Pregnant & Parenting Students


Pregnant & Parenting Students

SMC is committed to creating and maintaining a non-discriminatory learning environment for all students, including students who are pregnant and/or parenting. This includes pregnancy, childbirth, termination of pregnancy, lactation, related conditions, and recovery.


Reasonable Modifications

Reasonable modifications to an education program or activity may include, but are not limited to:

  • Breaks during class to express milk, lactate, or attend to health needs associated with pregnancy or related conditions, including eating, drinking, or using the restroom;
  • Intermittent absences to attend medical appointments;
  • Access to online or homebound education;
  • Changes in schedule or course sequence;
  • Extensions of time for coursework and rescheduling of tests and examinations;
  • Allowing a student to sit or stand, or carry or keep water nearby;
  • Counseling;
  • Changes in physical space or supplies (e.g., access to a table or larger desk or a footrest);
  • Elevator access;
  • Other changes to policies, practices, or procedures;
  • Voluntary leaves of absences;
  • Voluntary access to separate and comparable portions of a program.

Each reasonable modification will be based on the student's individualized needs following consultation with the student. Collaboration with academic departments/programs, faculty, student services supports, and other campus entities may be needed to assess availability and reasonableness.

For further information, to consult on needs, and request reasonable modifications, please contact the Title IX Coordinator:

Jess Varga - : 925-631-4055 : Ferroggiaro 200B

Frequently Asked Questions

The Title IX regulations define "based on pregnancy or related conditions" to include:

  • pregnancy
  • childbirth
  • termination of pregnancy
  • lactation
  • related medical conditions (to pregnancy and/or childbirth)
  • recovery

Parental status includes adoptive parents, stepparents, or legal guardians. The birthing and non-birthing biological parents are also included in this status.

No. Title IX prohibits a school from requiring a student who is pregnant to take a leave of absence, or have to take an alternative program due to their pregnancy or related condition status. 

Voluntary leaves of absence are available for, at minimum, the medically necessary time period and reinstatement upon return. Reinstatement is to the same academic and activity status as when the leave was taken. However, this may mean needing to wait for a new term/semester or course offering to be available depending on schedule, amount of time away, number of absences in relation to curricular requirements.

When absences within a term/semester fundamentally alter curricular requirements, the choice for a leave is available, however, if denied by the student, they may experience barriers to success in a course - but reasonable modifications can still be implemented to avoid as much impact as possible.

These options and discussion about the impact to course success, degree completion timeline, and other concerns will be had with the student and Title IX Coordinator.

Generally speaking, yes. 

After confirming which modifications are being requested, the Title IX Coordinator will work with the faculty/academic department or program, to discuss the reasonable alternative(s) under Title IX that still maintain the academic integrity of the assignment/course. Alternatives may include, but are not limited to, opportunities to make up the work, retake quizzes, have additional time to complete assignments, virtual participation in a course, utilize the incomplete process, retake the course at a future date, etc. All available options will be provided to the student to accept or deny. 

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 consider a leave of absence instead of being able to make up the work. This will be assessed in the modification development process and options presented to the student to accept or deny the available reasonable modifications.

If you feel your faculty are not giving you appropriate options, are not implementing the approved modifications, or you are experiencing other challenges related to your modifications - contact the Title IX Coordinator as soon as possible. There will be as must proactive work done as possible to arrange for and communicate modifications, however, we also know there are times when we cannot accommodate an unknown or emergent circumstance, so please update the Title IX Coordinator when needs change or challenges arise that the school can address.

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 with the student's medical needs. Students are encouraged to contact their clinical director/coordinator and the Title IX Coordinator proactively to plan for rotations and clinical sites, given the complexity of scheduling these.

Pregnant/parenting students still need to follow the requirements for any scholarships or other forms of financial aid. If you have a scholarship or financial aid, you should speak with your advisor or the Financial Aid Office prior to making decisions about enrollment or taking a leave of absence.

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 Student Disability Services.

First and foremost, please take care of yourself, your health, and your medical needs! 

When you are able, communicate directly with your faculty and/or program director, as well as the Title IX Coordinator. You are not required to disclose medical-related details if you do not wish. If certain information is needed to evaluate a modification or support request, we will ask at that time. In the meantime, reasonable efforts will be taken to preserve your academic participation.

You may have another person communicate any emergency situations or absences, however, unless we have a Release of Information for that person, the Title IX Coordinator will only being to intake information from them and will not share any personal educational records or information to that person.

Students who are not the birthing parent can consult with the Title IX Coordinator to discuss support available, such as absences to attend medical appointments. The Title IX Coordinator can help communicate with faculty and campus offices/programs to request absence forgiveness or extensions for assignments/tests, or other options, to best support a non-birthing parent student during the time of their partners' pregnancy, childbirth, or related condition(s).