Pregnant and Newly Parenting Student Rights Under Title IX
The Department of Education guidance to students as it relates to pregnancy and postpartum recovery (including birth, miscarriage, abortion) states that the College is obligated to do the following:
Classes and School Activities
- Allow a pregnant student to continue participating in classes and extracurricular activities even though she is pregnant.
- Allow a pregnant student to participate in classes and extracurricular activities even though she is pregnant and NOT require the student to submit a doctor’s note unless the College requires a doctor’s note from ALL students who have a physical or emotional condition requiring treatment by a doctor. The College also must not require a doctor’s note from a student after she has been hospitalized for childbirth unless the College requires a doctor’s note from ALL students who have been hospitalized for other conditions.
- Provide pregnant students with reasonable adjustments, like a larger desk, elevator access, or allowing her to make frequent trips to the restroom, when necessary, because of her pregnancy.
Excused Absences and Medical Leave
- Excuse absences due to pregnancy or childbirth for as long as the student’s doctor says it is necessary.
- Allow the student to return to the same academic and extracurricular status as before her medical leave began, which should include giving her the opportunity to make up any work missed while she was out.
Making it Happen
If a student needs to take time away from school for medical reasons associated with pregnancy, it is important that they promptly notify their instructors. Students enrolled in Health Science programs and working at clinical sites should also notify their program coordinator. This includes providing information on any absences and reasons why.
- Medical documentation may be required if all students seeking excused absences due to health related issues are required to do the same.
Faculty and pregnant students are encouraged to work together to explore options. Including:
- Is it possible to work ahead and turn in assignments early?
- Is remote learning possible if a student is unable to attend in-person classes?
It is sometimes necessary to give a student in these circumstances an incomplete with a plan in place as to how work will be made up when the student is no longer out of school for pregnancy related medical issues.
Lactation Rooms - are available on every campus on an as needed basis. Information regarding location of and access to these spaces is available through the Title IX Coordinator and Campus Chief Student Affairs Officers.
Student Advocacy & Resource Center - connects students to supportive services both on campus and off. This includes help with childcare, medical and mental health, housing, food insecurity, and more.
Access Office - staff are available to assist students with obtaining medical information and supporting effective communication with faculty.
Questions or Concerns
Christine Davis, Ed.D.
Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs