Last Updated on July 9, 2022 by Michelle Ball
By Michelle Ball, Sacramento California Expulsion, Special Education, sports/CIF, College, Education and School Attorney/Lawyer for Students since 1995
Do you or a family member attend one of the many California community colleges? Is a student curious about what data the college is gathering on them? Or, has a student had “issues” and wants to see what is in their college records?
Obtaining records from California community colleges should be simple and quick, relatively speaking.
Rights Under FERPA to Student Records
Under the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act, aka FERPA, college students have the right to review their records within 45 days of a request. This applies to public colleges, and colleges which take federal funds.
This is quite a bit of time- about a month and a half- and can really drag on if records are needed quickly or are necessary to defend against a discipline hearing.
California Gives Community College Students Their Records Much Sooner Than FERPA
In California, community college students were given the great gift of being able to get their records in about half the time of FERPA. Students here can access their community college records in fifteen working days time!
This means that if a community college is open 5 days a week, records could be accessed within roughly 21 calendar days (considering weekends), which is 24 days less than under FERPA.
Education Code Section 76230 Shortens Timeframe
The magical code section granting this right is California Education Code section 76230 which states “access shall be granted no later than 15 working days following the date of the request.”
This means records a college maintains may be obtained about 3 weeks faster.
So, if and when a student needs their community college records, they can use Education Code section 76230 to ensure records are provided timely.
If community college staff members are not aware of these timelines, it never hurts to remind them– politely, of course.
Student lawyer Michelle Ball assists college students with obtaining records, discipline, academic and other college administrative hearings. A college attorney in Sacramento, Michelle represents students in Roseville, Davis, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Fresno, Davis, Chico, and across the state.