The University of Tennessee at Martin (the “University”) is committed to fostering a safe and non-discriminatory learning environment for students. The purpose of this policy is to ensure the University complies with the requirements of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which prohibits discrimination against students on the basis of sex, including pregnancy in education programs or activities.
Scope and Definitions
This Policy applies to all aspects of the University’s education programs and activities and applies to University of Tennessee at Martin faculty, staff, and students participating in a University of Tennessee at Martin educational program or activity.
“Pregnancy” as used in this Policy is consistent with Title IX and encompasses pregnancy, childbirth, false pregnancy, termination of pregnancy, or recovery from any of these conditions.
Discrimination against any student, or the exclusion of any student from participation in any part of a university education program or activity, on the basis of a student’s pregnancy, as defined above is prohibited. (revise) These education programs and activities include, but are not limited to, classes, extracurricular activities, athletic programs, internships, fellowships, clinics, and labs.
Excused absences and Medical Leave
- The University will not require a student to limit the student’s studies as a result of pregnancy.
- A student’s absences due to pregnancy, will be excused regardless of the individual faculty member’s absence policies, for as long as the student’s physician deems the absences medically necessary.
- Upon the conclusion of a medically necessary leave related to pregnancy, a student must be allowed to return to the same academic and extracurricular status as the student had prior to leave.
- A student who had an absence under this policy must be allowed the opportunity to make up any missed course work due to medically necessary absences. The student will be offered acceptable alternative arrangements to make up missed work. Examples of acceptable alternative arrangements include, but are not limited to, retaking a semester, taking part in an online courses, when available, or allowing the student additional time in a program to continue at the same pace and finish at a later date. The student will be allowed to choose how to make up the work. An interactive process between the student, Title IX Coordinator, and relevant department chair will be used to create a continuing education plan.
- If any part of a student’s grade is based on in-class participation, a student will be allowed to make up the participation points for any time missed due to medically necessary absences.
Participation in Education Program and Activities
- The University will make reasonable adjustments to its educational programs, when necessary, that are responsive to a student’s needs under this policy.
- The University will make available the same supportive services to a student on the basis of pregnancy that it makes available to students with temporary medical conditions.
- Students who are covered under this policy will not be required to obtain certification of a physician that they are able to participate in an educational program or activity unless certification is required of all students.
- The University may provide pregnant students with information or instructions of any health risks of participating in an educational program or activity, only if a description of those risks will also be provided to all students.
Requests for Accommodations
Disclosure of pregnancy is voluntary, and it is the student’s choice to disclose and affirmatively seek necessary accommodations and adjustments. Upon receipt of a student’s request for accommodations and adjustments, the University will collaborate with the student to develop an appropriate plan for continuation of the student’s education.
- A student seeking accommodations or adjustments because of pregnancy should contact the Office of Equity and Diversity at 731.881.3505.
- If a student is requesting to be absent beyond applicable absence policies, the Title IX Coordinator will request a letter from the student’s physician providing dates on which the student’s attendance must be excused and a statement that the absences are medically necessary.
- The Title IX Coordinator will work with the student and any faculty members to create a plan for completion of coursework and continuation of the student’s education. The Title IX Coordinator, student and any faculty members will work together to adjust such plans as circumstances change.
A person may report any violation of this policy to the Title IX Coordinator at 731.881.3505.
This policy is based on the requirements set forth in the following publication: U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights. (2013, June). Supporting the Academic Success of Pregnant and Preparing Students under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. As of the date of this Policy, retrieved from http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/pregnancy.pdf.