Access to Student Records/Transcripts
A student may request that a copy of their student permanent record be forwarded to other educational institutions, employers, or any person(s) designated by the student. A student must authorize the release of their transcript by submitting a signed written request, accessing the Transcript Request Form through GCC Online at www.gcc.vccs.edu or by completing a Transcript Request Form, available at the Welcome Center at either campus and on the Admissions and Records website. There is currently no fee for transcripts. Allow up to ten working days for processing.
Due to the limitations on access to student information under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, telephone, email and third party requests for transcripts cannot be honored. This includes transcript requests from parents of students. Germanna will not release a transcript for any student who has unresolved financial obligations with the College.
A duplicate copy of a diploma issued by Germanna Community College is available at no charge. Reorders will be processed and included with the next regular order for diplomas when degrees are conferred to graduates.
Note: The College does not provide copies of transcripts from other institutions.
Such copies must be obtained from the originating source.
Student Records Retention
The College permanently retains an electronic record of a student’s academic transcript (student permanent record). Other records will be maintained in paper form for periods ranging from one year after the date of origination to three years from the date of a student’s separation from the College. The College retains student records according to the regulations set forth by the Virginia Public Records Act of the Code of Virginia.
Changes to Official Student Record
Students wishing to make any changes or corrections to identifying information on file at the College must complete a Change Form. This includes changes of name, address, telephone number, and curriculum. Change Forms are available at the Welcome Center and on the Admissions and Records website.
The Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act (FERPA)
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords 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 the appropriate records custodian written requests that identify the record(s) they wish to inspect. The records custodian 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.
- The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes are inaccurate or misleading. A student 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 agency); a person serving on the College 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.
FERPA permits institutions to identify certain items of student information as “directory information.” Germanna identifies directory information as the: Student’s name, address, telephone listing, electronic mail address, major field of study, number of credit hours enrolled, dates of attendance, grade level, degrees, honors, and awards received, the most recent educational agency or institution attended, and participation in officially recognized activities and sports. Students must submit written notification to the office of the College Registrar to prevent he disclosure of directory information. Germanna may disclose any of these items without prior consent, unless the student notifies the Admissions and Records Office, in writing during the first ten days of the semester that this information remains confidential.
- The right to file a complaint with the U. S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the 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, 600 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20202-4605.
According to FERPA, Germanna Community College may release information without the student’s written consent to the following:
- school officials, as identified by Germanna Community College, determined by Germanna Community College to have a legitimate educational interest, (individuals appointed to ad hoc review committees may be identified as having a legitimate educational interest)
- officials of other institutions in which the student seeks to enroll,
- persons or organizations providing to the student financial aid, or determining financial aid decisions,
- accrediting organizations, carrying out their accrediting functions,
- parents of a student who have established that student’s status as a dependent according to IRS Code of 1986, Section 152,
- persons in compliance with a judicial order or a lawfully issued subpoena,
- persons in an emergency, if the knowledge of information, in fact, is necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or other persons.
Questions on this policy can be directed to the Registrar in the Office of Admissions and Records.
Germanna Community College reserves the right to deny transcripts or copies of records not required to be made available by the FERPA in any of the following situations:
- The student lives within commuting distance of Germanna Community College; if student is within commuting distance, the student may be asked to come and view the file at the office rather than making a full set of copies of all file contents.
- The student has an unpaid financial obligation to the College.
- There is an unresolved disciplinary action against the student.
Types, Locations, and Custodians of Educational Records:
Admissions & Records
Location: Enrollment Services/ Custodian: Registrar
Cumulative Academic Records
Location: Enrollment Services/ Custodian: Registrar
Financial Aid Records
Location: Financial Aid Office / Custodian: Director of Financial Aid
Location: Business Office / Custodian: Business Manager
Location: Testing Centers at both campus / Custodian: Coordinator of Testing Services
Location: Student Services / Custodian: Dean of Student Development
Germanna Community College reserves the right to decline to send and/or receive records via fax transmission if the College considers the use of facsimile documents inconsistent with policies or the best interest of the institution or its students.