NVCC commencement 2016

Dr. Jill Biden speaks to NVCC graduates during commencement ceremonies held May 14, 2016, at Jiffy Lube Live in Bristow. (Photo courtesy Jill Biden)

Her title may be First Lady now, but for students at Northern Virginia Community College past and future, she's Professor Biden, or "Dr. B."

Jill Biden, wife of President Joe Biden, remains on the faculty at NOVA's Alexandria campus and plans to return to teaching English there just as she did as Second Lady, when Joe Biden was vice president, the college says. When that might be hasn't been discussed just yet.

NOVA spokesperson Hoang Nguyen confirmed Biden will continue to teach, but referred questions on specifics to Biden's press secretary, who didn't return a request for comment Thursday.

Biden has been an educator for more than three decades, teaching English at a community college in Delaware, at a public high school and at a psychiatric hospital for adolescents. She earned her doctorate in education from the University of Delaware in January 2007, and joined the English faculty at NOVA in 2009. She worked there as a full-time professor throughout the Obama administration.

Her dissertation focused on maximizing student retention in community colleges, and as First Lady she's already committed to help College Promise, a nonprofit advocating for free community college across the country, InsideHigherEd reports. Biden has said in the past that community colleges are “one of America’s best-kept secrets.” 

Biden, 69, will be the first First Lady to hold an outside job, and she has faced some criticism for it in an opinion column in the Wall Street Journal, which urged her to drop the "doctor" title and focus on being First Lady.

She declined.

“Together, we will build a world where the accomplishments of our daughters will be celebrated, rather than diminished,” Biden wrote on Twitter.

As a professor at NOVA, students give her an overall four out of five rating on ratemyprofessors.com, with barely a mention of her role in the White House or Obama administration.

The most-repeated criticism among reviewers is that she's a tough grader.

"Good teacher, but a very tough grader. Be ready to grind to pass the class," one student wrote.

"With all on her plate, she still puts in time, effort and concern for her students. I mean, who - in her position - would continue here with all that's going on in her family's very public life?" another student wrote. "But in the classroom she's simply Dr. Biden. One-on-one she's motivating and has high expectations. A tough but fair grader, too."

(9) comments


Not a fan of the Bidens but good for her...stay rooted...mingle with normal people not the elite...


What will this do for traffic in an already traffic congested area? Maybe she'll be helicoptered like every other VIP Fed.

Allen Muchnick

The additional traffic may be no worse than when Dr. Biden taught at NVCC, Alexandria as our Second Lady, but she could ride an electric-assist bicycle directly from 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW.


Pretty cool! Second Ladies rarely get recognition. Karen Pence was a Christian elementary school teacher and worked in art therapy and bee conservation. It'd be interesting to hear a conversation between Mrs. Biden and Mrs. Pence. Probably some constructive stuff about education. Maybe Lateef could chime in. ;-)

Hospice Nurse Jill Biden

Like I said before professor bean will be first in line to sign up for AOCs SS to run the re-eduction camps. The citizen will probably be the person living next to the camps saying... I never knew THAT was going on there.


I’d like to add that I applaud anyone who has the desire and dedication to complete any college or vocational degree. That in itself is an accomplishment, especially if the degree enables the individual to pursue their career goals.


@AlfredP. An Ed.D. is still a doctorate. A Ph.D. Is considered the highest terminal degree in education due to its more rigorous requirements. Still, the level of requirements and difficulty can vary from one university program to another. @Bean. Don’t be a degree snob. Because of the difference in universities and degrees, a BA can be challenging. Not all professions require a graduate degree.


the class should be for free, and she shouldn't get paid a dime. PHD ... no MD --- what a joke


You should work for free. You have no transferrable skills and most likely do not have more than a BA.

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