Legal Question in Education Law in California

My sister is attending San Jose State. She finished her degree in Theater arts, but decided to double major in forensic science. The school allowed her to do the forensic science major, and she's been working on it for two years. She failed one math class, and now the school is kicking her out after she has already used about $20,000 in student loans for the forensics program. Is it legal for the school to do this? Should she get a lawyer?

Asked on 1/23/13, 1:00 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Andrew Harrell W. Andrew Harrell, Attorney at Law

I receive numerous complaints about the CSU system. She should check to see if her overall grade point average fellow below the minimum requirement. Also, CSU has a variety of internal appeals. She should use those since a lawyer would not be able to approach a court for judicial review until all of the administrative remedies within the school are exhausted. Has she already received the theater arts degree? Is this a second degree?

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Answered on 1/23/13, 1:33 pm

Timothy McCormick Libris Solutions - Dispute Resolution Services

I agree with Mr. Harrell that she should vigorously pursue all available internal appeals, both because that is required before resorting to the courts, and because it is more likely to yield positive results. Unless the school is violating its own policies and/or procedures in dismissing her for academic performance, the law will not overturn the decision. Students implicitly agree to be bound by all the academic rules, policies and procedures when they matriculate. So if SJSU is following its own rules, her only hope is an internal appeal.

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Answered on 1/23/13, 3:09 pm

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