Earning a degree can be difficult when raising a child at the same time. The Women*s Center, GIESORC, and the President's Commission on the Status of Women are working on resources for students that have families.
The following is a list of resources that student parents may find useful:
Your Rights as a Pregnant and/or Parenting Student
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is a federal law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, including pregnancy and parental status, in educational programs and activities. Washington State University must comply with Title IX in order to receive federal funding.
Classes and School Activities (be required to):
- Allow you to continue participating in classes and extracurricular activities. This includes programs such as honors societies, Registered Student Organizations, and sports teams.
- Allow you to choose whether you want to participate in special instructional programs or classes for pregnant students. You can participate if you want to but WSU cannot pressure you into it.
- Allow you to participate in classes and extracurricular activities without requiring you to submit a doctor's note unless a doctor's note is required from all students who have a physical or emotional condition requiring treatment by a doctor. WSU also must not require a doctor's note after hospitalization for childbirth unless a doctor's note is required from all students who have been hospitalized for other conditions.
- Provide you with reasonable adjustments such as a larger desk, elevator access, or allowing frequent trips to the restroom when necessary for your pregnancy.
Excused Absences and Medical Leave (be required to):
- Excuse absences due to pregnancy or childbirth for as long as your doctor deems necessary.
- Allow you to return to the same academic and extracurricular status as before your medical leave began, which should include giving you the opportunity to make up any missed work while you were out.
- Ensure that instructors and staff understand the Title IX requirements related to excused absences and medical leave. Faculty and staff may not refuse to allow you to submit work after a deadline you missed because of pregnancy or childbirth. If your instructor is grading in part on class participation or attendance and you missed class due to pregnancy or childbirth, they must allow you to make up the credits you didn't have the chance to earn.
- Provide pregnant students with the same special services it provides to students with temporary medical conditions.
Harassment (be required to):
- Protect you from harassment based on sex/gender, including harassment because of pregnancy or related conditions. If comments made about your pregnancy or sexuality, is sufficiently serious that it interferes with your ability to benefit from or participate in WSU programs, it is considered harassment.
Policies and Procedures (be required to):
- Have and distribute a policy against sex discrimination. This policy should make clear that it covers discrimination against pregnant and parenting students.
- Adopt and publish grievance procedures for students to file complaints of sex discrimination.
- Identify at least one employee at the university to carry out responsibilities under Title IX and notify all students and employees of their name, title, and contact information.
- Wilson-Short, room 8B Lavender Lounge
- Amenities: Private room, lock on the door, sink area to clean equipment, paper towels, Clorox wipes, small fridge, comfy couches, and chairs.
- Process: Available by appointment only. Call or email email@example.com. Walk-ins welcome.
- French Admin, room 143W
- Amenities: Private room, locking door, sitting chairs, table, across the hall from the restroom for sink access.
- Process: No appointment necessary. Present WSU ID to HRS in French Admin room 139. Access available M-F 8am-5pm.
- Cleveland 176, Dean's Area
- Amenities: Private room with running water, across the hall from women's restroom.
- Process: First come, first served. Access available M-F 8am-5pm.
- Webster Basement, Women's Restroom
- Amenities: Private room with folding door.
- Process: First come, first served.
- Washington Building, room 269
- Amenities: Recliner, fridge, microwave, Clorox wipes, hand sanitizer, waste can, side table, larger table, a lamp that adjusts from warm to cool lighting and intensity.
- Process: Schedule on Outlook "CougarHealth.LactationRoom" or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Access available M-F 9am-5pm.
- Chinook Student Center, room 131
- Amenities: Private room, lock on the door, sitting chair, table, sink, paper towels.
- Process: First come, first served. Must be a Chinook member.
- WSU Building, room 201A
- Amenities: Private room, locking door, mini-fridge, female hygiene supplies, sitting chair, electrical outlet, small table.
- Process: Sign-up sheet available. Access available M-Th 7am-10pm and F 7am-9pm.
- Student Academic Center, room 145
- Amenities: Private room, lock on the door, electrical outlet, privacy blinds, sink, mini-fridge nearby.
- Process: No appointment necessary. Contact the Student Affairs front desk for access at or email@example.com. Access available M-F 8am-5pm.
- East Wing, 2nd Floor, through women's restroom
- Amenities: Private room, adjacent to restrooms for sink access.
- Process: No appointment necessary.
- Student Wellness Center, Classroom Building (VCLS) room 160
- Amenities: Bench, electrical outlet, adjacent to restrooms.
- Process: No appointment necessary; first come, first served. Access available M-F 9am-4:30 pm.
- Wilson-Short, room 8B Lavender Lounge
Tips for Navigating the University
It's okay to ask for help. Meet with the Title IX Coordinator or your academic advisor regarding what your faculty and staff can do to support you in continuing your education.
Keep your own notes about pregnancy-related absences, any instances of harassment, interactions with faculty or staff about your pregnancy, etc. If something comes up, you will be able to immediately report the issue to the Title IX Coordinator and will have everything documented.
File a complaint if you ever feel the university or a university official is discriminating against you because you are pregnant or parenting:
- Using the Title IX grievance procedure;
- Through the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR). This can be done whether or not you filed a complained through the university. Complaints must be filed within 180 days;
- Or in court as a criminal offense, even if you have not filed a complaint through either of the above.
Use the resources provided on this page to seek out more information, ask questions, etc.
Form a Registered Student Organization for pregnant and parenting students! Being pregnant and/or parenting while in school can feel scary, lonely, or overwhelming; but there are more of you than you might think. Getting together regularly could help you support one another through your individual journeys.
Advocate for yourself and your needs. For example, do you have a class with absence policies? Discuss with your instructor about creative alternatives in which you could display your learning or make up in-class work.
- Inland Northwest Community Resources, Agencies, & Ministries
- Federal Title IX Rights for Pregnant & Parenting Students
- WSU Lead Title IX Coordinator, Holly Ashkannejhad (French Admin 225, 509-335-8288)
- WSU Access Center (Pullman, Everett, Spokane)
- Tri-Cities Access Services
- Vancouver Access Center
- Office for Equal Opportunity (OEO)
- HRS Disability Services Pregnant/Parenting Leave & Accommodations
- Office of the Dean of Students (DOS)
- GIESORC's Fluid Fashion (No-Cost Clothing Bank)
- Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education
- NCAA Pregnant & Parenting Student-Athletes Resources & Model Policies
- Transportation Services Disability Parking Information