Should colleges rethink Sexual Misconduct Prevention for faculty and staff?

Students are returning to campus, and higher education institutions are implementing sexual misconduct prevention efforts. These efforts often include training for faculty and staff. Unfortunately, sometimes the training falls flat. With the start of a new semester, faculty and staff have many responsibilities, and it’s all too easy for them to mindlessly click through a training just to check it off the to-do list. “Checking a box” doesn’t cut it when we know the need is high: Approximately 19% of women and 5-6% of men will be sexually assaulted during their college career. More than half of these assaults will happen early in the academic year — August through November. And it’s not only students. Up to 40% of female faculty and staff experience sexual harassment.

Kognito’s new training solution, Sexual Misconduct Prevention for Faculty & Staff, rethinks traditional training and helps institutions meet legal requirements while keeping learners engaged.

Before we dive into the details of our new solution (which we’re excited to do!), here are some of the ways traditional sexual misconduct training can fall flat.

Where sexual misconduct training can fall flat

Higher education institutions have initiated efforts to combat the prevalence of sexual misconduct on campus and create a safer learning and working environment. Are they effective? Research suggests there’s room for improvement.

  • Students aren’t sure how to prevent sexual assault.
    While 81% of students say they have participated in training modules or information sessions on sexual misconduct, only 62% say they learned how to prevent sexual assault or other sexual misconduct.
  • Universities assign mandated reporters but often fail to train them.
    To create a culture shift, many higher education institutions have imposed mandated reporter duties on faculty and staff. This means those designated professionals are required to report instances of sexual misconduct that they’ve either witnessed or heard about. Unfortunately, few actually teach and practice bystander intervention to give these professionals the knowledge and skills they need to fulfill their role.
  • Training often emphasizes knowledge over behavior change.
    Sexual misconduct training must meet certain requirements. As a result, content can often be very knowledge-focused in order to meet compliance, but this knowledge doesn’t necessarily result in actual behavior change — especially if learners can simply click through PowerPoint slides to complete.

Introducing: Sexual Misconduct Prevention for Faculty & Staff

Sexual Misconduct Prevention for Faculty & Staff provides essential information and learning practice for faculty and staff, including those affiliated with NCAA athletic programs, in harassment prevention and awareness campaigns as defined in the Clery Act, Title VII, Title IX, VAWA.

Through engaging, simulated practice, faculty and staff learn and practice how to recognize, report, and prevent sexual misconduct against students and peers, as well as what constitutes sexual misconduct. Our behavior change model integrates several evidence-based models and techniques, game mechanics, and learning principles.

This new training solution is meant to complement our popular Sexual Misconduct for Students product for a cohesive campus solution that meets compliance standards and helps foster a safe campus climate around sexual misconduct. Sexual Misconduct Prevention for Faculty & Staff can be purchased as a stand-alone training program or as part of our Sexual Misconduct Prevention Suite that offers simulations to equip both students and staff with the knowledge and skills to navigate difficult situations related to sexual misconduct in a safe private practice environment.

Learning objectives that align with Clery Act, Title VII, Title IX, VAWA requirements

To comply with Clery Act, Title VII, Title IX, and VAWA requirements, faculty and staff must be trained to recognize, report, and prevent sexual misconduct against students and peers, as well as what constitutes sexual misconduct, from verbal sexual harassment to sexual and interpersonal violence.​

Kognito’s Sexual Misconduct Prevention for Faculty & Staff was designed with these requirements in mind, and includes education for general staff as well as mandatory reporters — professionals who are required by law to report incidents of alleged discrimination and harassment. The 90-minute training bridges the gap between legal requirements and campus-specific needs, because it can be customized with school policies, procedures, and resources.


Sexual Misconduct Prevention for Faculty & Staff learning objectives:

  • Respond effectively to students’ report of sexual misconduct, avoiding secondary trauma and protecting their confidentiality to the extent permissible
  • Evaluate how to make room for consent within everyday actions, while understanding it can be taken back at any time, and power differentials will always play a role​
  • Refer students who have experienced sexual misconduct to reporting options and on- and off- campus resources
  • Examine your role in creating and maintaining a safe and positive work environment​
  • Apply safe, positive, actionable strategies for intervening in situations where there may be misconduct or the threat of impending misconduct, including incidents involving any gender dynamics and rape-tolerant attitudes
  • Build and maintain professional, appropriate, and healthy relationships with students, all while being mindful of the power differential​
  • Identify and prevent harassment through the use of bystander/upstander skills

For Responsible Employees (Mandatory Reporters Only):

  • Understand and apply the requirement to provide students with information about: (1) available confidential resources for victim advocacy, counseling, and other support services; (2) their right to file a Title IX complaint; and (3) the option of reporting to campus or local police
  • Understand how and where to report sexual misconduct​
  • Understand the school’s and state’s sexual misconduct policies and procedures​
  • Understand and define harassment, sexual misconduct, and consensual relationships ​
  • Review the duty to report sexual misconduct and consequences for failing to report​
  • Understand the procedures for responding to a student’s request for confidentiality​
  • Recognize behavior or other warning signs of sexual misconduct​
  • Recognize discrimination, protected categories, and bias​

Experience an immersive Kognito training

Ready to go above and beyond basic compliance to create meaningful change on your campus? Learn more about Sexual Misconduct Prevention for Faculty & Staff on Or better yet, take an interactive demo to experience the power of simulation.

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