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Comprehensive Standards 3.4.11

The institution protects the security, confidentiality, and integrity of its student academic records and maintains special security measures to protect and back up data. (Educational Programs Standards for All Educational Programs) (Includes all on-campus, off-campus, and distance learning programs)

compliance

Summary

Cape Fear Community College (CFCC) is in compliance with this standard as demonstrated by its strict adherence to regulations set by the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act, the North Carolina Community College System Records Retention and Disposition Schedule, and the College’s policies and procedures. Quality information technology systems and well-trained staff ensure the security, confidentiality, and integrity of student academic records in all programs and services provided by Cape Fear Community College.

Narrative

Cape Fear Community College protects the security, confidentiality, and integrity of its student academic records and has the policies and procedures in place to maintain security measures and back up data. The Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), which governs the release and access to education records, is summarized on page 34 of the CFCC Catalog and Student Handbook under Student Expectations, Rights, and Responsibilities (Student Expectations, Rights, and Responsibilities pg 34). Additional policies and procedures regarding the security and integrity of student records can be found in the Information Technology Services’ System Guidelines (Administrative Unix Guidelines), and the North Carolina Community College System Records Retention and Disposition Schedule (Records Retention and Disposition Schedule). Although maintaining the security, confidentiality and integrity of academic records is a college-wide endeavor, it is the Office of the Registrar and Information Technology Services who are jointly responsible for enforcing policy and disseminating the information to faculty, staff and the public.

All student permanent records and student academic files are maintained and stored electronically using document imaging. Student permanent records from 1959 to present are either stored in the College’s administrative computing system, IIPS and Datatel Colleague, or in Matrix, the document imaging system. Backup tapes for all three computing systems are made on a regular basis and are kept in secure locations on and off-campus (Tape Backup Procedures pg 10). Following the guidelines of the NCCCS Records Retention and Disposition Schedule, permanent student records before 2004 were microfilmed on an annual basis with one copy stored in a fireproof room on campus, and a second copy stored in a safety deposit box at a local bank. After 2004, permanent student records within the Matrix Document Imaging System are archived to optical media and stored off-campus (Matrix Guidelines). Student academic files include applications, high school and college transcripts, transcript evaluations, placement test scores, and any other documents pertaining to a student’s academic status. Upon receipt, documents go directly to Records personnel to be scanned into Matrix. Documents are stored in the Records room for three months before being shredded. When these documents are needed for processing, authorized personnel access them through the Matrix system. Access to Student Development offices on both campuses is tightly controlled with limited key access. Keys to the Records room are only issued to authorized employees. The room is either attended or locked at all times. College work-study students, employed in Student Development, must sign a confidentiality agreement before beginning work (Work-Study Confidentiality Agreement). Work-study students do not have access to the administrative computer system.

CFCC has the security and back up policies in place to ensure the integrity of the system. Employees must agree to abide by the Computer Use Policies found in section 9.13 of the CFCC Faculty and Staff Handbook, before gaining access to the system (Computer Use Policy). In addition, each employee is assigned a unique login and password. As users login, a pop-up box reminds them of the FERPA policy. Data on the Datatel Colleague and IIPS systems is backed up each night, except Sundays. Month-end and year-end backups are kept off-campus in a safety deposit box at a local bank. The College maintains a Disaster Recovery Plan that serves to mitigate the effects of catastrophic events on data assets (Disaster Recovery Plan).

All requests for curriculum transcripts are processed in Student Development. Procedures for requesting academic records are documented on page 30 of the CFCC Catalog and Student Handbook and the CFCC website. (Transcript of Record) (Obtaining a Transcript). The College requires all transcript requests in writing, including the written signature of the student. Student requests for transcripts are scanned into document imaging and maintained indefinitely. A picture-identification is required when a student picks up a transcript.

The Cape Fear Community College policy on disclosing student information to the public can be found on page 34 of the CFCC Catalog and Student Handbook under Directory Information (Directory Information). Directory information concerning students is available to the general public unless otherwise requested in writing by the student. Information that may be disclosed includes name, major field of study, full/part time enrollment, the most recent college attended, dates of enrollment, degrees, awards received and the College assigned email address. Parents of students can only gain access through written permission of the student or proof of dependency. FERPA workshops are conducted regularly during in-service training for faculty and staff, and information is provided during new faculty orientation (FERPA Workshop). In addition, a statement concerning FERPA and the importance of confidentiality is included with the issuance of all class rosters.

Basic Skills
Academic records in the CFCC Basic Skills Program, including Adult High School, General Equivalency Diploma (GED), and Compensatory Education, are maintained on the same computer system. Current student academic records in the Basic Skills Program are kept in locked lateral files with only staff members having access. Older records are stored in locked facilities on campus. When records need to be destroyed, a staff member accompanies them to a facility where the records are incinerated.

Continuing Education
To ensure the security and confidentiality of Continuing Education files, passwords are not shared by the Continuing Education Record Audit Department (RAD). Steps are taken to insure that the RAD staff are updated on trends and receive training relative to FERPA guidelines. The Continuing Education Registrar insures that Continuing Education staff members are briefed on maintaining the integrity of student records.

Hard copies of Continuing Education files are stored in room 111 of the Galehouse (A) building and room 120 of the Business Industry and Government (BIG) Center (T) building. These rooms are closed and locked with access prohibited to the public except for the Continuing Education Registrar and other record audit staff who periodically update files.

Currently, all Continuing Education records are stored in the Datatel and IIPS administrative systems. They are stored on microfilm and kept on campus.

Additional information regarding the security, confidentiality, and integrity of student records can be found in Comprehensive Standard 3.9.2 (Comprehensive Standard 3.9.2).

Documentation

Source Location

Student Expectations,
Rights and Responsibilities,

CFCC Catalog and Student Handbook (pg 34)

CATALOG.pdf

Administrative Unix Guidelines

admin_unix_guidelines.pdf

Records Retention and Disposition Schedule,
North Carolina Community College System

NCCCS9-2003Final.pdf

Tape Backup Procedures,
Information Systems Disaster Recovery Manual

disaster_recovery.pdf

Matrix Guidelines matrix.pdf
Work Study Confidentiality Agreement FERPAREVISED.pdf
Computer Use Policy,
CFCC Faculty and Staff Handbook,
Section 9.13: Information Technology
handbook2005.htm
Disaster Recovery Plan,
Information Systems Disaster Recovery Manual
disaster_recovery.pdf
Transcript of Record,
CFCC Catalog and Student Handbook (pg 30)
CATALOG.pdf
Obtaining a Transcript,
Cape Fear Community College Website
obtainingtranscriptweb.pdf
Directory Information,
CFCC Catalog and Student Handbook (pg 34)
CATALOG.pdf
FERPA Workshop FERPAworkshop.pdf
Comprehensive Standards 3.9.2,
CFCC SACS Compliance Documentation
Comprehensive Standards 3.9.2

 

 

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