Guidelines for Vocational Education Programs

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

(a) Recipient Responsibilites. 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.

(b) State and local recipients may not select or approve a site for a vocational education facility for the purpose or with the effect of excluding, segregating, or otherwise discriminating against students on the basis of race, color, or national origin. Recipients must locate vocational education facilities at sites that are readily accessible to both nonminority and minority communities, and that do not tend to identify the facility or program as intended for nonminority or minority students.

(C) Elegibility for Admission to Vocational Educationn Centers Based on Residence
Recipients may not establish, approve or maintain geographic boundaries for a vocational education center service area or attendance zone, (hereinafter “service area”), that unlawfully exclude students on the basis of race, color, or national origin. The Office for Civil Rights will presume, subject to rebuttal, that any one or combination of the following circumstances indicates that the boundaries of a given service area are unlawfully constituted:

1. A school system or service area contiguous to the given service area, contains minority or nonminority students in substantially greater proportion than the given service area;

2. A substantial number of minority students who reside outside the given vocational education center service area, and who are not eligible for the center reside, nonetheless, as close to the center as a substantial number of non-minority students who are eligible for the center;

3. The over-all vocational education program of the given service area in comparison to the over-all vocational education program of a contiguous school system or service area enrolling a substantially greater proportion of minority students:

(a) provides its students with a broader range of curricular offerings, facilities and equipment; or

(b) provides its graduates greater opportunity for employment in jobs:

(i) for which there is a demonstrated need in the community or region;

(ii) that pay higher entry level salaries or wages; or

(iii) that are generally acknowledged to offer greater prestige or status.

IV. Access and Admission of Students to Vocational Education Programs

(F) Eligibility for admission to secondary vocational education centers based on numerical limits imposed on sending schools. A recipient may not adopt or maintain a system for admission to a secondary vocational education center or program that limits admission to a fixed number of students from each sending school included in the center’s service area if such a system disproportionately excludes students from the center on the basis of race, sex, national origin or handicap. (Example: Assume 25 percent of a school district’s high school students are black and that most of those black students are enrolled in one high school; the white students, 75 percent of the district’s total enrollment, are generally enrolled in the five remaining high schools. This paragraph prohibits a system of admission to the secondary vocational education center that limits eligibility to a fixed and equal number of students from each of the district’s six high schools.)

IV. Access and Admission of Students to Vocational Education Programs

(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.

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

(N) Equal Access for Handicapped Students. Recipients may not deny handicapped students access to vocational education programs or courses because of architectural or equipment barriers, or because of the need for related aids and services or auxiliary aids. If necessary, recipients must:

(1) modify instructional equipment;

(2) modify or adapt the manner in which the courses are offered;

(3) house the program in facilities that are readily accessible to mobility impaired students or alter facilities to make them readily accessible to mobility impaired students; and

(4) provide auxiliary aids that effectively make lectures and necessary materials available to post-secondary handicapped students;

(5) provide related aids or services that assure secondary students an appropriate education.

Academic requirements that the recipient can demonstrate are essential to a program of instruction or to any directly related licensing requirement will not be regarded as discriminatory. However, where possible, a recipient must adjust those requirements to the needs of individual handicapped students. Access to vocational programs or courses may not be denied handicapped students on the ground that employment opportunities in any occupation or profession may be more limited for handicapped persons than for non-handicapped persons.

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