campus);
- campus e-mail addresses;
- athletic rosters (name, weight and height);
- participation in co-curricular activities,
- work program participation.
V. Release of Information to School Officials.
The law permits school officials (defined as:
- any person who is a trustee, officer, agent or employee of Blackburn College—also included are students serving on college committees where legitimate “need to know” exists) to use information contained in the students’ educational records for internal use, and under certain circumstances to provide it to others, including the use of this information in the event of an emergency. This information will not, however, be used in the College Directory, in public releases or be made available to the public without consent of the student.
VI. Release of Information to Third Parties.
Normally, education records, other than directory information, will not be released without the prior written consent of the student.
However, education record information may be released, without consent, under the following circumstances:
- to faculty and staff with a legitimate educational “need to know” (“Legitimate educational interest” or “need to know” means the information or records requested is relevant and necessary to complete an assigned task and the task is an employment responsibility for the requestor or is properly assigned subject matter for the requestor’s employment or committee responsibility.);
- in accordance with a lawful subpoena or court order;
- to representatives of agencies or organizations from which students have received financial assistance;
- to others specifically exempted from prior consent requirements of the act (including certain federal and state officials, organizations conducting student surveys on behalf of the College, accrediting organizations, etc.);
- of “directory information”;
- to parents of dependent students, as determined by the Financial Aid Office according to the Internal Revenue Code of 1954;
- to the United States Office of Immigration and Naturalization Service (for international students only);
- in emergencies where the information is necessary to protect health and safety of the student or others.
VII. Release of Information to Parents
Blackburn College recognizes the importance of support and interest of parents and families of students in all areas of the College program. Students are encouraged to share information about their experiences and programs with their families. A large part of the educational process of college is learning to be independent and solve one’s own problems. Therefore, College personnel will focus on working through problems with students. However, information (as designated on the student information sheet collected each semester by the Records Office) regarding student status and progress may be shared with the parents of dependent students under the following policies. Exceptions may be made in unusual circumstances upon request of the student and approval of the Dean of Students. The College does reserve the right to contact parent(s)/guardian(s) of dependent students who are experiencing difficulty with satisfactory academic or work program progress or difficulty with the Student Conduct Code and/or campus disciplinary system.
The College supports and follows the provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of the United States, which protects students from indiscriminate use of student records. The act permits, but does not require provision of information to parents of dependent students. Examples of information that may be released include, but are not limited to the following:
Grades: Copies of end-of-term grades may be sent to parents, guardians, next-of-kin, or other persons designated by the dependent student. The address used will be that indicated for such individuals in the Records Office as amended from term to term. Address changes should be reported to the Records Office.
Withdrawal: Student status is part of Directory Information which, under FERPA, is public information. Included is information about whether a student has been, is, or is expected to be enrolled. Parents of dependent students leaving school, including those approved for leaves of absence may be notified.
Emergencies: Parents, guardians, or other persons indicated in student records will be notified in cases of emergencies. The Student Life Staff shall determine whether an emergency exists and if notification is necessary.
Violations of College Regulations: Parents may be contacted in cases where a student has violated regulations and parental knowledge is deemed appropriate by the Student Life Staff or required by written policy. For purposes of clarification the only students with Independent Student Status are those deemed so by the Financial Aid Office based upon their legal tax status.
Students may challenge information in their files by filing a written request with the Student Life Office. The decision of the appropriate college official overseeing the file is final, but the student always has the opportunity to place a letter of protest in the file.
Participants in Title IV Federal Financial Aid under the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, are required to direct students to a state agency for assistance with unresolved complaints. Blackburn College will make available to students or prospective students, upon request, a copy of the documents describing the institution’s accreditation and state authorization. Blackburn College also provides its students or prospective students with contact information for filing complaints with its accreditor and the state.
Complaints may be filed with the Illinois Board of Higher Education at IBHE Complaints; accessible through the agency’s homepage at www.ibhe.org.
Blackburn encourages each member of the campus community to exercise their right to vote. Students needing to register to vote may do so by obtaining an Illinois Voter Registration Application available on the State Board of Elections web site.
DRUG FREE SCHOOLS AND CAMPUSES ACT STATEMENT
Blackburn strictly prohibits the unlawful possession, use, or distribution of drugs and alcohol by students and employees on college property or as a part of college activities. Unlawful is defined in accordance with local, state, and federal laws. Each student and employee will be expected to meet these standards of conduct. The College will be consistent in enforcing our policy against drugs and alcohol on campus.
Individuals found to be in unlawful possession or use of drugs or alcohol on college property, in connection with college activities or while completing duties as an employee will be subject to judicial action. This action will include a hearing in front of the appropriate College official(s) or board, possibly resulting in referral for drug or alcohol treatment. Individuals found to be selling or trafficking drugs will be subject to the most serious disciplinary action–termination of employment/suspension from the college and referral to legal authorities for prosecution. Legal ramifications, in general, for unlawful possession, use, or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol may include: being charged with a misdemeanor or a felony with resulting penalties of supervision, probation, assessment of a monetary fine, imprisonment, or a combination of these.
The college will annually provide to each member of the community information about our policies, health risks associated with alcohol and other drug use, and resources for prevention, intervention, and treatment. Paper copies of this information are available upon request from the Student Life Office.
CAMPUS SECURITY, EMERGENCY RESPONSE AND CAMPUS CRIME STATISTICS
Blackburn College is committed to ensuring that our students are as free as possible from any threats to their safety or well being. Fortunately, our rural location affords us the luxury of a relatively low crime rate. In order to anticipate the unexpected, the residence life staff, the campus security force and the students themselves are employed to ensure that students and their possessions are protected as much as possible.
+Security Policies and Procedures
Students, faculty and staff have regular access to all non-residential campus buildings from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. each day. After 10 p.m. only those issued keys are authorized to enter buildings. Physical Plant personnel closely monitors key distribution.
The exterior doors of all Residence Halls are locked 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. The residents of each building are assigned an exterior door key to the building they occupy.
Physical Plant staff maintains campus buildings and grounds with a concern for safety and security. Adequate lighting is considered as well as sufficient locks on doors and windows. Prompt response is given to any report of a potential safety or security hazard.
Any disturbance or breach of campus security can be reported by dialing (4224) for the Student Life Office (during regular business hours) or after hours by contacting your Resident Director or the Resident Director on Campus Duty. Upon receipt of a call, the responsible staff person assesses the situation and either handles it or calls local police to intervene.
Residence life staff and security personnel are trained in security measures. City police hold seminars for staff discussing various interventions and reporting strategies. In addition, these staff members are trained to enforce College policy. This includes but is not limited to enforcement of laws regulating underage drinking, and use of controlled substances. Drug enforcement teams, including dogs, may be brought unannounced on to the campus.
Blackburn prohibits the unlawful possession, use, or distribution of drugs and alcohol by students and employees on College property or as a part of College activities. Each student and employee will be expected to meet these standards of conduct.
The residence hall staff plans programs on a variety of topics to help educate students on personal safety awareness and security. Information on safety and security is provided through seminars, posters and brochures.
+Campus-Wide Emergency Response
In the event of a campus-wide emergency, students will be informed of the emergency and given instruction via the cell phone numbers students provide to the College and students’ campus e-mail addresses. Automated messages will be sent through a “broadcast” communication system used by the College. Students wishing to review the College’s Emergency Response Manual may do so via the website.
+Crime Statistics and Other Consumer Information
Information regarding crime statistics is available on the College website.
Individuals interested in a paper copy of the campus crime statistics can obtain a copy by making a request at the Campus Security Office (DCC, room #134).
Student persistence rate & graduation rate information can be obtained from the Records Office (Ludlum Hall, room #113).
Information on financial assistance available to students enrolled at Blackburn can be obtained from the Financial Aid Office (Ludlum Hall, room #119)
STATEMENT ON CIVIL RIGHTS/NON-DISCRIMINATION
The facilities and services of the College are open to all students without respect to gender, race, color, age, ancestry, religion, marital status, national origin, physical or mental handicap, military status or sexual orientation. The President of the College is the Civil Rights Compliance Officer.
TITLE IX AT BLACKBURN COLLEGE
Title IX provides that “no person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” Further information about Title IX can be found at http://www.justice.gov/crt/about/cor/coord/titleix.php
Blackburn College has a multidisciplinary team that is tasked with the responsibility to address and prevent sexual harassment and misconduct. The Multidisciplinary Team consists of a Title IX Coordinator, VP of Student Affairs/Dean of Students, VP of Administration/Human Resources, Provost, Director of Housing, Director of Safety and Security, Director of Athletics, Director of Counseling Services, and College Chaplain.
It is the responsibility of Blackburn College to take immediate and effective corrective action if the college has notice of a sexually hostile environment or gender-based harassment. Blackburn College has notice if a responsible employee knew, or in the exercise of reasonable care, should have known about the harassment. In these cases, Blackburn College will do the following corrective actions:
- Eliminate the harassment and hostile environment
- Prevent its recurrence
- Address its effects
All students, staff, faculty, and vendors of Blackburn College are considered responsible employees and are required to report violations of Title IX to one of the following persons
- Director of Campus Safety
- Dean of Students
- TitleIX Coordinator
The only employees that are not mandated to report are Director of Counseling Services, Peer Counselors, and College Chaplain. They all serve as confidential resources for complainants that wish to not file a formal complaint and can connect complainants to available off-campus resources.
For more information, please contact:
Jarrod Gray, Title IX Coordinator
AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT (ADA)
This policy applies to students with disabilities as defined by Section 504 and the ADA. A person is disabled if she or he:
- Has a mental or physical impairment which substantially limits one or more of such person’s major life activities;
- Has a record of such impairment; or
- Is regarded as having such impairment.
Procedure for Obtaining Adjustments
Blackburn College shall, upon request, consider adjustments for students who have been determined to have a disability. An adjustment is defined by this policy as any reasonable accommodation for a student’s disability as required by Federal regulations.
Blackburn’s College Counselor serves as the primary contact for students requesting adjustments related to a disability; the Vice President for Administration and Finance (VPAF) is the College’s ADA compliance officer. Students requesting an adjustment must present to Counseling Services relevant, verifiable, professional documentation or assessment reports confirming the existence of a disability, and meet with the Counselor in order to confirm the disability claim and to assist College officials in determining what adjustment(s) may be warranted. Information regarding a student’s disability will be treated in a confidential manner in accordance with Blackburn College and Counseling Services policies as well as applicable federal and state law
After the existence of a disability has been confirmed, the Counselor will meet with appropriate college officials to discuss adjustments for the student.
- Academic Adjustments: The Counselor will confer with the Director of the Learning Center and the Provost to make specific recommendations regarding academic adjustments.
- Facilities Adjustments: The Counselor will confer with the Director of Physical Plant and the VPAF to make specific recommendations regarding facilities adjustments.
- Work Program Adjustments: The Counselor will confer with the Associate Dean of Work and Work Program General Managers to make specific recommendations regarding work adjustments.
The student will have two options for implementation of any recommended adjustments:
- (S)he may deliver the letter describing the recommended adjustments to (and conferring with) the individuals involved in determining the implementation of a recommended adjustment.
- The student may request the Counselor to contact those individuals involved in determining the implementation of recommended adjustments.
If an approved adjustment is not provided or followed as outlined by the Provost, the Vice President for Administration and Finance, or the Work Program, the student shall report the matter to the Counselor within fifteen business days of receiving his or her adjustment letter.
If a student has followed the procedures identified in this policy and does not agree with the determination of the existence of a disability and/or the recommended adjustment, he/she may file a grievance by using the grievance procedures listed in this handbook.
More information about confidential reporting options and investigation procedures can be found in the B-Book (student handbook).