Working parent returning to school? Here’s your guide to online learning success.

March 5, 2024

AlamoONLINE Communications

Follow Teresa's footsteps and discover how she earned her degree while juggling parenthood full-time. Her success could inspire those of you thinking about returning to school.

Did you know that 30% of the Alamo Colleges student population are fully online student-parents? That's 4,803 online learners who may be working, raising families, or managing single parenthood while pursuing a degree.*

By returning to college, you're teresa-spc colors-2.pnginvesting in your dreams much like Teresa De La Cruz, a dedicated mom, worker, and student. Teresa graduated from St. Philip's College in December 2022 with her associate degree in Business Administration. 

Since earning her degree, Teresa tells us that she’s received two pay raises and has taken on a more significant role in her career.

How did she manage it at all? Teresa chose online learning through the Alamo Colleges, allowing her to balance work, family, and schooling.

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Keep reading to discover how a working parent can succeed while earning a degree.

    1. Set a learning pace
      Online learning lets you plan a flexible course schedule. While there are deadlines, effective time management allows for work-life-learning balance. Teresa integrated studies into her routine -. "Online learning has amazed me with what I can achieve. After work, I would pick up my son from school and drop him off at after-school clubs. While waiting in the car, I would take out my laptop and finish my homework," she says.
    2.  Access learning anytime
      Enjoy 24/7 course access and an accessible platform, Canvas to complete assignments on time. "It was self-explanatory, organized and easy to use. If I had questions, my professors were also quick to respond,” she added.
    3. Find support from a success-driven community.
      Teresa says she considers St. Philip's College a supportive family. She credits her enrollment coaches, advisors for guiding her to resources like financial aid, tutoring and Project Stay, a non-profit that assists individuals in earning a college degree. She credits her advisor, Ms. Yolanda Ward, for always making time for her. “Ms. Ward helped me find my degree path, and navigate the entire process," shared Teresa.
    4. Set the example for others watching
      Graduating was more than a milestone to Teresa; it was a purpose. This accomplishment carried extra meaning as she was proud to set an example for her family.
"It was motivation for my son. I know he watches me when I study, and I want to advocate for him when he decides to attend college.”

Earning your online degree is a big decision that may benefit you and your family. The Alamo Colleges recognizes the unique challenges students with children may encounter and provides the wraparound support throughout your next exciting journey.

*Student profile data, based on Fall 2023, fully-online, Alamo Colleges District students.


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AlamoONLINE Enrollment Coaches can

• Help you start the application process.

• Guide you in the enrollment process for fully online courses.

• Connect you to registration with a college advisor.

• Refer you to services available to online students.

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