Public Records Requests

In 1972, Washington enacted the Public Records Act to assure citizens of the state transparency and access to government. As a state agency, we are subject to the provisions of the Washington state public disclosure laws (RCW 42.56) governing access to public records and will respond accordingly. There may be exemptions to disclosure that may prohibit the college from releasing certain documents. The college will provide a brief explanation for any exemption to disclosure.

Public Records Manager

  • Submit a request online; or
  • Send a written request to us, which should include:
    • Your name, full mailing address, email address, and telephone number; and
    • A detailed description of the requested record(s)
  • Indicate in what format you would like to receive the documents:
    • Review records at the college;
    • Have paper copies mailed;
    • Email documents or upload to cloud storage link
  • Send your request by:

Within five business days of receiving a request, the college will:

  • Acknowledge the request and ask for additional clarification(s);
  • Acknowledge the request and provide an estimated timeline by which the records will be provided;
  • Provide the requested documents; or
  • Notify that no record exists

Note: Records may be provided in installments.

As outlined in Washington’s Public Records Act, RCW 42.56, agencies may charge to recover the actual cost of making and providing copies of records when fulfilling requests. Additional details can be found in Washington Administrative Code, WAC 132F-168-060. Please note that we may require a deposit of up to 10 percent of the estimated costs of copying all the records selected by the requestor, before making copies. If the records are provided in installments, we may require payment of the costs of copying an installment before providing the installment. Please see below for our fee schedule:

  • There is no fee for inspecting records.
  • $0.11 per page for production of black and white paper copies.
  • $0.13 per page for production of color paper copies.
  • $0.05 per four documents uploaded to email or cloud storage for download.
  • $0.06 per page scanned from paper or nonelectronic records.
  • Cost of postage for copies or CD/DVDs sent through the mail.
  • Cost of CD/DVD if electronic records are too large to be sent through email or cloud format or if documents are requested in this format.

The district reserves the right to use outside vendors for large projects when an outside vendor can provide copies quicker or for less cost. The requestor will be required to pay the cost charged by the vendor.

Payment may be made by cash, check, or money order, payable to:

Seattle Colleges
1500 Harvard Avenue
Seattle, WA 98122
  • Provide a written request for review to the records officer.
  • The request will be reviewed by the college president or a designee.

Some records are exempt from public disclosure law. Following are some examples:

  1. Student Records: The Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act of 1974, 20 U.S.C. § 1232g, prohibits the disclosure of personally identifiable information in student education records without the student's written consent. Redacted records (or portions of records) are student records protected from disclosure under RCW 42.56.070 (1) and 20 U.S.C. §1232g.
  2. Attorney-Client Privilege: RCW 5.60.060 (2) (a) protects communications between an attorney and the attorney’s client(s) for the purpose of obtaining or providing legal advice. The attorney-client privilege also protects communications within a client agency to gather information for obtaining legal advice or to convey attorney-client communications. Redacted records (or portions of records) are privileged attorney-client communications protected from disclosure under RCW 42.56.070 (1) and 5.60.062 (2)(a).
  3. Attorney Work Product: RCW 42.56.290 protects attorney work product, consisting of drafts, notes, memoranda, research, attorney-client communications, and other records prepared, collected, or assembled in litigation or in anticipation of litigation that reveal factual or investigative information or that reflect the opinions or mental impressions of an attorney or attorney's agent(s). Redacted records (or portions of records) consist of attorney work product protected from disclosure under RCW 42.56.290.
  4. Public Employees—Applications: RCW 42.56.250 (2) protects applications for public employment, including the names of applicants, resumes, and other related materials submitted with respect to an applicant for public employment. Records (or portions of records) marked are public employee application materials protected from disclosure under RCW 42.56.290.
  5. Public Employees—Personal Information: RCW 42.56.250 (4) protects the personal addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, Social Security numbers, and emergency contact information of public employees and volunteers, as well as the names, birthdates, addresses, phone numbers, and Social Security numbers of dependents. Redacted records (or portions of records) are exempt from disclosure as personal employee information protected under RCW 42.56.250 (3).
  6. Public Employees—Personnel Files: RCW 42.56.250 (2), 42.56.230 (3) and 42.56.050 protect personal information in files maintained for public employees to the extent that disclosure would violate their right to privacy. Redacted records (or portions of records) are exempt from disclosure as containing private information in employee files protected under RCW 42.56.250 (2) and 42.56.050.
  7. Personal Financial Information: RCW 42.56.230 (5) protects personal financial information, including credit/debit card numbers, electronic check numbers, credit expiration dates, or bank or other financial account numbers. Redacted records (or portions of records) are withheld as containing personal financial information protected under RCW 42.56.230 (5)
  8. Social Security Numbers: Portions of public records marked are withheld as containing individual Social Security numbers protected from disclosure under RCW 42.56.230 (5) and 5 U.S.C. § 552 (a).
  9. Systems Security: RCW 42.56.420 (4) protects information regarding the infrastructure and security of computer and telecommunications networks, including security passwords, security access codes and programs, and access codes for secure software applications. Redacted records (or portions of records) are withheld as containing systems security information protected from disclosure under RCW 42.56.420 (4).

All information that you provide Seattle Colleges, even your email communications, is considered public records. As a public organization, Seattle Colleges is required to respond to public records requests and disclose information from its purchasing records that may consist of other vendors’ confidential information. Therefore, please do not include any sensitive information or materials such as trade secrets or proprietary information in your official bids, proposals, quotations, or correspondences. If you do so and do not want disclosure of such information, you must hire an attorney to file an injunction.