Best Practices for Implementing Effective Title IX Training for Faculty and Staff in Higher Ed

New rules on Title IX compliance have broadened the scope of requirements and added new definitions for sexual discrimination and sexual harassment. Colleges and universities need to review their policies, procedures, and documentation to ensure compliance with the changes.

Part of rolling out these changes includes updated Title IX training for faculty and staff.

What Is Title IX Training for Higher Education?

Title IX training includes programs to educate employees and students on obligations and rights under Title IX. These new rules have broad implications in ensuring a safe and inclusive campus environment and set forth higher education institutions’ obligations to address sexual harassment discrimination issues.

Effective Title IX training for faculty and staff is a core requirement to ensure all responsible employees are aware of their obligations. Response employees include those who have the authority to address such misconduct or are in receipt of complaints. The new rules are expanded, meaning a larger pool of employees should be included in training and education. Many current employees, such as faculty members or support teams, may not realize that they fall into this category and are required to report any alleged instances. Training can help.

Simply providing information about what is Title IX training for higher education is not sufficient. Employees must know what to do if an incident is reported and what actionable steps to take when faced with a potential Title IX situation.

Best Practices for Title IX Training for Faculty and Staff

Before training can begin, you need to do a thorough review and ensure your current policies and documentation align with the new regulations. With that in place, training can begin. Following some best practices as part of your training can help.

Reporting Procedures and Resources

Your policies will dictate reporting procedures, but you can help make them more understandable by creating step-by-step instructions or flowcharts for easier reference. When an incident occurs, this helps participants know what to do rather than have to remember information during what might be a stressful time.

In addition to reporting requirements, faculty and staff should be trained on interim measures to ensure the safety and privacy of any alleged victims.

Communication Resources

Open discussions and communication about Title IX policy and procedure changes should be a significant part of the training, especially for those who have received past training. Regular communication, including staff emails or newsletters, can reinforce information.

Several universities have built dedicated websites that provide centralized resources for students, faculty, and staff. This can serve as a repository for training and resource material for easy access, which must be made available to the public upon request.

Customized Training
Title IX training in higher education should be tailored to the needs of the school. For example, commuter campuses or those with large numbers of online services may want to use a slightly different approach from a college with a more traditional residential population. This is especially important because the expanded Title IX rules also apply to incidents that occur off-campus or even internationally.

Training materials also need to be vetted to ensure that messaging is inclusive and culturally sensitive to faculty, staff, and students.

External Training and Consulting

While colleges and universities are not required to engage in external training or consulting on Title IX compliance, many choose to do so. Reviewing and developing appropriate materials can be time-consuming, and mistakes can lead to legal issues.

Partnering with Title IX experts can streamline the process and ensure best practices are put in place to provide the documentation and training you need to remain compliant.

Creating a Safe and Inclusive Campus

Title IX training is not something for which you can afford to take shortcuts. Not only are there legal and financial consequences, but you have a moral obligation to provide a safe and inclusive environment for students, staff, and faculty. Failing to prioritize this issue can have a profound impact on the campus culture and how your employees work.

A proactive approach can foster a positive culture and create transparency and accountability with your Title IX obligations. Effective training and communication can help prevent incidents and promote a campus environment that does not tolerate sexual harassment or violence.

E&I Cooperative Services offers competitively solicited, cooperative contracts for legal guidance, consulting, and Title IX training for higher education.

View the available contracts available to E&I Cooperative Services’ members to help meet revised Title IX compliance requirements.


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