Title IX provides for equal educational opportunities for pregnant and parenting students. It prohibits educational institutions from discriminating against students based on pregnancy, childbirth, false pregnancy, termination of pregnancy, or recovery from any of these conditions.
It also prohibits schools from applying any rule related to a student's parental, family or marital status that treats students differently based on their sex. This includes school-sponsored extracurricular activities and internships, athletics, financial aid and scholarships, career counseling, and lab and clinical work.
Sam Houston State University is committed to supporting you through your pregnancy and parenting. Here's what you need to know:
If you have a pregnancy-related impairment that is considered a disability under the ADA (The Americans with Disabilities Act) you are entitled to reasonable support measures.
These support measures may include, but not limited to:
- More frequent restroom breaks
- Seating closer to the door
- Larger desk
- Provide a stool
- Temporary special parking ePermit — You must already have an annual parking permit and provide a doctor’s note to Parking and Transportation. For more information, visit shsu.edu/parking
Leave and Absences
Students must be allowed to take time off of school for pregnancy, childbirth, miscarriage, abortion and/or recovery for as long as their doctor says is medically necessary. That could mean a few absences for necessary medical appointments, or a longer leave of absence for a high-risk pregnancy or childbirth. This rule applies even if taking medically necessary leave would require an absence for longer than the school’s leave policy ordinarily allows. Students cannot be penalized for taking leave and must be able to return to school in the same status they held before taking leave.
Make Up Work
Professors may require you to complete missed assignments or other work to make up for missed participation, but the make-up work should be comparable with the work given to other students, not extra. When setting timelines for make-up or missed work, professors need to treat leave as leave; for example, assignment deadlines should not be the day you return. This means at least the same amount of time as other students, even beyond the semester schedule if necessary.
If a teacher’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 the leave.
If your professor requires other students who have “excused” absences to provide a doctor’s note, they can ask you to provide one as well. Be sure your doctor clearly states that the absence is/was medically necessary.
Taking leave may have an impact on your student loans, depending on your registration status during your time off. Schools cannot terminate or reduce athletic, merit, or need-based scholarships because of pregnancy.
Be sure to meet with the financial aid office before taking any extended absence and ask about your financial aid status for details about your particular situation.
Financial Aid & Scholarships
Estill Bldg, Suite 201
Mon ‐ Fri, 8am ‐ 5pm
Athletics & Extracurricular Activities
Pregnant athletes (and those with related conditions) must be treated like any other athlete with a temporary disability. Your college or university can’t force you to stop participating in your sport because of your pregnancy, even if the school’s decision is based on an assumption that it is unsafe for you to play. You may be asked to provide a medical clearance to play only if players with other medical conditions are asked too.
That means that you can’t lose your athletic scholarship just because you are pregnant. If you have an athletic scholarship and can’t play because of your medical condition, you must be treated the same as any other student with a temporary disability, including keeping benefits while in recovery, and renewal of your award.
Title IX prohibits a school from excluding a pregnant student from any part of its educational program, including all extracurricular activities, such as school clubs, academic societies, honors programs, internships, or sports. A pregnant student must also be eligible to hold leadership positions in these activities.
Schools can’t require a pregnant student to produce a doctor’s note in order to stay in school or participate in activities, unless the same requirement to obtain a doctor’s note applies to all students being treated by a doctor. Schools cannot presume that a pregnant student is unable to attend school or participate in school activities.
Employees, students, or associated third parties cannot discourage your participation in the school’s programs.
Sam Houston State University is pleased to provide multiple Mother’s Rooms across campus to meet the needs of parents with babies. Mother’s Rooms provide a private place to nurse, pump, bottle feed, and change a diaper.
If your class is scheduled when you need to nurse or pump, your absence should be excused, and you should not be penalized for your time away. This means your grade cannot be lowered due to poor attendance, you must be given the ability to make up any work missed, and you must be able to get the information you missed as well. You may need to provide a doctor’s note stating that it is medically necessary for you to pump on a certain schedule.
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Newton Gresham Library
Second Floor, 224
Library Service Desk
- Family Kits of kids' toys (to entertain your kids while you study in the library)
- Children's Literature Collection
The SHSU Student Health Center is a primary care outpatient clinic. Located on campus, it provides health services to enrolled students. These health services include preventative care services, a women’s health clinic, laboratory testing, and pharmacy services that are all affordable and easily accessible.
Condoms are available free of charge at the Student Health Center.
For more information, please contact the Student Health Center. Student Health Center
If you’ve experienced any discrimination due to pregnancy or parenting, you're encouraged to submit a report regardless of whether or not you would like to follow through with the grievance process.Report an Incident
Pregnant & Parenting Workgroup Partners
The Office of Title IX & Discrimination Resolution formed a Pregnant & Parenting Workgroup comprised of the campus partners listed below. The purpose of this workgroup is to assess the availability of pregnant and parenting resources available to our campus community and to provide recommendations for improving awareness of services and supportive measures.
- Office of Title IX & Discrimination Resolution
- Dean of Students' Office
- Department of Biological Sciences
- Department of Residence Life
- Facilities Management
- Faculty Senate
- Health & Counseling Center
- Human Resources
- Services for Students with Disabilities
- Sociology Department