Special Populations, Equity, and Civil Rights

Equity, Special Populations and Civil Rights

Tab/Accordion Items

The primary function of special populations coordination is to ensure that members of special populations receive services and job training.

Special services are provided for special populations to ensure equal access to recruitment, enrollment and placement activities. These supplementary services are essential to the successful participation of some disabled and disadvantaged students in career and technical education programs. Students with the greatest needs have top priority for services. Coordination with other service providers reduces the number of direct service contacts and the duplication of efforts. Being non-instructional personnel, Special Populations Coordinators have the major responsibilities for ensuring such coordination.

Coordination services begin with the identification of each member of special populations enrolled in the local education agency's career and technical education program. This approach allows the local education agency to meet the broad assurances of the law.

One such assurance, helping a student to enter a career and technical education program, enhances their chances of selecting an appropriate career pathway. Preparatory services are provided in the middle school or prior to a student's enrollment in a career and technical education program at high school. These services include recruitment of potential career and technical education students, career guidance, vocational assessment, and monitoring.

After participation in the outreach and recruitment activities, each student's special needs are identified and coordinated to ensure success in completing their chosen course of study. Following the assessment process and career guidance, appropriate plans are developed.

The quality of a local career and technical education program is dependent upon its ability to meet the statewide core indicators of performance and/or local modifications.

Contact your LEA CTE Administrator if you would like a copy of the Guide to CTE's Special Populations: Challenge Handbook.

NC Equity, Special Populations, and Civil Rights State Staff

Shannon Baker

The gender equity/nontraditional aspects of Career and Technology Education provide information that CTE teachers, academic teachers, counselors, and administrators can use to assist all students, both male and female, in setting and attaining educational goals. These goals should be based on individual interests, aptitudes, and abilities.

Gender equity/nontraditional activities and efforts represent another attempt on the part of Public Schools of North Carolina, Department of Public Instruction, to provide equal opportunities for all students.

Nontraditional Occupations Crosswalk (created by National for Parnership in Equity)


Beginning in 1973, various civil rights advocacy groups, including the Legal Defense Fund of the NAACP, sued the United States Department of Health, Education and Welfare (now the Department of Education) on behalf of a plaintiff, alleging that the federal government was not enforcing the federal civil rights laws in education. The Federal District Court of Washington, D.C. settled the case by issuing a consent decree in 1977, which required the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights to prepare the Guidelines for Eliminating Discrimination and Denial of Services on the Basis of Race, Color, National Origin, Sex and Handicap (the Guidelines) in Career and Technical Education programs. That document was published in its final form in 1979, and continues to remain in force.

The Guidelines require each state, including the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (DPI) as North Carolina’s State Education Department, to develop and implement a compliance and technical assistance program, to prevent, identify, and remedy discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, and disability in school districts that receive federal financial assistance, in particular, its Career and Technical Education program. DPI conducts its civil rights program according to an agreement with the Office for Civil Rights called the “Methods of Administration” (MOA).

U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights Reading Room

Information and Technical Assistance on the Americans with Disabilities Act, U.S. Dept. of Justice, Civil Rights Division