Civil Rights & Methods of Administration
The United States Department of Education Office for Civil Rights requires the Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education (OCHE), as the recipient of federal funds through the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V), to conduct Civil Rights Reviews of institutions that receive Perkins funds for Career & Technical Education (CTE) programs. The reviews permit OCHE to identify, prevent, and remedy discrimination and ensure equal access to programs, courses, and other educational resources for postsecondary Montana students. OCHE also provides technical assistance to help institutions achieve voluntary compliance with the federal nondiscrimination regulations.
Federal Compliance Requirements:
- Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (prohibiting discrimination based on race, color, and national origin) 34 CFR Part 100
- Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (prohibiting discrimination based on gender) 34 CFR Part 106
- Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (Title II), 28 CFR Part 35
- Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (prohibiting discrimination based on disability) 34 CFR Part 104
- Guidelines for Eliminating Discrimination and Denial of Services on the Basis of Race, Color, National Origin, Sex and Disability in Vocational Education Programs (34 CFR, Part 100, Appendix B).
Annual Notice of Nondiscrimination
In compliance with federal guidelines, prior to the beginning of each school year, recipients of federal career and technical (vocational) funds must advise students, parents, faculty, staff, community members, and the general public that all career and technical educational opportunities will be offered without regard to race, color, national origin, sex, or disability. The announcement of this policy of nondiscrimination should be published after July 1 and before the beginning of each school year in a forum that will allow the general public to view it such as local newspapers, recipient publications and/or other media that reach the general public, program beneficiaries, minorities (including national origin minorities with limited English language skills), women, and disabled persons. Included in the publication should be a summary of career and technical (vocational) education program offerings and admission criteria along with the name, address and telephone number of person(s) designated to coordinate Title IX and Section 504 compliance activity. If your service area contains a community of national origin minority persons with limited English language skills, public notification must be disseminated to that community in its language and must state that recipients will take steps to assure that the lack of English language skills will not be a barrier to admission and participation in vocational education programs.
Continuous Notice of Nondiscrimination
In addition to the Annual Notice of Nondiscrimination, campuses are required to publish a notice of nondiscrimination on a continuing basis and in a variety of locations. Some of the places would be in postings of notices, newspapers and magazines, applications for admission and employment, recruitment materials, announcements, bulletins, catalogs and websites.
Comprehensive Desk Audits and On-Site Reviews
In an effort to sustain a process of continuous improvement in assuring equity for all students and staff, comprehensive desk audits and on-site reviews are conducted according to a predetermined targeting plan. The reviews focus on requirements in several areas, including administration, employment, recruitment, admissions, accessibility, counseling, services for students with disabilities, financial aid, and site locations. For further information, please see the OCHE MOA Postsecondary Review Manual.
For general questions and additional information, please contact:
MOA State Coordinator | Perkins Equity and Compliance Manager
Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education
Montana University System
560 N Park Ave
Helena, MT 59601
- Montana MOA State Plan (2020)
- Self-Assessment Compliance Checklist
- Sample VCP
- Office for Civil Rights: http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/index.html
- OCR Reading Room: http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/publications.html
- Sample Notice of Non-discrimination: http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/nondisc.html