Pregnancy & Parenting Student Statement

California Lutheran University is committed to creating and maintaining a community where all individuals enjoy freedom from discrimination, including discrimination on the basis of sex, as mandated by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX). Sex discrimination, which can include discrimination based on pregnancy, marital status, or parental status, is prohibited and illegal in admissions, educational programs and activities, hiring, leave policies, employment policies, and health insurance coverage. California Lutheran University hereby establishes a policy and associated procedures for ensuring the protection  and  equal  treatment  of  pregnant  individuals,  persons  with  pregnancy-­‐ related conditions, and new parents.

Under the Department of Education’s (DOE) Title IX regulations, an institution that receives federal funding “shall not discriminate against any student, or exclude any student from its education program or activity, including any class or extracurricular activity, on the basis of such student’s pregnancy, childbirth, false pregnancy, termination of pregnancy, or recovery therefrom.” According to the DOE, appropriate treatment of a pregnant student includes granting the student leave “for so long a period of time as is deemed medically necessary by the student’s physician,” and then effectively reinstating the student to the same status as was held when the leave began.

This generally means that pregnant students should be treated by California Lutheran University the same way as someone who has a temporary disability and will be given an opportunity to make up missed work wherever possible. Extended deadlines, make-up assignments (e.g., papers, quizzes, tests, and presentations), tutoring, independent study, online course completion options, and incomplete grades that can be completed at a later date, should all be employed, in addition to any other ergonomic and assistive supports typically provided by Disability Services. To the extent possible, California Lutheran University will take reasonable steps to ensure that pregnant students who take a leave of absence or medical leave return to the same position of academic progress that they were in when they took leave, including access to the same course catalog that was in place when the leave began.

As with disability accommodations, information about pregnant students’ requests for accommodations will be shared with faculty and staff only to the extent necessary to provide the reasonable accommodation. Faculty and staff will regard all information associated with such requests as private and will not disclose this information unless necessary.

In situations such as clinical rotations, performances, labs, and group work, the institution will work with the student to devise an alternative path to completion, if possible. In progressive curricular and/or cohort-­‐model programs, medically necessary leaves are sufficient cause to permit the student to shift course order, substitute similar courses, or join a subsequent cohort when returning from leave.

Students are encouraged to work with their faculty members and California Lutheran University’s support systems to devise a plan for how to best address the conditions as pregnancy progresses, anticipate the need for leaves, minimize the academic impact of their absence, and get back on track as efficiently and comfortably as possible. The Title IX Coordinator will assist with plan development and implementation as needed.