Syllabus Suggestions

Inclusive syllabus language acknowledges and empowers pregnant and parenting students.

Suggestions Include:
  • Include pregnant and parenting students’ Title IX rights along with contact information for your institution’s Title IX Coordinator.

  • Explicitly state that expecting and parenting students may contact you directly to discuss missed or late work due to family emergencies and/or include a policy that provides a certain amount of excused absences for all students to counteract emergency situations.

  • Consider allowing students to bring their children to class if they are exclusively breastfeeding or childcare falls through with the understanding that if the classroom is disrupted the student will excuse themselves and their child until composure is regained and they are able to return.

  • Revise policies to allow for phone presence in the classroom provided phones are muted and are not distracting students.

  • Incorporate pregnant and parenting students into your nondiscrimination and accommodation policies.

  • Include campus and/or local resources beneficial to expecting and parenting students such as your colleges’ child development center, mental and physical health services, lactation spaces, diaper banks, and program or student group for parenting students if one exists. See Single Mothers: Resources and Supports for other ideas.

Mercado-Lopez, L.M. (2018, November 30). How faculty can help student parents succeed. Inside Higher Ed.              Retrieved from


Peterson, S. (2016). Community college student-parents: Priorities for persistence. Community College Journal

             of Research and Practice, 40(5), 370-384. Retrieved from


Picot, S.J.F. (1985). Helping the pregnant student stay in school. Journal of Nursing Education, 24(4), 158-

             161. Retrieved from https://search-proquest-


Threlfall, P. (2017, April 16). Students can be parents, too. The Chronicle of Higher Education.

             Retrieved from

Zeiger, D. M. (2019, March 26). How not to react to your pregnant student. The Chronicle of Higher

             Education. Retrieved from

Example Syllabus Language


© 2019 by Jennifer Pocai. Proudly created with

© 2019 by Jennifer Pocai. Proudly created with