Title IX

Title IX

Title IX | What Campus Administrators Need to Know

Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972  protects people from discrimination based on gender in any federally-funded, education-related programs and activities. Title IX requires educational institutions to provide students and employees with an environment safe from sexual misconduct, such as sexual harassment and sexual violence.

In addition to gender, campuses must provide equal access to education for students regardless of sexual orientation or identity.

And, schools can still be accountable for incidents that happen off-campus or involve people who aren’t currently enrolled at its institution – Title IX legislation includes faculty, graduate students, staff and visitors.

Title IX Athlete Equality

Key Focus Areas for Title IX :

  • Recruitment, Admissions, and Counseling
  • Financial Assistance
  • Athletics
  • Sex-Based Harassment
  • Treatment of Pregnant and Parenting Students
  • Discipline
  • Single-Sex Education
  • Employment

Title IX Terminology

To fully understand Title IX and how to make sure your campus is compliant, it’s important to make sure campus officials are well aware of the terminology used. Below are only a select few definitions that are outlined by Title IX terminology. To learn more commonly used Title IX terms, please click here.   

Sexual Harassment:

Unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature or that is sex- or gender-based that is based on power differentials, results in the creation of a hostile environment or in retaliation.

Non-Consensual Sexual Contact:

Any intentional sexual touching, however slight, with any object, by a person upon another person, that is without consent and/or by force.

Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse:

Any sexual intercourse, however slight, with any object, by a person upon another person, that is without consent and/or by force.

Sexual Exploitation

An individual takes non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another for the taker's advantage or benefit, or to benefit or advantage anyone other than the one being exploited, and that does not otherwise constitute one of the other sexual misconduct offenses.

Sexual Assault:

Non-consensual sexual contact and non-consensual sexual intercourse.

Sexual Violence:

Sexual acts perpetrated against an individual's will or when an individual is incapable of giving consent.


Permission that is clear, knowing, voluntary, and expressed prior to engaging in and during an act. Consent is active, not passive. Silence, in and of itself, cannot be interpreted as consent.

"No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance."

U.S. Department of Education

The Role of The Office for Civil Rights (OCR)

The Office of Civil Rights enforces Title IX legislation for all institutions that receive federal financial assistance across the nation. It has been given the following duties:

  • To evaluate, investigate and resolve complaints alleging sexual discrimination. 
  • Conducts proactive investigations, also known as compliance reviews, to investigate sources of information about potential systemic violations.
  • Provides technical assistance and information and guidance to assist them with complying with the law. 

Title IX Guidelines for Colleges & Universities

In 2011, the Obama Administration released the Dear Colleague Letter to clear up any confusion or misconceptions of Title IX legislation – colleges and universities, or any higher education institution receiving federal aid, are required to do the following:

  • Once a school knows or reasonably should know of possible sexual violence, it must make immediate and appropriate action to investigate or otherwise determine what occurred.
  • If sexual violence has occurred, a school must take prompt and effective steps to end the sexual violence, prevent its recurrence, and address its effects, whether or not the sexual violence is the subject of a criminal investigation.
  • Each institution must designate at least one Title IX Coordinator to respond to their obligations under the law.
  • A school must take steps to protect the complainant as necessary, including interim steps taken prior to the final outcome of the investigation.
  • A school must provide a grievance procedure for students to file complaints of sex discrimination, including complaints of sexual violence. These procedures must include an equal opportunity for both parties to present witnesses and other evidence and the same appeal rights.
  • A school’s grievance procedures must use the preponderance of the evidence standard to resolve complaints of sex discrimination.
  • A school must notify both parties of the outcome of the complaint.

Title IX legislation, as well as other federal legislation, can be confusing and overwhelming to administrators ensuring their campus is fully compliant – it’s critical to understand the above guidelines and to make sure your Title IX officer is up-to-date on new legislation. 

Title IX legislation intertwines with other federal legislation, such as the Clery Act, VAWA, or the Campus SaVE act – To learn more, please click on the appropriate topic:

How SafeColleges Can Help

The SafeColleges Training System includes our Primary Sexual Violence Prevention courses that comply with Title IX mandates. Our reality-based interpersonal violence prevention, which is customized by student type, educates students about consent, healthy relationships, bystander intervention, as well as the realities of sexual assault, dating violences, domestic violence and more! 

The SafeColleges Online Tip Reporting System can be used to prevent and investigate sexual assault, hazing, discrimination, threats of violence and more on your campus. Alert lets students, faculty and staff anonymously report tips to your administration 24/7 from any web-enabled device. Users can submit tips through the Alert mobile app, phone, text, email and website.

For more information on the SafeColleges Training System or the SafeColleges Online Tip Reporting System, please contact us at 1.800.434.0154 or info@safecolleges.com. Free trials are available