Empowering Title IX Coordinators: Best Practices for Effective Training in Colleges

The end of the fiscal year is always busy, wrapping up another successful school year and beginning preparations for the fall. This year, however, brings the added challenge of new regulations for Title IX, with a rapidly approaching deadline. The 2024 updates to Title IX were released in April and must be implemented by schools by August 1.

That means the Title IX Coordinator’s role in higher education is front and center. Title IX Coordinator training—and training for everyone involved in Title IX compliance—must take place quickly to adjust to the new requirements.

“Training on Title IX’s requirements to address sex discrimination is of paramount importance, is a condition of a recipient’s receipt of Federal funds, and is justified to help a recipient provide an educational environment free from sex discrimination.” — U.S. Department of Education

Title IX Training Requirements

Under federal rules, Title IX Coordinators, investigators, decision-makers, or anyone else designated to initiate a Title IX resolution process must be trained on the following:

  • The definition of sexual harassment under the new regulations
  • The scope of the college or university’s education program or activity
  • How to conduct an investigation and grievance process—including hearings, appeals, and informal processes, as applicable
  • How to serve impartially and avoid conflicts of interest

Investigators and other decision-makers must receive training on investigative reports and any technology that will be used at hearings or for gathering evidence. In addition, all employees need to be trained on their obligation to notify the Title IX Coordinator of any reports or conduct they believe may be sex discrimination.

Frequency of Training

Another change in the rules regards the frequency of training: § 106.8(d) specifies that those requiring training must receive training upon hiring and then annually afterward. A new requirement adds training for those who have a change of position that alters their duties under Title IX.

Type of Training

The new regulations allow for flexibility in training as long as training programs fully address Title IX obligations. For example, coordinators must be fully trained in the Title IX coordinator role in higher education, but it does not require hiring an outsider trainer or purchasing outside training materials. However, many colleges and universities will engage with outside counsel to ensure proper training is conducted and to reduce potential liability in case of errors.

Best Practices for Title IX Coordinator Training

Title IX Coordinators do not have to go it alone. In fact, best practices include creating a Title IX team made up of members of various constituencies across campus. The team should be responsible for overseeing the key responsibilities and obligations under the revised rules.

The Title IX team should coordinate efforts for:

  • Reviewing and revising policies and procedures
  • Assessment of the current climate regarding sexual harassment
  • Leading education, prevention, and training efforts for faculty, staff, and students
  • Engaging with necessary external resources to optimize compliance
  • Developing appropriate technology to centralize and simplify reporting and tracking

Specifically for training, it is crucial to provide comprehensive instruction for faculty and staff on campus policies regarding the handling of complaints, how the resolution process works, and how they can support students.

Student Training

Best practices include requiring all incoming freshmen or transfer students to complete workshops or training on healthy relationships, consent, and reporting requirements. This should include encouraging victims or bystanders to report suspect harassment and a simple way to do so, such as a special hotline and centralized reporting system.

Attendees should also understand that retaliation for reporting will not be tolerated.

Coordination with Law Enforcement

Schools also need to liaise with local law enforcement. Under the new Title IX rules, sexual harassment must be addressed even if it occurs off-campus. There should be a clear understanding of roles and responsibilities to resolve complaints promptly.

Finding Title IX Training, Guidance, and Resources

With limited time to finalize policies and procedures to meet the August 1 deadline for compliance, many schools are scrambling to find outside help. E&I Cooperative Services has approved cooperative contracts with several law firms and consultants to help you provide high-quality Title IX coordinator trainings for colleges

You can view the available contracts from qualified providers and Title IX experts.

All contracts are competitively solicited and reviewed by the education procurement specialists at E&I. The Cooperative’s contracts leverage broad purchasing power by aggregating spend on behalf of its 6,000+ educational members.

Contact E&I Cooperative Services today at 877.693.2634 to discuss your Title IX coordinator training for colleges and consulting needs.


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