Julie Huss gets home from class at 9 a.m. every Monday,
Wednesday and Friday and begins working with a first-grade
curriculum book. She studies for a couple hours, then hops on her
bike and heads back to class.
Huss, a junior equine science major at CSU, works with her
6-year-old son Odin, who she home-schools along with her daughter
The fact that the children are home-schooled, and their home’s
proximity to the CSU campus, actually allows Huss to see her
children more often than when she was working full time, despite
her busy student schedule.
“I see them more now than when they were babies, when they were
always in day care and I was always working full time,” said Huss,
34. “And it’s a trade-off, you know. You can’t have both sometimes
– money and time to your family.”
Huss is one of many CSU students who have parental duties in
addition to their normal lives. A specific number of students who
have children at CSU is unavailable because they do not disclose
that information when they apply to the university.
Huss went to one year of college before becoming pregnant with
Allie. She then went to vocational school and was a dental
assistant before carpal tunnel syndrome caused her to undergo
surgery. She decided to return to college to study equine
“I don’t think I could’ve done it before now,” she said. “If I
could’ve found, not saying this would’ve been better, but if I
could’ve went to school all at night, I probably would be still
working as a dental assistant and I would have a lot more money.
But I like my life actually. I like how it worked out because I
have more free time and see the kids more.”
Huss may be the exception rather than the rule, however. Jeannie
Ortega, director of Off-Campus Student Services/Resources for Adult
Learners, said students with children often have difficulty finding
time for themselves because of parental demands and school
“When there’s a single parent in school, all of the family
responsibilities fall on that individual,” Ortega said. “So when
you think about things like finding child care and after-school
activities, homework and just generally being there for your
children, it all falls on that one person. When you throw school on
top of that, the student is stretched and there’s little time for
Oftentimes, having a child can get in the way of even making it
to class, as Emily Campbell, 27, experienced when her son Ethan
threw a “fit” Tuesday.
“Normally it takes about five minutes to get out to the car and
load him up in the car seat, and it takes about five minutes to get
to the day care,” Campbell said. “No, that day it took an hour to
get there. So, obviously, I missed my class.”
Campbell, a senior history education major, attends CSU along
with her husband Jonathon Campbell, a senior electrical engineering
major. The couple lives on campus at University Village with Ethan,
2. She said the hardest part about having a child is just having
enough time to get everything done.
“Having time or trying to study when you’re around your child is
almost impossible at this age,” she said. “It’s hard being a mom in
general, especially working moms. They work and then they come home
and they have to clean the house and take care of the kids and all
that other stuff, whereas, mom as a student goes to school, still
has to take care of the house, has to study and everything, and
still, you know, take care of the family.”
The Campbells take Ethan to Children’s World Learning Center,
where they are part of about 40 percent of parents who attend
school, said Laurie Kluko, director of the Children’s World at 2140
Valley Forge Ave., although this number is only an estimate.
“I think because the college students are normally quite young
and a lot of them are single, they become overwhelmed quite
easily,” Kluko said, adding that there are ways for student parents
to help themselves have time for everything. “I think if they can
try and group all their classes and extend day care for a couple of
hours then they can have some free time.”
For Huss, however, there are mainly just positive aspects to
going to school.
“I think it makes me a good role model, as far as education
goes, because they see that you go to school every day,” Huss said.
“Everybody’s life at our house, you know, revolves around school
somehow. I think it’s only going to get easier.”