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Pregnant and Parenting Students

Supporting Pregnant and Parenting Students

The U.S. Department of Education regulations concerning pregnancy and related conditions provide that a college that is a recipient of federal funding shall not discriminate against any student on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, false pregnancy, termination of pregnancy or recovery from these conditions. In the event that the educational institution does not maintain a leave policy for its students (as in the case of Metropolitan Community College), or in the event that a student does not otherwise qualify for an institutional leave under the policy, the institution is required to treat such conditions as justification for a leave of absence for so long a period of time as is deemed medically necessary by the student’s physician.

This information is provided both to inform and remind the College community of the institution’s obligation not to discriminate against students on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth and related conditions.

Title IX prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex—including pregnancy and related conditions—in educational programs and activities that are eligible for federal funding.

Basic rights under Title IX state that your school must excuse your absence due to pregnancy or childbirth for as long as your doctor says it is necessary. You must have equal access to school and activities, and special services provided for temporarily disabled students must also be provided for pregnant students.

Medically Justified Leave

Under Title IX, it is illegal for schools to exclude a pregnant student from participating in any part of an educational program. Schools may implement special instructional programs, but participation must be completely voluntary on the part of the student.

In addition, a school must excuse a student's absences because of pregnancy or childbirth for as long as the student's doctor deems the absences medically necessary.

Metropolitan Community College must give all students who might be, are, or have been pregnant the same access to school programs and educational opportunities that other students have. Absences due to medical conditions relating to pregnancy must be excused for as long as medically necessary. The student must be given the opportunity to make up missed work, with the goal of having the student graduate on time; if possible, and if desired by the student. These rules supersede any classroom based attendance policy/practices regarding allowable numbers of absences.

A school may offer the student alternatives to making up missed work, such as retaking a quarter,   or allowing the student additional time in a program, or allowing the student additional time in a program to continue at the same pace and finish at a later date, especially after longer periods of leave.

Assistance for Pregnant Students

For medically excused absences, pregnant students should contact an Advocacy Counselor or Disability Support Counselor at their campus location to discuss options.

NOTE: Pregnant students are encouraged to seek assistance for excused absences or accommodations as quickly as possible. Some options and accommodations cannot be retroactively applied. Pregnant students seeking assistance during the quarter of enrollment will have better options than those notifying the College of their situation after the quarter has ended.

The reference materials for these guidelines are offered in the pamphlet Supporting the Academic Success of Pregnant and Parenting Students by the Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, June 2013.

MCC Lactation Support Program promotes a supportive environment for women needing to express milk for a nursing baby while at work or school.

Additional Resources Related to Pregnancy and Childbirth