Pregnancy and Parenting Guidelines

Title IX, in addition to other state and federal laws, prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, false pregnancy, termination of pregnancy, parenting, recovery and all related conditions) in education and in HCC programs and activities that receive federal funding. Pregnancy is covered under Title IX’s prohibition of discrimination based on sex. HCC will treat pregnancy in the same manner as any short term disability. 

Title IX regulations and guidance state that schools must excuse a student’s absences due to pregnancy or childbirth for as long as the student’s doctor says it is necessary and allow them to return to the same academic and extracurricular status as before the student was excused. 

A student is required to voluntarily disclose and to request any necessary accommodations. Faculty should refer the student to the Campus Office of Services for Students with Disabilities who will work with the pregnant student to develop an appropriate plan for continuation of the student’s education. The Office of Services for Students with Disabilities on your campus can provide information on how HCC supports pregnant students on continuing their education.

HCC is here to support you in meeting your education and career goals and we encourage you to stay in school to meet these goals.

  • HCC will provide students who might be, are pregnant, or have been pregnant the same access to school programs and educational opportunities as other students.  Absences due to medical conditions relating to pregnancy will not count against a student’s class grade.  
  • A student who is excused from class and cannot complete assignments will be provided a reasonable accommodation to complete the coursework during the semester. 
  • If a student cannot complete coursework by the conclusion of the semester, the student may request an “Incomplete” for a class.  The Incomplete affords the student an opportunity to complete the remaining coursework by a date agreed to during the following semester. An “I” or incomplete will be awarded in accordance with HCC policies for an Incomplete as stated in the grading policy found in the HCC catalog.
  • These rules supersede any classroom based attendance policy/practices regarding allowable numbers of absences. 
  • Students may also be offered the option of a retroactive drop or withdrawal from the class, however, this cannot be mandated.  Students may return to their studies, without penalty, with clearance from their doctor.    

Students who disclose and request an accommodation due to pregnancy or related condition should be referred to their campus Office of Services for Students with Disabilities to work with them to identify a reasonable accommodation(s). HCC can only require students who are pregnant, (or have a related condition), to provide a physician’s certification to confirm that the student is physically and emotionally unable to continue participation in a particular program,  if a certification is required for all students for other physical or emotional conditions that require a physician’s attention. 

  • This office will provide the student with documentation criteria and explain what accommodations are available (such as extended time when sitting for a test, excused absences, incomplete grades and flexibility in making up missed work as long as there is no compromise to the integrity of the educational process).  
  • Accommodations may also include: permission to eat/drink in class; course selection alternatives; remote learning options such as online; allowing a student to avoid prolonged standing and awarding a grade of “I” or incomplete in order to complete missed work. An “I” or Incomplete will be awarded in accordance with HCC policies for awarding an “I” or incomplete. Refer to the grading policy in the HCC Catalog.
  • For programs that contain requirements of clinical rotations, group projects, or laboratory work, HCC will work with the student on a case-by-case basis to provide alternate paths to degree or certificate completion. 

After educating students on their options, HCC will assist the student in creating individualized plans to assist the student in continuing their education. The plan should include how and when adjustments are implemented. The plan should cover academics, financial aid and any additional matters relevant to the student’s situation. An educational plan may include finishing up tests, quizzes and papers at a later time; utilize extended deadlines, make-up assignments and incomplete grade options. Withdrawal is in the sole discretion of the student. 

Documentation must include information such as the dates of absence and when the student is eligible to return to school.  It is the student’s obligation to voluntarily disclose and ask for necessary accommodations related to pregnancy and related conditions.  The office will also notify a pregnant or parenting student of their Title IX protections and their right to contact the HCC Equity and Diversity Department/Title IX, and/or use the grievance process for claimed violations.  

Laboratories (Labs)—HCC cannot prohibit a pregnant student from enrolling in labs that may pose hazards to a developing fetus.  However, the faculty member should include general warnings in the syllabus or a written communication to students concerning the health risks a student may encounter as a result of her participation in course work, clinical assignments, or other components of an education program, and possible precautionary measures if appropriate. These warnings will better ensure that students are informed and that pregnant students are aware of any risks.  Additionally, such warnings may encourage students who may be pregnant to self-identify so accommodations are provided.  

Clinical Placements—Each Health Science program, the Vet tech and any externship where a health concern exists should provide warnings about clinical settings where there may be health hazards including the effects of strenuous activity.  (Some of these guidelines and requirements would apply to internships and externships for non-health science/vet tech programs as well.) Students may request a leave of absence, withdrawal from the program with reinstatement after her pregnancy ends, or withdraw solely from the clinical courses while completing the didactic courses, in addition to other accommodations. 

  • In general, HCC should provide students in clinical placements appropriate precautionary instruction that includes education about protective devices and ensure students are aware of problems which could be encountered including special problems for pregnant students. 
  • HCC or our clinical site are not responsible for any harm that might occur to a fetus or pregnant student. HCC requests for these types of programs where there are potential health risks that students self-identify.

Progression or readmission to clinical programs when pregnant or parenting students decide to take a leave of absence.

  • Many clinical Health Science programs require rotations or courses offered only at limited times, HCC’s clinical programs have progression or readmission policies including an appeals process to address situations when students may take a leave of absence for pregnancy-related reasons.
  • For students who continue their course work but do seek accommodations, HCC may offer specific, reasonable accommodations for the unique circumstances of the clinical program. 
  • For example, where radiation is involved, faculty or staff can accommodate by limiting the student’s exposure to radiation to the extent possible or allowing the student to delay completion of a particular component of the program.

Refer to the Health Science Department for additional information.                                            

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