Screen Shot 2013-07-09 at 11.07.46 AMJustine Bateman, age 47, just finished her freshman year at UCLA. With adults going back to school in droves these days, that might not sound like big news – unless you remember Bateman as the actress who played the beautiful but ditzy Mallory Keaton on the hit 1980s sitcom “Family Ties.”

Fast forward to 2013, and the former teen star is balancing the demands of motherhood (her children are 9 and 10) with running a production company called Section 5, and staying on top of her college coursework. This year, the UCLA undergrad took classes in computer science, engineering, ethics, chemistry, and Vikings.

Like many adults returning to school, Bateman’s primary motivation is not the sheer satisfaction of earning a college degree – she’s there to gain the credentials and skills she needs to secure the job she wants.

“I really, really love to work,” she says. “I love tech, I was half in it. And when I did a search on, no matter the keywords I put in, half the jobs were for computer programmers and developers.”

Though Bateman still works in showbiz, she admits that Hollywood burnout has set in.

“I can’t audition anymore,” she says. “I just completely ran out of gas.”

So Jason Bateman’s big sister is turning her attention toward something that requires just as much energy, albeit in a totally different direction. She’s majoring in computer science with the goal of becoming a computer programmer – at times using the flipside of script pages from past acting jobs to take notes.

The rising college sophomore has even secured a summer internship at Symantec, where so far she’s been learning Python and SQL programming languages.

Bateman is documenting her college progress on Tumblr, and is also using the blog to highlight stories of “Smarty-Pants Women” who are committed to pursuing higher education later in life.

And though most of Bateman’s classmates are too young to remember “Family Ties,” her profs aren’t, which can come in handy when she needs Permission to Enroll in a class she wants.

That’s not to say the road is easy for the star. On her blog, she chronicles plenty of classic college student struggles, including grade anxiety and the off-again, on-again desire to change her major. But Justine Bateman, Class of 2016, is determined to succeed:

“I’m going to get that degree somehow.”

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