Being a graduate student is challenging. When coupled with becoming a new parent, that challenge can be overwhelming. To assist graduate students who are new parents, the Graduate School has a parental accommodation policy; in place since 2010. This policy grants eligible students:
- a six-week excused absence from classes,
- a one-semester extension for a student’s time-to-degree limit,
- a one-semester extension for completion of a qualifying exam,
- a one-semester extension for completion of a proposal defense, and
- guarantees that no student will be penalized financially during the period of accommodation.
This policy applies to graduate students who:
- have new childcare or related responsibilities due to a recent or upcoming birth or placement of a child under four years of age in the home for the purposes of adoption
- are the primary caregiver for the child or children new to the home
- are enrolled full-time at Michigan Tech
- are in good academic standing
- have completed at least one full-time semester at Michigan Tech.
Funding may be available from the Graduate School to Department Chairs, School Deans, Graduate Program Directors, and Principal Investigators who must hire a temporary replacement for a student who has been granted an excused absence under the parental accommodation policy.
The Parental Accommodation policy has been in place since 2010. Graduate students who have availed themselves of this benefit have found it to be very helpful at a critical period in their lives.
One student said, “Returning to work and school right after having a baby is not an easy job. This opportunity to have 6 weeks of parental leave helped me to cope well with my new status. Especially because it provides excused absences in which one can ask to extend course completion which is the peace of mind. Without having this leave, I cannot imagine how I could continue my studies with no complications. I appreciate MTU graduate school to provide this accommodation for new parents. And I encourage all grad students who are considering to become parents to take advantage of this opportunity.”
Another commented, “Having a family and pursuing a PhD is balancing act. I’ve given birth to 3 precious girls while pursuing my PhD. The parental accommodation policy at Michigan Tech has helped me embrace and enjoy my personal life without feeling pressure to finish my degree. I will finally graduate this semester!”