Civil Rights Review Process
The Illinois Community College Board (ICCB) is mandated by the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights (OCR), to annually review a specified number of community colleges receiving federal Perkins funds. The civil rights review, conducted by a team of state staff and consultants, is designed to assist the college in meeting the requirements of the civil rights laws which impact career and technical education.
A specific selection criterion is utilized to assign points based on: 1) the highest disparities between total enrollment and CTE enrollment on the basis of race, sex, and disability; and 2) when, if ever, the college last received an on-site civil rights review. Points are then tabulated and the colleges are ranked based on this score. Please note that reviews are not based upon received complaints or grievances.
Prior to the Visit:
- The ICCB requests materials to be submitted for review prior to the on-site visit.
- Technical assistance is scheduled and conducted via phone call or webinar.
- ICCB staff review the submitted materials in preparation for the on-site visit.
- The college works with the designated ICCB staff member in coordinating meeting space, interviews, and access to campus facilities.
During the Visit:
- ICCB staff meets with various groups including administrators, faculty, and students to discuss college policies and practices related to areas covered by relevant civil rights laws.
- ICCB staff tours the campus to examine compliance with physical facility accessibility standards.
- At the end of the visit, ICCB staff conducts an exit conference with college staff to discuss any preliminary findings and next steps.
After the Visit:
- ICCB staff thoroughly analyzes all information collected as part of the review.
- ICCB staff compiles the results of the review and outlines any issues of noncompliance into a single report, the Letter of Finding (LOF).
- OCR recommends the LOF be issued within 30 days but no later than 60 days from the date of the on-site visit.
- Simultaneously submitted with the LOF is the Voluntary Compliance Plan (VCP). The college will have 30-45 days upon issuance of the LOF to submit a signed and dated VCP that addresses each area of noncompliance.
- The VCP should be finalized within 90 days of the LOF. Once the VCP is approved by the ICCB, the college shall periodically submit documentation verifying completion of each finding.
- Documentation shall be submitted in accordance with the agreed upon target completion dates as stated on the VCP.
- Once the college judges that a finding of noncompliance has been completely corrected, they must submit evidence that verifies compliance (photo, documents, etc.).
- The verification must then be approved by the ICCB.
- When all findings of noncompliance have been corrected, the VCP will be complete.
Note: The ICCB will forward all documents related to the review, including the approved VCP, to the OCR. The OCR reserves the right to increase, decrease, or modify the requirements for the VCP. No community college district will be visited more than once every five years. Although exempt from review, compliance with civil rights obligations continues.
or more information on the federal review requirement, please consult the following:
- Office for Civil Rights’ Vocational Education Guidelines for Eliminating Discrimination and denial of Services on the Basis of Race, Color, National Origin, Sex and Handicap, http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/vocre.html
- Illinois Community College Board, CTE website, https://www.iccb.org/cte/?page_id=680
- Illinois Civil Rights Review Tool, https://www.ilcivilrightsreview.com/