Pregnant and Parenting Students

Luther College is committed to creating a safe, supportive, and accessible environment for pregnant and parenting students. Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits discrimination based on sex in education programs or activities including academic, educational, extracurricular, athletic, and other programs or activities of schools. This prohibition includes discrimination against pregnant and parenting students. Students may request reasonable accommodations as a result of pregnancy, childbirth, or related conditions. (Employees should be in contact with the Director of Human Resources)

A student who foresees any educational interruptions related to a pregnancy or postpartum recovery is strongly encouraged to notify the Title IX Coordinator as soon as possible. By doing so, the student and College personnel can collaborate and develop an appropriate plan for the continuation of the student’s education. Pre-planning can also help with particular challenges a student may face while pregnant or when recovering from childbirth, (e.g., missed classes, make-up work, etc.). Please note, however, that the choice to inform the College of a pregnancy is voluntary, and a student is under no obligation to share this information with the College.

Students are not required to inform any member of the Luther community of their pregnancy or parenting status unless they are seeking accommodations. The College wishes to create an environment that encourages voluntary sharing of this information so that Luther can provide support for the physical and mental health of the student. Pregnant student-athletes (see below) are strongly encouraged to disclose their medical condition to their medical provider, athletic trainer, and coach.

For purposes of this policy, a parenting student is often mothers and fathers (or designated support person within reason).


Accommodation requests should be directed to the Title IX Coordinator. The Coordinator or member of the Title IX team will discuss the pregnant or parenting individual’s needs and may ask for documentation that supports the requested accommodations.
At times the Title IX Coordinator will need to consult and if necessary refer the student to the Director of Disability Services, for a student who has a chronic medical condition as a result of pregnancy or those experiencing short-term disability due to pregnancy.
Pregnant and parenting students are entitled to reasonable accommodations, such as but not limited to:

  • Faculty notification
  • Modifications in class schedule or section
  • Withdrawing from a course with record (curricular adjustment)
  • Flexibility for attendance due to circumstances directly related to prenatal care (documentation from a provider may be required demonstrating medical necessity such as bed rest)
  • Excused absences for prenatal appointments or *well-child checks
  • Excused absences for the rescheduling of an academic assignment or exam, or work-study should cover increased restroom breaks and/or lactation breaks
  • *Opportunity to make up any work missed with a reasonable timeline (may invoke incompletes)
  • Accessing academic support (e.g., tutoring)
  • Larger desk for pregnancy upon request
  • Access to an elevator in residential halls
  • Access to campus housing conducive to families with dependents
  • Accessibility temporary parking pass (required referral to Campus Safety Office)
  • Arranging for incompletes, personal leave of absence, or voluntary withdrawal from campus
  • Preserving eligibility for academic scholarships, music scholarships, financial aid awards, study abroad programs, and student visas
  • Ability to access independent tax status post birth (referral to Financial Aid)
  • A safe, private, and clean space for lactation needs with key (Valders)
  • Helping Services is available for family support and education (WIC, Hawki, child passenger safety, parental support)

To ensure a pregnant or parenting student’s access to the college’s educational programs, when necessary, instructors should make modifications to their course(s) that are reasonable and responsive to the student’s temporary pregnancy or parenting status. However, these modifications do not absolve a student’s academic responsibilities, nor should they infringe upon the integrity of the course itself. Pregnant or parenting students are held to the standard level of academic requirements and must meet the learning objectives that have been set for the course. Students must work with instructors to determine reasonable accommodations that will allow the student to achieve the set course learning outcomes.

*Make-Up Work – students returning to class must be allowed to return to the same academic status as before the medical leave began and given the opportunity to make up any work missed during the leave. This includes an opportunity to make up “class participation” points that the student missed by virtue of not being in class. Further, any deadlines that were missed during the leave must be extended to allow the submission of work. A pregnant student will be allowed to make up any work missed due to medically necessary absences for pregnancy. A student will be offered acceptable alternative arrangements to make up missed work. The student will not be required to complete makeup work until the student’s medically necessary absences for pregnancy are completed.

The College is not required to make modifications to the essential elements of any course or academic program or otherwise change educational or course requirements.

Pregnant Student-Athletes

The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology states that competitive athletes can remain active during pregnancy but may need to modify their activity as medically necessary and require close monitoring. Pregnant student-athletes are strongly encouraged to discuss a plan for participation created with input from medical providers, athletic trainers, and coaches. In this conversation, the student-athletes will be made aware of the potential risks of their particular sport and participation and should stop activity if warning signs or distress present and should follow physician recommendations. After delivery or termination of pregnancy, medical clearance is strongly recommended to ensure a student-athlete’s safe return to participation. Typically, recovery can take 4-12 weeks.
The athletics department does not cover pregnancy-related care. All costs related to pregnancy are the responsibility of the student-athlete. Pregnancy is considered a temporary medical condition and Bylaw in the NCAA Division III Manual states that member institutions may approve a one-year extension of the five-year period of eligibility for female student-athlete for reasons of pregnancy. Title IX Coordinator may need to consult or refer to the Athletics Senior Woman Administrator for such compliance requests.