Wednesday, May 04, 2011

The three-prong breakdown

At the NCAA Gender Equity Forum, which Erin attended earlier this week, there was a discussion about compliance in the area of equitable opportunities. This area is--arguably--the most well-known and, perhaps ironically, the most misunderstood.
Schools can measure their compliance using one of three tests--hence the three-prong test. Often the three-prong test is presumed to be the only measure of Title IX compliance. It is not, as is exemplified in our many posts about facilities, access to coaches, provision of quality competitive opportunities and equipment, etc.
A session at the conference addressed the three-prong test and the ability and difficulties in complying. The happenings at the panel were reported by Inside Higher Ed. It seemed like a good discussion about whether the prongs are viable any more--and if so, which ones and how schools can demonstrate compliance. There was certainly frustration among various audience members who were athletics administrators about the challenges each pring presents. The session was lead by Jacqueline Michaels of OCR who seemed to do a very good job with questions from the audience and in explaining the intricacies of each prong--especially the confusion over prong three given the changes and clarifications this specific test has seen over the last 6 years.
I highly recommend reading this short piece to get a better understanding of the three prongs and how they are enforced.