Policy Manual

Pregnant and Parenting Student Policy

Policy Statement:

All members of the Georgia College community shall adhere to all applicable laws, policies, and procedures, including those enacted to ensure proper action against all forms of misconduct. This Policy addresses the accommodations provided to pregnant and parenting students.


The following definitions apply to the terms as used in this Policy:

Disabled Individual

The ADAA defines a disabled individual as:

"Any individual who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities…" Examples of major life activities include caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, breathing, learning, and reproducing.

"Any individual who has a record of such an impairment…" Examples of this application includes persons in remission from cancer or individuals who received special education services while in public school.  Although the disability may not be visible, there is a record or history of having a particular disability.

"Any individual who is regarded as having such an impairment." In this case, the individual does not have a documented disability but is perceived as having one.

Medically Necessary

A covered health service or treatment that is mandatory to protect and enhance the health status of a patient, and could adversely affect the patient’s condition if omitted, in accordance with accepted standards of medical practice.

Pregnancy-Related Conditions

Conditions that include the mother’s health, the baby’s health, or both. This can include medical appointments, childbirth, or necessary bed rest.


Parenting Student

Any enrolled student of the University, with no exception of gender, who has a child, or is expecting a child.

Non-Birth Parent

Spouses or partners of individuals anticipating or recently experiencing the birth of a child; parents who have adopted a child; foster parents; parents by means of surrogacy.











Reason for the Policy:

Georgia College’s goal of a diverse and inclusive environment includes a commitment to maintain an environment that is safe and free from prohibited discrimination, harassment, and all other forms of misconduct and/or inappropriate behavior. The University has adopted policies in support of this goal and complies with all applicable federal, state, and local laws.

Discriminatory behavior undermines the Georgia College mission and commitment to inclusiveness by threatening the careers, educational experience, and well-being of those associated with the University. Accordingly, this Policy seeks to inform the University community about the University policy applicable to pregnant and parenting students.

Proposed Outcome:

The goal of this policy is to inform the pregnant and parenting student members of the University community of the accommodations provided to them by Georgia College and the local, federal and state law. This policy allows the University to eliminate discrimination in the educational environment in terms of pregnancy and parenting. This policy will comply with applicable federal and/or state laws, as well as Board of Regents and/or University policies.  The University recognizes that pregnancy, in and of itself, is not a disability.

Applicability of the Policy:

This Policy applies to all members of the Georgia College community, including but not limited to faculty, staff, students, volunteers, visitors, vendors, and invited guests.

Related Policies:

Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment - NDAH –Policy

Sexual Misconduct Policy


  1. A student who is, or becomes, pregnant is strongly encouraged to notify their faculty, and support personnel in the Dean of Students Office and/or Disability Services as soon as possible.By doing so, the student and the University can collaborate and develop an appropriate plan for the continuation of the student’s educational progression, as well as particular challenges the student may face while pregnant or recovering from childbirth (e.g. missed classes, make-up work, etc.).
    1. However, the choice to declare a pregnancy is voluntary, and a student is not required to disclose this information to the University.
      1. The University is not responsible for accommodations or considerations when disclosure was not provided according to this Policy.


  2. Pregnant students may attend classes and participate in all educational activities until such time as they may choose to request a medical withdrawal from the University. Reasonable accommodations will be granted when necessary to enable the student to complete coursework, research, and other educational and extracurricular activities. The University is not responsible or liable for any conditions developed due to a student’s decision to remain in course or activities during or after pregnancy.


  3. As with all accommodation requests for temporary conditions, the student will be required to provide documentation of the pregnancy or related medical condition to the Disability Resource Center. The Disability Resource Center will determine such accommodations are necessary and appropriate, and will inform the faculty member of the need to adjust academic parameters accordingly, in coordination with the Title IX Coordinator and Dean of Students.


  4. After the pregnant or parenting student provides the necessary paperwork from a medical professional, the University will provide them the following accommodations, if applicable to their situation:
    1. Allow opportunities to make up missed work, extend deadlines, and earn credit for tests, assignments, participation and attendance.
    2. Access to the same accommodation services that are provided to any student with a temporary medical condition must be available to students who are pregnant, experiencing pregnancy-related issues, childbirth, or recovery from childbirth.
    3. Allowing a pregnant student to maintain a safe distance from hazardous substances.
    4. Modifications to the physical environment such as accessible seating or elevator access.
    5. Allowing breastfeeding students reasonable time and space to pump breast milk in lactation rooms. Lactation locations are available on the third floor of Beeson Hall and the first floor of MSU (inside the women’s restroom). There is also a multipurpose space in Blackbridge that can be used as a lactation room.


  5. The procedure for withdrawing from the university is outlined under the Withdrawal Procedure on the Registrar’s office website. The request for a medical withdrawal should include a letter from the student's medical care provider detailing the diagnosis, date of onset, dates of consultations, and verifying that this condition would have affected the ability of the student to attend classes and complete academic coursework.   The request should also include a statement from the student that includes the last date he or she attended classes.  This request should be made using a petition form, and must be approved by the student's advisor, department chair, dean, and Registrar.
    1. Any student returning from a leave for pregnancy or birth of a child is entitled to return to the same academic program and same standing in the University with no loss of standing, credit, progress, grade point average, or other rights or privileges unless otherwise expressed in the program guidelines, such as course availability in a cohort program. The University will take reasonable steps to ensure that an enrolled student at any level (certificate, undergraduate, graduate) who was in good academic standing prior to the leave of absence shall return to good academic standing in their program or course of study, as long as the duration of their leave is consistent with this policy and the policies of the University.
    2. There is no requirement to provide any documentation prior to returning from a leave. If the student will require accommodations upon return from the leave, they must notify Disability Services of their pending return to initiate this process.
    3. If a student does not return from the medical withdrawal or withdrawal for the semester immediately following the end of their approved leave, the student must submit a readmission application with the Office of Admissions by the established admissions deadlines.
    4. The time to degree requirement for a student who has taken a leave of absence for pregnancy or birth of a child will be extended for a period of time equal to the length of the leave of absence, unless a longer extension is medically necessary. For the non-birth parent, the time to degree must be extended at least one month, unless a longer period or extension is medically necessary to care for the student’s partner or their child. It is the responsibility of the student to track their academic progression.Coursework expires ten years after completion for undergraduates (with the exception of the core) and seven for graduate students.


Failure to comply with the requirements of this policy may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination or expulsion in accordance with relevant University policies and may result in prosecution in accordance with state and federal law.

Creation Date:  November 2019

Revision Date:  March 2020

Next Review Date:  March 2022

Responsible Department:  Legal Affairs

Cabinet Approval Date: April 7, 2020

Effective Date: April 7, 2020v