It was the user/editlib.php file that had to be reworked in order to modify a student's profile. Our Moodle 2.9 has been heavily modified since it was first installed. We had performed some edits to this template, but did not register the change in our development logs. Fortunately, other notes led me to the modded script. After restoring the original code our Moodle needed to work, all the functionality was restored.
My thanks to all who reached out and provided assistance!