Education Law Student Testimonials

Education Law

Student Testimonials


Completing the Education Law Certificate program has better prepared me as a special education teacher and future school administrator. I have increased my legal literacy and now better understand local, state, and federal law, allowing me to be a better educator and advocate for students and families. I am so thankful for the rigorous courses and dedicated and attentive faculty. I would highly recommend this program to any K-12 professional.

Samantha Ellison, Special Education Teacher, Master's in Educational Leadership and Education Law Certificate Graduate

The Education Law Certificate program was truly the highlight of my graduate studies. It was the perfect combination of legal scholarship and research plus meaningful application of so many important topics in the field of education. I feel infinitely more prepared to lead a community of students, staff, and families as a result of this certificate. I simply cannot recommend the program enough for any prospective school leader!

Sam Chenoweth, Choral & Musical Theater Director, Zionsville Community High School, Education Law Certificate and Master's in Educational Leadership graduate

Pursuing the Education Law Certificate was a phenomenal experience. I can’t adequately express how much I enjoyed having the freedom to explore issues in education law that I find personally compelling and relevant to my own professional interests. The courses I took throughout the program helped me develop legal research skills that continue to inform my trajectory as both an educational researcher and practitioner.

Tripp (Robert) Harris, PhD Candidate, IU School of Education; Senior Assistant Director for Prevention and Wellness, Office of Sorority and Fraternity Life, IU Bloomington Division of Student Affairs

It is paramount for today's school leaders to be legally literate to advocate effectively for their students, staff, and school community. IU's Education Law program provides new and seasoned educators with the skills and understanding to navigate the ever-changing legal arena of public education.

Dr. Troy Sosnovik, PMP, MBA, Ed.D.; Assistant Superintendent - Northwestern Lehigh School District, New Tripoli, PA; Education Law Certificate graduate

The Education Law Certificate was one of the best programs I have participated in. As someone interested in the intersection between education and law, I found the classes very engaging, informative, and very applicable to everyday scenarios. Despite the program being online, the professors all made learning very fun, and allowed opportunities to interact with classmates, which not only helped me gain a sense of community, but also new friends. I’m very excited to use the knowledge I have gained from this program for future academic and professional experiences.

Swasti Singh, Graduate, Education Law Certificate; Ph.D. Student, History, Philosophy, and Policy in Education, Specialization in Education Policy Studies, and M.S.Ed. in International and Comparative Education, IU School of Education

After completing IU’s Education Law Certificate, I started a business as a special education advocate. The certificate provided me with the confidence, knowledge, and skills to serve students and families effectively. Together with my policy background and classroom experience, I'm able to voice their needs and get positive results.

Stephanie Addison-Fontaine, Special Education Advocate, Redondo Beach, CA; Education Law Certificate graduate

Participating in IU's Education Law Certificate Program has completely transformed the way in which I teach and lead! Knowing how to conduct legal research has better prepared me in supporting my students and their families, especially regarding equitable practices in Special Education. I would highly recommend this program to any person involved in a school system so they can better understand the rights and responsibilities afforded to students as well as school personnel.

Kara Michael, 6th Grade Teacher, Education Law Certificate graduate

Being a member of the Board of Directors for NASSP (National Association of Secondary School Principals) and a high school administrator, the IU Education Law Certificate has helped influence my advocacy efforts on Capitol Hill with legislators at the highest level as we seek to create change nationally. It has strengthened my day-to-day practice as a sitting administrator by ensuring the successful mitigation of any legal risks. Because of the legal literacy I gained at IU, I help influence decisions on a national and local level. The Education Law Certificate is a "must-have" for anyone who wants to impact education.

Aaron Huff, Education Law Certificate graduate; Ed.D. student

I strongly recommend that anyone who serves as a school administrator consider getting an Educational Law Certificate from Indiana University. Administrators make many decisions every day that have legal implications. My increased legal literacy on educational issues provides me with confidence and a better understanding of how to serve students best and reduce legal exposure for the school corporation. The completion of this program has been one of the most valuable professional investments I have made.

Ryan Merriwether, Education Law Certificate graduate; Ed.D. student, Principal

As a law student at Maurer School of Law, my cross-listed courses were definitely some of my favorites. The Minor blended skills from my other law classes with education in a great learning experience, and helped me gain more practical knowledge and resources for both Education Law and the legal profession in general. It was so worth it!

Julie Baffoe, J.D. Candidate 2021, Indiana University Maurer School of Law, Education Policy J.D. Minor Graduate

IU's Education Law Certificate has been one of the most beneficial programs for my career and research! This certificate program provides educators with the tools and resources to appropriately interpret and apply the law—an integral skill in the field of education. I utilize what I learned during this program in my work every single day as an English Learner Specialist at the Indiana Department of Education.

Emma Everson, English Learner Specialist, Indiana Department of Education; Education Law Certificate Graduate and Ph.D. student in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

When I enrolled in this program, I didn’t realize how much I would value classmates from all over the country and from a variety of backgrounds and professions. I am confident that I will use the knowledge and skills I gained to better serve my graduate students, as well as my clients and their families.

Dr. Amy W. Piper, M.S. CCC-SLP, Ph.D.; Clinical Associate Professor, Externship Coordinator, Department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences; Adjunct Faculty, Luddy School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering; Education Law Certificate graduate

I am an educational advocate for children in foster care. The Education Law Certificate allowed me to deepen my knowledge of the educational rights of the children I work with. I have also been able to reach a larger audience by presenting at the Education Law Association's conference and co-authoring an article with one of my IU professors for the National Association of Secondary School Principals.

Sharon Dunlevy, Education Law Certificate Graduate

One of the best decisions I made throughout my tenure at Indiana University was declaring Education Law as my Ph.D. minor. The faculty is incredibly distinguished, resourceful, and available. Thankfully, this minor is one of the only programs that allows students to also earn a graduate certificate. Because of the Education Law minor, I’m excited that I am now better equipped to advocate for and support immigrant families and the maintenance of their heritage languages in schools.

Todd Greco, Ph.D. Student, Literacy, Culture, and Language Education; Ph.D. Minor in Education Law

I would highly recommend this program to all K-12 school personnel as a means to understand and prevent potential litigation issues within their district. This program afforded me the opportunity to learn how to interpret and apply the law to realistic scenarios within the K-12 school setting. I believe that we can better serve our communities through properly advocating for and protecting our students, faculty, and staff within our school buildings.

Alexandrea Horton, H.S. English Department Chair, Illinois; Education Law Certificate graduate

I wouldn't trade my journey through education law for anything. I had the best professors who not only presented the content well by providing engaging assignments but also cared about my well-being. The IU Ed. Law program was amazing!

Kimbria Jackson, Ed.D., Assistant Principal, D.C.; Education Law Certificate Graduate

The coursework involved to receive the Education Law Certificate helped me, as a classroom teacher, understand the rights and laws surrounding teachers/staff, students, and parents. This has helped me become a more informed teacher, which empowered me to grow professionally and become a more confident teacher.

Fiona Makowski, B.S. Elementary Education; 5th Grade Teacher; Intern at Children's Policy and Law Initiative of Indiana; Education Law Certificate Graduate)

I could have been a more informed, confident, and empowered teacher had I completed my education law courses years ago. I am grateful for this program and passionately believe that legal literacy should be prioritized for all educators.

Taji L. Gibson, Principal, Tri-North Middle School, Monroe County Community School Corporation, Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, Education Law Certificate alumna

Earning my Education Law Certificate has benefitted my career tremendously. I work as an educational consultant for K-12 public, private, and charter schools in Indiana. Having a strong knowledge of legal issues and best practices has helped me to advise and support teachers and administrators as they create, implement, enforce, and evaluate their policies and procedures. I use the skills and knowledge from the Education Law Certification program every single day.

Keshia Seitz, Ed.D.; Director of Innovative Learning, Five Star Technology Solutions; Ed.D. Graduate who earned the Education Law Certificate

The Education Law Certificate improved my marketability because it ensured that I understood how to research law and use it as a foundation when making decisions. Principals must ensure that school districts do not lose money from lawsuits.

Von Smalley, M.S.; Instructional Coach & Principal Intern, Northeast High School, Kansas City; M.S. Graduate who earned the Education Law Certificate

The reputation of IU’s education law program and faculty are well known outside of Indiana University. They are active in the leadership of the Education Law Association (ELA), and as a member and regular conference attendee of ELA, I can attest, they are respected for their research on a national level.

Michelle Gough, J.D., Ph.D.; Senior Vice President & Chief Legal & Assessment Officer, Project Lead the Way; former Indiana Department of Education General Counsel; Ph.D. Graduate who Concentrated in Education Law

As a special education administrator, I quickly recognized the relevance of legal literacy. The Education Law Certificate imparted a deeper understanding of the complexities of ever-evolving education and legal systems and how the two are interconnected.

Joanna Mulligan, Assistant Director of Student Services, Carmel Clay Schools; Education Law Certificate Graduate

Earning the Education Law Certificate has helped me answer questions regarding special education issues asked by teachers and administrators. Many parents are highly educated in these school districts, and teachers and administrators sometimes are not exactly sure what the law states regarding rights of students, teachers, and parents.

Kristy Bixler, Ph.D. student; Education Law Certificate Graduate

Because of the school law research I completed at IU, I am now actively engaged with legislative reform. I have successfully advocated for changes in special education policy based on my dissertation findings.

Angie Balsley, Ed.D.; Executive Director of Earlywood Educational Services; President-Elect of the Indiana Council of Administrators of Special Education (ICASE); Ed.D. Graduate

I focus on the intersection between federal grants and educational institutions. The education law courses are well-designed and thorough. The online certificate program connected me with other attorneys, administrators, and leaders in education across the country. We studied evolving law and policy and seminal case law. IU brings practitioners and experts from around the country together to tackle vital issues, including those related to expectations for schools during the pandemic.

Kristen Schwendinger, J.D., M.P.A.; Senior Counsel, Feldesman Tucker Leifer Fidell LLP; Education Law Certificate Graduate

After spending nearly a half-century in higher education as a professor and college dean, I revisited an original dream to study the law. Consequently, I found the Education Law Certificate program at Indiana University to be exactly what I was looking for. In all the rigorous courses, I found that professors were expertly equipped to facilitate student academic development. If you have a desire to investigate issues, increase your knowledge, and acquire a command of topics in school law including special education law, education law research, and higher education law, I know of no better way to do so than to enroll in the Education Law Certificate program at Indiana University. As it turned out, this program and the professors were so inspiring to me that I'm now studying at the University of Arizona Law School!

Dr. Thompson Brandt, M.S., Ph.D.; Director of Instrumental Music; Adjunct Professor and former Dean, Humanities, Social Sciences, and Fine Arts; Education Law Certificate Graduate

Completing the Education Law Certificate program as a school nurse has given me the knowledge and confidence I need to advocate for the health and educational needs of students at the federal, state, and local levels. I am able to identify potential legal concerns in my practice as a school nurse and feel equipped to help my district mitigate potential litigation. Knowing how to conduct legal research has helped me develop trainings for staff and nursing interventions for students and families in need of academic health support.

Andrea Tanner, MSN, RN, CNS, NCSN; Ph.D. student in Nursing Science; Coordinator of Health Services for New Albany Floyd County Schools; Minoring in Education Law; Education Law Certificate Graduate