NASA Working with Other Federal Agencies to Develop Common Guidelines for Title IX Compliance

At a White House meeting in advance of the 40th anniversary of Title IX, NASA Associate Administrator for Diversity and Equal Opportunity, Brenda Manuel, was named to an interagency board tasked with developing common compliance guidance for grant recipient institutions. Title IX was signed into law in 1972, requiring equal access to all educational programs and activities of a school, university or other entity receiving federal financial assistance. A White House statement noted that, “At a time when many universities barred the admission of women and when female sports teams were scarce, Title IX marked a momentous shift for women’s equality in classrooms, on playing fields, and in communities throughout our nation.”

NASA has long recognized the importance of Title IX as a means for ensuring equal opportunities in the science, technology, engineering and mathematical (STEM) fields to which we provide federal dollars. And while 40 years after its enactment, more women than men graduate from college with bachelor’s degrees, women’s participation in the STEM fields remains disproportionately low.

That is why, beginning in 2004, NASA began conducting compliance reviews of its educational grant recipient institutions to ensure they were in compliance with Title IX requirements. In 2009, in an effort to provide more extensive and meaningful assistance to our grantees, NASA issued a publication called “Title IX and STEM: Promising Practices for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.” In doing so, NASA moved beyond compliance-only reviews to also provide examples of successful university STEM programs and practices.

As we commemorate the 40th anniversary of Title IX, I am pleased to announce the issuance of NASA’s newest Title IX publication, “Title IX and STEM: A Guide for Conducting Title IX Self-Evaluations.” This publication has been designed as a tool to help our grant recipients understand and use Title IX compliance assessments, complete with data analysis and questions to be answered, to improve their STEM programs. Our work on this publication is one of the reasons NASA was asked to join the Department of Education, the Department of Justice, the National Science Foundation, and the Department of Health and Human Services in a consolidated effort to develop common guidelines for grant institutions to comply with Title IX.

In addition to serving on this interagency board we are moving ahead to provide copies of our newest Title IX publication to all of our college and university grant recipients, which now number around 350. We have posted an electronic version of the publication on our NASA website. This will soon be followed by an interactive version of the document, which will allow users to record comments and answers to questions as they review their programs. It will also provide a data tool to facilitate analysis of student statistics.

I am tremendously proud of NASA’s accomplishments with regard to Title IX. By helping universities create and sustain welcoming and inclusive program environments, we play an important role in building America’s STEM workforce of the future. Forty years after the passage of Title IX, NASA remains true to its vision that every American, male or female, with an interest in STEM has every opportunity to pursue his or her dream of choice – and succeed.

To view our new publication, visit: