AACC looks at the new Title IX regulations


In addition to dealing with the botched FAFSA rollout and preparing for other major regulations, community colleges are scrambling to absorb the new requirements imposed upon them by the final Title IX rules. And they only have until August 1 to do so.

The American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) has drafted a summary and analysis of key aspects of the new Title IX regulation to help institutions understand the ramifications of the new rule. The document is not an exhaustive analysis of the regulation (the U.S. Education Department has released a summary and other materials about the rule, and the American Council on Education has posted an outline of the key provisions), but rather seeks to highlight some of the most pertinent provisions for community colleges, including the questions they raise.

On May 9 at 1:00 PM ET, the AACC government relations staff will host a free webinar to discuss the new Title IX, overtime compensation and gainful employment regulations. Register now.

States and others have already filed lawsuits challenging the regulations, and therefore ED may be blocked from enforcing them, but institutions would be prudent to assume that the regulations will go into effect.

It will be ‘broader’

If the new regulations were to be compared to the current regulations in one word, it would be “broader.” Colleges will be required to respond in specific ways to a broader array of conduct taking place in a broader set of circumstances, in response to a broader group of potential complainants, and involve and train a broader percentage of their employees to report possible sex discrimination.

Title IX final rules: Key issues for community colleges

Compared to the current regulations put in place by the Trump administration in 2020, portions of the regulations give colleges more flexibility in how to address possible sex discrimination on their campuses, including prescribed grievance procedures. However, the likelihood is that colleges will find themselves having to employ those grievance procedures, as well as other requirements, far more often than under the Trump regulations. In addition, the adequacy of a college’s response will be held to a higher standard.

Burden on colleges

The regulations will impose a significant burden on community colleges, particularly the requirement that all college employees receive at least some training on their role in the institution’s response to possible sex discrimination. This transition will be easier for colleges that have maintained a broad swath of their employees as “mandatory reporters” under regulations provided by the Obama administration, but it will be daunting nonetheless.

Perhaps most pertinent to community colleges because of the older age of their students and their open access mission, the new regulations will require institutions — at least to some extent — to investigate and evaluate incidents that happened outside of their purview. In contrast to the current regulations, the line has been blurred between what falls within and without an institution’s “educational program or activity.”

About the Author

Jim Hermes
Jim Hermes is associate vice president of government relations at the American Association of Community Colleges.
The owner of this website has made a commitment to accessibility and inclusion, please report any problems that you encounter using the contact form on this website. This site uses the WP ADA Compliance Check plugin to enhance accessibility.