Dad and daughter earn degrees together

(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)

HIGHLAND, AR (KAIT) - A father-daughter duo from Sharp County got to share a special time in their lives over the past two years as they both pursued masters degrees, but it's not something that was planned.

"I found this Master's of Organizational Leadership program so I went ahead and enrolled, but I didn't really know she was planning on doing that," Chris Clem said.

Chris decided to go back to school to better himself.

Meanwhile, his daughter, Taylor Raines, was getting her undergraduate degree from Southern Assemblies of God University in Waxahachie, TX.

"I saw that it was an accelerated program and you do it in conjunction with your bachelor's and so I was all over it," Taylor said.

So, she decided to enroll too, putting in her in all of the same distance learning classes as her father.

"It's a cohort program so once a semester we get together for a week," Chris explained about the course. "So, she was in Texas and we were here in Highland and so we were able to meet up one week each semester, so it was kind of cool to be able to do that."

Chris said it was neat to share ideas and hear other perspectives on the teachings from a 25-year age difference.

They also had to reassure professors that they were not cheating, because their personalities are so similar that they would often write essays that sounded almost the same.

"And Taylor one time said, 'send me your paper,' and I said well you can't look at my stuff and goes, "no, I know I'm going to write it like you so I want to change it up,'" Chris said.

Chris and Taylor both said they are proud of each other, but this did bring out their competitive sides.

"She beat me on some grades and I did some the same but it was fun to have that built in," Chris said.

This dad won't let his daughter forget who came out on top in the end, though. He got a slightly higher grade point average.

"We literally came down to the end and it's just like barely a little bit difference," he said.

They also work together. Chris is the pastor of Highland First Assembly of God, where Taylor serves as the children's pastor.

Chris also plans to continue furthering his education, beginning a doctoral program in the summer.

Taylor, on the other hand, plans to take a little time off before she goes back to get her doctorate.

They both encouraged people to continue seeking educational opportunities and ways to better themselves and those around them.

Copyright 2017 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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