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Pregnant & Parenting Rights

Hennepin Technical College supports and accommodates pregnant and parenting students under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (June 2013) from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights.

What is Title IX?

Title IX is a law that states no person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.

How Does Title IX apply to pregnant and parenting students?

Pregnant and parenting students are entitled to all programs and activities sponsored by the College. Departments and units within the College must not discriminate against a student based on the following:

  • pregnancy,
  • child birth,
  • false pregnancy,
  • termination of pregnancy, and recovery from any of these conditions.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does Title IX apply to pregnant and parenting students?

The Title IX statute prohibits discrimination based on gender in all educational programs and activities that receive federal funding. This means colleges and universities cannot discriminate against a student because of pregnancy, childbirth, false pregnancy, termination of pregnancy, or recovery from any of these conditions and must give students the same access to school programs and educational opportunities given to all students. This law applies to female and male parenting students experiencing a birth, adoption or a new foster child.

Do HTC faculty have to excuse absences due to pregnancy, childbirth, recovery from childbirth or other related conditions?

Yes. Title IX requires Hennepin Tech instructors to excuse a student’s absences due to pregnancy or related conditions, including recovery from childbirth, for as long as the student’s health care provider says the absences are medically necessary. When a student returns to the college, she should be reinstated to the status she had before the leave, which includes giving her the opportunity to make up any missed work. Instructors may not refuse to allow a student to submit work after a deadline that she missed because of absences due to pregnancy, childbirth or recovery from childbirth.

Can pregnant or parenting students make up work they missed while absent from class?

Yes. Students who miss class for pregnancy-related reasons, childbirth or a related condition can make up missed work as well as any points lost for participation and/or attendance. Faculty should give students the information required to complete make-up work as if they were in class, discuss deadlines for make-up work, and give them at least as much time to complete each assignment as other students had. Make-up options due to absences for parenting students with children 12 years old or younger is appropriate.

What other options can the college offer to a pregnant or parenting student who will miss substantial amounts of a course?

The college may offer student alternatives to making up missed work such as withdrawing and appealing or assigning an incomplete grade or other options based on the conversation between the student, faculty member, and the Title IX coordinator.

What are some examples of modified academic responsibilities that may be available for a student while she is pregnant and attending HTC classes?

Modified academic responsibilities vary depending on the student’s situation and are determined through communication between the Title IX Coordinator and the faculty member. It could include modifications to the physical environment such as being a safe distance from hazardous substances, accessible seating, larger desk, temporary elevator access, and/or allowing frequent trips to the restroom because of a pregnancy.

Can instructors disallow pregnant students from being involved in certain lab experiments?

Lab involvements by a pregnant student are determined on a case-by-case basis. If a student’s health care provider says it is safe for a student to do experiments, faculty should comply with that decision. If a health care provider says it is unsafe, faculty should allow the student to make-up the assignment later.

Must the college provide additional services for parenting students such as childcare or tutoring?

No, but some services are available on campus to all students such as tutoring in the Tutoring Centers.

Can a student take a semester off and still keep student status or scholarships?

Not necessarily. Student-loan borrowers should contact the financial aid office to determine the impact of a leave. Recipients of any type of financial aid including grants, loans and scholarships, should discuss the impact of taking fewer credits with the financial aid office staff.

Can Hennepin Tech take back a scholarship when they find out a student is pregnant?

Continuation of a student’s scholarship, fellowship, or similar college-sponsored funding during the leave term will depend on the student’s registration status and the policies of the funding program regarding registration status. Students will not be negatively impacted or forfeit future eligibility for their scholarship or similar college-supported funding by taking leave under this policy.

What support is available to those who want to breastfeed their infants or pump milk?

Spaces are available on the Hennepin Tech campus for students, staff and faculty to breastfeed or pump milk in a location that is private, clean, and reasonably accessible. The Title IX coordinator will provide information about lactation spaces available on the Hennepin Tech campus.

Title IX prohibits discrimination based on sex. What are Hennepin Tech’s non-discrimination expectations for college employees toward pregnant or parenting students?

Faculty and staff cannot interfere with students taking leave, seeking reasonable academic adjustments, or otherwise exercising their rights under this policy. Employees cannot retaliate against a student for exercising the rights articulated by this policy, including imposing or threatening negative educational outcomes because a student requests leave or accommodations, files a complaint, or exercises their rights under the policy. Faculty and staff shall not require a student to take a leave of absence or withdraw from or limit their studies due to pregnancy, childbirth, or related conditions.

What resources do you know exist in our community for pregnant and parenting students?

Who should a student contact to develop a plan if they are a pregnant and parenting student?

Pregnant and parenting students who have questions regarding protections available to them should meet with the Title IX Coordinator in order start the process for an appropriate academic plan. After this, communication will occur between the Title IX Coordinator and the student’s instructors for course feedback and plan implementation. Students and faculty who have already developed a plan should forward the plan to the Title IX Coordinator for review. Make an appointment with the Title IX Coordinator listed below.

This information is based on information from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights, Supporting the Academic Success of Pregnant and Parenting Students: Under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.

Contact Information

Student Title IX Coordinator
Hilary Dahlman
Director of Academic Support Programs
Phone: 952-995-1544
Employee Deputy Title IX Coordinator
Joel Nelson
Associate Director of Human Resources
Phone: 763-488-2645