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Office of General Counsel Policies & Guidelines

Method of Administration for Compliance with Office of Civil Rights Guidelines, Title VI, Title IX, & Section 504 : G-120

Policy/Guideline Area

General Guidelines

Applicable Divisions

TCATs, Community Colleges, Universities, System Office

Purpose

The purpose of this guideline is to establish the operational guidelines for compliance with Office of Civil Rights guidelines as well as Title VI and Title IX and Section 504 at institutions governed by the Tennessee Board of Regents.

Policy/Guideline

  1. Introductory Information
    1. This Method of Administration (MOA) for Compliance with Office of Civil Rights Guidelines, Title VI, Title IX, and Section 504 as applied to the Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology and TBR Community Colleges offering vocational technical education was developed in 1985 in accordance with federal laws and regulations.
  2. Organization to Meet Civil Rights Responsibilities
    1. Organization of Compliance Program
      1. Administrative Unit Directing Compliance Program
        1. The Division of Organizational Effectiveness and Strategic Initiatives, Tennessee Board of Regents, will be responsible for implementing and directing the compliance program. The division personnel will utilize resources of other divisions and agencies as the MOA dictates.
      2. Compliance Director
        1. TBR Director of Diversity and Equity Initiatives Tennessee Board of Regents 1 Bridgestone Park Nashville, TN 37214
      3. Line of authority of Compliance Director
        1. Chancellor, Tennessee Board of Regents
        2. Vice Chancellor for Organizational Effectiveness and Strategic Initiatives Tennessee Board of Regents
          1. The line of authority represented above is a direct line from the Compliance Director to the agency administering the MOA to the governing body for postsecondary vocational technical education in Tennessee.
      4. Organizational Plan
        1. Review of internal policies and procedures
          1. TBR Senior Staff members review policy matters relating to their respective areas and facilitate further review by the appropriate Sub-Councils of institutional representatives.
          2. Following review of the various sub- councils, policy matters are then transmitted to the Presidents' Council or the Tennessee College of Applied Technology Directors' Sub-Council.
          3. If approved by the Presidents' Council or TCAT Directors' Sub-Council and the Chancellor, policy additions or revisions are transmitted to the Tennessee Board of Regents for approval.
        2. Development of a Civil Rights Compliance Program
          1. The Compliance Director will coordinate activities of appropriate TBR staff and institutional personnel to ensure an effective civil rights compliance program is in place for all postsecondary vocational technical education in Tennessee.
        3. Development of technical assistance activities
          1. The Vice Chancellor for Organizational Effectiveness and Strategic Initiatives will work with appropriate members of TBR System Staff to provide technical assistance to all institutions offering postsecondary vocational technical education in Tennessee.
        4. Coordination of three components
          1. The Compliance Director will coordinate the selection of staff to provide the above-mentioned functions.
    2. Personnel Assigned to Implement the Compliance Program
      1. Vice Chancellor Organizational Effectiveness and Strategic Initiatives Tennessee Board of Regents 1 Bridgestone Park Nashville, Tennessee 37214 (615) 366-3920
      2. Vice Chancellor Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology, Tennessee Board of Regents 1 Bridgestone Park Nashville, Tennessee 37214 (615) 366-4460
      3. Director Organizational Effectiveness and Strategic Initiatives Tennessee Board of Regents 1 Bridgestone Park Nashville, Tennessee 37214 (615) 365-1508
      4. Legal Counsel Tennessee Board of Regents 1 Bridgestone Park Nashville, Tennessee 37214 (615) 366-4438
      5. Vice Chancellor Business and Finance Tennessee Board of Regents 1 Bridgestone Park Nashville, Tennessee 37214 (615) 366-4413
      6. Vice Chancellor Academic Affairs Tennessee Board of Regents 1 Bridgestone Park Nashville, Tennessee 37214 (615) 366-4406
      7. Associate Vice Chancellor Facilities Development Tennessee Board of Regents 1 Bridgestone Park Nashville, Tennessee 37214 (615) 366-4432
  3. Review of State Policies and Programs
    1. Conduct of State Policy Review
      1. Internal Operations of State Agency
        1. The Vice Chancellor for Business and Finance will be responsible for the review of Executive Order #8 and the Policies and Guidelines of the TBR which govern employment for all personnel in the system.
        2. The Compliance Director will be responsible for the review of state operated programs to assure that policies and procedures do not discriminate against target populations as to race, color, national origin, sex, and handicap.
          1. The Legal Counsel for the TBR will assist in the review.
        3. Results of the review will be reported in the annual report according to the guidelines outlined in Part V of the MOA.
      2. Formulas for Distribution
        1. Each year, the Vice Chancellor for Organizational Effectiveness and Strategic Initiatives will be responsible for the review of the five year plan, annual plan, appropriate state records and laws which outline the formulas for distribution of federal and state funds.
        2. The formulas will be reviewed to assure that identified factors, computation of factors, and importance (weighting) assigned to factors utilized in funding formulas do not discriminate against target populations.
        3. All formulas used to distribute federal and state funds to any institution will be reviewed annually for discriminatory factors.
        4. The Legal Counsel and Vice Chancellor for Business and Finance for the TBR will assist in the review of funding formulas.
        5. The formulas reviewed will affect funding to institutions for the following programs:
          1. Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology
          2. Community colleges
        6. Results of the review will be reported in the annual report according to the guidelines outlined in Part V of the MOA.
      3. Requirements for Admission and Administration
        1. The Tennessee Board of Regents will review the establishment of requirements for admission to and the administration of vocational education programs to assure that discriminatory factors do not exist and to assure compliance with Title VI, Title IX, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.
        2. The Vice Chancellors for Organizational Effectiveness and Strategic Initiatives, Colleges of Applied Technology, and Academic Affairs will take responsibility for such reviews.
      4. Competitive Grants
        1. Each year, the Vice Chancellor for Vocational/Technical Education, and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs will review criteria utilized for awarding competitive grants to assure that no factors are included which discriminate against target populations.
        2. Methods of disseminating information, providing technical assistance, and awarding competitive grants will be reviewed for discriminatory factors.
        3. The Legal Counsel for the Tennessee Board of Regents will assist in the review of the policies and procedures.
        4. Results of the review will be reported in the annual report according to guidelines outlined in Part V of the MOA.
      5. Approval of Action by Local Entities
        1. Actions initiated by local entities, including community colleges, and colleges of applied technology, are reviewed by members of the TBR System Office Staff to ensure that local entities do not discriminate against target populations.
        2. The Legal Counsel of the TBR will assist in the review.
        3. Results will be reported in the annual report according to guidelines outlined in Part V of the MOA.
      6. State Operated Institutions
        1. Each year, the Vice Chancellor for Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology will be responsible for the review of the policies and guidelines for colleges of applied technology to assure that policies and procedures do not discriminate against target populations and that the same are in compliance with Sections IV - IX of the OCR guidelines.
        2. The Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs will be responsible for the review of policies and guidelines for community colleges and colleges of applied technology to assure that they do not discriminate against target populations and that the same are in compliance with Sections IV - IX of the OCR guidelines.
        3. The Director of Diversity and Equity Initiatives and Legal Counsel of the TBR will assist in the review.
        4. Results will be reported in the annual report according to guidelines outlined in Part V of the MOA.
    2. Method of Review for State Policies and Procedures
      1. The staff member assigned responsibility for each review will examine each policy and guideline in relation to the OCR guidelines and Title VI, Title IX and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and develop any recommendations for change.
      2. The Compliance Director shall coordinate the review of all state policies and be responsible for preparing the annual report to be submitted July 1 each year.
    3. State Policy Review Schedule
      1. The schedule for policy review will begin on September 1 annually and the annual report will be submitted on July 1.
      2. The report will identify any significant changes in policies or guidelines that could affect civil rights compliance.
    4. Review of State Institutions
      1. The Tennessee Board of Regents operates 27 Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology, and 13 Community Colleges which are state institutions.
      2. These state institutions will comprise a pool of sub recipients which will follow the procedures and schedule outlined in Part IV.
      3. The Compliance Director will be responsible for assigning staff to conduct the reviews. Staff from institutions will participate in reviews of institutions other than their own.
      4. If a state operated institution is found to be in non-compliance, the TBR will assume the responsibility to assure voluntary compliance.
      5. Results of the reviews will be reported in the annual report according to guidelines outlined in Part V of the MOA.
  4. Ensuring Compliance by Sub-recipients
    1. Statement of Objectives
      1. To implement a systematic agency level review procedure to ensure that all institutions are reviewed within a five year period in order to identify possible discrimination through periodic review of available state and local data.
      2. To design a system for conducting on-site reviews for at least 11% of the systems in the agency level review pool.
      3. To develop an on-going technical assistance program for institutions to assist in preventing and eliminating discriminatory policies and procedures.
      4. To develop a process for voluntary compliance by institutions found to be in non-compliance.
    2. Identification of Possible Institutional Violations through Agency Level Reviews
      1. Agency level reviews or desk audits will be conducted by the Division of Organizational Effectiveness and Strategic Initiatives, Tennessee Board of Regents.
        1. Annually, at least 11% of the sub recipient pool will be scheduled for an agency level review.
        2. The Divisions of Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology, the Division of Academic Affairs, and the Division of Facilities Management will assist with the audits.
      2. The TBR will schedule reviews to reach, at the earliest possible date, those institutions most likely to have compliance problems.
      3. Beginning with a pool of all sub recipients, the following will be omitted:
        1. Those previously reviewed (if any) in the five year cycle;
        2. Those that are subjects of pending litigation in Federal or State Courts because of alleged discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, or handicap; and
        3. Those that are subjects of pending or recent investigations or enforcement proceedings by OCR.
      4. From those remaining in the pool, the Compliance Program Director will select at least 11% of the total number of institutions using the following factors to determine which are most in need of immediate review:
        1. Knowledge of an institution's practices that raise potential civil rights compliance problems;
        2. Reports of possible non-compliance obtained from complaints filed by parents, students, civil rights groups or others;
        3. Reports from State Civil Rights Agencies or State Advisory Committees that raise questions about potential civil rights compliance problems; and
        4. information or reports on institutions from OCR that indicate possible compliance problems.
      5. Conducting the reviews
        1. The Tennessee Board of Regents Staff will conduct agency level reviews of institutions using data and documents already available in its system office.
        2. Following are documents and data to be examined in the review:
          1. VEDS enrollment data.
          2. Annual program evaluation reports.
          3. Annual accountability reports.
          4. Annual appropriations requests.
          5. Capital Outlay requests.
          6. Quarterly enrollment reports.
          7. Annual analysis of faculty salaries by sex and race.
          8. Annual affirmative action reports.
          9. Annual budget analysis detailing promotions and salary distribution.
          10. Request for new programs.
          11. Five year plan data, and annual update.
          12. Job Training Coordination Plan and update.
          13. Information derived from complaints or reports from consumer groups, public agencies, parents, or students.
          14. Letters of findings issued by OCR.
          15. EEO complaints.
          16. Audit reports.
        3. The agency level review will use the following information as indicators of compliance:
          1. Enrollment ratios comparable to target populations in the service area.
          2. Constant or positive enrollment trend among target populations.
          3. Positive trend in employment of target populations.
          4. Positive trends in data related to graduates or completers among target populations.
          5. Positive trends in opportunities available to target populations in activities and programs of the institution.
          6. The per-student appropriation of Federal and State funds with respect to the number of minority students in vocational education programs.
          7. Participation of race, color, national origin (including student of limited English skills), sex, and handicap in apprentice-related programs.
      6. Notification of Institutions
        1. At the commencement of the agency level review, the Vice Chancellor for Organizational Effectiveness and Strategic Initiatives will send a letter to each institution that will undergo an agency level review at least 30 days prior to the start of the review.
          1. The letter will outline the purpose of the review, the areas to be reviewed and the date for completion of the review.
          2. The letter will also ask the institution to cooperate by supplying any information not in possession of the TBR.
        2. Following completion of all agency level reviews and a determination of which institutions will be scheduled for on-site reviews, the Vice Chancellor for Organizational Effectiveness and Strategic Initiatives will notify each institution of one of the following courses of action:
          1. That because no violations were shown by the review, there will be no on-site review of the institution that year; but the institution has a continuing obligation to ensure that its programs are operated in compliance with civil rights requirements and may be reviewed by OCR during the year;
          2. That although the agency level review revealed no apparent problems, the institution will, nevertheless, be the subject of an on-site review; or
          3. That the agency level review revealed some possible violations (to be listed), and that these specific problem areas, as well as a general review of the institution's operations, will be the subject of an on-site review.
      7. Timetable for Agency Level Review
        1. July: Selection of institutions to be reviewed and notification sent to President or Director.
        2. July-August: Information gathered and file prepared on each institution being reviewed.
        3. September: Analysis of information as to compliance.
        4. November: Letters of notification issued indicating results of agency level reviews.
    3. Identification of Institutional Violations through On-Site Reviews
      1. Number of Reviews per Year
        1. An on-site review will be conducted for a minimum of 11% of the institutions in each of the agency level review pools.
        2. The agency level review criteria will assign institutions points according to an indicated degree of possible non-compliance.
        3. After ranking all institutions by point totals, the sub recipients chosen for an on-site review will be those which receive the lowest point total.
        4. Letters of notification will include any areas of concern and offer technical assistance even if the institution is not chosen for an on-site review.
      2. Selection of Institutions for On-Site Review
        1. All institutions having indicators of compliance problems during the agency level review will be targeted for on-site review.
        2. Agency level findings that will trigger an on-site review include:
          1. Enrollment Ratios - The enrollments of target populations at an institution will be compared to the identified target populations to be served from the service area. This comparison should determine positive or negative ratios of overall service.
          2. Enrollment Trends - Enrollment changes for target populations from 1980-85 will be considered. A positive or negative trend for a particular program area should be determined.
          3. Feeder School Ratios - Concentrations of target populations sent from a feeder high school in relation to available populations at that school will be examined. A positive or negative availability rate will be determined.
          4. Employment Trends - A review of changes in employment of target populations will be made by comparing 1980-85 staffing ratios. A positive or negative trend for employment will be determined.
          5. Planning Reports - A review of the data in the five year strategic plan and annual updates which indicates that an institution is not meeting criteria for serving target populations.
        3. If the number of institutions selected for on-site reviews does not equal at least 11% of those selected for agency level reviews, the balance will be selected randomly from the pool of those reviewed at the agency level in that year.
      3. Conducting the Review
        1. The on-site review is designed to further examine the indicators of possible non-compliance and verify indicators of compliance from the agency level review and to consider factors beyond the data examined to determine compliance or non-compliance.
        2. The data utilized in the agency level review only indicate possible non-compliance by an institution.
        3. The on-site review will be designed to investigate related factors in order to determine compliance or non-compliance.
        4. Examples of areas of further investigation for each criterion are outlined below:
          1. Investigation Criteria Problem Areas;
          2. Enrollment ratios;
          3. Disproportionate Methods of enrollments and registration;
          4. Recruitment procedures;
          5. Enrollment trends;
          6. Decreasing enrollments;
          7. Changes in target populations;
          8. Registration procedures;
          9. Changes in school admission policy;
          10. Feeder School Ratios;
          11. Exclusion of target populations methods of recruitment and registration;
          12. Employment Trends;
          13. Reduction in target population employed;
          14. Employment policies and procedures;
          15. Recruitment and position announcement policies;
          16. Planning Analysis and Reports;
          17. Any signal of non-compliance;
          18. Recommendations for changing institutional procedures.
      4. Problem areas not addressed in the agency level review
        1. Depending on the data indicating possible non-compliance, the Compliance Program Director and staff assigned for the on-site review will determine areas of inquiry for the on-site review.
        2. The following indicators are examples of areas of inquiry for the on-site review.
          1. Discriminatory faculty assignments;
          2. Failure to provide handicapped student access to programs;
          3. Procedures for faculty selection;
          4. Procedures used for notifying the public of the sub recipient’s nondiscriminatory policies and practices;
          5. Numerical limitations for admission of students to vocational education programs;
          6. Apprentice or other institution limitations for enrollment;
          7. Criteria for admission to vocational education programs where admission depends on, for example, past academic performance, record of disciplinary infractions, counselors' approval, faculty recommendations, interest inventories, high school diplomas, or standardized tests;
          8. Relationships with unions or other agencies providing training;
          9. Special provisions or programs for handicapped students or other special needs students;
          10. Relationship of programs for special needs students to total vocational programs;
          11. Programs of financial assistance for students;
          12. Guidance and counseling procedures and activities;
          13. Written policies and procedures for recruitment and enrollment;
          14. Placement procedures and opportunities;
          15. All agency level review findings of compliance will be verified.
      5. Timetable
        1. November: Notification of on-site review
        2. February - April: On-site reviews conducted and institution notified of results
        3. May - June: Voluntary compliance plans due.
    4. Use of Technical Assistance as a Means of Preventing Civil Rights Violations
      1. A technical assistance program will assist in preventing and detecting discrimination and seeking corrective action.
        1. The assistance will be provided by the Tennessee Board of Regents Staff to all levels of postsecondary vocational instruction within the TBR system.
        2. The Compliance Program Director will coordinate requests for technical assistance.
        3. The program will be designed to provide institutions assistance in the following areas:
          1. Content and purpose of OCR guidelines.
          2. Components and purpose of MOA.
          3. Data and information requested by institutions relative to discriminatory practices and corrective options.
          4. Information and guidelines to assist in achieving compliance.
      2. Institutions will be notified of the availability of assistance through correspondence, presentations at meetings, and on an individual basis.
        1. The frequency of notification will vary but will occur at least once a year when notification of approval for funding is sent.
        2. Technical assistance will be offered as visits from TBR specialists, written information being provided, programs at sub-council or presidents' meetings, training sessions, and questions answered on an individual basis.
      3. Technical assistance will be available to all institutions chosen for an agency level review. Institutions found to be in non-compliance as a result of an on-site review will be offered technical assistance with the development of a voluntary compliance plan.
      4. The following staff of the Tennessee Board of Regents will be responsible for technical assistance activities:
        1. Vice Chancellor for Organizational Effectiveness and Strategic Initiatives,
        2. Director of Diversity and Equity Initiatives,
        3. Vice Chancellor for Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology,
        4. Legal Counsel; Tennessee Board of Regents,
        5. Vice Chancellor for Business and Finance,
        6. Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
    5. Obtaining Voluntary Compliance
      1. Development of the Voluntary Compliance Plan
        1. Institutions found to be in violation of the guidelines as a result of an on-site review must agree to take steps to eliminate the violations.
        2. The Compliance Program Director will determine if the violations are major or minor and the institutions will comply as follows:
          1. Minor Violations - The Compliance Program Director will have an informal discussion with the institution as to corrective action. The institution may be found to be in compliance by submitting a letter describing corrective action to the Compliance Program Director.
          2. Major Violations - Institutions found to have major violations must submit a voluntary compliance plan describing actions to be taken to eliminate violations and a timeframe for completion. The plan will assume the format of an audit report (findings, recommendations, system reply) and will be submitted to the Compliance Program Director within 60 days of the on-site compliance review notification of findings. The discussions between institutions and Compliance Program Director will be formal and may involve other staff as deemed necessary. The Compliance Program Director will be responsible for assigning appropriate personnel for technical assistance.
          3. Follow-up of Violations - One year after an institution has agreed to remedy violations, the Compliance Program Director will assign the necessary staff to monitor the progress of the institution. Each violation identified in the voluntary compliance plan will be reviewed for progress in meeting desired outcomes. Specifically, indicators identified in Part IV: B.3.b. will be targeted for review.
      2. Notification to OCR
        1. The Compliance Program Director will notify the OCR regional office if the following conditions are in existence:
          1. An institution is not in compliance and fails to take corrective action;
          2. The institution fails to submit a voluntary compliance plan (notification of OCR will occur no later than 90 days after on-site review);
          3. The institution submits a plan that is inadequate but is working in good faith with the TBR to remedy deficiencies (notification of OCR will occur no later than 120 days after TBR issued on-site compliance review of findings)
        2. In all cases of notification of OCR, the Compliance Director will describe the efforts made by the Tennessee Board of Regents to secure voluntary compliance.
  5. Annual Civil Rights Compliance Report
    1. A report will be submitted by the Tennessee Board of Regents each July 1 to the U.S. Office of Education, Bureau of Occupational and Adult Education for their review and their submission to the Office of Civil Rights.
      1. Compliance Organization and Staff
        1. Any changes in present personnel as to authority or responsibility.
        2. Any changes in organization or personnel.
      2. State Policy Review
        1. Findings of state policy review.
        2. Action taken by the Tennessee Board of Regents to amend and correct any policies or procedures found to have discriminatory effects.
      3. Review of State Operated Institutions and Programs
        1. Identification of state operated institutions having agency level review.
        2. Findings of review of institutions and list of institutions receiving on-site reviews.
        3. Copy of voluntary compliance plans for each institution involved.
        4. Action taken by the Tennessee Board of Regents to correct any problems identified.
      4. Technical Assistance
        1. List of institutions requesting technical assistance.
        2. Summary of other technical assistance. 
      5. Institutions Referred to OCR
        1. List of institutions referred to OCR for failure to achieve voluntary compliance.
        2. Any response from OCR.
      6. Monitoring Activities
        1. Outline of activities by the Tennessee Board of Regents to monitor corrective action taken by institutions.
        2. Any correspondence with OCR as a result of monitoring activities. 

Sources

June 28, 1985, Tennessee Board of Regents Meeting; May 19, 2009 Presidents Meeting.

Contact

Mickey Sheen
615-366-4437
mickey.sheen@tbr.edu