And Now For the Fine Print . . .
Find out more about our consumer information, complaint resolution processes, our accreditations, FERPA and more here.
Confidentiality of Student Records and FERPA
Confidentiality of Student Records and FERPA
Educational records are kept by university offices to facilitate the educational development of students. Faculty and staff members may also keep informal records relating to their functional responsibilities with individual students.
The Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974 identifies the rights of students and their families with respect to student educational records kept by institutions. The following information provides operational procedures for certain aspects of these FERPA related policies:
- FERPA Student Pamphlet
- Parent/Student Consent Form
- Request to Inspect & Review Education Records
- Request to Amend or Remove Education Records
- Request for Formal Hearing
Health or Safety Emergency Provision
FERPA prohibits a school from disclosing personally identifiable information from students’ education records without the consent of a parent or eligible student unless an exception to FERPA’s general consent rule applies. In some emergency situations, schools may only need to disclose properly designated “directory information” on students that provide general contact information. In other scenarios, school officials may believe that a health or safety emergency exists and more specific information on students should be disclosed to appropriate parties. Understanding the options available under FERPA empowers school officials to act quickly and decisively when concerns arise. FERPA is not intended to be an obstacle in addressing emergencies and protecting the safety of students.
For complete information related to the emergency provision, read the full text pdf.
An important part of A&M-Commerce’s mission is transparency – from degree programs to statistical data. Towards that goal, the Department of Education’s College Navigator provides detailed information about A&M-Commerce.
National Center For Education Statistics
The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) is the primary federal entity for collecting and analyzing data related to education in the U.S. and other nations. NCES is located within the U.S. Department of Education and the Institute of Education Sciences. NCES fulfills a Congressional mandate to collect, collate, analyze, and report complete statistics on the condition of American education; conduct and publish reports; and review and report on education activities internationally.
Federal Student Aid Student Loan Ombudsman Group
The Ombudsman Group is a neutral, informal and confidential resource established to help resolve disputes related to Federal Direct Loans, the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program Loans, Federal Guaranteed Student Loans, and Federal Perkins Loans.
Consumer Information: Online Degree/Distance Education Programs
Students enrolled in online degree/distance education programs at A&M-Commerce have the right to know the grievance process related to academic programs. The grievance process at A&M-Commerce is outlined under Judicial Affairs. After exhausting the internal process, a student who physically resides outside of Texas can contact the state agency where the student physically resides. Students residing in the State of Texas will contact The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.
In compliance with the language passed in the Higher Education Opportunities Act of 2008 and the Negotiated Rule Making Process in 2010, institutions offering distance education must provide enrolled and prospective students with contact information for filing complaints with its accrediting agency and with the appropriate state agency for handling complaints in the student’s state. Below is a state-by-state list of agencies responsible for complaints regarding out-of-state distance education programs as well as information about A&M-Commerce’s accreditation agencies.
Students residing in the State of Texas will contact The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board at [email protected]
List of Other State Agencies
Alabama Commission on Higher Education and ACCS Private School Licensing Division
Alaska Commission on Post-secondary Education
Arizona State Board for Postsecondary Education
Arkansas Department of Higher Education
California Postsecondary Education Commission The State of California no longer has a state agency to handle complaints regarding out-of-state distance education programs taught by public institutions of higher education. Students can first utilize the grievance process at A&M-Commerce under Judicial Affairs (see Grievance Process section above). After exhausting the university’s internal process, students can contact the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.
Colorado Department of Higher Education
Connecticut Department of Higher Education
Delaware Department of Education
District of Columbia Education Licensure Commission
Florida Commission for Independent Education
Georgia Postsecondary Education Commission
Hawaii Department of Commerce & Consumer
Idaho State Board of Education
Illinois Board of Higher Education
Indiana Commission on Education
Iowa College Student Aid Commission
Kansas Board of Regents
Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education
Louisiana State of Louisiana Board of Regents
Maine Consumer Protection Division of the Office of the Maine Attorney General
Maryland Higher Education Commission
Massachusetts Commonwealth of Massachusetts Board of Higher Education
Michigan State of Michigan Department of Education
Minnesota Office of Higher Education
Mississippi Commission on College Accreditation
Missouri State of Missouri Coordinating Board of Higher Education:
As of July 1, the state did not have a complaint process in place specifically
against post-secondary institutions.
Montana Department of Justice, Attorney General’s Office, P.O.Box 201401,
Helena, MT 59620-1401
Nebraska Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education
There is no formal process at this time. Pending legislation will codify existing practice.
Depending on the complaint, it might be handled by the Attorney
General’s Consumer Protection Division.
Nevada State Commission on Postsecondary Education
New Hampshire N.H. Postsecondary Education Commission
Executive Director, N.H. Postsecondary Education Commission, 3 Barrell
Court, Suite 300, Concord, NH 03301-8543
New Jersey Commission on Higher Education
There is no applicable agency or office in New Jersey
New Mexico Higher Education Department
Students with complaints or grievances against an institution first seek
to resolve their complaint or grievance directly with Texas A&M University-Commerce
North Carolina Board of Governors for the University of North Carolina:
Students need to first exhaust A&M-Commerce’s grievance procedure. If no
resolution the student may file a complaint with:
Post-Secondary Education Complaints, c/o Assistant Director of Licensure
and Workforce Studies, University of North Carolina General Administration.
910 Raleigh Road, Chapel Hill, NC 27515-2688
North Dakota The North Dakota Office of the Attorney General, Consumer
Protection and Antitrust Division
Office of Attorney General, Consumer Protection & Antitrust Division
Gateway Professional Center
1050 East Interstate Ave. Ste. 200, Bismarck, ND 58503-5574
Ohio Board of Regents: No contact information currently provided by the state
Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education
Oregon Office of Degree Authorization
Pennsylvania Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Education
Puerto Rico Consejo de Educacion Superior de Puerto Rico/Puerto Rico Council on Higher Education
Rhode Island Board of Governors for Higher Education
South Carolina Commission on Higher Education
South Dakota Board of Regents
Tennessee Higher Education Commission
Utah System of Higher Education State Board of Regents
Vermont Agency of Education
Virginia The State Council of Higher Education
The specific language of amendments to the Higher Education Act of 1965 states:
If an institution is offering postsecondary education through distance or correspondence education to students in a State in which it is not physically located or in which it is otherwise subject to State jurisdiction as determined by the State, the institution must meet any State requirements for it to be legally offering postsecondary distance or correspondence education in that State. An institution must be able to document to the Secretary the State’s approval upon request. (Authority: 20 U.S.C.1001 AND 1002)
What Texas A&M University-Commerce Is Doing
We are working in cooperation with a variety of resources on-campus and throughout Texas in order to comply with these new regulations so we can continue providing educational access to students across the country. We are in the beginning stages of evaluating and complying with these changes and will provide up-to-date information when available.
Texas A&M University-Commerce Accreditation
Texas A&M University – Commerce is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral degrees. Questions about the accreditation status of Texas A&M University-Commerce may be directed in writing to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097, by calling 404-679-4500, or by using information available on SACSCOC’s website (www.sacscoc.org).
College and Program Accreditations
- The American Bar Association
- The American Chemical Society
- The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business-AACSB International State Board for Educator Certification
- The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
- The Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET
- The Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs
- The Council on Social Work Education
- The Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET
- The National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD)
- The National Association of Schools of Music
- The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP)
- The State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC)
For additional information on program and college accreditation, see the Accreditations webpage.
SMS Text Message Procedures for Undergraduate Admissions
The Office of Undergraduate Admissions will use SMS text messaging to communicate with prospective new students who have applied and/or been admitted to the university. Please note the following information about SMS text messaging:
- SMS text messaging will be limited to students who have opted in on their admissions application.
- Text messages will include time-sensitive information related to students’ admissions files, scholarships and/or financial aid.
- Text messages will be limited to students residing in the U.S.
- Text messages will relay any of the following messages:
- Student information, including admissions, academics, student accounts and financial aid
- Important and time-sensitive information, including deadlines and notices critical to student academic progress
- One-on-one communication from Admissions staff regarding student applications
Students may opt out by:
- Replying to text message with the words DND (best option)
- Emailing Admissions
Scholastic Probation or Suspension
To maintain a high level of scholarship among the students of Texas A&M University-Commerce, standards of scholarship must be maintained. The regulations concerning probation, suspension, and reinstatement in the University were established by the University Academic Council and are administered by the deans of colleges. In certain cases where there are extenuating circumstances, appeals regarding academic probation and suspension may be made to the Academic Affairs Undergraduate Student Appeal Committee.
A satisfactory level of academic achievement is determined on the basis of each student’s cumulative grade point average calculated on the basis of all college level academic work attempted. To be eligible for continued enrollment in good standing in the university, a student must maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.00.
Should any student fail to maintain satisfactory progress toward graduation as specified by these regulations, the student will be permitted to enroll for further work only on academic probation. Students enrolled on academic probation may register for no more than four academic courses in any semester, (academic, remedial, or physical education activity) exclusive of physical education activity courses or remedial courses. A full summer session (two terms) will be considered equivalent under these requirements to one semester of the regular academic year. Probationary students may enroll for no more than two courses during any term of a summer session or no more than four courses for a full semester session.
A student on academic probation will remain subject to the requirements of probation until the cumulative grade average has been raised to the level of satisfactory progress specified above. To qualify for continued enrollment while on probation, however, the student must maintain a semester grade average of at least 2.00. Should any probationary student fail to maintain such a 2.00 semester grade average in the academic courses attempted in any semester of probation, the student will be required to leave the University on academic suspension for at least one calendar year. In cases where there are extenuating circumstances, a student who has failed to maintain the required 2.00 semester grade average in academic courses to qualify for continuance of probation may be permitted, with the approval of the dean of the appropriate college, to enroll for one additional semester of extended probation.
Should the student fail again, however, to maintain an adequate 2.00 semester grade average in academic courses attempted during that semester, the student will be required to leave the University on academic suspension for up to one calendar year as specified above. After the period of academic suspension, the student will be permitted to enroll again on academic probation.
To ensure the grade average on the official record has been updated to account for duplicated courses, any student enrolling for the same course must notify the Office of the Registrar during the semester in which course is being repeated.
With special permission from the dean of the appropriate college, a student on academic suspension may be allowed to enroll during an intervening semester or summer term.
Transfer students whose grades at other colleges or universities were unsatisfactory according to the regulations of A&M–Commerce will be placed on academic probation subject to the same requirements as apply to other students on probation. Students on academic suspension from other institutions will not be permitted to enroll at TAMU–C until their specified periods of suspension expire.
A student must be in residence at A&M–Commerce to remove the conditions of probation. If the student comes out of school for any intervening period, either voluntarily or as required by the regulations of the University or attends another college or university, the conditions of probation will not be removed. A student, however, who withdraws for a period of at least one calendar year or is suspended for the same period may, upon re-enrollment, petition the dean of the appropriate college to have the unsatisfactory grades eliminated from the calculations of the official institutional grade point average. Courses eliminated from the calculation of the student’s official grade point average may not be Basic Skills courses (mathematics, English, etc.) or courses that apply toward their current major. These courses will also not be counted toward degree requirements. This applies only to credits earned at A&M–Commerce. A&M–Commerce reserves the right to deny admission to a student suspended from another college even though his suspension period has expired.
Students on academic suspension are not eligible for correspondence or extension courses.