Title II of the Education Amendments of 1976

Instructor: Joelle Brummitt-Yale

Joelle has taught middle school Language Arts and college academic writing. She has a master's degree in education.

In 1976, five amendments to the Higher Education Act of 1965 and the Vocational Education Act of 1963 were passed. In this lesson we will explore Title II, focusing on how it expanded vocational education in the U.S. and addresses particular areas of that discipline.

Expansion of Vocational Education

Vocational education is training that provides practical experience in specific trades or careers, and traditionally had only been offered in vocational schools that were separate from other educational institutions like public high schools and colleges. Vocational education was constructed following guidelines set out in the Vocational Education Act of 1963 until 1976, when a series of educational amendments substantially changed laws and standards regarding public education in the United States. The amendments, signed into law by President Gerald Ford, sought not only to improve the standards of vocational education but also to expand offerings to disadvantaged students and eliminate sex bias and stereotyping in vocational education.

While the programs were successful, they were not as cohesive and well-implemented as they could have been and did not reach all populations. As part of a series of five educational amendments, Senator Claiborne Pell of Rhode Island proposed what is now known as Title II, which focuses on vocational education.

National and State Goal Setting for Vocational Education

One of the areas addressed in Title II was goal setting and guidelines for vocational programs. Title II called for national goals and guidelines for vocational education that states could use as a basis for their own programs. States seeking funding from the national government for vocational programs could now form their own advisory councils. These councils would create state vocational education programs, advise on policies related to those programs, and evaluate the programs. The evaluations would then be submitted to the national advisory council.

Addresses Gender Bias in Vocational Education

When we think of vocational education areas such as auto mechanics, welding, and construction we commonly think of primarily males participating in these programs. And when we think of others such as homemaking, knitting, and sewing, we usually think of female students taking these classes. Sex stereotyping was, and still is, a concern in many fields vocational education trains students for. Title II recognizes this challenge and attempts to address gender bias in these fields. The legislation directed the Commissioner of Education to examine and address sex stereotyping in all areas of vocational education.

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