Posted by Melanie Perry
I completed my Associate’s Degree in 2002, but, just so happened to be pregnant with my first child at the time. I wasn’t able to immediately continue with my education as I’d planned due to many constraints… we’ll call them ‘life’ for short. I always wanted to return to school and complete my Bachelor’s Degree, but there just never seemed to be enough of me to go around.
In the spring of 2008 my employer, Barnes-Jewish Hospital, announced a new program to help mid-career professionals further their education. We were partnering with SLU’s School for Professional studies, which brought SLU instructors to our campus one evening a week for some intense, but short, general education classes. We could take one class at a time, five classes per year, and slowly earn the credits we’d need.
I couldn’t pass up such a great opportunity to go back to school. I have been working in my current job since 2000, and while I love what I do, I’d really like to be promoted and advance in my career at some point.
Of course, nothing ever goes quite as planned. Two weeks before my first class was supposed to start, my husband and I found out we were expecting our second child. Well, I thought about it, and informed him that I was NOT going to be derailed this time. He really stepped up when my typical first trimester exhaustion was compounded by one really long day per week and homework, he even learned to cook! Our older son helped me a lot, too, and even read books to the baby while I rested.
My instructors definitely ran challenging courses, but they were always willing to allow me to make up or reschedule work to accommodate doctor appointments and time off.
Before my second son was born, my husband and I realized we wouldn’t be able to afford the cost of quality infant care, so he officially became a stay-at-home Dad. This move did necessitate a few sacrifices in the family budget, but the convenience allowed me to increase my course load after a year. I’m currently trying to take two classes at a time, in the terms in which I can take one online class along with one on-ground class.
I’m currently taking my fourteenth class through SPS, and it looks like I should be able to complete my Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership and Technology at the end of 2011. Wish me luck.
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