Writing a letter to your confirmation candidate

It seems that one of the biggest events in confirmation preparation in this country is the letters of support to be given to the confirmation candidates during their mandatory retreats.

I have three such letters saved on this blog:

Confirmation letter to my daughterConfirmation letter to my fourth sonConfirmation letter to to my third son
I've asked my children what they remember about the letter they got from me and their dad, and also what they remembered about the letters they received. 
The answer was not much, or at least nothing specific. In general they were happy to have gotten a bag full of letters and there was a sense of feeling loved and supported. I guess that's the main thing - for them to have a sense that this is an important step in their spiritual growth, and that people they know, love and respect have taken the time out of their lives to let them know that! So here are some tips on procuring and writing letters for young confirmation candidates. Start thinkin…

College Plus and CLEP testing vs. "Real" college

As I write this, my son Sam is taking a CLEP test in Natural Science. We went in and paid $25 to the college for administering the test and then $77 for the CLEP people. He paid this himself this time.  If he is successful, that will mean he gets 6 college credits for $102. If he were to take the same course as a class he would pay closer to $2000 for the same 6 credits.

Some of my friends who have their kids on the dual credit track, or who are having their kids on a college prep course in high school have been leery of this path Sam is on. A couple of them have said that college is more than acdemic credit - that they want their kids to have the "college experience" of interacting with other students and professors and being stretched socially as well as academically. They want a complete package. And that's great.

But at the end of this journey, if Sam is successful and stays true to this path, he will have an accredited college degree, just like his friends that use dual credits or that go to the traditional school. In that regard they will have equal footing in the "real world" when looking for employment, filling out resumes and going into interviews. The difference might be that Sam will be able to work more and put away more money, and he will be spending less. In fact he will probably come out of this without any debt for his eduation at all.

But he will also have grown in the real world as he deals with his boss, and with costumers and with managing his school and his work schedules and trying to fit all of that including studying into his week. He is enrolled with College Plus to help with that. Sure, this isn't the "traditional" (albeit only about 100 years or so ) way of doing things, but if the result is to become an educated individual able to tackle the rigors of adult life including gainful employment, then I think Sam will be amply prepared.

And for those who think CLEP exams are not as rigorous as the course, here are some samples.
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  1. Hi,
    I just found your blog via a search on reviews for CollegePlus. My 15 year old daughter is seriously looking at this program. In fact we have a phone appointment today.

    My concern is this, my daughter wants to be a vet. She hopes to get her degree in biology and then apply to a vet school. She thought CollegePlus would give her a jump start to the long years of studies. Yet, when we called in to UC Davis, with a top vet school, they advised her NOT to go the path of CollegePlus. They admitted to not knowing the program but, they have seen these distant learning types of degrees fail the students during application times. They stated that the classes/units weren't accepted.
    Can u give me an update on your experience with this?

    Thank you!

  2. Hi Elizabeth,

    My son is no longer with College Plus because he decided to just work. But I do know a young man who graduated from College Plus with a computer degree, and is now employee and pursuing graduate studies at Kent Stat University. I did check out UC Davis's web site and it seems they are pretty closed to CLEP and other testing, so if your daughter wants to go that route, UC Davis may not be her best bet. Good luck with your investigations - this certainly can be a tricky but exciting time of life for our students! Elena


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