Types of Discrimination

Sex/Gender Discrimination of Students

In the provision of aid, benefit or service to students, Oakton may not, on the basis of sex:

  • Treat one student differently from another in determining whether the student satisfies any requirement or condition for the provision of any aid, benefit, or service.
  • Provide different aid, benefits, or services or provide aid, benefits, or services in a different manner.
  • Deny any student any such aid, benefit, or service.
  • Subject students to separate or different rules of behavior, sanctions, or other treatment.
  • Aid or perpetuate discrimination against a student by providing significant assistance to any agency, organization, or person that discriminates on the basis of sex in providing any aid, benefit, or service to students.
  • Otherwise limit any student in the enjoyment of any right, privilege, advantage, or opportunity.

Such aids, benefits or services may include but are not limited to admissions, recruitment, financial aid, academic programs, student treatment and services, counseling and guidance, discipline, classroom assignment, grading, vocational education, recreation, physical education, athletics, and employment.

Sex/Gender Discrimination of Faculty and Staff

Oakton is committed to building a diverse faculty and staff for employment and promotion to ensure the highest quality workforce, to reflect human diversity, and to improve opportunities for minorities and women. The College embraces human diversity and is committed to equal employment opportunity, affirmative action, and eliminating discrimination. This commitment is both a moral imperative consistent with an intellectual community that celebrates individual differences and diversity, as well as a matter of law.

Discrimination against any individual based upon protected status, which is defined as age, ancestry, color, disability, gender identity or expression, genetic information, HIV/AIDS status, military status, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status is prohibited.

For information regarding sex/gender discrimination of faculty or staff, please see the board policies 1100 and 1101 on Non-Discrimination and Harassment.

Transgender/Gender Nonconforming Students

In Illinois, both the ISBE rule and the Illinois Human Rights Act (775 ILCS 5/) prohibit schools from discriminating against students on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

Oakton complies with applicable state laws, which addresses the non-discrimination of transgender students. In the application of the IHRA and other state or national laws and guidance, the College’s procedures are as follows.

Gender Identity Consideration

Oakton College considers a student’s gender identity as the student’s sex for purposes of enforcing the law.

Gender Identity-Based Harassment

Harassment based on gender identity, transgender status, or gender transition is a form of sexual harassment. Oakton will address such harassment to avoid the creation of a hostile environment which would result in a violation of applicable laws/guidance.

Gender Identity Recognition

Oakton will treat students in such a way that is consistent with their gender identity when they or their parent(s) or guardian(s) notify the College that they will assert a gender identity different from the previous representation or records.

Student Privacy

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) permits disclosure of personally identifiable information from educational records to individual school personnel who are determined to have a legitimate educational interest in the information. However, if a student has disclosed his or her transgender status to some members of the College community, Oakton is not necessarily authorized to disclose that information to other college personnel. Inappropriate disclosure, or requiring the student or the parent to disclose, personally identifiable information to the College community or to individuals who do not have a legitimate educational interest in that information may violate FERPA and other applicable laws or guidance.

Directory Information

FERPA regulations permit the disclosure of appropriately designated directory information from a student’s education record. Directory information may include a student’s name, address, telephone number, date and place of birth, honors and awards, and dates of attendance. According to applicable laws/guidance, Oakton may not designate students’ sex, including transgender status, as directory information because doing so could be harmful or an invasion of privacy.

Student Medical Information

Oakton will not require a medical diagnosis or treatment as a condition for treating a student in conformity with his or her gender identity, and that requiring such documentation may violate applicable laws/guidance if it has the effect of limiting the student’s equal access to an educational program or activity. Notification by the student or the student’s parent or guardian, suffices, by itself, to trigger duties of the College.

Amendments to Educational Records

Oakton will update a transgender student’s records to reflect the gender identity and name change so as to help protect the privacy of the student and ensure that college personnel uses the appropriate name and pronoun preferred by the student. Applicable laws/guidance directs that Oakton respond to a request to amend information in an education record related to a student’s transgender status in conformity with its general practices for amending other students’ records.


Every student has the right to be addressed by a name and pronoun that corresponds to the student’s gender identity. To this end, a court-ordered name or gender change is not required, and the student need not change his or her official records. It is strongly recommended that the transgender or gender nonconforming students be privately asked at the beginning of the school year how they want to be addressed in class and other departments around the College.


Oakton provides separate restroom facilities on the basis of sex, and does not require a transgender student to use facilities that are inconsistent with his or her gender identity, or to use individual-user facilities if other students are not required to do so. The College also has eight gender-neutral restrooms located at its Des Plaines campus to include four restrooms on the first floor of the campus, rooms 1470, 1914, 1915, 1916, and four restrooms on the second floor, rooms 2914, 2915, 2916, and 2214. The Skokie campus has one gender-neutral restroom located on the building’s first floor, room A181.

Overnight Accommodations and Housing

The College allows a transgender student access to housing or overnight accommodations consistent with his or her gender identity, and may not require the transgender student to stay in a single-occupancy accommodation. The College also does not require a transgender student to disclose personal information which it does not require other students to provide.

Term Definitions

An individual’s internal sense of gender is their gender identity which may be different from or the same as the person’s sex assigned at birth.

The sex designation recorded on an infant’s birth certificate should such a record be provided at birth.

Those individuals whose gender identity is different from the sex they were assigned at birth. A transgender male is someone who identifies as male but was assigned the sex of female at birth; a transgender female is someone who identifies as female but was assigned the sex of male at birth.

The process in which transgender individuals begin asserting the sex that corresponds to their gender identity instead of the sex they were assigned at birth. During gender transition, individuals begin to live and identify as the sex consistent with their gender identity and may dress differently, adopt a new name, and use pronouns consistent with their gender identity. Transgender individuals may undergo gender transition at any stage of their lives, and gender transition can happen swiftly or over a long duration of time.

Pregnancy and Parenting

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.

The U.S. Department of Education’s regulation implementing Title IX specifically prohibits discrimination against a student based on pregnancy, childbirth, false pregnancy, termination of pregnancy, or recovery from any of these conditions. The Title IX regulation also prohibits a school from applying any rule related to a student’s parental, family, or marital status that treats students differently based on their sex.

Under Title IX, Oakton does not exclude a pregnant student from participating in any part of an educational program. This prohibition applies to all sanctioned school activities, including:

  • specific classes such as advanced placement or honors classes.
  • extracurricular programs.
  • interscholastic sports.
  • honor societies.
  • opportunities for student leadership.

Divisions and departments may implement special instructional programs or classes for a pregnant student, but participation must be completely voluntary on the part of the student, and the programs and classes must be comparable to those offered to other students.

In addition, Oakton offers reasonable accommodations which include excusing a student’s absences because of pregnancy or childbirth for as long as the student’s doctor deems the absences medically necessary. When a student returns to Oakton, she will be allowed to return to the same academic and extracurricular programs as before her medical leave began.

Any special services provided to students who have temporary medical conditions will also be provided to a pregnant student. Oakton may require a pregnant student or student who has given birth to submit medical certification for school participation as this documentation is also required from all students with physical or emotional conditions requiring the attention of a physician, or those requesting accommodations.

The Office of Access, Equity, and Diversity wants students who are pregnant and also who are already parents to know their rights under Title IX regarding education and status as a pregnant/parenting student. For information on how to access reasonable accommodations for pregnant and parenting students, contact the Office of Access, Equity, and Diversity at 847.635.1751.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you are pregnant or become pregnant during the semester, you have the option to meet with your faculty member to discuss accommodations that may be necessary. It may not be possible to grant accommodations after the fact, so it is better to prepare in advance for any possible scenarios.

In the event the pregnancy progresses normally and the labor and delivery is normal (without complications), most students are able to return to class in a timely manner. If you are unable to return to class, please provide your instructor with a note from your doctor stating that you are unable to return to class at this time.

You may seek reasonable accommodations from your instructor if your baby is due near the end of the semester or if the baby arrives early, or if there are complications.

Your instructor will provide a form for your doctor’s signature to get clearance to work with cadavers (or other potentially hazardous materials), and do clinical rotations. If you are not allowed to work with cadavers (or other potentially hazardous materials) or do clinical rotations due to your pregnancy, please inform your instructor. You and the instructor will work with the Office of Student Affairs to explore options, up to and including possible withdrawal and retaking of the course.