Pregnant and Parenting Students

The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) via the U.S. Department of Education (ED) is responsible for enforcing laws prohibiting discrimination in federally assisted educational programs and activities. These laws include Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX), which prohibits discrimination based on sex in education programs or activities. All public and private educational institutions that receive any federal financial assistance (“schools”) must comply with this law. Title IX protects students in all of the academic, educational, extracurricular, athletic, and other programs or activities of schools and includes prohibiting discrimination against pregnant and parenting students.

How to support pregnant students at DMACC

  • Include the student in all aspects of the class.  Safety concerns should be expressed directly to the student, who should be given all the relevant safety information and then allowed to make her own attendance decisions.  Should a safety concern be addressed by the student, accommodations should be made to address the issue.  Contact the Disability Services office to discuss accommodation options, if needed.
  • Pregnancy related absences should be excused and the student should be allowed to make up missed work or tests. The college is allowed to request a doctor’s note if the school requires students with other medical conditions to submit a doctor’s note under similar circumstances.  Contact the Disabilities Service office for guidance in this area.
    • A student must be allowed to submit work after a deadline because of absences due to pregnancy or childbirth.
    • If grading is based in part on class attendance or participation, the student should be allowed to make up the points missed due to pregnancy related absences.
  • When a student returns to school after an absence, she should be allowed to return to the same academic and extracurricular status as before her absence(s) began.
  • Any special services provided to students who have temporary medical conditions should also be provided to a pregnant student. 
  • To ensure a pregnant student’s access to educational programs, when necessary, a school must make program adjustments that are reasonable and responsive to the student’s temporary pregnancy status (a school might be required to provide a larger desk or allow breaks during class).  Contact the Disability Services office for any classroom needs.
  • A school may offer (but not require) the student alternatives to making up missed work, such as retaking a semester, taking a comparable online class, 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 (see ES 4563 Incomplete Grades Extension of Time). The student should be allowed to choose from the options.
  • A lactation room is available on the Ankeny campus in Building 5 for student use. Check with the campus of attendance for other locations.
  • Contact the Disability Services office to discuss any questions (515) 964-6850.

U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, Supporting the Academic Success of Pregnant and Parenting Students under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Washington, D.C., 2013.  This publication is available on the Department’s Office for Civil Rights website at http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/pregnancy.pdf. Any updates to this publication will be available at this site.

On request, this publication is available in alternate formats.