The Education Law program offers education professionals the opportunity to participate in a focused course of study that examines the modern interplay of law and education. This program provides students with the framework to identify and understand legal issues that frequently arise in educational settings. Students learn to apply legal research techniques in order to find statutes, case law and administrative materials to become better informed on issues they face in their professional careers. The graduate will be better prepared to respond to the legal challenges presented in an increasingly complex area of law and practice.
Historically the establishment of educational systems was left to the states. While states still bear the primary responsibility of providing a public education, the federal government and administrative regulations have substantially influenced education in America. Complex legislation such as I.D.E.A., F.E.R.P.A., and No Child Left Behind compel states to provide a free and appropriate public education while removing forms of discrimination to ensure equal opportunities for all students. Compliance with the state and federal legislative mandates has proven to be a constant source of legal tension generating numerous challenges to the propriety of actions taken by school officials. These challenges have increased over time as the law has continued to expand and influence educational practices.
In addition to long standing legal issues like student prayer and free speech, new issues such as campus safety, educational accountability, school vouchers, bullying, cyber-stalking, reasonable accommodations, and teacher rights are just a few of the legal issues that face school administrators and teachers. The landscape of education has become more responsive to legal requirements even though individuals charged with implementing school polices and procedures are many times not attorneys, but rather educators. The need for focused study on education law can provide critical insight to the practical aspects of education law as applied to the day-today running of a school, school district, or classroom.
Each student will complete 8 core classes, 6 elective classes and a final capstone course, the Individual Research Project, which is divided into 2 parts. Terms are 10 weeks long and typically, each student will complete a total of 8 10 week terms to complete the degree (a total of 16 courses, 36 credit hours).
To accommodate the need of education professionals to remain in their present location and employment and, at the same time, draw upon a nationwide faculty, the program is uniquely offered via NSU Law’s state-of-the-art, Internet-based distance learning technology. All coursework will be accomplished conveniently from the student’s own home, on the student’s own timing, without requirement compromise of career and other obligations.
Online, students are guided through interactive class lessons over the internet, working closely with faculty members and exchanging ideas with fellow classmates.
Required interactivity is all asynchronous, meaning that students do not need to access their online course at any particular time during the day. The program is, however, characterized by a great deal of required interactivity. Students will often find themselves online nearly everyday. Such interactivity promotes a high-quality learning experience and differentiates this program from a correspondence or “self-study” program. Many professors will hold live chats and students are urged to attend.
Grades are posted on the Webstar system at the end of each session http://webstar.nova.edu and then enter your personal identification number (PIN). The M.S. Ed.L. program uses the following grading scale: A, A-, B+, B-, C+, C-, D+, D-, and F.
A student learning online will receive passwords to access his or her courses. At each course site, the student will find reading assignments, links to materials pertinent to the course, a syllabus, a statement of the course goals, a number of hypothetical problems, lecture notes, live classroom chats, a threaded discussion board, and a quiz. The assignments, materials, problems, lectures and quizzes will be organized by module, with each module representing a major topic of the course. Modules will roughly correspond to weeks. (In other words, a 10-week-long course will contain either 10 modules or nine modules and a week for a final examination.)
Each week, within periods of time designated by their professors, students in each course will be responsible for covering the material assigned, accessing materials as instructed, viewing lecture clips and participating in online discussions. The discussions might take place on the class's threaded discussion board, on which student questions and responses to each other are arranged so that the reader can follow the written "conversation" that develops on line. Alternatively, they might take place via email, which each student will have. They also will take place in live chat sessions. In some courses, professors may wish to administer quizzes.
For required live chats, professors attempt to find days/times that work for all students. In the event that a day/time chosen does not work for the student, the chats are recorded and the student will be asked to post or respond via email regarding the topics discussed in the chat.