Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

FERPA applies to all parents and/or guardians of any Santa Monica College student no matter what age of the student, including dual enrollment students who are concurrently enrolled in a high school and Santa Monica College. Your student has officially enrolled in an institution of higher education, and as a result, your student is now protected by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974.

What does this mean?

FERPA stands for Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, which is a federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. Visit the U.S. Department of Education website for more information.

This law applies to any student that reaches the age of 18 or begins attending a college or university regardless of age. FERPA rights are transferred from the parent or guardian to the student.

Students must act on their own behalf. Parents, guardians, relatives, or friends of SMC students are not permitted to enroll, drop, or add classes on behalf of the student. The same applies to requesting transcripts or grade verifications.

As a parent/guardian, do I have access to my son or daughter's academic records?

Under Section 49061 of the Education Code, parents/guardians of community college students do not have a right to access their children's student records, regardless of whether the student is under the age of 18. In accordance with this regulation, students' college records will be released to parents/guardians only with the written consent by the student.

I am a parent/guardian and I need help logging into, navigating, and/or processing transactions in my student's Corsair Connect account. What do I do?

College officials may assist only the student with access to his or her Corsair Connect account, which contains records covered under FERPA.

Students must act on their own behalf. Parents, guardians, relatives, or friends of SMC students are not permitted to enroll, drop, or add classes on behalf of the student.

As a parent/guardian, can I contact my son's or daughter's instructor about course content, assignments and/or grading policy?

Your student is enrolled in a college course and it is important to understand that instructors will work directly with students, as opposed to the type of interactions you may be familiar with in a high school setting.

Under FERPA, instructors are not required to discuss student performance or other student-related concerns with parents/guardians.

Since the community college environment addresses the learning needs of adults, there may be concerns to consider when enrolling in courses, including possible controversial course content and maturity level of minor students.

Faculty establish a syllabus for each course, which include the course content or objectives, assignments, a general guide to the pacing of the course and information about how grades will be determined. Once a student receives the syllabus for the course from the instructor and the student decides to remain enrolled in the course, the syllabus becomes the contract between the student and teacher.

As a parent/guardian, can I request a grade progress report from my son's/daughter's instructor?

Under FERPA, instructors are not required to discuss student performance or other student-related issues with parents/guardians, including progress or grades.

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