2024-2025 Catalog and Handbook 
  
    May 20, 2024  
2024-2025 Catalog and Handbook

Student Records


A uniform student permanent record shall be used by each community college. The permanent record, which meets the guidelines set up by the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers, includes:

  • The credits transferred from other institutions, including the number of credit hours given (the number of hours may change if the student transfers from one curriculum to another);
  • The semester in which the student is currently enrolled;
  • The student’s social security number or ID number;
  • The Academic Program and Plan;
  • The course number, the course title, the hours attempted, the hours completed, and grade for each course. Course section shall be optional;
  • A grade point average for each semester attended;
  • The cumulative grade point average of the student;
  • Academic action taken against the student including academic probation, suspension, and dismissal; and
  • Degrees, diplomas, certificates, honors.

Students who have been suspended for, have been permanently dismissed for, or have withdrawn from a college while under investigation for an offense involving sexual violence under the College’s sexual misconduct policy will have a notation stating either “Suspended/Dismissed for a violation of, or withdrew while under investigation for a violation of MECC’s sexual misconduct policy” placed on their permanent records. Furthermore, in order to alert other institutions of higher education of a student who was dismissed for exhibiting threatening or dangerous behavior, or otherwise has committed an act of misconduct, colleges may place a statement on the transcript, which shall state “Misconduct Dismissal.” Prior to making any disciplinary notation on a transcript, colleges shall notify the student in writing of such and give the student the right to appeal. The appeal may be part of the college’s normal process for conduct cases.

In addition to the above, colleges may place on a student’s SIS record an XTA service indicator when a student is dismissed for misconduct, exhibits threatening behavior, or is determined that the student poses a threat to the campus community. Colleges also may place on a student’s SIS record an XIT service indicator when a student is under investigation for an act of sexual violence. If the student is found “not responsible” following an investigation, colleges shall remove the indicator immediately. For each indicator, prior to placing a service indicator on a student’s SIS record, colleges shall notify the student that the college will place the service indicator on the student’s SIS record. Colleges shall explain the reason for the service indicator and give the student the right to appeal. The appeal may be part of the college’s normal process for conduct cases. If students who have been dismissed for misconduct or had a service indicator placed on a student’s record, or both, request that transcripts of their records be sent to another college, a statement may be placed on transcripts stating “additional information available upon request from the designated college official”.

 

Privacy of Students Records

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords currently enrolled students certain rights with respect to their education records. They are:

  • The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days of the day the College receives a request for access. Students should submit to Enrollment Services/Admission written requests that identify the record(s) they wish to inspect and a College official will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the College official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed. Requests to provide copies will not be honored if the student has an outstanding financial obligation.
  • The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes are inaccurate or misleading. Students may ask the College to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate or misleading. They should write the College official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading. If the College decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the College will notify the student of the decision and advise the student of his or her right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.
  • The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. One exception which permits disclosure without consent is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the College in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person or company with whom the College has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); a person serving on the Advisory Board; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility. Upon request, the College discloses education records without consent to officials of another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll, or in connection with a student’s request for or receipt of financial aid.
  • The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by Mountain Empire Community College to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the Office that administers FERPA is: Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20202-5920.
  • The right to obtain a copy of the College’s student records policy. The student may obtain a copy of the policy from the Office of Enrollment Services.

To minimize the risk of improper disclosure, academic and disciplinary records will be kept separate. Student conduct records will be maintained for seven years from the date of the last case resolution or two years post-graduation, whichever comes later. Any student record with an outstanding sanction, suspension, or dismissal will be kept indefinitely. Conduct records are not part of the student’s academic transcript.

External Release of Student Conduct Records

A student has the right to review his/her disciplinary file upon request. The student should contact the Office of Student Services to file a written request using the College’s FERPA release form. The Dean of Student Services or designee will process the written request and will provide access to the information within two (2) business days. External release of conduct records will occur in accordance with Federal law. Student conduct records will be released outside of the College system with the students’ written consent. Students may provide written consent by completing the Permission to Release Education Record Information form, located in the Office of Enrollment Services, Fox Central, Holton Hall.

The conditions of access to each will be set forth in the following policy statement:

  • Transcripts of academic records will contain only information about academic status, with the exception of disciplinary action taken against a student which affects his/her eligibility to re-enroll at the College.
  • Information from disciplinary or counseling files will not be made available to unauthorized persons on the campus or to any person off campus without the expressed consent of the student involved, except under legal compulsion or in cases where safety of persons or property is involved.
  • Provisions will be made for periodic destruction of noncurrent disciplinary records.
  • No records will be kept for the sole purpose of reflecting the activities or beliefs of students.
  • Administrative staff and faculty members will respect confidential information about students which they acquire in the course of their work.
  • Upon graduation or withdrawal from the College, the records and files of former students shall continue to be subject to the provisions of this policy.

Student Directory Information

As provided by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and Virginia law, colleges may designate the following types of information as directory information and disclose directory information items without the student’s prior consent: student’s name, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, degrees, honors, and awards received, major field of study, dates of attendance, grade level, the most recent educational agency or institution attended, number of credit hours enrolled, and photos.

Colleges shall not disclose the address, telephone number, or email address of a student as directory information or pursuant to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) without the prior written consent of the student, unless the disclosure is to students enrolled in the college for educational purposes or institution business and the student has not opted out of such disclosure.

Students must provide official notification to the Office of Enrollment Services to prevent the disclosure of directory information.

Records Retention Policy

The College has adopted the General Schedule for Community Colleges (261-GS-1) as published by the Virginia State Library and Archives as its records retention and disposition schedule. Contact the MECC Library at 276.523.7468 for more information.

Access to Students

By Employers/Recruiters

Mountain Empire Community College encourages student access by employers in their efforts to discuss employment opportunities with graduates of our certificate, diploma, and degree programs. The College has adopted the following guidelines which provide appropriate access without disruption of the educational services we provide our students. Any employment recruiter who expects to experience difficulty following these guidelines should discuss concerns with the Dean of Student Services when making the appointment/request.

  • All employers/recruiters (public, private, governmental) must make an appointment with the Dean of Student Services at least three days prior to a campus visit for the purpose of accessing student(s).
  • Employers/recruiters will be allowed two campus visits per semester (summer, fall, spring). Recruiters desiring to visit more than two times each semester should appeal to the Vice President of Academic and Student Services.
  • The Dean of Student Services will designate an area where the employment recruiter will have the highest student access. The recruiter is expected to contact prospective employees in this designated area only.
  • At the conclusion of each visit the recruiter must provide the Dean of Student Services with a list of names of each student contact.
  • All recruiters must agree to encourage any enrolled student to complete their educational program at Mountain Empire Community College prior to full-time employment with their organization. Recruiters who violate this guideline will be requested to leave the campus immediately and future visitation requests may be denied.