For a completely different idea… I recently visited Meteor Crater in Arizona, and the gift shop handed me a free packet (fridge magnet, DVD, etc.) for filling out a line on a form giving some basic info about our home school (name, general location, grade levels taught, etc.). Many others had filled out the form before me, and under “grade levels” they had put “college”.
I attended BYU, and I loved the feeling of being there, and I loved several of the classes I took. But as my wife and I have studied and learned more and more about home schooling (especially the Thomas Jefferson Education method), I’ve become less and less enamored with university style of educating (for myself personally–but we’re all different, so for other people, I’m sure it’s exactly what they need and love). Instead, I’ve undertaken my own “love of learning” and “scholar phase” by reading voraciously everything I can get my hands on (mostly non-fiction about the Constitution, America as the Promised Land, proper role of government, LDS Church History, and linguistics, all of which is odd considering my BS and MS in Computer Science). Most of what I learned for my career could easily have been picked up through books and online, and the rest–the wisdom versus just the knowledge–could have come through one good mentor.
I know in this country in the last century or so we’ve really turned the focus away from mentors and apprenticeships and toward university degrees, but that isn’t the only (or necessarily the best) way. I’ve applied for a lot of different jobs over the decade and a half that I’ve been working as a software engineer, and almost all the job applications always indicate a college degree OR equivalent experience (Intel is the one exception–they’re really big on PhDs for some reason), and no one has ever cared or asked on the job what degrees (if any) I have–they just care that I can demonstrate my mastery of the required skills.
Anyway, just some food for though, hopefully. I know sometimes we judge others who don’t have an official diploma/degree, but it’s just a piece of paper.