Policy on Educational Accommodations for Pregnant Students 1

Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to (1) ensure that The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga ("UTC") complies with the requirements of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 ("Title IX"), 20 U.S.C. §1681 et seq., prohibiting discrimination against students on the basis of pregnancy and (2) to clarify the legal rights and obligations of individuals covered by this policy under the Title IX requirements.

 

Scope and Application; Definitions

A. Individuals Covered by this Policy

This policy applies to the conduct of UTC faculty, UTC staff, UTC students, UTC volunteers, UTC contractors, and third parties participating in a UTC educational program or activity.

 

B. Definitions

The term "pregnancy" encompasses pregnancy, childbirth, false pregnancy, termination of pregnancy, or recovery from any of those situations.

 

Policy

A. Participation in UTC Educational Programs and Activities

Discrimination against any student, or exclusion of any student from participation in any part of a UTC educational program or activity (except as expressly permitted under this policy), on the basis of a student's pregnancy is prohibited.  UTC educational programs and activities include, but are not limited to, classes, extracurricular activities, internships, fellowships, clinics, and labs.   

UTC may provide pregnant students with a written description of the health risks of participating in an educational program or activity, but a description of those risks should also be provided to non-pregnant students.

A pregnant student may be required to obtain the certification of a physician that the student is physically and emotionally able to participate in an educational program or activity so long as such certification is required of all students for other physical or emotional conditions requiring the attention of a physician.  For example, a student who has been hospitalized for childbirth will be required to submit the certification of a physician to participate in a particular UTC program or activity if students who have been hospitalized for other physical conditions are also required to submit a certification of a physician to participate in the same program or activity.  A pregnant student may be excluded from participating in a program or activity for failing to comply with any such requirement.

When necessary to ensure a pregnant student's access to an educational program or activity, UTC will provide reasonable adjustments to the program or activity for the student, such as providing the student a larger desk or allowing the student frequent trips to the restroom.  Furthermore, any special services, exceptions, or assistance provided to students with temporary medical conditions will also be provided to pregnant students.

 

B. Excused Absences and Medical Leave

 1. A student's absences due to pregnancy will be excused regardless of an individual faculty member's absence policies, as long as the student's physician deems the absences medically necessary.

2. A pregnant student will be allowed to return to the same academic and extracurricular status as the student had prior to medically-necessary absences for pregnancy.

3. A pregnant student will be allowed to make up any work missed due to medically-necessary absences for pregnancy. A student will be offered acceptable alternative arrangements to make up missed work.  Examples of acceptable alternative arrangements include, but are not limited to, retaking a semester, switching to an online course of study, or allowing the student additional time to complete work; however, the student will be allowed to choose the option.  The student will not be required to complete makeup work until the student's medical- necessary absences for pregnancy are completed.

4. If any part of a student's grade is based on in-class participation, a pregnant student will be allowed to make up the participation points for any time missed due to medically-necessary absences for pregnancy.

 

C. Alternative Educational Programs for Pregnant Students

To the extent UTC offers alternative educational programs or activities for pregnant students, the programs or activities must be comparable to those offered to other students.  A pregnant student's participation in any such programs or activities, however, is completely voluntary. 

 

Procedures

A. Requests for Accommodation

 1. A student seeking an accommodation due to pregnancy should first contact the Office of the Dean of Students at (423) 425-4761 and advise that she needs Title IX accommodations due to pregnancy.

2. The Office of the Dean of Students will discuss the accommodations that the student needs (makeup work, excused absences, etc.) and inform the Title IX Coordinator.

3. The student will submit a letter from her physician to the Title IX Coordinator that includes the dates that the student's attendance must be excused and a statement from the physician that the absences are medically necessary.

4. The Title IX Coordinator and the Office of the Dean of Students will work with the student and the faculty member to create a plan for completion of course work. Individual plans may be adjusted as circumstances change.

 

B. Reporting Violations

A person may report a violation of this policy to the Title IX Coordinator at (423) 425-4255, or to the Office of Equity and Diversity at (423) 425-5468; www.utc.edu/equity-diversity.

 

History and Review

A. Version

This is the first version of this policy. 

 

B. Periodic Review

This policy is effective April 26, 2017.  This policy shall be reviewed on or before April 26, 2022.

 


[1] This policy is based on the requirements set forth in the following publication:

U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights. (2013, June). Supporting the Academic Success of Pregnant and Parenting Students under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. Retrieved from http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/pregnancy.pdf.