Berkeley City College is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, an institutional accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
Institutions of higher education in the U.S. participate voluntarily in self-evaluation and external peer review with the aim of maintaining educational integrity and quality and institutional effectiveness. The ACCJC accreditation process offers assurance that accredited member colleges meet standards set by the Commission. This validates that degrees, certificates, and credits earned are of value to the student who earned them. Employers, trade or profession-related licensing agencies, and other colleges and universities can accept a student’s credential from accredited member colleges as legitimate.
Berkeley City College maintains accreditation by meeting standards established by the ACCJC. Over the course of the (previously six-year) now seven-year accreditation review cycle, the College engages continuously in internal, mission-driven evaluation processes. These are accompanied by regular external peer evaluation and Commission evaluation. Together, these result in continual institutional self-improvement. Documents produced during this cycle include: a comprehensive institutional self-evaluation report (ISER), external evaluation report, midterm report, annual reports, and annual fiscal reports.
Berkeley City College completed an ISER during the 2020-21 year. This was followed by a site visit in spring 2021 comprising external peer evaluators under the leadership of the ACCJC. Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, this 2021 site visit was conducted virtually. Faculty, classified staff, administrators, and students contributed to the gathering of evidence, writing of the ISER, and preparation for the site visit.
FERPA: Student Right to Privacy
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) guarantees that the academic records for students over 18 years old or postsecondary students of any age cannot be discussed with anyone except the student or authorized College personnel.
PCCD only discloses personally identifiable information from an education record to appropriate parties in connection with an emergency if knowledge of the information is necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or other individuals.
In the case of High School Concurrent Enrollment students, FERPA also prohibits parents from accessing their children’s student records, regardless of the student’s age.
To whom, and under what conditions, may colleges disclose information without the student’s written consent?
- To college faculty, staff and administrators with a legitimate educational interest in the information.
- In response to a request for directory information.
- To Federal, State and local education authorities involving an audit, evaluation or compliance with education programs.
- Agents acting on behalf of the college (i.e. National Student Clearinghouse).
- In connection with processing financial aid.
- Accrediting organizations.
- To comply with a judicial order or subpoena.
- In connection with a health or safety emergency if the information will assist in resolving the emergency.
Requests to disclose information under these circumstances should always be handled with caution and approached on a case by case basis.
Student records can only be released with the expressed written consent of the student.
Students: If you would like to provide consent for a parent, spouse, or other party to have access to your records, please request and submit a FERPA Authorization Release Form.
Health and Safety Exemption
FERPA permits non-consensual disclosure of education records, or personally identifiable, non-directory information from education records, in connection with a health or safety emergency under § 99.31(a)(10) and § 99.36 of the FERPA regulations. The health or safety exemption permits the disclosure of personally identifiable information from a student’s education record without the written consent of the student in the case of an immediate threat to the health or safety of students or other individuals
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords student certain rights with respect to their education records. They are:
1. The right to inspect and review the student’s Peralta Community College District education records within 45 days of the request for access. Students should submit a written request to the Office of Associate Vice Chancellor of Student Services that identifies the record(s) they wish to inspect. The Office of Associate Vice Chancellor of Student Services 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 Admissions and Records Office, the student shall be advised of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.
2. right to request an amendment to the education records that the student believes is inaccurate. Students should write to the Associate Vice Chancellor of Student Services, clearly identifying the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate. If Peralta Community College District decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the student shall be notified of the decision and advised as to 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.
3. 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. Student records may be released to authorized representatives of the Comptroller General of the United States, the Secretary of Education, an administrative head of an education agency, state education officials, or their respective designees or the United States Office of Civil Rights, where that information is necessary to audit or evaluate a state or federally supported educational program or pursuant to federal or state law. Exceptions are that when the collection of personally identifiable information is specifically authorized by federal law, any data collected by those officials shall be protected in a manner that will not permit the personal identification of students or their parents by other than those officials, and any personally identifiable data shall be destroyed when no longer needed for that audit, evaluation, and enforcement of federal legal requirements. An exception which permits disclosure without consent is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the Peralta Community College District in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or support staff position (including law enforcement personnel and health staff); a person or company with whom Peralta Community College District has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, collection agent, degree conferral & transcript processing agent, document managing agent, and placement sites for internship or similar student work/study opportunities); 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; consultants, volunteers or other outside parties to whom Peralta Community College District has outsourced institutional services or functions that it would otherwise use employees to perform. 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. Student records shall be released pursuant to a judicial order or a lawfully issued subpoena. As allowed within FERPA guidelines, the Peralta Community College District may disclose education records without consent to officials of another school, upon request, in which a student seeks or intends to enroll.
4. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the Peralta Community College District to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the Office that administers FERPA is:
At its discretion Peralta College District may provide Directory Information in accordance with the provisions of the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act. Directory Information is defined as that information which would not generally be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed. Designated Directory Information at the Peralta Community College District includes the following: student participation in officially recognized activities and sports, including weight and height, and high school of graduation of athletic team members; degrees and awards received by students, including honors, scholarships awards, athletic awards, and other types of recognition.
Students may withhold Directory Information by notifying the Admissions and Records Office in writing; please note that such withholding requests are binding for all information to all parties other than for those exceptions allowed under the Act. Students should consider all aspects of a Directory Hold prior to filing such a request. Requests for non-disclosure will be honored by the Peralta Community College District.
For additional information on FERPA or student confidentiality contact the Associate Vice Chancellor of Student Services at 510 466-7374.
Looking to move up in your career or launch a new career path? Do you have big career goals and even bigger plans for achieving them?
An affordable college degree, switching careers, or advancing to the next level may be top of mind. Berkeley City College’s Career Education (CE) Programs can get you where you need to be.
With over 34 career advancing programs designed to provide students with the knowledge for a competitive edge in an ever-changing employment market, BCC helps students access the programs designed to boost their earning potential. We know this from our students who report solid full-time employment within 0 – 3 months of earning their Certificates of Achievement or Certificates of Proficiency. Berkeley City College’s Career Education Programs can get you where you need to be and put you on the right pathway.