Pregnant and Parenting Services

Pregnant and Parenting Services

South Texas College is committed to creating and maintaining an inclusive and accessible learning environment for all students. Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (“Title IX”), 20 U.S.C. §1681 et seq., is a Federal Civil Rights Law. Title IX prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex – including pregnancy, parenting and all related conditions – in educational programs and activities that receive federal funding. If you are a pregnant or parenting student, you have the right to stay in school so you can meet your education and career goals.

Pregnant and Parenting Student Protections under Title IX

Protection from Harassment and Discrimination Students are protected from harassment based on sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy or parental status. Harassing conduct can take many forms, including verbal acts and name-calling, graphic and written statements and other conduct that may be humiliating or physically threatening or harmful.

Specifically, Title IX prohibits discrimination against a student based on pregnancy, childbirth, false pregnancy, termination of pregnancy, or recovery from any of these conditions.

Right to Participate

Students must be allowed to participate in classes, school clubs, sports, honor societies, student leadership opportunities and other activities and not require students to submit a doctor’s note unless the school requires a doctor’s note from all students who have a physical or emotional condition requiring treatment by a doctor.

How to Make a Referral

View the Make a Referral Form.

Pregnant and Parenting Student Notification to Faculty

When a student self-identifies at the Office of Counseling and Disability Services as being pregnant with or without restrictions, our office sends an email to student’s instructors to inform them that the student is pregnant and/or parenting. The student will provide the faculty a Student Accommodation Memo if they have any academic accommodations or physical restrictions.

Pregnancy-Related Absences

Schools are required to excuse absences for students who are pregnant and parenting for as long as their doctor deems the absences to be medically necessary. The length of absence may vary depending on the high-risk pregnancy or childbirth, this includes but not limited to medical appointments. Under Title IX, Pregnancy and Parenting students cannot be penalized for the leave taken. The student will be placed in the same academic and extracurricular status they held before taking the leave. We encourage the student to schedule their doctor’s appointments outside of their school schedule. If you normally ask other students for doctor’s excuses for absences, you may also ask the pregnant student for a doctor’s excuse.

Make-Up Work for Pregnancy or Parenting Related Absences

In the event the student is absent from your class due to a doctor’s appointment pertaining to pregnancy or parenting, by law, the student must be allowed to make up any assignments or tests missed due to that doctor’s appointment. Schools are required to provide the student with the appropriate assignments and information to make up all of the work a student would have been required to complete for that semester. A school may offer the student alternatives to making up missed work, such as retaking a semester, taking part in an online course or allowing the student additional time in a program to continue at the same pace and finish at a later date, especially for longer periods of leave. Students must be provided with a “reasonable amount of time” to make up any work missed.

Can A Faculty Lower A Student’s Grade Because Of Classes Missed?

No. Our College requires for our faculty to provide the student the opportunity to earn back the credit from classes a student missed due to pregnancy or pregnancy related condition(s).

How Will Pregnant And Parenting Services Affect The Student’s Federal Funding?

If a student is receiving federal funding, the student is encouraged to meet with the Office of Student Financial Services to discuss how a change in registration could potentially affect their current and further financial aid eligibility.

Complaint Procedure

Students who have concerns about support on pregnancy related conditions are encouraged to meet with their assigned Counselor who provided the accommodations memo and voice their concerns with the accommodations they have been provided. If the student is not satisfied with the result, they may file a formal complaint.

If you feel discriminated against because you are pregnant or have a pregnancy related medical conditions, you may report the incident or complaint at

Harassment, Discrimination and Sexual Misconduct Procedures can be found at:

Title IX Coordinator

Todd C. Nelson, J.D.
Contracts & Regulatory Resources Officer-Title IX and 504 Coordinator
Phone: 956-872-4664

For Title IX information, visit the Title IX website at:

Liaison Officer for Pregnant and Parenting Students

Santa Elisa Peña, M. Ed., LPC-S
Director of Counseling and Student Accessibility Services
Counseling and Student Accessibility Services
Pecan Campus, K 2.900
McAllen, TX 78501
Phone: 956-872-2140

Formal Complaint Procedure Outside South Texas College

A student may file a formal complaint to the Office for Civil Rights – Dallas Office – U.S. Department of Education; 1999 Bryan Street, Suite 1620, Dallas, Texas 75201-6810; Telephone 214-661-9600; Fax 214-661-9587; TDD 800-877-8339; Email:


U.S. Department of Education, Know Your Rights

U.S. Department of Education, Dear Colleague Letter June 25, 2013

National Women’s Law Center, Education and Title IX

The Pregnant Scholar, The Internet's Primary Clearinghouse for All Things Title IX

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