Joe Biden’s wife has announced that she wants to be called “Doctor Biden”, something that Steven Hayward opined is typical of “the insatiable neediness of many public figures.”
It is also inappropriate. For one thing, Jill Biden’s degree (EdD) is a Doctor of Education, not a Doctor of Philosophy in Education (PhD, Education).
“A Doctor of Education is professional degree designed for practitioners pursuing educational leadership roles. A PhD in education, on the other hand, is designed to prepare graduates for research and teaching roles.” – Northeastern University
I am familiar with this distinction, because I was once enrolled in a Master’s of Professional Studies graduate program at Cornell. And MPS is similar to an EdD in that it is a less rigorous program than a Master’s of Arts (MA) or Master’s of Science (MS).
My MPS program was part of the Communication Arts department. It was designed specifically for older students, people who were practitioners in a wide range of fields who wanted to change the focus of their job toward some aspect of communications.
For example, one of my peers was an employee at the Brooklyn Botanical Museum. Her employer wanted her to get the MPS in Comm Arts so she would be qualified to return to the museum and take over that aspect of their program. She told us that she would do things like design school field trips.
Another graduate of my program was a priest from Australia who had been sent to Cornell by his diocese with the intention that he would run their distance-based religious education program for Catholics living in the outback.
Both of these people used their theses to research and design what they planned to do when they returned to their jobs. I had worked in a film and video library that served a collection of school districts in the Southern Tier; I wanted to move up into teaching teachers how to better utilize educational media. (My disease kicked in before I finished the degree, which makes me an Ivy League drop out.)
I met Dearest while we were both at Cornell. He had already qualified for a BA in Fine Arts, but wanted to complete the extra year required to get a Bachelor’s of Architecture (BArch). When I compared the rigor, course work, and requirements of our two programs, I concluded that they were approximately equivalent.
But getting back to Doctor Jill. While it’s true that she has an earned doctorate, it is also true that people with academic doctorates generally do not use their titles outside of the work place.
Even physicians don’t always go by doctor. For example, Senator Rand Paul is not commonly referred to as Doctor Paul, though he is still a practicing physician. Ditto Secretary of Housing Ben Carson who enjoyed a long career as a world-renowned surgeon.
Something similar holds true elsewhere. For example, lawyers earn a Juris Doctorate when they graduate from law school. Like the EdD, the JD is a professional degree, not a research or teaching degree. Do you know any lawyers who demand to be called “doctor”?
Similarly, within the military, officers with academic doctorates are referred to by their rank. Military medical officers may choose to be called “doctor” because it reflects their relationship to other military personnel, rather than the subordinate vs. superior relationship that rank does.
Thomas Lifson points out another reason why Jill Biden would have done well to keep her mouth shut about her degree which is that her thesis paper – entitled “Student Retention at the Community College Level: Meeting Students’ Needs” is nothing to write home about.
The following are quotations in italics from the document (pdf link below) with comments by me and/or other people minus attribution to make it easier to read.
Three quarters of the class will be Caucasian; one quarter of the class will be African American … the remaining seats will be filled with students of Asian descent or non-resident aliens.
I’m sorry, but what remaining seats? Are there students sitting in the hall who aren’t counted as part of the class?
Although there is strength in diversity as a classroom component, the lack of homogeneity in academic ability makes it difficult to teach to a single standard. … As a result, due to the diversity of the student population, student retention is a major problem faced by the community college. [p. 2]
Uhhhh … so diversity is good but it leads to students flunking out … or something?
Admission to the College is open to all Delaware residents who have a high school education or its equivalent or to anyone who is eighteen years of age or older and able to benefit from instruction. [p. 12]
That’s a big “or.”
The unique nature of the classroom allows for a complexity of problems as well. [p. 13]
And she wants to be called “doctor”?
By 1963, public and private two year headcount enrollment stood at 850,361. By 1980, enrollment had grown to 4,526,287… approximately a 230 percent increase in student attendance. [p. 20]
Uhhh … a 230% increase over the 1963 number is less than 2 million, not four and a half million. I totally see how Democrats have concluded there is “no evidence of election fraud” in districts where the number of votes cast is higher than the number of registered voters.
Many minority students lack basic skills such as identifying the main idea and supporting statements. [p. 43]
I’m thinking it’s not just minority students, but also certain individuals with EdD degrees and presumably their thesis advisers who let this crap pass muster.
Of the 159 students surveyed, 55 receive financial aid; 41 pay their own tuition bills; 45 students’ parents pay; 3 spouses pay; 9 receive scholarships; and 9 others receive funds through the GI Bill, vocational rehabilitation programs, or grants. Thus, only one-quarter of the students are able to finance their education themselves [p. 47]
More of that creative Democrat math.
Many faculty offer good, workable suggestions that the administration may want to consider in future planning: a reading specialist, an eight week study week. [p. 63]
Two more points against Jill’s desire for largely unearned prestige … one, the shallow reason behind her decision to go back to school at all and two, it results in ignorant people like Whoopi Goldberg assuming she is a physician.
Among Goldberg’s many cringe-worthy moments on The View was this “whooper”: “I’m hoping Dr. Jill becomes the Surgeon General. … She would never do it but, yeah, she’s a hell of a doctor. She’s an amazing doctor.”
CLICK https://twitter.com/i/status/1339389972151975937 [7:17] to hear Tucker Carlson snark at length. He doesn’t make any points I didn’t cover (cuz, you know, I got some of my material from him! LOL), but he does play some clips of snotty Democrats being all outraged.