Pregnant and Lactating Student Information and Resources
Title IX states that no person in the United States, on the basis of sex, can 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, including pregnancy, childbirth, lactating and related medical conditions. In addition, employees cannot retaliate against a student for exercising their rights, nor can they require a student to take a leave of absence or withdraw from or limit their studies due to pregnancy, childbirth, lactating or related medical conditions.
Reasonable accommodations are available to students who are pregnant or lactating and vary depending on the course requirements. Accommodations to consider for pregnant students include the following:
- Additional or longer breaks;
- Temporary modification to the workspace such as seating;
- Extension for assignments; and
- Schedule changes.
Lactating student accommodations may include the following:
- Reasonable breaks to express breast milk;
- Excused absences from class or field experiences as necessary to allow expression of breast milk;
- Use of lactation space to express breast milk.
Absences and Making up Missed Work
Students absent for medically necessary reasons related to pregnancy, childbirth or lactating are allowed to return to the same academic status as before the absences and be allowed to make up missed work, including any missed participation-related points, as long as the student’s doctor deems the absence medically necessary. Instructor’s rules about attendance and make-up work generally cannot override these legal accommodation requirements.
Space is available on campus for students, staff and faculty to lactate in a private and clean individual room. Please contact the Title IX Coordinator for access by emailing [email protected] or calling 320-222-8040.
Lab involvements by a pregnant student are determined on a case-by-case basis. If a student’s health care provider says it is safe for a student to do experiments, faculty should comply with that decision. If a health care provider says it is unsafe, faculty should allow the student to make-up the assignment later.
Semester Leaves and Financial Aid
Student loan-borrowers who would like to take a semester off and keep their student status should contact the Financial Aid Office to determine the impact of a leave. Recipients of any type of financial aid including grants, loans and scholarships should discuss the impact of taking fewer credits with the Financial Aid Office staff. Contact the Director of Financial Aid by emailing [email protected] or calling 320-222-1151.
Semester Leaves and Scholarships
Students who have received scholarships should contact the Ridgewater College Foundation Office to discuss the impact of a leave or taking fewer credits. Contact the Scholarship and Data Coordinator, by emailing [email protected] or calling 320-222-6095.
Pregnant and lactating students can work out a plan individually with their instructors for course completion and making up missed work, or students and faculty can communicate with the Title IX Coordinator who can facilitate the conversation and plan implementation. Students and faculty who have developed a plan should forward it to the Title IX Coordinator for review. Contact the Title IX Coordinator by emailing [email protected] or calling 320-222-8040.
Resources Available for Pregnant and Parenting Students
This document is based on information from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights, Supporting the Academic Success of Pregnant and Parenting Students: Under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.