American University is committed to creating a welcoming, accessible, and inclusive environment for pregnant and parenting students.
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits discrimination based on sex in education programs or activities including academic, educational, extracurricular, athletic, and other programs or activities of schools. This prohibition includes discrimination against pregnant and parenting students.
Students may request reasonable accommodations as a result of pregnancy, childbirth, or related conditions.
Information for Students
Accommodation requests should be directed to the Office of Equity & Title IX. The Equity & Title IX Investigator will discuss the pregnant or parenting individual's needs and may ask for documentation that supports the requested accommodations.
A student who has a chronic medical condition as a result of a pregnancy should request accommodations from the Academic Support and Access Center.
Specific accommodations will vary from student to student. Examples of accommodations may include:
- a larger desk
- breaks during class, as needed
- permitting temporary access to elevators
- rescheduling tests or exams
- excusing absences due to pregnancy or related conditions
- submitting work after a deadline missed due to pregnancy or childbirth
- providing alternatives to make up missed work
- allowing excused absences for parenting students (both male and female) who need to take their children to medical appointments or to take care of their sick children
A pregnant student will be allowed to make up any work missed due to medically necessary absences for pregnancy. A student will be offered acceptable alternative arrangements to make up missed work. The student will not be required to complete make up work until the student's medically-necessary absences for pregnancy are completed.
Students are not required to inform faculty, staff or any member of the administration of their pregnancy or parenting status, unless they are seeking accommodations. The university wishes to create an environment that encourages voluntary sharing of this information, so that the university can provide support for the physical and mental health of the student.
Undergraduate Academic Regulations (leave of absence and other policies)
Graduate Academic Regulations (leave of absence and other policies)
Generation Hope is a nonprofit organization that helps DC-area teen parents graduate from college through one-on-one mentoring, up to $2,400/year in tuition assistance, and a network of support including crisis assistance, emergency funding, mental health support, career development, parenting support, and more! Generation Hope's application is open December 1 - April 1 of each year, and the program is open to current or former teen parents, currently age 25 or younger, who are attending college in the DC metro area. Feel free to contact Director of Programming Caroline Griswold Short at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-642-5649
Supporting the Academic Success of Pregnant and Parenting Students (pamphlet from the US Department of Education)
Pregnant and Parenting Students (National Women's Law Center)
If you have any questions regarding your rights as a pregnant or parenting student, please contact the Title IX Program Officer.
Information for faculty about student accomodations
Ask them if they need any accommodations, and if they have met with the Office of Equity & Title IX. If they have not, refer them to the Office of Equity & Title IX (email@example.com) for assistance.
We excuse all medically necessary absences for pregnancy, childbirth, false pregnancy, termination of pregnancy, or recovery. This includes doctor appointments. Via the Office of Equity & Title IX, faculty members should excuse those absences deemed medically necessary by the appropriate medical professional. Students should be referred to the Office of Equity & Title IX for the purpose of documenting medical needs.
Reasonable accommodations could be allowing frequent bathroom breaks, a larger desk or different chair if needed. The length of time needed for medically required absences can vary depending on the student's situation.
Reasonable accommodations for parenting students could include allowing students reasonable time for nursing and access to lactation rooms.
Faculty cannot ask for doctor’s notes. Please refer the student to the Office of Equity & Title IX office for documentation and support.
Requests from faculty should be directed to:
Office of the Dean of Faculty
Leonard Hall Lower Level
Requests from staff should be directed to:
Assistant Vice President of Human Resources
Suite 350, 3201 New Mexico Avenue, NW