Pregnancy and Parenting
Madison College is committed to the protection and equal treatment of pregnant employees and students, those with pregnancy-related conditions, and students who are new parents in all aspects of their educational program. This includes Madison College-sponsored extracurricular activities and internships, athletics, financial aid and scholarships, career counseling/advising, and lab and clinical work.
Concerns related to denial of accommodations or refusal of support should be referred to the Title IX Coordinator and can be reported using the Harassment/Discrimination Report Form.
- Title IX Requirements
According to the Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, students must be allowed to take time off of school for pregnancy, childbirth, miscarriage, abortion and/or recovery therefrom for as long as their doctor says is medically necessary. This could mean absences for medical appointments as well as for a longer leave of absence, as may be needed for a high-risk pregnancy or childbirth. The rule applies even if a medically necessary leave requires an absence longer than the school’s leave policy usually allows. A student cannot be penalized for taking leave, and must be able to return to school in the same status they held before taking leave.
When appropriate, Madison College makes reasonable adjustments to the student's regular program that are responsive to the student’s temporary pregnancy status. Examples of this may include, but are not limited to, providing a larger desk, allowing frequent trips to the bathroom or permitting temporary access to elevators.
Students with pregnancy-related conditions should submit the Student Pregnancy Accommodation Request form on the College’s website or contact Disability Resource Services at 608-246-6716 or firstname.lastname@example.org to make a request for accommodations.
- Apply for Title IX Pregnancy & Parenting Accommodations
- You must request pregnancy or maternity leave accommodations with Disability Resource Services (DRS). It is recommended that you work with DRS as soon as you know you are pregnant.
- Submit documentation to DRS from a doctor. This documentation should include:
- The dates of pregnancy and maternity leave
- The dates and times of medical appointments you want to be excused for
- An outline of specific accommodation needs
- Submit the Student Pregnancy Accommodation Request Form.
- When you are approved for Title IX accommodations, an email will be sent to you and each of your current instructors, informing them of the Title IX status and what it means.
- The Director of DRS will review and work with you and your instructors to develop a plan to complete the course work. The plan will be signed by all parties and a copy provided to all.
- Examples of Accommodations & Support
Reasonable accommodations may include, but are not limited to:
- accommodations requested by the pregnant student to protect the health and safety of herself and/or her pregnancy (such as allowing the student to maintain a safe distance from hazardous substances)
- modifications to the physical environment (such as accessible seating)
- mobility support
- extending deadlines and/or allowing the student to make up tests or assignments missed for pregnancy-related absences
- providing remote learning options
- excusing medically-necessary absences
- granting leave from a program of study
Student parents who wish to continue their coursework following the birth or adoption of a child or placement of a foster child may request an academic modification period of up to one semester. This time period must begin within the first six months of the child entering the home. Extensions may be granted where additional time is required due to medical necessity or extraordinary parenting responsibilities.
What if an instructor or program has their own policies about class attendance and make-up work?
The college must ensure that the policies and practices of individual instructors do not discriminate against pregnant students. For example, an instructor cannot refuse to allow a student to submit work after a deadline that she missed because of absences due to pregnancy or childbirth. Additionally, if an instructor’s grading is based in part on class attendance or participation, the student should be allowed to earn the credits she missed so that she can be reinstated to the status she had before her leave. Madison College must ensure that their instructors and staff are aware of and follow Title IX requirements. An individual instructor’s policy is not okay if it breaks the law.
What about internships, career rotations, and other off-campus elements of her program?
Madison College must allow the student to continue participating in off-campus programs. For example, if her program provides opportunities to work in the field, Madison College cannot deny her participation based on her pregnancy. Madison College can require a doctor’s note for continued participation, if the school requires one for all students who have a medical condition that requires treatment by a doctor. If Madison College asks for a note, instructors cannot second-guess her doctor’s decision.
Can an instructor require a student to keep up with CourseWork while at home on maternity leave?
The instructor must excuse a student’s absences because of pregnancy or childbirth for as long as the student’s doctor deems the absences medically necessary. The student cannot be required to turn in work while on maternity leave until the doctor releases her. The missed work will have to be made up after her doctor authorizes her return to school.
What if there are availability issues when scheduling make-up work?
Instructors should make every effort to find a mutually convenient time. However, if conflicts arise, the instructor’s associate dean should facilitate a resolution.
What if a Student cannot make up the work during the semester?
If the instructor gives the student an Incomplete, her academic status may be negatively affected. But if she is approved for Title IX protection, her academic status will not be affected negatively. Student Accommodation Services will work with the Director of Counseling to correct the status. However, Financial Aid regulations do not give the college any discretion in terms of Financial Aid eligibility.
Is Title IX protection retroactive?
No, a student must apply for pregnancy and disability due to childbirth leave in a timely manner (current semester). The college cannot go back in time to make accommodations. Documentation of medical appointments must be submitted to DRS within three days of the appointment. Documentation of medical leaves or emergencies should be submitted within one week.
Can an instructor lower a student's grade for missing class?
A student cannot be penalized for pregnancy or other related conditions. If an instructor provides specific “points” or other advantages to students based on class attendance, she must be given the opportunity to earn back the credit from classes she misses due to pregnancy so that she can be reinstated to the status she held before she took leave.