TITLE IX OFFICE

 

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) enforces, among other statutes, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Title IX protects people from discrimination based on sex in education programs or activities that receive Federal financial assistance. The CES is committed to providing a work and school environment free of unlawful harassment or discrimination.

 

Title IX Coordinator:

Matthew Lundy

1015 Mark Ave, Suite 1013 

Carpinteria CA 93013

800-650-4772 Ext. 510

mlundy@issaonline.edu

The CES ensures that its employee(s) designated to serve as Title IX Coordinator(s) have adequate training on what constitutes sexual harassment, including sexual violence, and that they understand how the institution’s grievance procedures operate. Because complaints can also be filed with an employee’s supervisor or Human Resources, These employees also receive training on the institution’s grievance procedures and any other procedures used for investigating reports of sexual harassment.

TITLE IX POLICY

The CES (CES) is committed to providing a work and school environment free of unlawful harassment or discrimination. In accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the CES prohibits discrimination based on sex, which includes sexual harassment and sexual violence, and the CES has jurisdiction over Title IX complaints which should be directed to the Title IX Coordinator. Employees of CES are required to take our mandatory Sexual Harassment and Prevention Training upon hire and every two years thereafter. CES policy prohibits harassment or discrimination based on race, religion, creed, color, national origin, ancestry, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions), military or veteran status, physical or mental disability, medical condition, marital status, age, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or expression, genetic information or any other basis protected by the federal, state or local law.

CES TITLE IX and anti-harassment policy applies to all persons involved in the operation of the institution, and prohibits unlawful harassment by any employee of the institution, as well as students, customers, vendors or anyone who does business with the institution. It further extends to prohibit unlawful harassment by or against students. Any employee, student or contract worker who violates this policy will be subject to disciplinary action. To the extent a customer, vendor or other person with whom the institution does business engages in unlawful harassment or discrimination, the institution will take appropriate corrective action.

As part of the institution’s commitment to providing a harassment-free working and learning environment, this policy shall be disseminated to the institution’s community through publications, the school website, new employee orientations, student orientations, and other appropriate channels of communication. The CES provides training to key staff members to enable the institution to handle any allegations of sexual harassment or sexual violence promptly and effectively. The CES will respond quickly to all reports, and will take appropriate action to prevent, to correct, and if necessary, to discipline behavior that violates this policy.

TITLE IX Definitions

Sexual Harassment 

Is defined as unwelcome is defined as unwelcome advances, requests for sexual favors, other verbal or physical sexual conduct, or any other offensive unequal treatment of an employee, student, or group of employees or students that would not occur except for their sex when:

  1. The advances, requests or conduct have the effect of interfering with performance of duties or studies or creating an intimidating, hostile, or otherwise offensive work or academic environment.
  2. Submission to such advances, requests or conduct is explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment or academic achievement or advancement.
  3. Submission to or rejection of such advances, requests or conduct is used as a basis for employment or academic decisions.

Sexual Harassment is a violation of Section 703 of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as amended in 1972, (42 U.S.C. S2000e, et. seq.), and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (20 U.S.C. 1691, et. seq.), including the Clery Act and the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and is punishable under both federal and state laws. Forms of sexual harassment include, but are not limited to, sexist remarks or behavior, constant offensive joking, sexual looks or advances, repeated requests for dates, unwelcome touching, promise of reward for sexual favors. Students, faculty or staff who experience sexual harassment are encouraged to make it clear to the alleged offender that such behavior is offensive. However, failure to comply with this provision does not defeat the investigation. Includes quid pro quo harassment perpetuated by an educational institution’s employee; and all other forms of sexual harassment, where the conduct is “so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive” that it denies the victim equal access to education, as set forth by the Supreme Court in Davis v. Monroe County Board of Education.

Sexual Violence 

Means physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person’s will or where a person is incapable of giving consent. A number of acts fall into the category, including sexual assault or harassment based on sexual orientation, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking. Alleged sexual violence against another may also constitute a crime resulting in an additional, independent law enforcement investigation falling outside of this Grievance Policy. These acts will not be tolerated at the CES as such acts are inappropriate and create an environment contrary to the goals and mission of the CES. Any such acts will be thoroughly investigated and will subject an individual to appropriate disciplinary sanctions and/or possible action by appropriate law enforcement agencies.

Sexual Assault 

Includes rape, acquaintance rape, fondling, incest, and statutory rape, as well as other forms of non-consensual sexual activity.

Domestic Violence 

Means a felony or misdemeanor crime of violence committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim, a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, a person who is co-habitating with or has co-habitated with the victim as a spouse or intimate partner, a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction in which the crime of violence occurred, or any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person’s act under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction in which the crime of violence occurred.

Dating Violence 

Means a violence act committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim and where the existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on the reporting party’s statement and with consideration of the following factors: the length of the relationship, the type of relationship, and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship. Dating violence includes, but is not limited to, sexual or physical abuse  or threat of such abuse and dating violence does not include acts covered under the definition of domestic violence.

Stalking 

Means “engaging in a course of conduct (two or more acts including but not limited to acts in which the stalker directly, indirectly, or through third parties, or by any action, method, device or means, follows, monitors observes, surveils, threatens or communicates to or about a person or interferes with his or her property that is directed at a specific person and would cause a reasonable person to fear for his or her safety or the safety of others or suffer substantial emotional distress. “Reasonable persons” means a reasonable person under similar circumstances and with similar identities to the victim. “Substantial emotional distress” means significant mental suffering or anguish that may, but does not necessarily, require medical or other professional treatment or counseling. “Course of conduct” is two or more acts, including, but not limited to, acts in which the stalker directly, indirectly, or through third parties, by any action, method, device, or means, follows, monitors, observes, surveils, threatens, or communicates to or about a person, or interferes with a person’s property.

Consent 

Means voluntary agreement to engage in sexual activity by verbal agreement or active and willing participation in sexual activity. Someone who is incapacitated or under the age of consent under state law cannot consent. Past consent does not imply future consent. Silence or an absence of resistance does not imply consent. Consent to engage in sexual activity with one person does not imply consent to engage in sexual activity with another. Consent may be withdrawn at any time. Coercion, force, or threat of either invalidates consent.

Clery Act

The CES is a distance education only institution, as such students are never present for enrollment, student services, study, work, or internships etc. therefore, according to HEA Handbook for Campus Safety, the institution is exempt from reporting or compliance with the Clery Act as there are no student statistics to report on.

Prohibited Conduct under TITLE IX

This policy strictly prohibits sexual or other unlawful harassment or discrimination as well as sexual violence, as defined above. Sexual or other unlawful harassment or discrimination includes any verbal, physical or visual conduct based on sex, race, age, national origin, disability or any other legally protected basis if:

  1. submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s education or employment;
  2. submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as a basis for decisions concerning that individual’s education or employment; or

iii. it creates a hostile or offensive work environment, which means the alleged conduct is sufficiently serious to limit or deny a student’s or employee’s ability to participate or benefit from the education program.

Unlawful harassment or discrimination may include racial epithets, slurs and derogatory remarks, stereotypes, jokes, posters or cartoons based on race, national origin, age, disability, marital status or other legally protected categories. Sexual harassment is conduct based on sex, whether directed towards a person of the opposite or same sex, and may include explicit sexual propositions, sexual innuendo, suggestive comments, sexually oriented “kidding” or “teasing”, practical jokes, jokes about or displays of obscene printed or visual material, questions about sexual fantasies, preferences or history, and physical contact such as patting, pinching, or intentionally brushing against another person’s body. Gender-based harassment, including acts of verbal, nonverbal or physical aggression, intimidation, or hostility based on sex or sex-stereotyping are strictly prohibited, even if those acts do not involve conduct of a sexual nature.

 

TITLE IX Grievance Procedure

NOTICE

If you believe that you have experienced or witnessed harassment or sexual violence,notify your instructor, supervisor, or the Title IX Coordinator as soon as possible after the incident. Do not allow an inappropriate situation to continue by not reporting it, regardless of who is creating the situation. No employee, contract worker, student, vendor or other person who does business with the institution is exempt from the prohibitions in this policy. Supervisors are required to refer all student harassment complaints to the Title IX Coordinator. In order to facilitate the investigation, your complaint should include details of the incident or incidents, names of the individuals involved and names of any witnesses. Actual Notice has occurred once the Title IX Coordinator has knowledge, or any other official who has the authority to institute corrective measures on behalf of the institution has notice.

 

TITLE IX FORMAL or INFORMAL PROCESS

In some cases, if the situation warrants the institution may offer an informal process only after a formal complaint has been filed. All parties to the complaint must give voluntary, informed, written consent to proceed to an informal process. All parties will be given written notice disclosing the allegation, the requirements of the informal resolution process including any consequences of participating in the informal process which may include the forfeiture of any formal process rights. Additionally any party may withdrawal from the informal process to resume the formal grievance process at any time with written notice to the Title IX Coordinator. Informal process will not be offered in the case of a formal complaint involving allegations that an employee sexually harassed a student.

 

TITLE IX SUPPORTIVE MEASURES

Supportive measures may include:

Referral to counseling, medical, and/or other health services

Offering adjustments to academic deadlines, course schedules, etc.

Academic Support

Financial Aid Counseling

Modifying class or work schedules;

Placing mutual restrictions on contact between the parties;

Changing work or housing locations; and/or

Providing leaves of absence

Implementing contact limitations (no contact orders) between the parties

 

PERSONNEL

Title IX Coordinator

Investigator(s)

Decision Maker (Adjudicator)

Facilitator

Advisor to the parties

 

TITLE IX GRIEVANCE PROCEDURES

All parties will be treated equitably. The goal of remedies are to provide, preserve or restore equal access to education and activities.

Objective evaluation of evidence. The grievance process will ensure objective evaluation of all relevant evidence. Credibility will not be determined based on status as a complainant, respondent, or witness.

All personnel are trained using approved materials. The training materials are available in the Title IX hearing personnel training. 

TITLE IX hearing personnel training

All personnel involved in the live hearing process will attend training in order to effectively perform their duties. Training CES offers can be found on this site and at the link below: 

Title IX hearing personnel training

TRAINING DOCUMENTS

Title IX Policy & Resources

Harassment Process Flowchart

 

PRESUMPTION OF INNOCENCE

A Respondent is presumed not responsible, any finding of responsibility will come at the conclusion of the grievance process

 

TITLE IX HARASSMENT TIME FRAME OF PROCESS

  1. Notification happens
  2. Investigation conducted within 5 days and
  3. Written results of investigation will be given to all parties to the complaint within 30 days of Notification
  4. Hearing will be set within 5 days of results of investigation and be completed not more than 25 days
  5. Results from hearing will be delivered in writing to all parties by the Title IX Coordinator within 10 days of conclusion of live hearing.
  6. The entire process will generally take no more than sixty (60) days.
  7. From time to time delays or extensions of our time frames may be necessary. Delays or extensions of the institution’s will be “temporary,” “limited,” and “for good cause,” and we will notify all parties of the reason for any such short-term delay or extension.

 

RANGE OF OUTCOMES

Warning or censure

Disciplinary probation

Loss of privileges or exclusion from services or organizations

Restrictions

Suspension

Dismissal or expulsion – For students this may include removal from or expulsion from school including any school resources, all rights and privileges the institution provides, and any other services the institution provides present or future.

Holds on enrollment or registration, degree’s, transcripts, financial aid.

In the case of any employee or faculty up to and including termination. Repeated behavior will be subject to any and all of the above as appropriate.

 

TITLE IX STANDARD OF EVIDENCE

The CES has adopted a Preponderance of Evidence standard for determining responsibility for all formal sexual harassment proceedings. This standard of evidence will be used in all formal proceedings whether the respondent is a student, employee, or faculty member.

 

TITLE IX RIGHT TO APPEAL

Every Party has the right to appeal the result of a grievance decision. The party must file an appeal, in writing, with the Title IX Coordinator within 15 days of the decision. The Title IX Coordinator shall issue a written decision in response to the appeal no later than 30 days after its filing.

 

TITLE IX- Investigation of Complaints

All notifications of Harassment are investigated by trained team-members of the institution in order to determine if immediate supportive measures need to be taken, or to stop, prevent and remedy the situation. Investigation does not necessarily lead to formal grievance complaint, the complainant has a choice to in many circumstances decide to pursue formal, informal, or no further investigation depending on the severity of the issue the TITLE IX Coordinator may need to escalate but will do everything in their power to keep the investigation private. Investigators are either the Title IX coordinator, or picked from a number of trained team members. Conflict of interest as well as expertise in certain areas are considered in the assignment of an investigator. See Anti-Harrassment and Discrimination Policy, Time Frame of Process, Harrasment process flowchart,  or TITLE IX TRAINING DOCUMENTS for more information.

 

TITLE IX- Retaliation Prohibited

The CES will not retaliate against you for filing a complaint, and will not tolerate retaliation by students or employees. If you believe you have been retaliated against, you should promptly notify your supervisor, and Human Resources or the Title IX Coordinator.

 

TITLE IX Reporting Requirements

Victims of sexual misconduct should be aware that the institution’s administrators must issue timely warnings for incidents reported to them that pose a substantial threat of bodily harm or danger to other members of the campus community. The CES will make every effort to ensure that a victim’s name and other identifying information is not disclosed, while still providing enough information for community members to make safety decisions in light of the danger. The CES reserves the right to notify parents/guardians of dependent students regarding any health or safety risk, or a change in student status.

 

TITLE IX Additional Information

Employees should contact Human Resources for more information or any questions related to this policy. Students may contact the Title IX Coordinator with any questions related to this policy. In addition, the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) investigates complaints of unlawful harassment of students in educational programs or activities. This agency may serve as a neutral fact finder and will attempt to facilitate the voluntary resolution of disputes with the parties. For more information, visit the OCR website at: http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/.

Version: 2020/08/14