Temporary Illness

It’s not unusual for students to encounter temporary illnesses during their time at HSC. Broken bones, the flu, colds, surgeries, etc. all represent temporary conditions which may result in missed classes and other academic difficulties. Such temporary conditions do not qualify for protection under the American with Disabilities (ADA) Act so long as they do not last more than 6 months. Nor does pregnancy qualify for ADA protection provided it is of normal duration without severe complications.

Since there is no legal requirement for HSC to accommodate temporary illnesses, your academic departments may or may not allow you to make up missed work due to temporary illnesses or provide other adjustments. Contact your academic department to review their attendance policy and view the general attendance policy at http://www.hsc.unt.edu/policies/PolicyStorePDF/Attendance%20Policy.pdf?v26.

If your illness does not improve after 6 months, you should contact the HSC Assistant Director, Disability Accommodations at (817) 735-2134 or https://www.unthsc.edu/students/office-of-disability-access/ to inquire about permanent accommodations.


The U.S. Department of Education and the Office of Civil Rights recently released new Title IX requirements regarding pregnant and parenting students in June 2013. Title IX provides that no person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance. These requirements include:

  • Schools must excuse student’s absences because of pregnancy or childbirth for as long as the student’s doctor deems the absences medically necessary.
  • Absence policies in classes must accommodate pregnancy or childbirth related absences and allow for make-up work. “A teacher may not refuse to allow a student to submit work after a deadline that she missed because of absences due to pregnancy or childbirth. Additionally, if a teacher’s grading is based in part on class attendance or participation, the student should be allowed to earn the credits she missed so that she can be reinstated to the status she had before the leave.”
  • “A school may offer the student alternatives to making up missed work, such as retaking a semester, taking part in an online course credit recovery program, or allowing the student additional time in a program to continue at the same pace and finish at a later date, especially after longer periods of leave. The student should be allowed to choose how to make up the work.”

Please keep in mind that these are federal requirements that the HSC must abide by and will make every effort to provide reasonable accommodations for these students.

Should you have questions, please feel free to contact the Office of Student Affairs at (817) 735-2505 or SSC 2nd floor.

If you would like to read more about these requirements and guidelines, please follow: http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/pregnancy.pdf.

Michelle’s Law

Michelle’s Law prohibits group plans from terminating a college student’s health insurance coverage based on the student taking a medically necessary leave of absence from school or changing to a part-time status. Coverage is extended for at least one year.

The key requirements are:

  • Must be medically necessary
  • Must have written certification by the physician recommending the leave or change in enrollment status
  • Student must have been enrolled in the group plan before the first day of leave