What are my rights as a pregnant or parenting student?
"What Should I Expect?"
As a pregnant or parenting student, we know you have a lot on your mind. In the weeks and months ahead, as you work with professors around specific needs and/or missed class, feel free to make use of the information on this page and to share it with faculty, advisors, etc.
It is important for all members of the UI community to know that pregnant and parenting students have certain rights under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (known as "Title IX") – federal legislation that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex (including pregnancy and parental status) in educational programs and activities. Those rights include …
- Reasonable Adjustments – should a pregnant student have specific classroom needs (e.g. larger desk, elevator access, ability to make frequent trips to restroom), faculty or other university personnel are required to comply.
- Excused Absences – any absence related to pregnancy or childbirth must be excused for as long as medical personnel deem necessary. Instructors, if they prefer, may request that students procure an absence letter from the Office of the Dean of Students, in accordance with the policy on Class Attendance. Students with children may need to be absent in order to care for a sick child, cover a gap in child care/schooling, or other emergencies. Instructors are encouraged to accommodate such absences.
- Make-Up Work – students returning to class must be allowed to return to the same academic status as before the medical leave began and given the opportunity to make up any work missed during the leave. This includes an opportunity to make-up "class participation" points that student missed by virtue of not being in class. Further, any deadlines that were missed during the leave must be extended to allow submission of work.
- Stopping Out – students who may be interested in taking a semester off should speak with their College Dean's Office to discuss how the time off would affect the student's academic progress. Further, students who receive financial aid should meet with the Office of Financial Aid to learn what implications, if any, time away has on aid.
It is important to note that pregnant or parenting students are held to the level of academic standards and must meet the learning objectives that have been set for the course. Students must work with their faculty to determine what accommodations are reasonable so as to allow the student to complete all work while also achieving course outcomes.
- Title IX Coordinator – The Title IX Coordinator is responsible for coordinating the University's efforts to comply with and carry out its responsibilities under Title IX. The Title IX Coordinator oversees the University's response to all reports or complaints of incidents of discrimination based on sex. For more information or to contact the Title IX Coordinator, call (844) 616-7978 or e-mail email@example.com.
- Office of Diversity, Equity and Access, (217) 333-0885 – The mission of the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Access is to serve as a resource to campus units by facilitating compliance awareness and promoting an inclusive community through diversity, education and outreach initiatives. Staff in the ODEA assist the Title IX Coordinator and are available to assist with and respond to challenges pregnant or parenting students may experience in negotiating with faculty.
- Student Assistance Center, (217) 333-0050 – The Student Assistance Center serves as the first point of contact for students who call or walk in to the Office of the Dean of Students. Our Assistant Deans help students understand university policies and procedures, educate them about and connect them to campus resources, and support students in crisis.
- Fact Sheet "Pregnant and Parenting Students' Rights: FAQs for College and Graduate Students" from National Women's Law Center
- "Know Your Rights: Pregnant or Parenting? Title IX Protects You From Discrimination At School" from U.S. Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights