Columbia College (College) is committed to creating a welcoming, accessible, and inclusive environment for pregnant and parenting students.
Consistent with its Non-Discrimination and Equal Employment Opportunity Notice and the U.S. Department of Education’s implementing regulations for Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (“Title IX”) (see 34 C.F.R. § 106 et seq.), the College prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex that occurs within its education programs and activities. Among the types of sex discrimination covered by this statute, Title IX protects against discrimination related to pregnancy or parental status.
This policy applies to students of the College who are pregnant or who have either had a false pregnancy, termination of pregnancy, have gone through childbirth, a change in parenting status, or are recovering from any of those conditions.
The choice to disclose a pregnancy or change in parenting status is completely voluntary. Students are not required to inform faculty, staff, or any member of the campus community of their pregnancy or change in parenting status, unless they are seeking accommodations.
Students may request reasonable accommodations as a result of pregnancy, childbirth, a change in parenting status, or related conditions. Accommodation requests should be made directly to the Title IX Coordinator. Accommodations may include, but are not limited to, a larger desk, rescheduled tests or exams, excused absences, extended deadlines or alternatives to make up missed work.
With all accommodation requests for temporary conditions, students will be required to provide documentation of the pregnancy or related medical condition to the Title IX Coordinator. Students should request accommodations in a timely manner to allow the Title IX Coordinator to review documentation, determine eligibility, and implement accommodations. Accommodations will not be retroactively granted unless extenuating circumstances arise. Students with a documented chronic medical condition as a result of a pregnancy should also request accommodations from Student Accessibility Resources (SAR).
Decisions regarding accommodations are provided in writing to the requesting student and to the appropriate College employees responsible for implementing the accommodations. Students who believe that a College employee is not appropriately implementing the approved accommodations, or who believe they are being discriminated or retaliated against because of their pregnancy or parenting status should immediately report their concerns to the Title IX Coordinator, who will address the matter in accordance with the Non-Discrimination and Equal Opportunity Policy.
Pregnancy or Change in Parenting Status Options
Once a student has voluntarily disclosed a pregnancy or change in parenting status to the College, the student may have several options, including those described below.
1. Remain enrolled in coursework at the College
As previously stated, if a student requests reasonable accommodations to their academic program due to a pregnancy or change in parenting status, the student should contact the Title IX Coordinator as soon as possible.
2. Request a pregnancy leave
A leave of absence due to pregnancy or change in parenting status may be requested for various amounts of time depending on a student's particular circumstances. Such a leave may be extended if deemed medically necessary by the student's doctor.
Due to the structure of the College's academic programs, the timing and/or length of a student's leave of absence may result in the student being required to re-take or finish course(s) in a future term.
If taking a leave of absence due to a pregnancy or change in parenting status, the Education Plan for Pregnancy Leave will be discussed and signed by the student and a College representative.
3. Withdraw from the College
The student may, in their sole discretion, determine that they must withdraw from the College for an indefinite period of time due to pregnancy or change in parenting status. Normal College withdrawal procedures and readmission procedures shall apply.
Questions or Concerns
Students or employees who have questions about this policy or who are concerned about its implementation, should contact the Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Title IX Coordinator.