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Resources & Support for Pregnant Students

Title IX prohibits discrimination against pregnant and parenting students and ensures reasonable modifications for students experiencing pregnancy, childbirth, medical conditions related to their pregnancy or termination of pregnancy, lactation, or recovery from these.  Pregnancy and related conditions are treated similarly as temporary disabilities, where the Title IX Coordinator verifies the medical needs of the student and works with the academic program or other university officials or offer reasonable modifications so the student can participate in their education. Sufficient medical information must be provided by a licensed healthcare provider to enable the Title IX Coordinator to reasonably determine the nature, date, time, and duration of any medically necessary functional pregnancy-related absence, need, or limitation.  

Documentation should be provided via the online verification form. It must be on the letterhead or the prescription pad of the licensed care provider and reflect the following:

  • Name and signature of licensed care provider
  • Name of student being seen by the care provider/requesting modification
  • Verification of pregnancy/parental status
  • Anticipated date of delivery (or date of procedure/termination)
  • Date of issuance of documentation
  • Medical necessity/relation to pregnancy: sufficient information to indicate why the absence, need, or limitation is both medically necessary for the student and relates to the pregnancy.
  • Nature of absence, medical need, or functional limitation(s): sufficient information to verify how the pregnancy or related condition prevents the student from fully participating in their education.
  • Date, time, and duration of absence or functional limitation due to the medically necessary pregnancy-related condition.
  • Modifications requested: the nature of the modifications or accommodations being requested by the student to be able to participate in their education.
This documentation can be updated at any time as the circumstances related to the pregnancy or delivery may change. Students seeking a leave of absence can provide medical documentation to their program directly as part of the leave of absence supporting documentation, or they may provide it to the Title IX office who can then provide a verification letter for the student to use as their supporting documentation for the leave.  
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 you may need to sign a release with your healthcare provider so the Title IX Coordinator can get sufficient information to verify your medical needs. 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 if they have medically necessary absences to receive verification. This can include doctor appointments, if the medical provider provides documentation reflecting that the student's absence is medically necessary for particular dates/times.

Yes, if the appointment is medically necessary at that date/time 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 based on the medical necessity. 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. 
  1. You provide documentation from your healthcare provider to the Title IX Coordinator that confirms the pregnancy and documents any medically necessary needs for the modification(s). The documentation should be submitted via this online form, and can be updated at any time if your situation changes. If you have a desired modification, you should include that. The documentation must be sufficient enough to allow Title IX staff to reasonably understand the nature, date, time, and duration of any medically necessary needs related to pregnancy or related conditions.
  2. In some situations, more information may be needed from your healthcare provider to understand your medical needs and the modifications that may be reasonable for your situation, in which case you will need to sign a patient release form with your healthcare provider.
  3. The Title IX Coordinator will review the documentation and, if the medical documentation is sufficient, provide you with a written notice verifying the necessary modifications or accommodations. Title IX staff may consult with your healthcare provider, members of your academic program, Student Disability Services, and you as part of this individualized process. This process usually takes a few business days but may take up to two weeks.
  4. The Title IX Coordinator will provide you (and often your program director or academic program contact) with a letter outlining the modifications needed that you can discuss with your academic program leadership to determine a plan of action. The letter does not contain details about your physical or medical condition, other than information needed to provide the modification or accommodation.
  5. Your academic program official(s) reviews the modifications and provides you options for completing your academic requirements. If there is more than one option, it is your choice which to pursue. If you cannot reach agreement or if either of you have any questions, you can reach out to the Title IX Coordinator. 

 

Pregnant/parenting 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 or taking a leave. 
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, must be within a certain radius of the hospital at a given time, or must complete a rotation before being able to advance to the next one.  In many cases, alternative placements may be found, but in some cases alternative sites may not be available that fit within the student's medical needs. 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. Depending on the nature of the course requirements, documentation may need to reflect that the student was not able to access a computer or log on during a particular period of time.
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.
Title IX protects students for what is medically necessary related to pregnancy, childbirth, conditions that develop related to pregnancy, and recovery from these. Lactation is also covered under Title IX. Childcare, baby-bonding, and caring for a spouse are not typically protected under Title IX. 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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