Frequently Asked Questions

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How many health professional student parents are there at the University of Minnesota?

Currently, we do not have data about how many health professional student-parents there are at the University of Minnesota. However, roughly 25% of men and women enrolled in doctoral programs have children, so student-parents are very common!

How do I apply for a childcare grant?

In order to get a grant application, you must first complete an intake screening with Student Parent Help Center staff – they will help determine your eligibility. You can contact the Student Parent Help Center at [email protected], 612-626-6015, or you can stop by in-person to schedule your intake (Room 24, Appleby Hall). You can also contact the Student Parent Help Center’s Graduate Student-Parent Counselor, Stephanie Lee, directly at [email protected].

As an instructor, what are certain types of accommodations I can make for my pregnant and/or parenting students?

Professors, preceptors, and lab instructors can help accommodate student-parents in many ways! Here are some examples:

  • A larger desk;
  • Breaks during class, as needed;
  • Rescheduling tests or exams;
  • Granting temporary access to elevators;
  • Extending deadlines;
  • Providing alternatives to make up missed work;
  • Allow tests to be taken near a restroom or lactation spaces;
  • Allow students to record class if typing is difficult due to pregnancy-related carpal tunnel;
  • Consider the use of chemicals in labs! Are the chemicals safe for the fetus? Is extra protective gear necessary? Should there be an alternative assignment?

How does Title IX apply to pregnant/parenting students?

Title IX especially relates to pregnant and parenting students when it comes to lactation and extended absences. Even if you miss more class than a professor’s policy typically allows, Title IX protects you in that it requires professors to allow students to make up any missed work or credit. This could mean you simply catch up during the semester or take an incomplete and finish the missed assignments at a later date. It is also important to know that any Title IX family or parental policy cannot apply differently based on sex. This means that both men and women have equal right to bond with and care for their children.

Who do I contact to discuss getting time off after my baby is born?

If you are expecting a baby and will need time off, it is a good idea to contact the Dean of Students, Student Services Director, or the Student Affairs Coordinator in your discipline. If nobody is responsive, the Student Parent Help Center (SPHC) is a good place to start. SPHC staff will assist you in contacting the appropriate people from your school/college.

What sort of accommodations can I ask my department for if I’m a parent?

If you need extended time off, it is a good idea to discuss your needs with a student affairs representative in your college or department; they will likely accommodate you on a case by case basis. You can also ask your professors for alternative assignments, a larger desk, deadline extensions, or specific seating in class.

As an instructor, with whom should I share this student-parent related information?

It would be fantastic if everyone knew about this information! Feel free to share this with other faculty/staff, preceptors, faculty advisors, residents, chief residents, course directors, clerkship directors, coordinators, funeral directors (Mortuary Science), and anyone else you can think of!

How can I get involved with the Interprofessional Student-Parent Community?

The ISPC hosts several events each semester that you are welcome to attend! We host monthly lunches where we cover topics brought to our attention by student-parents themselves, our Advisory Board hosts monthly meetings where we discuss programming, and we host at least one family event each semester! To get on our email list so that you receive updates about ISPC planning and events, email [email protected].

What do I do if I can’t go to class because my child is sick?

The UMN’s attendance policy includes the illness of a student or their dependent. Thus, if a student-parent must miss class because their child is sick, that is an excused absence. If your professor or instructor is unaware of this policy and refuses to excuse your absence, you can contact the Student Parent Help Center; their staff will assist you in communicating with your professor/instructor.

What about Duluth campus?

Medical Students in Duluth: A childcare grant is available to first and second year medical students on the UMD campus.  For information, please contact Dina Flaherty in the Office of Financial Aid at [email protected] or 218 726 6548.  She will send out an application to the student to fill out to determine whether they meet the eligibility criteria.

PharmD Students in Duluth: (Child Care Grants) Funds are limited so inquire early! The Minnesota Post Secondary Child Care Grant (PSCCG) is available through the MN Office of Higher Education. For information and application, contact UMD One Stop, 23 Solon Campus Center, [email protected].