An analysis of educational consumer rights protection at Iowa State University in 1991

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Kellenberger, Gene
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Thomas B. Thielen
Larry H. Ebbers
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Curriculum and Instruction

This research involved a study of educational consumer rights of undergraduate students at Iowa State University. Data were gathered using a questionnaire consisting of thirty-three specific questions, which in turn were based on specific rights of students at colleges and universities; the rights involved were those specifically supportable by judicial decisions and the literature;Student participants were randomly selected as students enrolled in specific classes at Iowa State University. A total of thirty-seven classes were targeted, and from these a total of 865 participants responded to the questionnaire. The data were categorized into the specific rights involved including (1) the right to be heard; (2a) the right to be safe (physical safety); (2b) the right to be safe (safety of property and related rights); (3) the right to be informed; and (4) the right to choose. These rights were identified by President John F. Kennedy in his 1962 consumer speech to Congress;Results of the research indicated that students perceived that educational rights violations did occur among undergraduate students at Iowa State University. These ranged from very small rights violation perceptions (7.40% perceived that lab equipment was unsafe; 8.21% perceived that employment information was not readily available at Iowa State) to much larger perceptions of rights violations (72.49% believed their right to be heard in connection with major spending at Iowa State was being violated; 48.73% perceived that lighted walkways were not safe for night use). Similar perceptions involved safety of the campus for nighttime use of buildings, traffic regulations for safe pedestrian travel, and others;The data were further analyzed by the X[superscript]2 statistical technique, and findings indicated significant differences between student/participants' perceptions based on their class level (freshman, sophomore, junior or senior). In several instances, trends were identified where perceptions gradually changed in the course of the college career, possibly indicating that the maturation process may have an effect.

Wed Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 1992