Protection of Student Records (FERPA)

Madison College is committed to protecting the privacy of your student records by following guidelines known as FERPA. 

Annual Notification

Once a year, Madison College sends all students an Annual Notification of FERPA rights, which includes this content.

What is FERPA?
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) is a federal law designed to protect the confidentiality of your education records. FERPA governs the release and access to these records.

What are my rights under FERPA?
You have the right to:

  • Inspect and review your education records.
  • Request the amendment of education records that you believe to be inaccurate or misleading.
  • Consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in your education records except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
  • File a complaint with U.S. Department of Education if you believe that Madison College has failed to comply with the requirements of FERPA: 

    U.S. Department of Education
    Student Privacy Policy Office
    400 Maryland Ave, SW
    Washington, DC 20202-8520

Is Madison College required to obtain written consent to disclose my education records?
Information that is designated to be directory information does not require your consent prior to disclosure.

FERPA requires that Madison College obtain your written consent prior to disclosing any other personally identifiable information contained in your education records except to school officials with legitimate educational interests or other authorized representatives under FERPA. The following are examples of valid FERPA exceptions for releasing education record information:

  • request from Department of Defense representatives for student recruiting information
  • legal subpoena
  • in an emergency situation where knowledge of the information is necessary to protect the health or safety of students or other persons.

Who is considered a school official with legitimate educational interest?
Madison Area Technical College discloses education records without a student’s prior written consent under the FERPA exception for disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is

  • a person employed by Madison College in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position (including security personnel)
  • a person or company with whom Madison College has contracted as its agent to provide a service instead of using Madison College employees (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent)
  • a person serving on the Board of Trustees
  • 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 responsibilities for the college.

What is directory information?
Directory information is information which would not generally be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy. Madison College considers the following directory information:

  • Name
  • Major field of study
  • Dates of attendance (term start/end date)
  • Enrollment status (full or part-time)
  • Degrees and awards received
  • Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
  • Weight and height of members of athletic teams
  • Madison College email address

You have the right to request that all directory information not be disclosed. If you wish to request that the college withhold directory information, you may adjust your Privacy Settings in your myMadisonCollege Portal under My Profile. You may also revoke a previous request in this location.

How do I make a request to review my education records?
You should submit a written request identifying the records you wish to inspect. The request should be delivered or sent to Madison College Enrollment Services. It may take up to 45 days to process this request.

What if I find a part of my education record to be inaccurate or misleading?
You should submit a written request to Enrollment Services clearly identifying the part of the record you are requesting to be changed and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading. If the decision is not to amend the record as requested, you will be notified and advised as to your right to a hearing as well as hearing procedures.

How do I access my account if I elect to withhold my student information?
If you elect to withhold your student information, a FERPA hold will be placed on your account. All requests to access your account must be made in-person with photo ID, via request through your Madison College student email, or accessed online by logging into myMadisonCollege. Information cannot be released over the phone. This includes, but is not limited to, class registration, class schedules, financial aid, account inquiries, and the commencement program. Requests to withhold student information will be honored by Madison College until you release the FERPA hold, which can be done in myMadisonCollege.

Release of Other Records
Non-directory information is not released to anyone, except for the following agencies which can receive this data without the student’s permission as provided by the Privacy Act:

  • Agencies providing financial assistance to the student, such as employers, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation and the Veterans Administration
  • The Wisconsin Technical College Board as part of the process of securing state funds
  • Madison College designated school officials who have a legitimate educational need for the information. Designated school officials are defined as faculty, employees, auditors and outside service vendors, who require non-directory information to perform a task or assignment
  • Courts or legal officers on the basis of a subpoena
  • Properly authorized educational authorities for the purpose of research, provided that the information is not given in personally identifiable format
  • State and local officials to whom disclosure is required by state statute adopted prior to November 19, 1974.

Red Flag Rules
In 2003, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and other agencies created what is known as the Red Flag Rules. This law requires Madison College to have an Identity Theft Prevention Program designed to detect, prevent and mitigate identity theft in connection with newly opened or existing accounts. The Red Flags Rule allows the College to detect and respond to any Red Flags to prevent and mitigate identity theft.

The College's Identity Theft Prevention Program involves a four-step process, and is in compliance with FTC requirements:

  1. Identification of Red Flags
  2. Detection of Red Flags
  3. Prevention and Mitigation of Identity Theft
  4. Annual Review and Update of Program

Please review FERPA and Red Flag Rule for Students video for details on how Madison College protects your records.

Merged Sections
Some classes may be merged with other class sections within Madison College’s Learning Systems (e.g. Blackboard) to facilitate learning and collaboration amongst class sections. Please contact your instructor with questions related to how a class may make use of merged sections.


You are allowed to grant third parties (relatives, employers, friends) access to your academic records. This will allow them to obtain the information you specify without needing your immediate consent.

  • Consent automatically expires at the end of each academic year and must be renewed for continued access

  • Records from Counseling Services or Disability Resource Services must be obtained directly through their offices.

  • A Consent for Release of Student Information cannot be processed if you have requested a FERPA hold in your myMadisonCollege student account. Contact Enrollment Services for further information.

  • Madison College does not release FERPA-protected information to personal emails for students or third parties. Third parties must call or come in-person with a photo ID to request information that has been authorized for release by the student.

Complete and submit the Consent for Release of Student Information (PDF, 40KB). 

Request to Withhold Student Information 

If you wish to request that the college withhold directory information, you may adjust your Privacy Settings in your myMadisonCollege New Portal under Personal Information. You may also revoke a previous request in this location.