Pregnancy and Parenting
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (“Title IX”) is a Federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, including pregnancy and parental status, in educational programs and activities.
We care about your success! Students are not required to inform faculty, staff, or other employees of their pregnancy or related conditions. However, to receive approval of an accommodation/modification, the student will need to inform an HCC official with authority to evaluate and approve the request. To ensure timely processing of requests, students are encouraged to seek assistance as soon as they realize that they will need an accommodation.
HCC provides reasonable accommodations to students who are pregnant or have pregnancy related conditions. Accommodations can assist the student with on-going support and/or need-based support. Examples of accommodations can include but are not limited to a larger desk, option to make up a missed exam, restroom breaks, and other reasonable accommodations because of your pregnancy. Accommodations can be approved for pre-natal doctor appointments, childbirth, false pregnancy, miscarriage, any other pregnancy related health issues and/or recovery from any of these conditions.
As part of our supportive measures, HCC provides reasonable accommodations to parenting students. Support is available to students who are becoming parents through childbirth, adoption, kinship placement, and/or foster care placement, and may be approved to support ongoing and/or changing needs. Reasonable accommodations may include, but are not limited to express room breaks, flexible attendance to attend doctor appointments, early access to and/or extension of assignments or exam dates, or an Incomplete.
Requesting and Receiving Services
The Counseling and Abilities Services Department can assist you with getting accommodations during pregnancy, post pregnancy, and for parenting. Requesting accommodations early will help with preparation and planning for your success. The process for obtaining reasonable accommodations is an interactive one that begins with the student’s disclosure of their needs. To request and receive accommodations, please follow the process below.
- The student starts the process by contacting an Abilities Services Counselor at their preferred campus. Students taking online classes can contact any of the Ability Services Counselors to request reasonable accommodations.
- The student has the responsibility of providing Ability Services with the appropriate documentation from a qualified physician or clinician. Student provides the Counselor with appropriate documentation from the treating medical provider to include their due date, any restrictions, and any other pertinent information. For adoption or foster care placement, letters from the placement agency, overseeing organization, etc. would be helpful to provide.
- The student schedules an intake interview with Counselor that can be done in person, WebEx or by phone.
- The Counselor works with the student to evaluate needed Title IX accommodations.
- The Counselor communicates with faculty the approved accommodations, and assists with implementation and questions related to extensions, approved time out of classes, and returning to classes.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. May HCC require a pregnant student to obtain a doctor's permission before allowing her to attend school late in her pregnancy if the school is worried about the student's health or safety?
A. No. Schools cannot require a pregnant student to produce a doctor's note in order to stay in school or participate in activities, including interscholastic sports, unless the same requirement to obtain a doctor's note applies to all students being treated by a doctor.
Q. May HCC require a pregnant student to participate in a separate program for pregnant students?
A. No. Any such requirement would violate Title IX. HCC may offer separate programs for a pregnant student, but participation in those programs must be completely voluntary. A pregnant student must be allowed to remain in her regular classes and school if she so chooses.
Q. Does a school have to excuse a student's absences due to pregnancy or childbirth?
Yes. Title IX requires a school to excuse a student's absences due to pregnancy or related conditions, including recovery from childbirth, for as long as the student's doctor deems the absences to be medically necessary.
Q. In addition to allowing a pregnant student to attend classes, does HCC need to allow her to participate in school clubs, class activities, interscholastic sports, and other school-sponsored organizations?
Yes. 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, homecoming court, or interscholastic sports.
Q. Can harassing a student because of pregnancy violate Title IX?
Yes. Title IX prohibits harassment of students based on sex, including harassment because of pregnancy or related conditions. Harassing conduct can take many forms, including verbal acts and name-calling, graphic and written statements, and other conduct that may be humiliating or physically threatening or harmful.
Q. Does HCC need to provide special services to a pregnant student?
Yes. Title IX requires a school to provide the same special services to a pregnant student that it provides to students with temporary medical conditions.
Q. What if some teachers at a school have their own policies about class attendance and make-up work?
Every school that receives federal financial assistance is bound by Title IX. Schools must ensure that the policies and practices of individual teachers do not discriminate against pregnant students.
Q. What types of assistance must a school provide to a pregnant student at school?
To ensure a pregnant student's access to the regular classes, when necessary, a school must make adjustments to the regular program that are reasonable and responsive to the student's temporary pregnancy status. For example, a school might provide a larger desk, allow frequent trips to the bathroom, or permit temporary access to elevators.
Nursing Parent Information
The terms “breastfeeding students,” “nursing students,” and “lactating students” are used interchangeably and are intended to include any student who expresses milk for the nourishment of their child.
Need an Express Break?
Students will make reasonable efforts to pump between classes or outside of instruction time.
Students who need to use the nursing room during a portion of their class period should contact the Abilities Services Office to set up accommodations.
Instructors and students shall work together to identify solutions for making up in-class work or participation credits, as well as instruction missed.
Click here to access the Nursing Parents Express/Medical Privacy Rooms information.
File a Complaint
A student who has been denied accommodations or subjected to harassment or discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, pregnancy-related condition, or parenting status may file a complaint. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies.
Osvaldo Gomez, MSW
3100 Main Street, 7th Floor
Houston, TX 77002
713.718.8636 or firstname.lastname@example.org