|This section includes important information related to academic affairs at Middlesex not found elsewhere in the catalog.|
Skills Evaluation/College Placement Testing and Developmental Courses
Before starting a degree or certificate major program of study, all students are required to take computerized placement tests (CPT) in reading, writing and mathematics. Placement tests evaluate abilities in basic areas of knowledge that are the foundation for college studies.
Students with CPT scores below the necessary proficiency levels are required to take some courses specifically designed to improve their learning abilities and study skills, and equip them for college-level work. They receive attention from faculty, learning specialists, academic advisors and counselors who cooperate in presenting classes, workshops, one-to-one sessions, tutoring and staffing academic labs. MCC’s developmental courses are specifically designed for students who need to improve skills in areas that are fundamental to achievement of their academic and career goals. Credits are given for developmental courses, but do not apply to graduation requirements in any academic major program of study.
To Add a Course to Your Schedule – Fall & Spring Semester
Through the first week of a semester:
- Students may add a course to their schedule by visiting the college website: www.middlesex.mass.edu (if you have your username and registration PIN), by calling 1-800-818-3434, or by visiting a Student Information Center.
During the second week of classes:
- In extenuating circumstances, students may submit a Late Admit form, signed by the instructor of the class they want to add, and return it to the Student Information Center.
To Add a Course to Your Schedule – Summer Semester
- For summer classes that meet twice per week: Students may add a class before the second meeting, prior to the start of the class. For summer classes that meet four times per week: Students may add a class before the third meeting, prior to the start of the class.
To Drop a Course from Your Schedule – Fall & Spring Semester
Through the first week of a semester:
- Students may drop courses by visiting the college website: www.middlesex.mass.edu (if you have your username and registration PIN), by calling 1-800-818-3434, or by visiting a Student Information Center.
Through the second week of the semester:
- Students may drop courses by calling 1-800-818-3434, or by visiting a Student Information Center.
To Drop a Course from Your Schedule – Summer Semester
- For summer classes that meet twice per week: Students may drop a class before the third meeting, prior to the start of the class. For summer classes that meet four times per week: Students may drop before the fourth meeting, prior to the start of the class.
When adding or dropping courses, students should make every effort to arrange a meeting with an academic advisor to ensure that their course changes meet their major program of study requirements.
Students may officially withdraw from a course and be assigned a grade of “W” during the first two-thirds of the fall and spring semester. Students may withdraw by completing a Course Withdrawal form, available in the Student Information Center, by calling 1-800-818-3434, or by timely notification through mail or fax message. Failure to attend a course or section does NOT constitute formal withdrawal. Students who stop attending class are expected to complete the Add/Drop procedure (during the first two weeks of the semester) or the Course Withdrawal procedure (during weeks three through 10) to avoid receiving a grade of “F” for courses in which they were enrolled but did not attend or stopped attending. After the 10th week of the semester, an instructor may initiate withdrawal for students whose grade was passing before the student stopped attending class.
Please refer to the Summer Withdrawal Policy for withdrawal information on Summer Semester courses.
Detailed withdrawal information for all sessions is available on the Student Accounts Office pages on the collge website.
Withdrawal from the College
Students may withdraw from the college and be assigned course grades of “W” if they submit written notification of their withdrawal to the Student Information Center or call 1-800-818-3434 by the last day of class of the semester. Official Withdrawal forms are available in the Student Information Center. Students who do not officially withdraw will be carried on the college rolls and will receive failing grades for all tests and assignments not completed.
Students are allowed to audit a course with the permission of the instructor and according to the instructor’s conditions. Any change from “credit” to “audit” status or from “audit” to “credit” status must be made during the first month of classes during the fall and spring semesters. For summer sessions, any changes must be made during the first four class meetings. Full tuition and fees apply to audited courses. Students receive no credit for audited courses.
If a course is repeated, the highest grade earned in the course will become the official grade for the course, and the grade included in the cumulative grade point average. However, all courses will continue to be listed on the student’s transcript.
Course Repeat Policy:
If a student repeats a course the following rules will apply:
- A student will be permitted a maximum of three attempts* for any one course;
- A student may attempt a course two times without intervention;
- A student may attempt a course a third time, once he/she has met with the appropriate dean for consultation/advising and has received written permission to enroll.
The student has the right to appeal the application of the Course Repeat Policy. To appeal the Course Repeat Policy, a student must follow the procedure outlined on the appeals form (there will be no exceptions):
- The student will obtain and complete a Course Repeat Appeal form, which is available in the Student Information Centers;
- Appeal requests must be submitted to the Provost’s Office at least two weeks prior to the start of the semester. Appeals submitted after that time will NOT be considered for that semester;
- Once a decision has been made, the student will receive a written response.
When a course is repeated, credit is granted only once. The highest grade for a repeated course is used in computing a student’s grade point average. All attempts to take a course will be recorded on a student’s transcript, whatever the highest grade awarded may be.
Students are strongly encouraged to discuss with their academic advisor/counselor and financial aid officer the effect withdrawing or repeating a course may have on their academic programs and financial-aid eligibility.
*Attempts include currently enrolled courses, courses with a final grade awarded, transferred coursework, withdrawals, incompletes, an in-progress grade that has converted to an “F,” and courses repeated in an effort to earn higher grades. If a student drops the class during the add/drop period, this is not counted as an attempt.
The college recognizes that in rare cases a student may have cause to challenge the grade in a particular course. Specific information regarding the grade-appeal process is described in the Student Handbook, available on the Middlesex web site.
Change of Major Program of Study
Students who decide to change from one academic major program of study to another should visit the Student Information Centers or call 1-800-818-3434.
Students should thoroughly review the description and coursework of the new degree or certificate they are considering, and consult with their academic advisor about making the change. An application is required for some major programs of study with additional admission prerequisites (see Admission for complete Internal Transfer information).
Change of Major Program of Study Degree Requirements and Application of Credits
- Only completed courses that meet the requirements for the new major program of study, or courses that are acceptable electives in that major program of study, will be counted toward the total credits needed for completing the degree or certificate.
- Credits already earned and the cumulative grade point average will be retained on the student’s record.
Students are expected to attend all classes and laboratory sessions, except in cases of illness or other reasonable excuses. Instructors state their class attendance policy in the course syllabus, and students are accountable for the attendance policy as established for each course. Students should contact their instructors in case of emergency or illness resulting in extended absence or irregular attendance. They may also find it helpful to discuss their situation with a counselor.
Absence for Religious Reasons
Students who, due to religious beliefs, are unable to attend classes or to participate in any examination, study or work requirements on a particular day, shall be excused from any such examination or study or requirement, and shall be provided with an opportunity to make up such examination, study, or work requirement which he/she may have missed because of such absence on any particular day, provided however, that appropriate prior notice is provided to the instructor and that such makeup examination or work shall not create an unreasonable burden upon the school. No fees of any kind shall be charged by the institution for making available to said student such opportunity. No adverse or prejudicial effects shall result to any student for availing himself/herself of the provisions for an absence for religious reasons in accordance with Chapter 151 C Section 2B, General Laws of the commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Class Cancellations & Campus Emergencies
(Including Snow Days)
In the event of inclement weather or a campus emergency, students should access school-closing, class-cancellation and other important campus information by visiting the college website: www.middlesex.mass.edu.
School-closing and delayed-opening information will also be available from television stations Channel 4 (4WBZ), Channel 5 (ABC), Channel 7 (WHDH) and Channel 25 (FOX); radio stations WBZ (1030 AM), WCAP (980 AM) and WRKO (680 AM); as well as other media outlets. Students can sign up online for e-mail and text-messaging alerts from the major TV stations at:
Students may also contact the college directly at 781-280-3200 or 978-656-3200.
In the case of a “delayed opening” announcement, the college will open at 10 a.m. Under such circumstances, all classes normally scheduled to begin before 10 a.m. will not be held.
Individual class cancellations resulting from instructor absences are posted in classroom buildings and, when possible, online.
The following grading system is used by the college:
|F||0.00||Failure; official withdrawal after 10 weeks|
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|W||Indicates withdrawal from a course|
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|P||Grade assigned to indicate the successful completion of a practicum in a clinical course; or other courses which utilize a pass/fail system|
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|IP||Course in progress|
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|COM||Designation used in noncredit courses to indicate the completion of the course|
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|AU||Audit (no credit)|
* Please note that the grades of “C-, D+, D, D-” and “F” earn quality points that are less than the minimum 2.00 grade point average (GPA) needed for graduation.
The grade “I” or Incomplete is recorded when, for reasons beyond his/her control, the student misses a final examination or some part of the required coursework. No quality points are awarded for an Incomplete. All “I” grades must be removed by completing necessary course requirements within the following semester. After that period, remaining Incomplete grades will be converted to a grade of “F.” In unusual cases, an extension of this period may be granted through the Registrar. Requests for extensions must be in writing.
To receive the IP (“In-Progress”) grade for Flexible Studies coursework, students must:
- complete at least one-half of the course material;
- demonstrate good attendance;
- sign a contract with the instructor detailing the conditions and timeframe for full completion of the course.
Students with “IP” grades must complete the course in the semester following the one in which they began it, or receive an “F” grade, unless an extension has been granted by the instructor.
Computation of Grade Point Average
The cumulative grade point average (GPA) is calculated by multiplying the quality point value of each grade by the number of semester hours designated for each course, and dividing the total of these quality points by the total number of semester hours attempted. In computing the grade point average, only coursework attempted at Middlesex Community College will be considered.
Middlesex is committed to helping students meet their academic, career and personal goals. Toward this end, an MCC Fresh Start is available to students who have attended Middlesex Community College in the past and were not academically successful, but have demonstrated success upon return to MCC.
The MCC Fresh Start policy allows previously enrolled students an opportunity to establish a new academic record upon returning to the college. In such cases, a student’s entire academic record for the semesters he/she previously attended MCC will be excluded from their grade point average calculation. All credit hours and grades will remain on the transcript. A notation of the MCC Fresh Start will also appear on the transcript.
Any student who attended MCC in the past and has not been enrolled at the college for a period of three (3) years or longer, may file a written request for a Fresh Start with the Office of the Provost. This request should include an explanation of the circumstances that led to the student’s poor performance in the past, and a plan for how the student intends to be more successful going forward. A student may apply prior to completing any additional coursework, but the Fresh Start request will not be acted upon until a student has completed a minimum of 12 credits upon his or her return.
To be eligible for Fresh Start, a student must meet ALL of the following criteria:
a. Be enrolled in a degree or certificate program at MCC;
b. Has not been enrolled in academic courses at MCC for at least three (3) academic years prior to re-enrollment;
c. Has a cumulative grade point average below 2.0 from MCC at the time of return;
d. Has completed the Academic Fresh Start application prior to the completion of 24 credits upon their re-enrollment;
e. Upon return, has completed a minimum of 12 credits, earning a grade of “C” or better in each subsequent course. If approved, based on the criteria, the student’s transcript will reflect the Fresh Start;
f. Has not previously been awarded a degree or certificate from MCC;
g. A student is only eligible for “academic forgiveness” one time, and once approved, the decision cannot be reversed;
h. If a student is granted an MCC Fresh Start his/her catalog term will be based on his/her date of re-enrollment.
All students carrying 12 credit hours or more, who earn a 3.20 grade point average or higher in any semester, without “D, F, I” or “IP” grades, shall be acknowledged by inclusion on the Dean’s List, which is posted each semester. The notation is made on the permanent record of each student named. Part-time students receive similar consideration upon completion of each block of 15 credits.
Mid-Semester Deficiency Reports
At the mid-point of each semester, students who are performing at the “D” or “F” grade level, or are otherwise judged by their instructors to be in danger of failing a course, will be notified in writing. This notification will not become a part of the student’s permanent record at the college.
Middlesex Community College associate degrees require completion of a minimum of 60 credits in specific coursework comprised of courses in the student’s area of concentration and a core curriculum of general education in Liberal Arts and Sciences. Certificates require completion of specified coursework related to particular fields of employment and they can also serve as the basis for further higher education or professional studies. Most of the credits earned in certificate programs may be applied toward an associate degree in a related major program of study at Middlesex.
Students receive the Associate in Arts (AA) or Associate in Science (AS) degree, depending upon the major program of study completed when they have fulfilled the following requirements:
- Completion of at least 60 semester hours or the minimum number of semester hours and courses required by a specific major program of study and the core curriculum. Except in major programs of study specifying fewer courses, most students must present at least 20 courses of passing work.
- Achievement of a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.00.
- Minimum of 15 semester hours of coursework completed at this college.
- Minimum of 9 semester hours of coursework completed at this college in the field of specialization.
- Payment of all financial obligations.
Students receive certificates when they have fulfilled the following requirements:
- Completed the requirements of the certificate program in which enrolled.
- Achievement of a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.00.
- Minimum of 15 semester hours of coursework completed at this college.
- Payment of all financial obligations.
Candidates for the associate degree whose cumulative grade point average is at least 3.20 will be graduated with honors; those with a cumulative grade point average of 3.50 will be graduated with high honors; those with a cumulative grade point average of 3.70 will be graduated with highest honors. To be eligible for graduation honors, students must earn a minimum of 35 credit hours at Middlesex.
Engaged Scholars are graduating Middlesex students who, as part of their academic coursework, have demonstrated a significant commitment and contribution to the community. MCC Engaged Scholars have distinguished themselves by their ability to think critically about social issues, and create meaningful social change. With this honor, MCC recognizes that these students have applied their skills, knowledge and research to address real social issues, and have collaborated with local agencies and area organizations to address the critical problems and needs our communities face. In order to be considered for this honor, students must have completed a minimum of 57 hours of service in college-designated service-learning or civic-engagement-based courses over three or more semesters, and received exemplary evaluations by community partners. For further information, contact MCC’s Center for Community Engagement at 978-656-3159 or 781-280-3556.
Honor Society Membership
Each semester the Alpha Delta Omicron chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, the national honor society for two-year colleges, initiates students who have earned a cumulative 3.70 or higher grade point average. To be considered for initiation, students must have earned 24 credits at the college by the end of the prior fall semester.
Second and Dual Degree Status
To receive a second associate degree from Middlesex Community College, after completion of the initial degree program, students must complete a minimum of 15 additional semester hours of credit at the college beyond the credits used to satisfy the requirements of the first associate degree. The Liberal Studies program may NOT be the second degree under this option.
In addition to the minimum 15 semester hours requirement, students must meet all specific degree requirements of the major program of study for which the second degree is sought. Therefore, in some cases, the requirements for the second associate degree will exceed 15 additional semester hours of study.
Career program students who wish to graduate in two major programs of study, but who do not intend to continue after graduation from MCC to study for a second degree, may apply for dual program (double major) status. Such students must fulfill all degree requirements for both major programs of study, which may require the completion of more than 60 credits. The Liberal Studies program may NOT be used as one of the two degree programs.
Academic Standing Policy
Middlesex Community College is committed to the academic success of its students. This Academic Standing Policy is designed to ensure that students make adequate progress toward a degree. Students are expected to be in Good Academic Standing to continue at the college. A student’s academic standing is determined by the cumulative grade point average (GPA) required to meet academic standards based on the student’s credit count of courses successfully completed at Middlesex Community College.
Credits Hours Toward
Cumulative GPA (CGPA)
Academic Warning Cumulative GPA
Fewer than 12 credits
Over 24 credits
*Credits Hours toward GPA include all letter grades (“A” through “F”)
o The federal government has established regulations regarding satisfactory academic progress and eligibility for Financial Aid. These standards are separate from the college’s policy on academic standing and probation. See Financial Aid for information about financial aid eligibility.
o Students in selective programs may need to meet additional program requirements to be considered in good academic standing. Refer to the program policies for specific information.
Students with a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or above are considered in Good Academic Standing.
A student receives an Academic Warning when his/her cumulative GPA falls below a 2.0, but above the probationary level, as shown in the table above. Students who receive an Academic Warning will be notified in writing by the college and will be expected to take steps to improve their academic standing. Students are encouraged to meet with an academic advisor to determine appropriate course selections and resources available to develop strategies for a successful semester.
A student is placed on Academic Probation if his/her cumulative GPA (CGPA) falls below the designated Probation threshold associated with the credit hours, as listed in the table above. Students have two semesters of attendance to raise their CGPA to a level above Probation. A student who does not raise his/her CGPA above Probation after two semesters of attendance will be suspended for one semester. Students on Academic Probation will be notified in writing by the college and are required to participate in one or more college-mandated intervention programs designed to assist students in achieving academic success.
A student who does not raise his/her CGPA above Probation after two semesters of attendance will be suspended for one semester. Students will be notified in writing by the college and may consider the Academic Appeals procedure below. After one semester of not attending the college, a student may return and will be placed on Academic Probation.
Academic Appeals/Returning to MCC
Students who are suspended from MCC may appeal the suspension through the Office of the Provost/Vice President for Academic & Student Affairs; or, after not attending Middlesex for a minimum period of one semester, may be readmitted to the college. Students returning to the college after suspension will continue to be on Academic Probation and be expected to raise his/her CGPA to Good Standing within two semesters. Students on Academic Probation will be notified in writing by the college and are required to participate in one or more college-mandated intervention programs designed to assist students in achieving academic success.
Student Completion Rates
Students enter community colleges with a variety of academic, career and personal goals. Many enroll at the college planning to complete a degree or certificate program. Others are more directly interested in improving their basic academic skills, mastering specific job skills, preparing to transfer to a bachelor’s degree-granting institution or learning about topics of personal interest. In addition, community college students often must balance a variety of competing responsibilities, such as family, work and school, which make it difficult for many of them to enroll full time every semester.
As of January 2010, 58 percent of the full-time students entering Middlesex in the class of 2006:
- completed a degree or certificate program;
- transferred to a bachelor’s degree-or other certificate-granting institution;
- or remained enrolled at MCC.
Of this entering class, 37 percent either completed a degree or certificate program at Middlesex, or transferred to a bachelor’s degree-granting institution. The completion rate for this student cohort (those who earned a degree within three years or certificate within 18 months) is 13 percent.
The retention rate for first-time, full-time degree-seeking students enrolled Fall 2008 is 59 percent.
On a 2003 Student Goals Achievement Survey, 91 percent of the students who left Middlesex Community College in good academic standing prior to earning a degree or certificate reported they had completely or partially satisfied their primary educational goal.
Semester Schedules Contain Updated Course Information
To supplement the Academic Catalog, a Semester Schedule is published in advance of the fall, spring and summer semesters. It contains the most current official information on Middlesex course listings, class sections, hours and locations. It is intended for use as a registration guide to course selection each semester, and is widely available at the Bedford and Lowell campuses prior to the registration periods. The Semester Schedule is also available on the college website at www.middlesex.mass.edu/semesterschedule.
Clinical Standards in Health Programs
In addition to specified academic achievement levels, students in MCC Health programs must demonstrate a satisfactory level of performance in clinical settings. Students may be withdrawn from the clinical area at any time during the semester for illness, inappropriate behavior, unsatisfactory performance, or unsafe practices. Because the clinical components are essential to these programs, students who are withdrawn for reasons other than a temporary health problem are also subject to dismissal from the program.
Students in Health programs must earn a grade of “P” (for Pass) in practicum clinical coursework or a minimum grade of “C” in clinically related courses. Those who do not meet these requirements are dismissed from the program. Dismissal in cases of failure to earn the required grades is similar to other academic programs. However, decisions on readmission to Health programs are guided by the Health Careers Division’s Policy on Readmission to Health Programs. This policy is available in the MCC Admissions Office, as well as the office of the Dean of the Health Careers Division.
A Health Careers Student Review Committee, made up of program coordinators and representatives of Student Services, Enrollment Services and related programs, meets twice yearly to discuss students who have failed, withdrawn or dropped out of Health programs. The purpose of the review committee is to provide a second opportunity for motivated students to continue in their program after they complete a specified plan preparing them for readmission. In some cases, the committee recommends that a student choose another career field, with the help of college counselors and academic advisors.
Privacy rights regarding access to information are observed in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, commonly known as the Buckley Amendment.
In accordance with the provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (Section 438 of the General Education Provisions Act 20 USC 1232), Middlesex Community College has adopted the regulations given below to protect the privacy rights of its students. Revisions and clarifications will be published as experience with the law and the institution’s policy warrants.
Students are informed of their rights under this act through the College Catalog and the Student Handbook. In compliance with this federal law, the college has established a policy to protect students from misuse of information in their personal folders and to allow students access to their own folders. The policy is summarized as follows:
Location of Educational Records
Most educational records are kept in the Office of Records and Registration. Other offices may maintain informal or unofficial records. Inquiries concerning those records should be made in writing to the Registrar. For information on how to request your transcript, see Transfer Information .
Disclosure of Information from Records
Directory Information - The college, unless requested not to do so by the student, will release directory information about individual students to anyone who inquires. “Directory Information” is limited to name, address, e-mail address, date of enrollment, date of graduation, degree received, curriculum in which the student is enrolled, date of birth, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of athletic team members, and official college honors such as Dean’s List. Students who do not wish to have directory information released must complete a “Request to Prevent Disclosure of Directory Information” form in the Student Information Centers. In no case will the college release a list of all students or groups of students to non-college personnel.
Non-Directory Information - No information, other than that contained in the directory (as outlined above), will be released without a student’s written consent except when prior written consent is not required by the Act. The college must disclose educational records without written consent of students to those federal and state government agencies and officials provided by law. The college must also provide the access of education records to:
a. personnel within the college determined by the college to have legitimate educational interest. “Legitimate Education Interest” is defined as the demonstrated need to know by those college officials who act in the student’s education, professional employees and other persons who manage student record information.
b. officials of other institutions in which a student seeks to enroll on condition that the issuing institution attempts to inform students of the disclosure, or makes such a transfer of information a stated institutional policy. (This notification is to be considered as such.)
c. organizations contributing to a student’s financial aid, or determining financial-aid decisions concerning eligibility, amount, condition and enforcement of terms of said aid.
d. organizations conducting studies to develop, validate and administer predictive tests, to administer student aid programs or to improve instruction.
e. accrediting organizations carrying out their functions.
f. parents of a student who have established that student’s status as a dependent according to the Internal Revenue Code. (Parent(s) must provide a certified copy of the appropriate federal income tax form.)
g. persons in compliance with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena, provided the college makes an attempt to notify the student. (The student will be notified in writing by the Registrar that a subpoena has been issued.)
h. persons in an emergency, if the knowledge of information, in fact, is necessary to protect the health and safety of student(s) or other persons.
Note: Information concerning applicants to the college who have not yet enrolled will not be released to anyone.
Inspection and Review of Records
Students may inspect and review their educational records upon request to the Registrar. As of January 1975, students have the right to examine their own files. There are however, limitations that do exist on students’ rights to inspect and review these records. The college does reserve the right to deny students access to confidential letters and recommendations placed in their files prior to January 1975, confidential letters and recommendations associated with admission, employment or job placement, or honors to which students have waived rights of inspection and records containing information about more than one student. (In such cases, the college must permit access to that part of the record which pertains only to the inquiring student.)
Students have the right to challenge records they believe to be inaccurate, incomplete or incorrectly disseminated. If the outcome of the challenge is unsatisfactory, the student has the right to a hearing. And if the outcome of the hearing is unsatisfactory, the student may submit an explanatory statement for inclusion in the education record. Such a statement shall become part of the information contained in the educational record and will be disclosed with it.
Records of Requests and Disclosures
The college will maintain records of requests and disclosures of non-directory information. The records of requests shall include the names and addresses of the person(s) who requested the information and their legitimate interests in the information. Records of requests and disclosures need not be maintained for:
- those requests made by students for their own use.
- those disclosures made in response to written requests from students.
- those made by school officials.
- those specified as Directory Information.
The records of disclosures and requests for disclosures are considered a part of the students’ education records; therefore, they must be retained as long as the education records to which they refer are retained by the college.
Students who believe that the college is not complying with the requirements of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) or the regulations issued by the Department of Education implementing that Act may file complaints in writing to:
FAMILY POLICY COMPLIANCE OFFICE
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-5920
Copies of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act as amended are available in the Office of Records and Registration.