Title IX Training Requirements for Your Campus Community

Students with back packs walking into a building

In our last article, we discussed the Title IX and Clery Act training requirements that apply to your Title IX Team members.  This article will address training for your campus community members under these two laws and their accompanying regulations.  It does not discuss the notifications that must be provided to the parties when making a report, or during the formal complaint process.

Title IX Requires Notice – But Not Training?

The 2020 regulations do not require specific training for community members.  However, it does require that institutions of higher education provide notice of certain information to the following individuals in the United States:

  • Applicants for admission and employment;
  • Students;
  • Parents or legal guardians of elementary or secondary school students;
  • Employees; and
  • Unions or professional organizations holding collective bargaining or professional agreements with the institution.

34 C.F.R. 106.8(a).  These individuals or groups must be provided with all of the following information:

  • The name or title, office address, email address, and telephone number of the employee or employees designated as the Title IX Coordinator;
  • The institution does not discriminate on the basis of sex in the education program or activity that it operates, that it is required by Title IX not to discriminate in such a manner, and that the requirement not to discriminate extends to admission and employment;
  • Any inquiries about the application of Title IX may be referred to the institution’s Title IX Coordinator, to the U.S. Department of Education’s Officer for Civil Rights, or both; and
  • The Title IX grievance procedures that have been adopted by the institution, which must include how to report or file a complaint of sex discrimination, how to report or file a formal complaint of sexual harassment, and how the institution will respond.

34 C.F.R. 106.8(a), (b)(1), and (c).  The regulations are silent as to how often such notice must be given, but the discrimination prohibition and contact information for the Title IX Coordinator must be published on the institution’s website, as well as each handbook or catalog that is made available to those listed above as requiring notice.  34 C.F.R. 106.8(b)(2).  For practical reasons, notice should be given any time the information changes, for example due to a new Title IX Coordinator being hired, or changes to the policy being adopted.

While the regulations require only notice, best practices would suggest that effective communication of the information would be helpful in ensuring that community members are aware of the behavioral expectations, as well as how to seek assistance of they are subjected to prohibited behaviors. 

Clery Act Requires Training and Notice

For institutions that must comply with the Clery Act (including the amendments made under the Violence Against Women Act), training requirements apply to both students and employees.  For practical reasons, training provided to meet the requirements of the Clery Act often includes the notification information required under Title IX, above.

Under the Clery regulations, each institution’s Annual Security Report must include a statement of policy regarding the institution’s programs to prevent dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking.  34 C.F.R. 668.46(b)(11).  Such programs are defined as “comprehensive, intentional, and integrated programming, initiatives, strategies, and campaigns intended to end dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking that:

  • Are culturally relevant, inclusive of diverse communities and identities, sustainable, responsive to community needs, and informed by research or assessed for value, effectiveness, or outcome; and
  • Consider environmental risk and protective factors as they occur on the individual, relationship, institutional, community, and societal levels.

34 C.F.R. 668.46(a).  These programs are defined to include both primary prevention and awareness programs directed at incoming students and new employees, and ongoing prevention and awareness campaigns directed at students and employees.  34 C.F.R. 668.46(a).

The regulations give further detail about what must be included in this statement of policy, specifically:

  • A description of the institution’s primary prevention and awareness programs for all incoming students and new employees, which must include:
    • A statement that the institution prohibits the crimes of dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking;
    • The definitions of each of these crimes in the applicable jurisdiction;
    • The definition of “consent” in reference to sexual activity, in the applicable jurisdiction;
    • A description of safe and positive options for bystander intervention;
    • Information on risk reduction; and
    • Information from 34 C.F.R. 668.46(b)(11), including:
      • Information regarding what to do if one experiences such crimes, and the confidentiality that will be provided to victims and other necessary parties;
      • Information to complainants about existing counseling, health, mental health, victim advocacy, legal assistance, visa and immigration assistance, student financial aid, and other services available for victims, both within the institution and in the community;
      • Information about accessing protective and supportive measures;
      • An explanation of the procedures used to investigate and adjudicate cases involving allegations of such crimes; and
      • Information that the institution will provide complainants with written documentation of their rights and options, regardless of whether such crimes occurred on or off campus.
  • A description of the institution’s ongoing prevention and awareness campaigns for students and employees, including the above information.

34 C.F.R. 668.46(j)(1).  The regulation further defines awareness programs, bystander intervention, ongoing prevention and awareness campaigns, primary prevention programs, and risk reduction.  34 C.F.R. 668.46(j)(2).  In designing your training programs, it is recommended that you review the regulations in detail to ensure that you are meeting all the requirements, which are somewhat paraphrased here.

How Much Training Is Enough?

Once the above requirements are met, there is no federal minimum to meet.  However, training may help prevent misconduct, improve campus culture, reduce potential risk and liability, and positively affect the mental health of campus community members.  Knowing this will help your institution determine how much time, effort, and resources are appropriate to allocate to training based on the needs of the community.

While online video training is easy to document in terms of attendance and may be the first option for ensuring requirements are met, it may not necessarily be the best way to communicate the information for every community member.  Best practice suggests that training be offered using multiple delivery methods to account for different learning styles.  Remember, the goal is not just compliance, but education and understanding for the benefit of your campus.

Are There Other Requirements for Training?

Increasingly, yes.  Your state law may impose training requirements.  Where students or employees are located in different states, other state laws may apply.  Grant money may also come with training requirements.  We recommend tracking program offerings and attendance at all programs to demonstrate compliance.

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