Dissertation Abstract

A Study of the Legal Considerations for Educators Engaged in Experiential Learning Arising from Constitutional and Federal Statutory Law (Student Rights).

Publication Number:  AG9310992
Author:  Newell, Charles
School:  Auburn University
Date:  1992
Pages:  526
Subject:  Education

The purpose of this study was to examine, analyze, and interpret the significance of constitutional and federal statutory considerations in experiential learning programs conducted by postsecondary institutions. The purpose of the study was achieved through an analysis of reported cases of constitutional and federal statutory litigation arising from experiential learning. The design of this study was based on a legal analysis of constitutional and federal statutory court decisions which answered the following research question: What are the legal concerns confronting educators engaged in experiential learning relative to constitutional and federal statutory rights?

The study revealed: (1) Absent state action, affiliation agreements between public and private institutions do not violate the establishment and free exercise clauses. (2) Individuals engaged in experiential learning enjoy the right to speech, press, and assembly, though these freedoms are subject to some degree of regulation in the public interest. (3) The reputations of experiential learners are protected by the due process clause, and related claims are assessed in accordance with the stigma-plus test. (4) The reasonableness standard has not been applied to searches conducted in postsecondary institutions. (5) Administrators may be held liable when subordinates invade the bodily integrity of students. (6) Student property right claims are usually decided on the basis of other legal issues. (7) Suits challenging the procedural and substantive aspects of academic decisions are frequently unsuccessful. (8) Suits brought under the equal protection clause, Title VI, and Title IX are difficult to sustain because plaintiffs must establish intentional discrimination. (9) While postsecondary institutions must conform to the regulations of Section 504, they are not required to lower their academic standards to accommodate the needs of handicapped students. (10) Postsecondary institutions are adhering to the regulations of FERPA and the ADA

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