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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Duggars on College

Many readers have asked about the Duggars' views on higher education. Do they encourage college? Do they even allow it? 

"Life is a classroom," says Michelle. She and Jim Bob strongly believe that learning is a lifelong process, not a dreaded chore that ends at graduation. They encourage their children to gain different skills and experience various career potentials in order to figure out what they are truly passionate about. If that means pursuing a college education, then mom and dad are all for it, but their goal is for their kids to be driven by God's plan for their lives instead of by what the world says is the norm.

So what are the older kids up to now? 

  • Jill and Jana have been looking into midwifery and nursing, taking classes and studying under professionals.  
  • John-David has his own towing business, which came in handy when the Duggars woke up to 2 feet of snow earlier this month!
  • Jessa has a passion for teaching and has taken on many responsibilities of homeschooling the little ones.
  • Jinger has been honing her photography skills by taking pictures for the family's personal album and website. 
  • Several of the kids have started with CollegePlus! an online program that allows students to earn college credit, and potentially an entire degree, in a fraction of the time, at a fraction of the cost. “We’ve had several friends that have gotten a four-year degree in about eighteen months from College Plus!” Jim Bob announced during our interview. College Plus! currently has a student body of 2,200 and is growing rapidly.
  • To learn more about the Duggars and CollegePlus! click here.
What are your views on higher education? 

28 Comments (Click Here to Add Yours):

Anonymous said...

I think higher education isn't for everyone but it can get most people farther in life than people who dont go to college.College is an amazing tool to get the education you need for the career of your dreams and to live a more comfortable lifestype.

Anonymous said...

I have a 4 year degree in Education that I use everyday (with my shildren) while being a stay at home mom. I never have regretted the time or energy that it took to get my degree. While I agree that higher education is not for everyone, I do think that it allows for a better appreciation of life learning. I do not know anyone who has regretted their degree regardless of whether they continue in their field, but I do know many individuals who have regretted not pursuing or finishing a degree.

Berry Patch said...

I completely agree with the Duggars. I once thought college was THE way to go. However, once I started homeschooling I realized 'old-fashioned' apprenticeships also have merit. If my children want to eventually have a profession that needs higher education, than we'll absolutely go that route (ex. doctor or lawyer). However, if they want to do something else (ex. plumber, electrician), than we'll look for someone who is very good at what they do and work out some sort of "on the job training" for them. It really is all about loving to learn.

Anonymous said...

It would be interesting to hear from CollegePlus graduates in the workforce as to whether companies regard their degrees to be on par with traditional colleges. With the high cost of the traditional college, room and board, completing at least some of your college courses at home sounds like a great option - as long as the education quality is there. I'm glad to hear that the Duggar kids are taking college classes.

Libby said...

I am in the middle of getting my GED so I am thinking of college myself. I like two year colleges or even four year colleges but everyone learns differently and I like the idea of going to a college on-line so I will check out this College Plus. I wonder if they allow GEDs.

Lauren said...

I am a freshman at Columbia University, currently ranked fourth best/most challenging school in the nation, and a member of the Ivy League. I am 25 years old.

When I graduated high school at 17 I didn't think I needed college. Then I moved to New York City and as older friends of mine with college degrees were getting entry level jobs at publishing, marketing, and PR firms (for example) I was unable to get jobs as a receptionist because most required a four year degree. The opportunities available for those without degrees are slim to none in big cities where the living costs are so great, anything less than $35k/year is poverty. I suppose if you live in a small town and have connections to jobs through family or friends, a college degree doesn't matter much, but in a city, it's practically impossible to get along without one. When I was 23 I began looking into ways to go to school because I realized how invaluable an education is. I spent a year at an online school (Empire State College, part of the SUNY system) and then transferred to Columbia because I like a challenge.

Of course, if you go to college just to get the degree, it's really not worth it. I think the college experience is just as important as - if not more important than - the degree. The opportunities I'm getting through school (an internship at the UN, a fellowship program to work with environmental scientists in Jordan, the chance to study German intensively for four weeks in Berlin) are once in a lifetime opportunities. Getting a well-rounded education is also important in becoming a lifelong learner. My school believes that ALL views should be accepted, which is why they invited Ahmadinejad to speak here a few years ago despite the controversy. We aren't simply taught math and English...we learn how to open our minds to views on the other extreme from our own, to debate others in a way that doesn't lead to screaming arguments, to be understanding of people from all backgrounds and belief systems, and at the same time, stand strong in our own beliefs and values and be able to voice these beliefs in a rational way manner.

I think the pros FAR outweigh the cons when it comes to higher education, with the most important being that a quality higher education grounded in a humanist philosophy makes you a better thinker and more well-rounded person in general. I had a very one-sided religious education as a child, and I have been able to expand my worldview without compromising my early values. It seems to me that the Duggars and other fundamentalist Christian families try to shield their children from secular colleges by sending them to places like Liberty where what they were taught as children is only reinforced. I appreciate my early childhood education, but it's impossible to understand the world without expanding your horizons to include all kinds of education.

Jason Manion said...

I'm a college grad who went through the CollegePlus! program, and just wanted to respond to the post by anonymous. I used CollegePlus! and graduated last year at age 18.

When I was interviewing for my current job, at an internet marketing agency, my degree was a requirement, but nothing else was mentioned about it. I couldn't have gotten the job without it, but they didn't ask too much about the degree or anything else. I wouldn't have minded if they did...it's an accredited degree from a state college, so there's nothing inferior about it. I think it's actually a plus to have that educational background, as it shows that you can think outside of the box and achieve good results in an efficient way, which is something companies want.

Anyhow, just wanted to weigh in on that since I have some experience with it. It's a great program...it really helped me, and it's hard to argue with being done with college at 18 without any student debt. :)

Anonymous said...

It seems that everything their children plan centers around the family-will these kids ever get to have a life of their own as they become adults? It's nice to have a close family,but at some point there has to be more to your world than family and camera crews.

Anonymous said...

I think everyone should have a choice to go to college or pursue other career interests. I'm glad to see the Duggars getting some sort of college. I do not see the value in college plus! The program consists of coaching and CLEP tests in the beginging. Local colleges charge $75 for these tests(of course you don't get coaching, you need to study). If you figure the cost of college plus they are charging $400 for the same test.
Also with a large family like the Duggars and the fact that Jim Bob and Michelle are not college grads the kids would be eligible for grants. Why not go to community college for free? It bothers me that college plus does not take finanacial aid. My husband came from a family of 20 kids and each kid got enough grants and scholarships to get at least a 2 year degree debt free.
College Plus advertises of the average public school degree costing 42k or the average private school 110k is false advertising in a way. I went to an expensive private school in New England and the admissions are not based on your ability to pay. I had a roommate from Bulagria who paid $10 a year the rest was grants/scholarships because her family could not pay. The average student at my college that cost over 100k for 4 years paid less then 4k a year.
Again I am hapy to see the Duggars getting some form of higher education. I'm sad that some of them at least do not get to experience it in a classroom setting. I remember the first day of college, the speech was on college being one long conversation. It was true the best parts of college were the talks I had with students from all over the world, professors, and friends. I learned more about myself and what I wanted to do after being exposed to different ways of thinking and cultures first hand. Michelle and Jimbob have given thier kids a wonderful start with great values, now they should trust them in the real world a bit instead of keeping them online learning with a select group of friends.

Anonymous said...

College Plus has worked well for our family, and saved us thousands. Obviously, it is not for every child, especially one who would not be used to self motivated study. Anonymous is misguided with his understanding about how College Plus functions. If you are interested, visit their website or speak with one of their counselors. Do not interpret their function in your college education from the above post.

Anonymous said...

25 years ago people really didn't need a higher education degree to join the work force.An example being the Duggar Parents..I'm sad to say that in todays world this sadly isn't the case. i'm saddened that some of these kids are missing out on a proper education. i do understand they are being homeschooled in many different areas, however to even be considered by most jobs an employer will need to see some sort of degree or equivalent training in that particular field. and you cant say that a homeschooled graduate degree can really cut it in this fast paced world

Anonymous said...

I'm in College Plus! It's great!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Education is a huge deal for me. I got a college degree from an in-state, cheap, 4 year institution and plenty of new doors have opened for me.

Of course, college isn't for everyone. I know people who would be much better learning a trade.

It's a relief that the Duggars are encouraging and allowing all their children to go to college. It would break my heart if the girls were only interested in getting married and becoming housewives. I don't believe that the Lord's only calling for women is that sort of lifestyle.

julie said...

I know that the Duggars value family, and it seems they encourage getting married and starting to have a family. I think with the morals that Michelle has instilled in her girls they could do it all. I started my undergrad and during my jr year my husband and I found out I was pregnant with my daughter, I was 21. During my senior year we found out I was pregnant with my son. Needless to say I have two babies, 11 months apart, I graduated with my BA and am now in online grad school getting my masters. I am a stay at home mom, my babies have all the attention they need. My house is always clean, laundry done, dinner in the table by the time my husband is home. My mom taught me to strive for the best, and not give up. I think your girls could do it all. I will be a teacher when im done my masters so that Wat I can still ne a stay at home mom, and make home cooked meals ... something very important to me.

Anonymous said...

Someone mentioned free community college. Where does one exist? I will move my family there immediately. The community college where I live is NOT free.

Rebecca Newman said...

I agree with those who talked about what an invaluable experience college is. I was homeschooled growing up and didn't go to college since my parents didn't believe in their children going off to the evil influences rampant on a college campus. I had no idea how it would change my life! I was going because I enjoyed to be academicially challenged, but the experience was, oh, so much more than just the classes, amazing as they were. I had no idea of who I really was as an individual before I went.

Now online degrees just don't appeal to me. I felt so sorry for my friends who lived at home and went to community colleges because I felt they only got half the experience! And doing it online is even less.

patsymae said...

College Plus is controversial and I don't know the details, so I won't comment on that, and I agree that higher education isn't for everyone. It does seem, though, that the main interest of the Duggars is that their children--many of whom are legal adults--not be exposed to any ideas or any people who are not carefully controlled by their parents. These are "children" age late teens and up who firmly believe the earth is 6,000 years old, that "science" is a lie (because they have no idea what real science is), who have no exposure to history or literature (and thus no skills to evaluate what they read)and who, frankly, don't even know how bad their music sounds because they are not exposed to music their parents disapprove of.
I think the Duggar parents are being disingenuous when they deflect the discussion to college/vs apprenticeship or face-to-face classes vs. online. The real issue I see from them is that they do not want their children, including adult "children," interacting in any sphere that is not controlled by the parents.

Anonymous said...

I feel really sad for Michelle. She knows how to "baby talk" really well, but I don't think she has a clue how to live her life without being pregnant and having a baby to nurse. And I don't think either one of the parents have the ability to lead adult children or how to let them go to lead their own lives. Jesus said we are go out into the world--not that we should stay home and follow Mom and Dad until the day we die. Successful parenting is just like what a bird does--provide for and teach them, then shoo the baby birds out of the nest for the baby birds to fly on their own. I think any one of the Duggar children would be frightened to death if you even put them in a car by themselves; let alone going somewhere alone. This is not healthy. Life has "seasons" and I don't know that Michelle will ever be able to accept her "season" is over with newborns. She is stuck there. And I don't see how she can possibly take care of all the boys coming along unless she traps a few of the "older" girls into staying home for her benefit. She doesn't take care of her own family now. I feel really sorry for her and I will pray for her.

Anonymous said...

First and foremost, life cannot teach you everything. No quality education in the equivalent of a bachelor's degree can be earned in 18 months by the average student. And I highly doubt with an education provided by a high school graduate via homeschooling that the children would be extremely above average and able to accomplish such a feat. Without a post-secondary education the only jobs available will be low paying with few or no benefits. Even with two associate degrees I have found, especially in today's job market, it isn't enough which is why I am working on completing my bachelors degree.

Clearly, if Mrs. Duggar thinks that overpopulation doesn't exist or that it doesn't adversely affect the environment and planet has not researched the topic.

Anonymous said...

I think its great that they are getting experience in the nursing field, but I can tell you as a licensed RN, you cannot learn nursing on a computer. Nursing is a serious profession where lives are at stake. Those girls need to go to an accredited school of nursing. And for anyone who is going to say that most schools have online nursing programs, let me inform you that those programs are for licensed RNs who graduated with an associates degree and want to continue their education

Lily and Ellie said...

@Anonymous

Hi Anonymous,

The CollegePlus! nursing program allows students to test out of their general education requirements and then helps them transfer to a fully accredited nursing school to complete their degree.

~Lily and Ellie

Anonymous said...

@Lily and Ellie

Hi Lily and Ellie.
General classes include things like english, math, human A&P, etc...Those are classes that everyone has to take to earn any type of degree. Nursing classes are taken once you are accepted into nursing school and generally schools have a set schedule for classes and they cannot be taken online. There are so many hours of clinical as well. There are NO nursing schools that you can take online unless you are already a nurse. Mrs. Duggar talks about the flexible schedule of college prep. This would be an extreme disadvantage to her girls because the classes are not flexible. you start a semester with a certain number of people and you and those people take all your classes together. If you fail or need to skip a class you have to repeat the entire semester. Nursing school is extremely hard and those girls are not getting good training. Nothing against college plus but those girls need to be in a classroom setting if they want to be good nurses.

Swift Eagle Works said...

Come on! You can learn a lot out of a classroom!Just go to Youtube tutorials and you can see how much you can learn studying at home and for free! Also if you know how to read and you have a library you can learn a ton too. Not only that but I know many people with jobs that required some sort of a degree and they have it not because they hold a degree but because they work hard and learned on the job all the skills necessary for such a job. A lot of entrepeneurs have very little higher education. They are making a good living!The Duggars make a good living. Learning does not start and stop at the classroom! Grow up!

lizabaker said...

As always, a very lovely family. Did anyone ever needed a free college degree?

Anonymous said...

A classmate of mine from College Plus said that his employer preferred his online degree, because it showed him (the employer) that the graduate was self motivated, dedicated, and resourceful.

Anonymous said...

You cannot become a RN in any state without going through clinicals.which are done in a hospital while enrolled in Nursing school. Most states require you to be licensed and registered. I haven't found a nursing program that does not have certain prerequisites for enrollment. If there is one that is very lenient please let me know. I'm sure it will have a huge spike in applications submitted. I'm talking about registered nursing programs only.

Anonymous said...

A benefit of going to, especially, a 4year liberal arts college is that you are exposed to the humanities, etc. You will be a more polished individual.

Anonymous said...

Well, I agree that life is a learning experience. However, in order to have that experience, at some point, the parents have to let go and trust God that their children have been given the tools to make good decisions for themselves in their lives. Marrying off the girls one by one old-school so that they have husbands to take care of them is not exactly giving them the opportunities that they may miss later in life. Don't get me wrong, marriage and children are wonderful, wonderful blessings that not everyone is so lucky to have, but I certainly will be encouraging my kids when they are of age to go out into the world, experience wonderful adventures, go to college and make decisions on what they are passionate about in life. No offense, but I would want my kids to know that there is more for them out there than driving tow trucks, or plumbing, or landscaping. If that's what they want, then fantastic. I support them. BUT I want them to know that they are not limited to these jobs. Education is very, very important, and you can have an education without sacrificing moral integrity.

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