New training: Preventing sexual misconduct, discrimination

The university purchased a new online training program on preventing sexual misconduct and Title IX discrimination. All employees -- full-time, part-time and student employees, regardless of previous training -- must complete it on Iowa State's training website, Learn@ISU, by April 30.

Since 1972, Title IX has prohibited sex discrimination at educational institutions that receive federal funding. Title IX is short -- just one sentence -- but Supreme Court decisions and guidance from the U.S. Department of Education have given it a broad scope that includes sexual harassment and sexual violence.

Title IX

"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."

Iowa State leaders have mandated the training. In a letter last week to the university community, President Wendy Wintersteen wrote, "We must commit to a culture of zero tolerance for sexual misconduct and discrimination, and I expect 100 percent completion for our new training."

Assistant vice president for diversity and inclusion and equal opportunity Margo Foreman, who also serves as the university's Title IX coordinator, noted that campuswide training is not just a federal mandate, but also a best practice.

"Like all issues related to diversity, inclusion and equal opportunity, Title IX compliance is the responsibility of all campus citizens," she said. "We want every campus member to have the education needed to understand their rights and responsibilities to support campus safety and a welcoming environment."

Pick one course

Coordinated by the office of equal opportunity, the new training is designed to ensure everyone understands and follows Iowa State's discrimination policies and procedures. There are two options: a two-hour course for supervisors and a one-hour course for non-supervising employees. Both can be completed in sections.

EO contracted with Everfi, the same company that produces the "AlcoholEDU" mandatory training for Iowa State students. Students will complete their own Title IX course in AccessPlus.

The employee course includes an explanation of the law and tips for recognizing discrimination and harassment as well as maintaining an inclusive and safe work environment. It provides instructions for reporting misconduct and advice on safe options for bystander interventions. In addition, the supervisor course includes recommendations for addressing inappropriate or abusive behavior before it creates a hostile environment and for reducing potential legal risks. It contains information about unconscious bias and microaggressions and their impact on the workplace.

Both courses share information about Iowa State resources and units.

Foreman said a top goal in developing the training was a user experience that is "approachable and impactful." She said the courses take into account a variety of learning styles.

Get started

To find your training course:

  • Log in to Learn@ISU
  • From the "My Menu" dropdown menu, click on "My Requirements"
  • Locate the EO training section
  • Launch "Title IX Training"

Foreman said the plan is that employees will complete a refresher course every two years.

Questions or technical difficulties with completing the training should be directed to Everfi's 24-hour online support center, where you can get help by phone or live chat, or contact Iowa State's Solution Center, 294-4000.

Individuals who need an accommodation to complete the online training should make a request to the equal opportunity office, 294-7612.