Innovative Approaches to Title IX Training: Engaging College Students in the Learning Process

Despite the best efforts of colleges and universities, research shows that nearly two-thirds of college students report experiencing sexual harassment. Even more shocking is the finding that 26% of female college students and 7% of male students have been victims of sexual assault.

Higher education institutions have a responsibility to prevent these behaviors, and they also have a legal obligation to comply with Title IX. The updated regulations, released in April 2024, introduce new requirements colleges and universities must implement.

Title IX Training for College Students

All new students, including incoming freshmen or transfer students, should receive training on a variety of topics that pertain to Title IX, including:

  • Defining sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking
  • The institution’s policies and procedures for addressing Title IX cases
  • The rights and resources available to victims
  • How to prevent and identify sexual misconduct
  • What to do if you witness sexual harassment
  • How and when to report incidents

Ongoing training programs throughout the academic year are not required, but they reinforce the importance of prevention education, such as workshops on healthy relationships and consent, along with awareness campaigns. This is especially important during orientation or at the start of a school year.

The better-informed students are about policies and procedures, the more likely they are to report potential incidents.

Innovative Training Approaches

Beyond traditional lectures and handouts, many schools are employing various approaches to ensure the message is delivered in multiple ways. A few strategies include:

More Interactive Training

To move beyond passive learning, colleges are incorporating more interactive elements that focus on real-life scenarios around consent, healthy relationships, and intervention practices. Group discussions allow students to analyze situations and share perspectives.

Students at some schools review hypothetical Title IX cases, working in small groups to apply university policies and determine appropriate responses.

Peer-to-Peer Education

Some schools leverage peer-to-peer learning to make messaging more effective as part of their Title IX training for college students.

For example, the University of Pittsburgh trains students to act as peer educators in its Sexual Assault Facilitation and Education (SAFE) program. After 10–12 hours of training, peer educators facilitate workshops for other students.

Digital Media

Colleges and universities use social media and digital assets to spread the word about Title IX policies and procedures. Delivering relevant messages where students spend time online and partnering with student influencers raises visibility.

Community Engagement

Community outreach can also be an effective strategy. The new Title IX rules have obligations for higher education institutions even if incidents occur off-campus. Collaborating with local police and engaging in places where students hang out can reinforce messages.

Some schools offer self-defense classes in coordination with local police and campus police.

The Impact of Updated Title IX Rules for Higher Education

The April 2024 update to Title IX rules places new requirements and obligations on colleges and universities. Title IX training in higher education for students, faculty, staff, and Title IX teams on these new rules must be in place before the deadline of August 1.

These regulations expand the definition of sex discrimination to include sexual orientation, gender identity, and pregnancy. It also expands the definition of what constitutes sexual harassment and the scope of potential wrongdoing. There are also updates to policies on:

  • Grievance hearings and privacy
  • Proactive activities to monitor programs
  • Faster resolution time frames
  • Expanding reporting requirements
  • Increased emphasis on support

Colleges and universities need to implement comprehensive reviews of all policies and procedures to remain compliant and update documentation and training.

E&I Cooperative Services can help. We have established contracts with Title IX experts who provide reviews and assessments, as well as new training programs that reflect the changes to Title IX regulations. These programs include in-person or virtual training sessions, online modules, workshops and seminars, and orientation training.

E&I is the only member-owned, non-profit procurement and sourcing company that focuses exclusively on education. This sole focus helps us solicit highly competitive contracts that leverage the combined purchasing power of more than 6,000 member institutions to lower costs with high-quality suppliers. All contracts are competitively solicited to achieve best-in-class pricing and terms favorable to educational institutions.

Through these organizations, you can get help with training, policy development, equity analysis, compliance audits, investigations, and more.

View the available contracts for Title IX training in higher education and other services to meet the revised Title IX compliance requirements.


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