Monmouth College’s Stephanie Kinkaid likes to help people. And that attitude comes in handy as the College’s first full-time Title IX coordinator.
Kinkaid, who recently worked in the College’s Wackerle Career and Leadership Center, said she has enjoyed her new position because it’s another way to help students. When she served in the Wackerle Center, Kinkaid helped students forge their career paths. In her new position, Kinkaid helps ensure that students have a good college experience before beginning their careers.
“I had a background in the mental health field before I came to Monmouth in 2007,” said Kinkaid, who has been the College’s Title IX coordinator since last June. “Helping people is what I like to do.”
Title IX is part of the landmark U.S. Education Amendments of 1972. Well-known because of its effect on reshaping intercollegiate athletics, Title IX prohibits sex-based discrimination in education.
Not unlike many U.S. colleges and universities, Monmouth created a full-time Title IX coordinator to help handle the broad application of the federal law. The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights recently reminded U.S. colleges and universities that some of the areas covered by Title IX include admissions, recruitment, financial aid, gender-based harassment and violence, and counseling.
“In the past, it’s been common for a dean of students or a human resources director to also serve as Title IX coordinator,” Kinkaid said. “But it’s getting so complicated now. I think you’ll see that in the next five years, almost all schools will move to a full-time coordinator.”
Kinkaid aims to be proactive with her position by educating the campus community about societal issues that affect all of higher education, such as dating violence, domestic violence, stalking, harassment and assault, and other gender-related issues.
“Our efforts to eradicate discrimination, harassment and retaliation need to be proactive, to help students understand that their own behavior affects so many others,” she said.
As part of the transition to her new role, Kinkaid received plenty of education herself, completing 100 hours of training. Some of that time was spent with Dean of Students Jacquelyn Condon, who had seen the need for creating the full-time position. Kinkaid also did “career shadowing” of an actual multi-week investigation and attended a workshop in Denver that featured a panel of attorneys.
Kinkaid stays current in her field by taking part in at least 10 hours of annual Title IX training. She is considering pursuing the next level of training to become a “deep dive investigator.”
“The bottom line with Title IX is that everyone is entitled to pursue education in an equitable way,” Kinkaid said. “The job’s not easy. It’s not all sunshine and rainbows like it was helping students in the Wackerle Center. But I’ve found that if I put what’s best for the students first, everything else falls into place.”