Guidelines for Vocational Education Programs

IV. Access and Admission of Students to Vocational Education Programs

(A) Recipient Responsibilities. Criteria controlling student eligibility for admission to vocational education schools, facilities and programs may not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, or handicap. A recipient may not develop, impose, maintain, approve, or implement such discriminatory admissions criteria.

IV. Access and Admission of Students Access and Admission of Students to Vocational Education Programs

(K) Eligibility Based on Evaluation of Each Applicant Under Admissions Criteria. Recipients may not judge candidates for admission to vocational education programs on the basis of criteria that have the effect of disproportionately excluding persons of a particular race, color, national origin, sex, or handicap. However, if a recipient can demonstrate that such criteria have been validated as essential to participation in a given program and that alternative equally valid criteria that do not have such a disproportionate adverse effect are unavailable, the criteria will be judged nondiscriminatory. Examples of admissions criteria that must meet this test are past academic performance, record of disciplinary infractions, counselors’ approval, teachers’ recommendations, interest inventories, high school diploma and standardized tests, such as the Test of Adult Basic Education (TABE). An introductory, preliminary, or exploratory course may not be established as a prerequisite for admission to a program unless the course has been and is available without regard to race, color, national origin, sex, and handicap. However, a course that was formerly only available on a discriminatory basis may be made a prerequisite for admission to a program if the recipient can demonstrate that: (a) the course is essential to participation in the program; and (b) the course is presently available to those seeking enrollment for the first time and to those formerly excluded.

(L) Eligibility of National Origin Minority Persons with Limited English Language Skills. Recipients may not restrict an applicant’s admission to vocational education programs because the applicant, as a member of a national origin minority with limited English language skills, cannot participate in and benefit from vocational instruction to the same extent as a student whose primary language is English. It is the responsibility of the recipient to identify such applicants and assess their ability to participate in vocational instruction. Acceptable methods of identification include:

(1) identification by administrative staff, teachers, or parents of secondary level students;

(2) identification by the student in post-secondary or adult programs; and

(3) appropriate diagnostic procedures, if necessary. Recipients must take steps to open all vocational programs to these national origin minority students.

A recipient must demonstrate that a concentration of students with limited English language skills in one or a few programs is not the result of discriminatory limitations upon the opportunities available to such students.

V. Counseling and Prevocational Programs

(B) Counseling and Prospects for Students. Recipients that operate vocational education programs must insure that counselors do not direct or urge any student to enroll in a particular career or program, or measure or predict a student’s prospects for success in any career or program based upon the student’s race, color, national origin, sex, or handicap. Recipients may not counsel handicapped students toward more restrictive career objectives than nonhandicapped students with similar abilities and interests. If a vocational program disproportionately enrolls male or female students, minority or nonminority students, or handicapped students, recipients must take steps to insure that the disproportion does not result from unlawful discrimination in counseling activities.

(C) Student Recruitment Activities. Recipients must conduct their student recruitment activities so as not to exclude or limit opportunities on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, or handicap. Where recruitment activities involve the presentation or portrayal of vocational and career opportunities, the curricula and programs described should cover a broad range of occupational opportunities and not be limited on the basis of the race, color, national origin, sex or handicap of the students or potential students to whom the presentation is made. Also, to the extent possible, recruiting teams should include persons of different races, national origins, sexes, and handicaps.

(D) Counseling of Students with Limited English-Speaking Ability or Hearing Impairments. Recipients must insure that counselors can effectively communicate with national origin minority students with limited English language skills and with students who have hearing impairments. This requirement may be satisfied by having interpreters available.

(E) Promotional Activities. Recipients may not undertake promotional efforts (including activities of school officials, counselors, and vocational staff) in a manner that creates or perpetuates stereotypes or limitations based on race, color, national origin, sex or handicap. Examples of promotional efforts are career days, parents night, shop demonstrations, visitations by groups of prospective students and by representatives from business and industry. Materials that are part of promotional efforts may not create or perpetuate stereotypes through text or illustration. To the extent possible they should portray males or females, minorities or handicapped persons in programs and occupations in which these groups traditionally have not been represented. If a recipient’s service area contains a community of national origin minority persons with limited English language skills, promotional literature must be distributed to that community in its language.

VIII. Employment of Faculty and Staff

(B) Recruitment. Recipients may not limit their recruitment for employees to schools, communities, or companies disproportionately composed of persons of a particular race, color, national origin, sex, or handicap except for the purpose of overcoming the effects of past discrimination. Every source of faculty must be notified that the recipient does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, or handicap.

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