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Pursuing a Degree as a Parent: Tips for Success

A mom studying while holding a child

Returning to school while raising children isn't an easy decision. Whether looking to start or finish an advanced degree program, there are options tailored to parents interested in furthering their education online and in the classroom. Use the following helpful tips to make the transition back to student life as smooth as possible.

Before Enrolling

Planning with a partner can help prepare for the change and offer additional support. Consider how a new schedule will affect the family and make the necessary adjustments beforehand. Maintaining clear communication will help with shuffling errands and plans so that schoolwork can be better managed. Including the children in the household in the conversation is beneficial, too. The better kids understand the situation, the easier it will be for parents to integrate ways to get them enthusiastic about the change. For working parents, transparency with employers can help with modifying schedules to accommodate academic pursuits. Employers may even be excited and offer incentives to employees furthering their education.

Coping With Stress Once Classes Begin

Decompressing is critical to staying levelheaded. Though it may seem like there isn't as much personal time available, setting aside planned breaks offers a chance to release frustration and stress. School is a priority, but a student can't devote adequate time to studying if he or she feels overwhelmed. If free time is truly limited, combine studies with family time. When the kids do their homework after dinner, joining them will offer extra time for assignments and provide a chance to spend the evening together.

Stay Focused

Making sacrifices will be difficult, especially while juggling work, school, and parenthood. It’s important to remember that one person can’t do everything, but setting goals to stay on track can help with prioritization and even show the importance of higher education to children in the household. On a weekly or monthly basis, checking in on progress within one’s chosen degree program can inform goal setting.

For parents who want to return to the classroom, the Tulane School of Professional Advancement offers students the opportunity to go back to school by working with their schedule and offering online courses. To get the most out of your advanced degree, add a minor to diversify your knowledge and skillset. Get started on your journey today by learning more about our program.

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