Though most of the Duggar kids don’t really get the chance to pursue higher education, Josiah Duggar‘s wife, Lauren Swanson, followed a different path. Though she was homeschooled just like her husband and all of his siblings, she also pursued her degree at Georgia Military College and studied nursing (think that means she’ll get along well with John David Duggar‘s nurse fiancé, Abbie Grace Burnett?). Both she and her younger sister Lily did a two-year dual enrollment program there that let them earn college credits and take high school classes simultaneously.
Thanks to the program, they didn’t just get their high school diplomas, but also an associate’s degree. Which is pretty crazy when you consider that the girls started school there when they were just 16 and 13 respectively. The sisters took Si back to school with them to show him around the campus, and the whole thing was documented in a new Counting On webisode shared online. Check it out.
How cool is that? We’re especially impressed by the fact that Lauren’s sister Lily is dreaming even bigger. Though Lauren doesn’t have any plans to get her bachelor’s degree or pursue nursing any further, Lily is planning on studying teaching for her major and even going on to get a master’s degree in speech pathology. Whoa!
She may be the youngest of the married Duggar daughters and wives, but we’re pretty sure this makes Lauren the most formally educated one of them all. But not everyone is terribly far behind. Derick Dillard, of course, got his four-year degree and is even now in law school. Joy-Anna Duggar has also talked about college, and revealed in the video that she’s currently in bible college, likely doing one of the online programs that mom Michelle Duggar has talked about in the past.
“It’s a distance learning program, for the most part, and then you have a coach who will come alongside you and assist you in studying and preparing for your courses,” Michelle wrote in a TLC blog from 2012 about CollegePlus, the programs her kids have done. “A few of our kids are taking courses right now, and I think some of them will go for their degrees in whichever areas they decide, and then I think some of them may not really go for the full degree — but they’re getting knowledge and information for skills that they want to gain.”
Joseph Duggar has also done some schooling of his own, and is the only one of the 19 kids to go to an actual brick-and-mortar college. “He went to a bible college for a year, and did like a one year bible program,” Josiah explained. But we can imagine that might’ve been quite the culture shock — just like it was for the Swanson girls.
“Coming to a college was kind of scary for us,” Lauren said about the transition from homeschooling. “I was not used to sitting in a classroom with other students. I was used to doing schoolwork on my own at my own pace. And in college you have deadlines. You had to hurry up and finish your work. I don’t learn very quickly, so I had to spend extra time with the books.”
As for the future, though, the Duggars kids aren’t ready to rule out the idea of higher education for their own children. Though Kendra Caldwell recently revealed she’s not going to college, her kids just might. “When they get into college-aged, we wouldn’t be opposed to them going to college.” Jinger Duggar seems even more gung-ho about the idea. “I think that would be excellent for them to do,” she says about her future children. This generation of Duggars may not be hitting the books at college — but it seems like there’s hope for the next one.