One of the SoHE Five-Year Strategic goals is to: Foster inclusive and equitable learning and working practices throughout SoHE, and ensure that SoHE is accessible, welcoming, and effective for all. An important element in reaching this goal is to establish clear, just, and transparent policies that support the well-being of SoHE graduate students. In this vein, SoHE Graduate Program is establishing a Parental Accommodation policy involving paid leave.
SoHE graduate students are eligible for SoHE Parental Accommodation immediately following the birth of a child or the adoption of a child under the age of 6 yrs for whom the student has parental responsibilities. Students who give birth are eligible for up to six weeks of paid leave. Students in other situations, including being a non-birthing parent or adopting a child, are eligible for up to four weeks of paid leave. This paid parental leave is separate from sick leave, which may also be used toward parental leave in accordance with university policy.
Graduate students must inform their advisor, department chair, and Director of SoHE Graduate Programs of their intent to use SoHE Parental Accommodation two months prior to enacting this accommodation, unless there are unforeseen or uncontrollable circumstances preventing early planning.
Graduate students will continue to be enrolled in their graduate program during this period and will continue to pay tuition, as this is not a leave of absence. However, this accommodation allows the student to make modifications to expectations, including postponing course assignments, examinations, and other academic requirements during the accommodation period. The student, their advisor, and course instructors should consult in advance of the Parental Accommodation period to create a plan. It is the student’s responsibility to set up these conversations and ensure that this plan is in place and has been documented in writing.
Following the Parental Accommodation leave period, students will resume progress toward completion of their degree. The student, their advisor, and course instructors should remain in communication in regards to any necessary modifications to course assignments, examinations, and other academic requirements while the student is adjusting to their new role of being a parent.
Graduate Student Research and Project Assistantships
If the graduate student is funded through a research or project assistantship, the student must work with their supervisor to create and document a plan prior to the Parental Accommodation leave for any necessary adjustments and modifications to their responsibilities. During the Parental Accommodation leave period, the student will continue to receive their salary or stipend, benefits, and associated tuition support.
Teaching Assistantships or Graduate Student Instructors
If the graduate student is funded through a teaching assistantship or instructor position, the student must work with the course instructor and/or department chair to create a plan prior to the Parental Accommodation leave for any necessary adjustments and modifications to their responsibilities. During the Parental Accommodation period, the student will continue to receive their salary/stipend, benefits, and associated tuition support.
Graduate students who are supported by University or SoHE fellowships will experience no change in their funding arrangements during the Parental Accommodation Period; they will continue to receive their fellowship support and benefits.
Graduate students who are supported by fellowships external to the University must adhere to the rules of the granting agency with respect to absences from academic and research work.
Coverage: If no coverage is provided for the parental leave period, the cost of stipend/salary and benefits during the leave period will be paid through the Dean (50%) and department (50%).