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Title IX - Pregnant Students

Did you know that 61% of women who have a child while attending a community college do not complete their education?

We are here to support you and help you complete your education!

Protected conditions

Title IX pregnant and parenting rights and accommodations apply to students who:

  • are pregnant or experience a false pregnancy
  • have a child or adopt a child
  • terminate a pregnancy
  • have a miscarriage

These conditions are what are considered “pregnancy” under Title IX.

Under Title IX, “parenting” does not refer to childcare issues, bonding time or similar parenting situations or challenges. What it means in the context of Title IX is the medical recovery from the above noted conditions. Though not required by law, Gateway’s has extended these rights to your child as well, up to three months of age. That means that the same rights and accommodations apply to students whose child has medical complications after birth.

Your rights

Schools are required to provide pregnant students, and students with related conditions such as childbirth, or false pregnancy, with at least the same special services as it provides to students with other temporary conditions.

Students who are pregnant or parenting have the right to:

  • Not be told to drop out or change education plans
  • Be provided a comfortable space to pump milk*
  • Be excused from class due to pregnancy-related appointments (pre-natal, give birth, have an abortion, attend a pre-natal visit, or be on doctor ordered bed rest)
  • Not have excused absences count against their grade
  • Be provided the opportunity to make up missed work from excused absences
  • Not be harassed as a result of a pregnancy

Contact Disability Support Services for access to the family rooms or other suitable location to pump milk in private. Under Wisconsin law, women may breastfeed their child in any area where the general public is allowed to go. Learn more information on your rights to breastfeed in public.

What about fathers?

As Title IX is a federal law that prohibits discrimination based on sex, some of the same protections and accommodations apply to fathers as well. In some situations, fathers will not receive the same accommodations due to the nature of pregnancy and recovery. For example, a mother could receive a medical excuse from school for several weeks after birth to physically recover from the birthing event. Fathers would not be eligible for the same accommodation.

The accommodation process

  • Students who are pregnant are encouraged, but not required, to contact Disability Support Services (DSS) early in their pregnancy. All students who need an accommodation must contact DSS right away to fully preserve their accommodation rights. Accommodations are only made once the student has completed the required paperwork with DSS
  • The DSS instructor will guide the student in obtaining the appropriate medical documentation of their condition and the medical basis for accommodation. Accommodations are implemented based on what is determined by the medical provider.
  • The DSS instructor will work with the student and his/her instructors to implement the accommodations.

The student is ultimately responsible for obtaining the appropriate medical documentation. Your DSS instructor will help guide you through the process and answer all of your questions.

Whom to contact

If you experience discrimination because of your pregnancy status, please contact the Office for Equal Opportunity and Civil Rights at 262-564-3062.

If you need accommodations relating to pregnant or parenting status, contact Disability Support Services at:


Beth Mulhollon

Sue Stokes-Nelson

Students can have medical documentation relating to their pregnancy or related event faxed confidentially to 262-564-2888.