Admission & Enrollment Policies

Academic Prerequisites, Credit & Placement

Many courses require that you complete prerequisites in order to enroll. These prerequisites are listed under each course description in the catalog and Schedule of Classes.

All courses listed with a prerequisite have a registration block. If you have completed a course to fulfill the prerequisite requirement at another college, you must first provide a transcript and consult with a Foothill College counselor. To schedule a consultation, call (650) 949-7423.

Before registering, you must call the Matriculation Office at (650) 949-7512 to verify you have satisfied necessary prerequisites for CHEM 1A, 1B, 25, 30A; ENGL 1A, 110, ESL 26, 25, 146, 147, 156, 157, 166, 167; MATH 1A, 10, 49, 51, 101, 102, 103, 105 and 200 courses.

It is important that you call the Matriculation Office before you enroll. If you delay calling for prerequisite verification, there may not be sufficient time before registration to clear you for the class in which you want to enroll. The college has the authority to drop you from any course if you have not met the necessary prerequisites. For refund policies, contact the Admissions & Records Office in Room 1927.

If you submit written or performance evidence showing you have sufficient competence in the area of study due to previous training or experience, you may be able to enroll in a course without completing the listed prerequisites. You can only do this, however, if your counselor, instructor or the division dean provides authorization.

Admission Guidelines Integrity

Foothill has an open-door admission policy for all high-school graduates and non-graduates who are 18 years of age or older. Students enrolled in the junior and senior year of high school may attend Foothill College with written parental and school permission.

Forms for parental and school permission are available in the Admissions & Records Office (Room 8101) and on the high school student information page.

Special admission procedures such as additional testing, application forms and personal interviews are required for admission to a number of career programs. Some of these programs begin only in the Fall Quarter. You must complete all special admission requirements in the preceding Spring Quarter. Programs in this category include biotechnology, dental assisting, dental hygiene, primary care assisting, radiation science diagnostic medical sonography (ultrasound), radiologic technology, respiratory therapy and veterinary technology.

Challenging Prerequisites

You may challenge prerequisites and corequisites if you can demonstrate that:

  • You have the knowledge or ability to succeed in the course without the prerequisite or corequisite.
  • You will be subject to undue delay in attaining your educational goal because the prerequisite or corequisite has not been made reasonably available.
  • The prerequisite or corequisite is unlawfully discriminatory or is being applied in an unlawfully discriminatory manner.
  • The prerequisite or corequisite has been established in an arbitrary manner.

To challenge a prerequisite, see your counselor and complete a Prerequisite Challenge Petition prior to the first day of the quarter. Advisories, when made, are listed as recommendations following prerequisites and are published in the catalog, Schedule of Classes and online. To schedule a counseling appointment, call (650) 949-7423.

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Open Course Policy

It is the policy of the Foothill-De Anza Community College District that, unless specifically exempted by statute or regulation, every course, course section or class reported for state aid, wherever offered and maintained by the district, shall be fully open to enrollment and participation by any person who has been admitted to the college and whomeets such prerequisites as may be established pursuant to regulations contained in California Administrative Code Title V commencing with Section 55200.

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Enrolled Student Classification

You are a matriculated student if you have filed an Application for Admission, enrolled at Foothill and have done one of the following:

  • Submitted high school and other transcripts;
  • Met with a Foothill College counselor, counseling associate or career advisor to examine educational opportunities;
  • Announced an intention to study for a degree or certificate;
  • Begun a series of introductory, general education or special courses; or
  • Begun a series of special courses leading to a certificate or degree.
Exceptions to Admissions & Registration Policies

To request an exception to a published policy, you must file an exception petition. These forms are available online or in the Admissions & Records Office in Room 8101.

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General Program Requirements

All beginning freshmen must enroll in the CNSL 5: Introduction to College course, or demonstrate proof that they have completed an equivalent course. If you are eligible for ENGL 1A, you should complete this course by the end of the third quarter of enrollment; you may take a speech course first. If you are eligible for ENGL 110 or 100, you should complete these courses during the first or secondquarter.

You may receive up to 10 quarter units of credit for each score of 5, 4 or 3 on College Entrance Board Advanced Placement Tests. Your Foothill transcript will show units but will not indicate grades. The Evaluation Office, located in the Student Development Center, Room 1930, provides information on how the advanced placement scores are marked on transcripts and the equivalencies for the University of California and California State University.

You may receive up to nine quarter units for each of five generalCLEP tests completed with a score of at least 500. Your Foothill transcript will show elective unit credit for each successful test score. These units may also be used to fulfill certain generaleducation requirements.

If you want to transfer credit from an armed services school or other special institution, you may apply through a counselor. It's possible these credits will be accepted toward the Associate in Arts or Associate in Science degree once you have successfully completed a minimum of 15 units at Foothill.

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General Registration Information

If you are a new or former student, you must submit the application for admission by the quarterly deadline published in the Schedule of Classes and online. We encourage you to complete the application, complete the assessment process and submit necessarytranscripts as early as possible.

Students planning to transfer to Foothill are advised to submit transcripts from high schools and colleges previously attended. If you plan to receive veterans benefits, apply for financial aid or earn a degree or certificate, you must submit transcripts. Request previous institutions to send your transcripts directly to the Foothill College Admissions & Records Office, 12345 El Monte Road, Los Altos Hills, CA, 94022-4599.

To register for Foothill College classes, follow the registration instructions published in the Schedule of Classes and online. To plan up to one year of classes, consult the Foothill Web site. The Schedule of Classes for the current academic year is posted online. Online information is subject to change. We encourage you to check the Web site frequently. For more information, call the Admissions & Records Office at (650) 949-7325.

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Residency Requirements

Foothill College generally serves the communities of Palo Alto, Mountain View, Los Altos and Los Altos Hills, and our sister school, De Anza College, generally serves the cities of Cupertino and Sunnyvale. Both colleges, however, accept students from outside these cities.

If you are an out-of-state student, you are considered a non-resident until you have satisfied current California residency requirements. This rule applies to visa-holding non-citizens eligible to establish residency. Non-resident tuition is required of all students in this category.

If you are an international student with an F-1 Visa, you may beeligible for admission only if you have completed the required special admission procedures. To request an International Student Application Packet, call the International Student Admissions Office, (650) 949-7293.

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Unit Limitation

An average class load is 15 units per quarter. The maximum number of allowable units per quarter without a counselor's approval is 20 units. If you intend to enroll in more than 20 units, you must obtain a counselor's approval and submit a petition( PDF) to the Academic Council.

The maximum number of allowable units for Summer Session is 12 units. To complete the petition process, schedule a consultation with a Foothill counselor by calling (650) 949-7423.

Academic Disqualification, Course Substitutions & Graduation Requirements

Please make an appointment with your counselor to resolve problems such as disqualification and readmission, course substitutions, and exceptions to graduation requirements. To schedule an appointment, visit Counseling Appointments in the Student Development Center, Room 8305A, or call (650) 949-7423.


You may be dismissed from Foothill College if you are on probation for three consecutive quarters. If you are disqualified, you will receive notice of dismissal by mail the following quarter. Dismissal will be reviewed by the Academic Council at your request. You may be readmitted after a one-quarter absence (excluding Summer Session). Consult with a Foothill counselor for readmission policies and procedures.

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Academic In-Class Issues

If you have academic complaints, including treatment in a course or program, you should seek to resolve the problem by speaking with these people, in this order:

  1. Course instructor;
  2. Division dean (make an appointment through the division administrative assistant);
  3. Division dean's supervisor;
  4. Vice president, Student Development & Instruction; Room 1920, Administration Building; (650) 949-7228.

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Academic Regulations

The Academic Council is responsible for academic regulation evaluation, enforcement, interpretation and exceptions. You can obtain petitions from the Evaluations Office, Room 8330A, Student Development Center, or call (650) 949-7231.

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Academic Renewal

The academic renewal process permits students the opportunity to request the exclusion of entire quarters of coursework from the Foothill College GPA up to a maximum of 45 units. Eligibility for academic renewal requires that you meet specific criteria. Consult your counselor for more information.

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Add/Drop Date

Deadline to add/drop a class varies for each course. Generally the deadline to add a class or drop without a W is Friday of the second week for 12-week classes, however each class may be different. To verify the exact date for your particular classes, please access your MyPortal account. Between the third and eighth weeks, all drops will receive a W. A student may not drop classes after the eighth week for 12-week classes. For Summer Session or other short-term classes, consult MyPortal account for the appropriate deadlines.

You are responsible for initiating the drop process. Do not assume that you will be dropped from a course simply based on conversation with an instructor or due to lack of attendance.

Deadline to drop a 12-week class with a W. Deadline varies for each course. Generally the deadline is Friday of the eighth week for 12-week classes, however each class may be different. To verify the exact date for your particular classes, access your MyPortal account.

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There are two types of probation: academic and progress probation.

  1. Academic probation occurs when your grade point average is below 2.0.
  2. Progress probation occurs when after attempting 12 units, at least half of the units received are W (withdrawal), I (incomplete) or NP (no pass).

Correcting these situations will result in removal from probation. If you're placed on probation, you must consult a counselor for academic and procedural advice. You will be notified of probation by mail the following quarter.

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Assignments & Examinations Regulations

As a Foothill student, you're expected to do your own work on examinations and course assignments. Each instructor will enforce certain regulations to ensure honesty. If you violate these regulations, you will be dropped from the class, and the circumstances may be entered in your permanent record. Further difficulty in this respect may result in disqualification from Foothill College. See page 43 of this catalog and/or obtain the Honor Code Booklet, available from the Student Affairs & Activities Office, Room 6201.

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Regular and punctual attendance is an integral part of the learning process. As a Foothill student, you are expected to attend all scheduled classes in which you are enrolled. An instructor has the authority to drop a student who violates written attendance policies. Instructors are not obligated to hold seats for students who are enrolled but do not attend the first class meeting.

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Audit Request Procedures

A number of Foothill classes are available for audit. To be eligible, you must have already taken and completed the class at Foothill the number of times permitted, and received a grade of C or better. Audit requests must have the signatures of the instructor and registrar before you submit the request to the cashier. Auditors are admitted on a space-available basis.

The audit fee is $10 per unit. If you're presently enrolled in 10 or more units, fees for the first three audit units are waived. Approved audit requests will be accepted beginning the second week of class.

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Cancellation of Classes

Classes may be canceled when enrollments are lower than planned. Foothill has the authority to change or cancel courses and programs as circumstances require.

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Class Preparation/Progress

After prior notification, an instructor may drop students demonstrating insufficient preparation/prerequisites. In addition, any instructor may drop students who persistently neglect class assignments or demonstrate inadequate progress.

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Class Size & Frequency

Minimum class-size guidelines apply to all lecture, lecture/lab and laboratory classes at Foothill. While a minimum class size is generally required, special circumstances may necessitate continuing a class that does not meet these guidelines.

Exceptions are based on program needs such as second-quarter, third-quarter or second-year sequential courses; courses required for an identified major or career; combined courses meeting at the same hour with the same instructor; and one-of-a-kind offerings needed for graduation or transfer. Exceptions may also be based on the following:

  • Limited classroom or laboratory facilities
  • Statutory and state regulations mandating class size, independent study, special projects and cooperative education
  • Other circumstances that warrant exception are made by the Educational Resources & Instruction Office.

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Course Repetition

Unless exceptions are specifically indicated in course descriptions in this catalog, you cannot repeat a course you completed with a grade of C or better. State law allows students to repeat a class only once to remove a substandard grade (D, F or NP). There is no limit on the number of times the student may enroll in courses designed to meet a legally mandated training requirement as a condition of continued paid or volunteer employment.

Some Foothill College programs require that the student complete a sequential program of study without a break in attendance. When a student is enrolled in one of these programs and has a break in enrollment he/she will be required to re-take coursework that has previously been completed with a passing grade.

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Credit by Examination (Challenge)

As an enrolled Foothill student, you may be able to obtain credit by examination in subject matters or fields for which you are especially qualified through training or experience, but for which you have not received credit or advanced placement. Unit credits for courses successfully challenged will not be awarded until you have successfully completed 15 units of additional work at Foothill.

You can only challenge courses recommended by the division and approved by the dean. There are special limitations for challenging foreign language courses, courses that depend on laboratory or activity experiences, or courses in a sequence. You may not challenge a course at a lower level than one you have successfully completed in the same department.

The examination may include written, oral or skill tests, or a combination of all three. It will determine whether you have essentially the same knowledge and skills as students who successfully complete the course. You are not permitted to obtain credit by examination unless you are enrolled in the course and the instructor has fully informed you about the requirements for successful completion. The grade you receive on the exam will be entered on your permanent record.

No course may be challenged after the class has met for two weeks, or during Summer Session. If you have failed a course, you cannot receive credit by examination in that course. Units of credit received through this procedure may not apply toward the minimum of 24 resident units required at Foothill for the Associate in Arts or Associate in Science degrees. A maximum of 20 units of credit may be earned by examination.

Although the University of California and California State University systems accept, within certain limitations, appropriate credits obtained by examination, Foothill College cannot guarantee that other institutions will do so.

You can obtain petitions for credit from your counselor during the first week of classes. The examination will normally be completed by the end of the second week. Units earned under credit by examination will be identified on your transcript.

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Transfer Credit from Another Institution

Foothill College accepts credit for lower-division coursework previously completed at a college accredited by one of the six regional accrediting associations. Students must have official transcripts sent to the Foothill College Admissions & Records Office.

To be official, transcripts must be sent from college to college or hand-delivered in a sealed, unopened college envelope.

Foreign Colleges: Students who want to use coursework completed at foreign institution must have their transcripts evaluated by a foreign evaluation service. Students should meet with their counselors to petition to use any of this coursework toward the associate degree. Coursework from a foreign institution cannot be used for certification to a four-year institution. Students should contact the school to which they want to transfer to determine if any credit will be awarded from the foreign institution.

Non-Regionally Accredited Colleges: Students may petition for individual courses taken at a non-regionally accredited college to be accepted for major requirements. The credit is non-transferable toward a bachelor's degree. Students must have official transcripts sent to the Foothill College Admissions & Records Office. To be official, transcripts must be sent from college to college or hand-delivered in a sealed, unopened college envelope.

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Final Examinations

Foothill gives final examinations in all courses except physical education, CNSL 5, cooperative education and tutoring courses. We make special arrangements for self-paced courses and classes that only meet once a week. Final examinations normally will not be given in advance of the scheduled time.

You are responsible for taking all assigned final examinations. Failure to take the final examination may result in an F grade. If you miss a final examination for a legitimate reason, communicate with your instructor immediately.

At Foothill, we strive to minimize student activities during the week before final examinations. However, classes and instruction continue as usual. During this period, instructors may assign coursework or have students complete part of the final examination.

Course Grading Categories

Foothill offers course grades in these five categories:

  1. Courses in which all students are graded on a 4.0 scale of A, B, C, D, F.
  2. Courses in which all students are graded on a Pass/No Pass (P/NP) basis.
  3. Students who enroll in a class as a Pass/No Pass option instead of a letter grade must submit a Pass/No Pass Card signed by the student within the first four weeks of the quarter. The form must be submitted to the Admissions Office.
    1. The student may choose to apply to the associate degree no more than 16 units of P-graded courses from this category. Students transferring to a four-year school should consult with a counselor.
    2. Courses in your major must be taken for a letter grade.
  4. Non-credit courses with course numbers ranging from 400-499. Grades earned in these courses shall not be included in the student's degree-applicable grade point average.
  5. Community services non-credit courses for which admission is charged.

In calculating the student's degree-applicable grade point average, grades earned in non-degree-applicable courses shall not be included. Courses that are non-degree-applicable are noted in both the Schedule of Classes and Course Catalog.

Grading Scale

The Foothill College grading scale includes the following:
A Excellent
B Good
C Satisfactory
D Less than satisfactory
F Failing
I Incomplete; cannot be issued prior to the end of the eighthweek. If not made up within the time limit that is assigned by the instructor, not to exceed one year, the I grade may change to F.
W Withdrawal; issued if you withdraw from class between the fifth and eighth weeks. Prior to the end of the fourth week, no mark will appear on your record. After the eighth week, a grade symbol other than a W must be used and will likely be an F.
IP In Progress; for classes that extend over more than one quarter.
P Pass; at least a C or better in a class offered on a graded/non-graded basis.
NP No Pass; less than a C in a class offered on a graded/non-graded basis.
RD Report Delayed; assigned by the registrar.

For a justifiable, approved reason (serious illness, emergency, etc.), you may ask your instructor for more time to complete coursework. After the end of the eighth week and before the end of the quarter, you must request that the instructor assign a grade of Incomplete (I). The instructor files an Incomplete Contract that explains the reason and precisely outlines the work due, procedure required, and due date for you to complete the work. You should signand keep a copy of the contract.

We do not assign an incomplete because a student is slow or negligent in submitting required work. If you meet the course requirements within one calendar year, the I grade may be changed; otherwise it may be listed as F.

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Withdraw from College

To withdraw from college after the eighth week, you must consult with a counselor and petition the Academic Council to obtain an approved dismissal. This is for your protection, since you may receive an F in all classes after the eighth week if you do not follow these guidelines. The petition must have the instructor's approval signature for each class.

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The Admissions & Records Office forwards transcripts at your written request. Transcripts to educational institutions will be sent directly to those institutions. Transcripts given directly to you are classified as unofficial.

Transcript costs and procedures for requesting transcripts are published online and in the printed Schedule of Classes./

Foothill reserves the right to withhold transcripts from students under certain circumstances, such as defaulting on a loan, outstanding balance due on an account or until all obligations to the college are cleared.

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Transcript/Grade Changes

Section 76224 of the California State Education Code states, "The determination of the student's grade by the instructor shall be final in the absence of mistake, fraud, bad faith or incompetency." By law, instructors are the only people who can change grades.

If you believe corrections should be made within the above restriction, you should first talk to your instructor. Corrections must be initiated within two years after the grade was earned. If an error has been made, and a correction is necessary prior to the two-year period, you may request a review of the records at the Admissions & Records Office.

Grades received prior to 1983 may not be changed. Exceptions to this policy include a bona fide error in grading; and a course in which an unsatisfactory grade was given is repeated for a satisfactory grade.

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High School Credits at Foothill

Although Foothill College cannot grant a high school diploma, many local high schools recommend that students 19 years of age or older complete high school requirements by taking college courses. If you choose to earn a high school diploma this way, you should obtain a statement from your high school principal or counselor indicating:

  • The subjects necessary to complete graduation requirements, and the number of quarter credits in each;
  • Suggestions for Foothill courses to satisfy these requirements;
  • The total number of quarter credits required, including electives; and
  • Acceptance of credit for courses taken at Foothill.

When you complete the college courses, request that the Foothill College registrar send a college transcript to your high school. The diploma will be issued in accordance with your school's procedures.

All credit courses taken at Foothill count as college credit, whether or not they count toward high school requirements.

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Honors Institute

If you have strong academic motivation and ability, Foothill offers special class sections taught by our honors faculty. To qualify, you must satisfy a combination of prerequisites that include grade point average, English composition and instructor recommendation. In some cases, a minimum composite ACT or SAT score may be used. For details and the program application, access the Honors website.

The Honors Institute features special courses and co-curricular activities that prepare you for transfer to top colleges and universities; registration assistance to assure access to desired classes; discussions and projects to stimulate intellectual development; honors courses from academic divisions; free tickets to cultural events; small seminars; transcript notation of Honors Scholar; recognition at commencement; scholarships; and other benefits for students who plan to transfer to selective universities.

Foothill participates in the UCLA TAP Program. For more information, access the Honors website or call (650) 949-7638.

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Off-Campus Trips & Activities

Some programs require off-campus field trips and activities. Transportation is usually the responsibility of the individual student or a travel agency. The district is not liable for occurrences when participants are not under a faculty or staff member's direct, scheduled supervision.

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Open-Entry/Open-Exit Classes

Foothill offers several open-entry/open-exit courses, allowing you to work at your own pace. You may generally enroll in these courses at any time, through the end of the seventh week of the quarter. Many of these courses are offered in the off-campus centers, ISC, Fine Arts and Language Arts laboratories and Math Center. Lists of courses with unusual start times are available in these facilities.

Independent/flexible study classes and cooperative work study classes are not open-entry/open-exit classes. You must enroll in these classes by the end of the second week of instruction.

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Scholastic Honors

Foothill commends students who earn the associate degree, complete a minimum of 24 Foothill units and meet the following criteria by awarding:

Highest Honors: 4.0 GPA in all Foothill College coursework.
High Honors: at least 3.5 GPA in all Foothill College coursework.
Honors: at least 3.3 GPA in all Foothill College coursework.

Additional scholastic honors are awarded to eligible students on the following basis:

Dean's List: Awarded on a quarterly basis to full-time students completing 12 or more Foothill units in one quarter with at least a 3.5 GPA; and part-time students completing a minimum of 12 cumulative units at Foothill College with an overall and quarter Foothill GPA of at least 3.5.

President's Medal: Awarded at the annual commencement ceremony to first-time degree recipients with a 4.0 GPA in all college coursework applicable toward the associate degree, including 60 resident units at Foothill College. To qualify for this award students must petition for graduation by May 1.

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Student Access to Education Records

The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act requires educational institutions toprovide student access to official education records directly related to the student. The act also says you have the right to challenge such records on the grounds that they are inaccurate, misleading or otherwise inappropriate.

Your written consent is required before the college will release personal information from your records to other than a specified list of persons and agencies. These rights extend to present and former Foothill students. Education records generally include documents related to admissions, enrollment in classes, grades and related academic information. These records are filed in the Admissions & Records Office. The registrar is the college's designated records officer. Personal education records will be made available for inspection and review during normal business hours to currently and formerly enrolled students, within 45 days following completion and filing of a written request with the records officer.

The college may release certain types of directory information unless you notify the records officer that certain or all information cannot be released without personal consent. Directory information may include (1) student name and city of residence, (2) date and place of birth, (3) participation in recognized activities and sports, (4) dates of attendance, (5) degrees and awards received, (6) the most recent previous educational agency or institution attended, and (7) height and weight of members of athletic teams, which may be released only by the appropriate athletic staff member or athletic director. Directory information may be released unless you notify the records officer otherwise in writing prior to the first day of instruction of any quarter or Summer Session.

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