Course Descriptions

MLAW 1020 (3 credits) - Legal Research Methods and Reasoning

The law is never static. Students will learn to review and apply newly issued laws or legal decisions in day-to-day activities. This course will enable students to find the law, to read and understand legal statutes and regulations, and to understand the analytic process lawmakers and lawyers use.

MEDL 1030 (2 credits) - Special Education Law

This course will cover the core educational entitlements granted to all students with disabilities in the public education system. It will focus on the substantive legal protections designed to ensure that students with disabilities receive a Free and Appropriate Public Education, and on the various procedural protections for students and parents. The course will cover major federal legislation such as the IDEA, ADA and Section 504, as well as the principal Supreme Court and other cases.

MLAW 1031 (3 credits) - Administrative Law

This course explores the role of administrative law in labor and employment. Students will review the sources of law for employers and management. In doing so, they will chart the overlapping and sometimes conflicting roles of federal and state legal regulation and study the implications and effects of the various types of laws that govern employment: administrative agency regulations, constitutional provisions, statutes, and court decisions.

Prerequisite MLAW 1020

MLAW 1032 (2 credits) - Federal Privacy Law

The privacy rights of individuals in all aspects of daily life have been of great concern over the last few years. The Federal government is heavily involved in crafting laws and regulations to protect an individual’s private information collected in a variety of contexts from being accessed and then used. This course will look at the three such federal laws and accompanying regulations: HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act); FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) and the Federal Privacy Act. The course is designed to introduce the students to the specifics of each of these federal privacy laws and to get the students to critically read and analyze and write about the issues presented by these statutes through a series of written exercises.

MEDL 1040 (2 credits) - Ethical Issues in Education Law

This course will focus on ethical codes that intersect law and education. Students will study the theoretical underpinnings of ethic codes and examine their function, utility, and application in modern educational institutions while examining the practical limitations given the expanding use of distance education.

MLAW 1065 (2 credits) - Survey of Tort and Contract Law

This course provides a detailed introduction to the legal principles and major concepts of tort and contract law. The class will focus on general liability, disputes in the employment context, construction and breach of contractual obligations.

MEDL 1070 (2 credits) - Selected Topics: Federal Legislation in Education

This course provides the student with an instruction to Federal legislation regulating the field of education. Topics include IDEA, FERPA, HIPPA, Title IX, ADA, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.

MEDL 1080 (2 credits) - Introduction to Constitutional Law

This course will focus on issues involving the U.S. constitution and education. Topics will include the role of due process, equal protection, searches and seizures, drug testing, civil rights protection, freedom of speech, the Establishment Clause, and the Commerce Clause in education.

MEDL 2010 (2 credits) - The First Amendment and Education

This course will focus on the role of the First Amendment in Education. Topics will include constraints on the school's ability to restrict student and faculty academic freedom, student and parent privacy acts, religion in schools, the religious Freedom Restoration Act, curricular choices, political activism on campus, and boundaries set to censor or limit free speech.

MEDL 2020 (3 credits) - Alternative Dispute Resolution

This course will be a skill-based course merging legal issues in education with practical skills of negotiation and dispute resolution. Students will study the legal structure of alternative dispute resolution models. Students will be paired together to work through hypothetical situations that require cooperative efforts to reach common ground on divisive issues. Students will provide reflective analysis on the challenges encountered in their exercises and provide written feedback to the instructor on insights gained through the negotiation process. The course will require student to work directly on simulated exercises in order to gain perspective and insight on alternative dispute resolution techniques.

Prerequisite MLAW 1020

MEDL 2030 (2 credits) - School Discipline Law

This course will explore institutional responses to student discipline. The course will cover appropriate means and appropriate circumstances when student discipline is necessary. Students will explore the procedural protections granted to students and the bounds of lawful discipline which include expulsion.

MEDL 2040 (2 credits) - Contemporary Issues in Education

This course will focus on issues involving education that have risen to the forefront of contemporary culture. Topics will include :No Child Left Behind," school violence, vouchers, individuals with disabilities, inclusion, least restrictive environment, home schooling, extra curricular activities, internet-related issues and concerns, bilingual education statutes and recruiting in higher education.

MEDL 2050 (3 credits) - Employee Relations Law

This course will examine the nature of employee relations as they relate to school board employees. It will also examine the role and function of teacher unions and collective bargaining.  Topics will include the hiring, evaluation and retention of school board employees as well as  faculty retention and tenure, labor negotiations, employee discipline subject to a labor agreement, labor stoppages and free speech issues relating to unions. Students will build upon their knowledge of contract law as they study the complex nature of legal relationships in the educational setting.

MEDL 2060 (2 credits) - Higher Education Law

This course will look at the role of law in higher education institutions. Special emphasis will be given to the governance structures of public and private institutions; the relationship between faculty, staff, students and the university community; faculty promotion, tenure, curriculum control; issues related to research and teaching responsibilities; academic freedom; affirmative action; racial and sexual harassment; intellectual property rights of faculty, staff and students; and planned giving.

MEDL 2070 (2 credits) - Private Education Law

This course will focus on the operation and function of private schools in contrast to the public school system. The course will examine private education in the elementary and secondary school setting

MEDL 2080 (2 credits) - Advanced Topics in School Liability

This course will examine the expanding area of school liability for tortuous conduct. The course will explore causes of liability and the impact such liability has on the school, school board and school system. Students will explore liability issues that face educators across all levels of the education spectrum.

MEDL 2090 (2 credits) - School Records and Confidentiality

This course will examine how laws impact school record keeping practices and procedures. School regularly retain in their possessions private and confidential information in documentary and electronic format. Schools are forced by a variety of state and federal laws to both keep such information and safeguard its privacy. This course will examine record keeping obligations imposed by the law and consequences for non-compliance.

MEDL 3000 (2 credits) - Civil Rights Law

This course will focus on constitutional and civil rights issues in education.  Because of the coverage of disability issues by mandatory courses, this course will focus on equal protection and non-discrimination, and the roles of language and cultural biases in education

MLAW 3020 (3 credits) - Individual Research Project Seminar Part 1

This is the capstone course for the M.S. Education Law, Health Law and Employment Law programs. In the foundation phase of the student’s individual research project (IRP), each student will identify a final research thesis that they will then develop over the course of the next two semesters. Students select and hone their individual research topics with direct collaboration of their faculty advisor and expert consultant. Successful completion of this component of the IRP course requires: timely completion of the IRP topic summary, the IRP topic outline (at least 5 pages in length), timely submission of all discussion board topics, timely completion of all quiz assignments, participation in in scheduled live classroom discussions, and submission of the first rough draft (at least 20 pages in length). All first year courses and 12 credits of electives must be successfully completed.

MLAW 3021 (3 credits) - Individual Research Project Seminar Part 2

In the second phase of the capstone course for the M.S. Education Law, Health Law and Employment Law Programs, students continue to build on the foundation of their research and writing. Students continue to work with their faculty director, expert consultant, and student colleagues. Students will receive comprehensive feedback on their rough draft. Students will incorporate suggested changes and continue to develop their individual research projects. Successful completion of the course requires timely submission of a final written IRP product of publishable quality and an oral presentation on the research thesis by the student to classmates, faculty, and industry consultants during the residential institute. Students must complete all coursework for Part 1 of the IRP course with a passing grade as a prerequisite for Part 2 of this course. All first year courses and 12 credits of electives must be successfully completed.

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