Annual Notification of Rights Under FERPA

Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. They are as follows:

The right to inspect and review education records within 45 days of the day Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine receives a request for access.

Students may request to inspect records by completing a Request to Review Education Records form. Completed forms must be sent to the Registrar’s office to make pertinent arrangements. The Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine must provide the records for review within 45 days of receipt of request. ACOM is not required to provide access to records of applicants for admission who are denied acceptance or who, if accepted, do not attend.

The right to request amendment of education records that students believe are inaccurate or misleading.

Students may challenge information in their educational records that they believe to be incorrect, inaccurate, or inappropriate. This challenge must be made in writing and must be submitted to the appropriate records custodian within one year of the term of the records in question. The records custodian must decide within a reasonable period of time as to whether corrective action is warranted and must provide written notification to the student and the Registrar of any corrective action approved. Students who are not provided full resolution sought by their challenge must be referred to the Dean of Student Services, who will inform them of their right to a formal hearing. All requests for a formal hearing must be made in writing to the Dean, and the Dean of Student Services.

The right to provide written consent before ACOM discloses personally identifiable information contained in education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.

Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine may disclose, without consent, “directory” information. The College has declared the following information to be “directory”: name, address, telephone listing, date and place of birth, major field of study, dates of attendance, degrees and awards received, participation in student activities, photographs, educational institutions attended, enrollment status, anticipated graduation date, class level, residency program matched, and e-mail address. Student social security numbers will be provided as requested in the registration process for the COMLEX and USMLE testing. For this purpose only, the social security number will be considered directory information, subject to disclosure without prior consent from the student. Students have the right to request that the school refrain from disclosing some or all directory information. This will prevent ACOM however, from printing your name in certain publications (i.e. commencement program) or disclosing directory information requested by third parties including spouses and parents. A student can complete a “Request to Opt Out of Directory Information” form and submit it to the Registrar’s office.

The following exceptions permit disclosure without consent:

  1. School officials with legitimate educational interest*;
  2. Other schools to which a student is transferring;
  3. Specified officials for audit or evaluation purposes;
  4. Appropriate parties in connection with financial aid to a student;
  5. Organizations conducting certain studies for or on behalf of the school;
  6. Accrediting organizations;
  7. To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena;
  8. Appropriate officials in cases of health and safety emergencies;

* “School officials with legitimate educational interest” are those officials who are performing a task specified in his or her position description or by a contract agreement, performing a task related to a student’s education, or performing a task related to the discipline of a student. Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine has determined that the following school officials have legitimate educational interests: counselors, instructors, preceptors, contractors, site directors, site coordinators, administrators, board of directors, professional and clerical staff who directly relate to the administrative tasks of the College, College law enforcement officials, College attorneys, the National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners (NBOME), and students who serve on certain College committees.

The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine to comply with the requirements of FERPA.

Complaints regarding FERPA may be made with the following agency:

Family Policy Compliance Office

U.S. Department of Education

400 Maryland Avenue, SW Washington, D.C. 20202-5920

Phone: 1-800-USA-LEARN (1-800-872-5327)