You are here: American University Office of Equity and Title IX Pregnant and Parenting Students

Pregnant and Parenting Student Resources

American University is committed to creating a welcoming, accessible, and inclusive 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. 

Information for Students

Accommodation requests should be directed to the Title IX office. The Title IX Program Officer will discuss the pregnant or parenting individual's needs and may ask for documentation that supports the requested accommodations. 

A student who has a chronic medical condition as a result of a pregnancy should request accommodations from the Academic Support and Access Center.  

Specific accommodations will vary from student to student. Examples of accommodations may include:

  • a larger desk
  • breaks during class, as needed
  • permitting temporary access to elevators
  • rescheduling tests or exams
  • excusing absences due to pregnancy or related conditions
  • submitting work after a deadline missed due to pregnancy or childbirth
  • providing alternatives to make up missed work
  • allowing excused absences for parenting students (both male and female) who need to take their children to medical appointments or to take care of their sick children

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 make up work until the student's medically-necessary absences for pregnancy are completed.

Students are not required to inform faculty, staff or any member of the administration of their pregnancy or parenting status, unless they are seeking accommodations. The university wishes to create an environment that encourages voluntary sharing of this information, so that the university can provide support for the physical and mental health of the student.

AU Resources:

Lactation Rooms at AU

AU Child Development Center

WCL Parents Attending Law School

Student Health Insurance Plan

Counseling Center

Undergraduate Academic Regulations (leave of absence and other policies)

Graduate Academic Regulations (leave of absence and other policies)

Community Resources:

Generation Hope is a nonprofit organization that helps DC-area teen parents graduate from college through one-on-one mentoring, up to $2,400/year in tuition assistance, and a network of support including crisis assistance, emergency funding, mental health support, career development, parenting support, and more! Generation Hope's application is open December 1 - April 1 of each year, and the program is open to current or former teen parents, currently age 25 or younger, who are attending college in the DC metro area. Feel free to contact Director of Programming Caroline Griswold Short at caroline@supportgenerationhope.org or 202-642-5649

Supporting the Academic Success of Pregnant and Parenting Students (pamphlet from the US Department of Education)

Pregnant and Parenting Student-Athletes (NCAA)

Pregnant and Parenting Students (National Women's Law Center)

Pregnant on Campus Initiative

If you have any questions regarding your rights as a pregnant or parenting student, please contact the Title IX Program Officer.  

Information for faculty about student accomodations

Ask them if they need any accommodations, and if they have met with the Title IX Office. If they have not, refer them to the Title IX Office (titleix@american.edu) for assistance.

We excuse all medically necessary absences for pregnancy, childbirth, false pregnancy, termination of pregnancy, or recovery. This includes doctor appointments. Via the Title IX Office, faculty members should excuse those absences deemed medically necessary by the appropriate medical professional. Students should be referred to Title IX for the purpose of documenting medical needs.

Reasonable accommodations could be allowing frequent bathroom breaks, a larger desk or different chair if needed. The length of time needed for medically required absences can vary depending on the student's situation.

Reasonable accommodations for parenting students could include allowing students reasonable time for nursing and access to lactation rooms.

Faculty cannot ask for doctor’s notes. Please refer the student to the Title IX office for documentation and support.

Request from students (including WCL) should be directed to:
Title IX Program Officer
Butler Pavilion 4th Floor (Office of Campus Life suite)
202-885-3310
titleix@american.edu

Requests from faculty should be directed to:
Office of the Dean of Faculty
Leonard Hall Lower Level
202-885-2125
deanoffaculty@american.edu

Requests from staff should be directed to:
Assistant Vice President of Human Resources
Suite 350, 3201 New Mexico Avenue, NW
202-885-2591
employeerelations@american.edu