Title IX and Equity

The College has designated to Jana Sabo, HR Manager, Employee Relations / Title IX Coordinator/Equity Officer. The Equity Officer in conjunction with College administration, staff, and faculty coordinates the College's compliance with appropriate statutes, laws and regulations related to civil rights, including equity and access. Additionally, the Equity Officer ensures the submission of the College's Annual Equity Update Report and conducts investigations or collaborates with the administration to review or investigate complaints of harassment or discrimination based on race, sex, gender identity, color, age, religion, national origin, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, marital status, pregnancy, genetic information or veteran's status.

Title IX

The U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) enforces, among other statutes, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. Title IX protects people from discrimination based on sex in education programs or activities that receive Federal financial assistance. Title IX states that:

No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.

The Title IX Coordinator at Florida SouthWestern State College is Ms. Jana Sabo, Title IX Coordinator/Equity Officer.


Who is covered by Title IX?

Title IX covers FSW students, staff and faculty.

Educational institutions that receive federal financial assistance are covered by Title IX. The U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights enforces Title IX and its associated federal regulations which are found in 34 CFR Part 106. If only one of the institution's programs or activities receives federal funding, all of the programs within the institution must comply with Title IX regulations. In compliance with Title IX, Florida SouthWestern State College prohibits discrimination in employment as well as in all programs and activities on the basis of sex.

College Title IX Coordinator

In accordance with Title IX regulations, Florida SouthWestern State College has designated Jana Sabo, HR Manager, Employee Relations/Title IX Coordinator/Equity Officer, as the College's Title IX Coordinator. She is charged with monitoring compliance with these regulations. Questions regarding Title IX, as well as concerns and complaints of non-compliance, may be directed to Ms. Sabo via email at equity@fsw.edu or by calling 239-489-9051. Ms. Sabo's office is located in K-241, Thomas Edison campus, Ft. Myers, FL.

Frequently Asked Questions About Title IX

Does Title IX apply only to discrimination against females?

No. While Title IX has been used mostly by females seeking to protect their rights, Title IX also serves to protect the rights of males. Title IX requires that males and females receive fair and equal treatment in all areas of education.

Does Title IX apply only to athletic programs?

No. This is perhaps the most widely held misconception about Title IX. Athletics are not the only component of academic life governed by Title IX. Other areas which fall within the scope of Title IX include:

  • Recruitment, Admissions, Financial Aid and Scholarships
  • Course Offerings and Access
  • Counseling
  • Hiring and Retention of Employees
  • Benefits and Leave

Title IX also prohibits sexual harassment, which includes sexual assault and sexual violence.

Does Title IX require that all educational activities and programs must be open to both males and females?

Not necessarily. Title IX specifically allows for, or has been interpreted to allow for, single-sex programs in a number of categories. Included among those are: religious schools, traditional men's/women's colleges, social fraternities/sororities, youth service organizations such as, The Boy/Girl Scouts of America, and beauty pageants.

Does Title IX prohibit gender bias in science related fields?

The under-representation of females in science related fields may violate Title IX. Educational institutions are required to provide females resources, support, and promotional opportunities in all educational fields which are comparable to their male colleagues.

Are individuals who file complaints of discrimination under Title IX for themselves or others protected from retaliation under Title IX?

Yes. The U.S. Supreme Court has broadened the interpretation of Title IX to protect from retaliation whistle-blowers who accuse educational institutions of sex discrimination. The court is of the opinion that reporting incidents of discrimination is integral to Title IX enforcement and would be discouraged if retaliation against those who report it goes unpunished.

Failure To Comply With Title IX

The penalty for failure to comply with Title IX in the most extreme circumstances can include the termination of all or part of an institution's federal funding. This includes grants, subsidies, and other program funds from the federal government. In addition to the loss of federal funds, colleges may be sued by those seeking redress for violations of Title IX. It is essential that institutions receiving federal financial assistance operate in a nondiscriminatory manner. To ensure the College's compliance with the law, adherence to Title IX regulations is everyone's responsibility.

Who Enforces Title IX?

The United States Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) is in charge of enforcing Title IX in public educational institutions. Information regarding OCR.

Complaints Under Title IX at Florida SouthWestern State College

Students: If you are a student who believes you have been subjected to (1) sexual harassment by a Florida SouthWestern State College faculty or staff; or (2) any other form of gender discrimination under Title IX, you may report such misconduct or file a formal complaint with the Title IX Coordinator. If you are a student who believes you have been or are the victim of sexual harassment, including sexual assault, sexual violence or other sexual misconduct, by another College student, you may report such conduct or file a complaint under Title IX with the Title IX Coordinator.

Employees: If you are an employee who believes you have been subjected to discrimination under Title IX, including sexual harassment, or who wishes to file a complaint under Title IX, you may report such misconduct or file a complaint with the Title IX Coordinator.

Federal and state laws, as well as College Operating Procedures, prohibit the taking of retaliatory measures against any individual who files a complaint in good faith.

Contact Information

The College's Title IX Coordinator/Equity Officer is:

Jana Sabo Title IX Coordinator/Equity Officer K-241 Thomas Edison Campus 8099 College Parkway Ft. Myers, FL 33919 239-489-9051 Email: equity@fsw.edu


  • Discrimination or harassment complaints or concerns may be reported to Jana Sabo, Title IX Coordinator and Equity Officer at Florida SouthWestern State College, 8099 College Pkwy., Ft. Myers, FL, 33919, equity@fsw.edu.
  • Student equity concerns should be reported to the Vice Provost, Student Affairs, Dr. Michele Yovanovich (239) 489-9099 or emailed to michele.yovanovich@fsw.edu or Jana Sabo, Title IX Coordinator and Equity Officer at (239) 489-9051 or emailed to equity@fsw.edu.
  • Employee or community equity concerns should be reported to Jana Sabo, Title IX Coordinator and Equity Officer at (239) 489-9051 or equity@fsw.edu.
  • Reports can be submitted online using the Report Harassment/Discrimination Concerns Now button on this page.
  • For TTY, please call 1-800-955-8771 or 711.

Associated College Operating Procedures:

Florida SouthWestern State College Equity Reports