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Resources & Support for Pregnant Students

Title IX is a federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination in the university setting on the basis of sex, which includes protections for students who are pregnant or may become pregnant while at NSU. Essentially, Title IX ensures that pregnant/parenting students are not treated differently than other students because of the pregnancy.  The Title IX Coordinator can assist with ensuring appropriate accommodations are in place when there is a medical necessity documented by a medical provider. 

Students can provide documentation from their medical provider to the Title IX Coordinator who will review the documentation and then provide a letter outlining the necessary measures to accommodate the student. The student can share that letter with their faculty to discuss options for completing coursework. The faculty member/academic department may determine what options are available to complete the academic requirements. Depending on the course requirements, this can involve measures such as rescheduling exams, extending due dates, or requiring alternate assignments. In other situations, the course may be taken at a later date or the student may take a leave of absence, returning to the program where they left off. For example, some programs require in-person instruction as a part of their accreditation which means the course may need to be taken at a later date if the student is not able to participate in person in a specific semester. 

The Title IX Coordinator may consult with the Office of Student Disability Services as well as the academic department when reviewing documentation and determining options available to the student. Letters from medical providers should include the following: 

  • Name of student
  • Medical provider's contact information
  • Anticipated date of delivery
  • Any medically necessary restrictions, such as bedrest, a requirement to be within a certain mile radius of the hospital, on-going appointments, etc. 
  • Dates of appointments or hospitalizations (if absences need to be excused)
  • Duration of the medical need or anticipated end date

This documentation can be updated at any time as the circumstances related to the pregnancy or delivery may change. Students who are not the birthing parent can also provide documentation of the actual or anticipated delivery date to receive verification for an excused absence. If there are medical issues that persist beyond the delivery, students may be referred to Disability Services for long-term accommodations. 

 

You can schedule an appointment with a member of the Title IX staff to discuss specific concerns, or you can provide documentation directly from your medical provider to the Title IX Coordinator. Once you provide this information, the Title IX Coordinator will review it. Sometimes your verification letter can be provided based on the initial information from your medical provider, other times there may need to be additional conversation or documentation provided. Once you receive your verification letter, you can share it with your faculty to discuss your academic needs.
Students who are not the birthing parent can also provide documentation of the actual or anticipated delivery date to receive verification for an excused absence. This can also include any doctor appointments, if the medical provider documents that you attended an appointment on a specific date/time.

Yes, you can do this two ways. You can either provide the documentation from the medical provider to the Title IX Coordinator who can verify your absence should be excused. Also, as NSU offers a process where students can submit verification of an absence for a variety of reasons (such as doctors’ appointments, surgery, car accident, etc.) to the Office of Student Disability Services, to provide  documentation from your medical care provider and they will verify the absence for instructors.  For more information, contact:

Student Disability Services
Email: disabilityservices@nova.edu   
Phone: (954) 262-7185
Fax: (954) 262-1390

You are not required to share any medical information directly with your professors. You can provide the medical documentation to the Title IX Coordinator who will then describe in a letter what accommodations are needed. Any medical diagnosis or details is not disclosed, except to the extent that information is needed to implement the accommodations. For example, if you are on bedrest for a period of time and can only participate virtually in classes, that virtual participation will be disclosed but not the underlying reason for the bedrest. You will need to communicate with your professors about the academic needs you may have and the alternatives they identify for you.

You should submit documentation to titleIX@nova.edu from your physician that documents your condition(s). This should include:

  • Your name
  • Medical provider's name and contact information
  • Anticipated date of delivery
  • Any medically necessary restrictions, such as bedrest, a requirement to be within a certain mile radius of the hospital, on-going appointments, etc. 
  • Dates of appointments or hospitalizations (if absences need to be excused)
  • Duration of the medical need or anticipated end date
It is helpful but not required to sign a release with your medical provider so that the Title IX Coordinator can contact them directly with any questions.
Pregnant students still need to follow the requirements for any scholarships or other forms of financial aid. If you have scholarships or financial aid, you should speak with your advisor or the financial aid office prior to making decisions about your enrollment.
Students have the right to a clean and private space, not a bathroom, for lactation. For HPD students, 1307A in the Terry Building has been designated for this use. This room is locked when not in use. To schedule the room or obtain the key, please contact Dr. Marie Joseph (josephb@nova.edu) or Ms. Samantha Blythe (sblythe@nova.edu) or stop by suite 1500 on the 5th Floor of the Terry Building.  The Tampa Bay Regional Campus also has a designated lactation room. In other areas of campus as well as the regional campuses, there are rooms that can be utilized based on need. Students can contact the Title IX Coordinator, or their student affairs contacts within their campus or program.

Generally speaking, yes. Following verification of submitted medical documentation, the Title IX Coordinator will provide a letter to the student verifying the date(s) and/or coursework excused due to pregnancy. The student can show this letter to the faculty/academic department, who should offer reasonable alternative(s) under Title IX that still maintain the academic integrity of the assignment/course.  These alternatives can include opportunities to make up the work, retake quizzes, have additional time to complete assignments, virtual participation in a course, utilize the incomplete process, re-take the course at a future date, etc. If faculty determine that there is more than one alternative available for a particular item, it will be the student’s choice as to how to complete that. The student and/or faculty can contact the Title IX Coordinator with any questions about such alternatives. 

However, there may be times where a course requires in person attendance or activities such as lab classes or rotations. Some circumstances warrant that a student take a leave instead of being able to make up the work. Individual students can speak with the Title IX Coordinator and/or their program advisor for more information. 

Many pregnant students continue in their off-site rotations and clinical assignments during pregnancy. However there are some situations which may require an adjustment. For example. a rotation where a pregnant student may not be able to be exposed to radiation or a pregnant student who must be within a certain radius of the hospital at a given time. Students are encouraged to contact the Title IX Coordinator and/or their clinical director proactively to plan for rotations and clinical sites, given the complexity of scheduling those.
Students in online programs follow the same process as others. The documentation can be provided to help reschedule exams during delivery, excuse absences, etc.
Once you have provided your medical documentation and received the verification letter from the Title IX Coordinator, you and your professor should discuss the academic accommodations. Your faculty may wish to give you alternate assignments or exams to preserve the integrity of the academic work. However, if you feel your faculty are not giving you appropriate options, you can contact the Title IX Coordinator directly. It is important that your medical documentation be accurate to ensure you have the appropriate accommodations.
You can provide updated documentation to the Title IX Coordinator at any time and your verification letter may be updated.
For any documentable appointment, you can receive an excused absence. It is ideal for you to plan around classes but these appointments will be verified by the Title IX Coordinator as well.
Title IX protects students for what is medically necessary related to pregnancy and the delivery, as well as post-delivery issues such as being able to take breaks to pump breastmilk, any medically necessary recovery, and any post-delivery medical procedures arising from the birth. If long-term conditions develop such as postpartum depression or permanent medical issues, you may apply for accommodations through the Office for Student Disability Services.
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