Archive for the ‘Homeschool Friendly College’ Category


Christendom College

February 4, 2011

Christendom College is a small Catholic coeducational liberal arts college in Front Royal, Virginia, which is located in the Shenandoah Valley. The main campus overlooks the Shenandoah River with scenic views of the neighboring Blue Ridge Mountains. Christendom College is committed to both academic and moral excellence. Rules governing student life include a dress code, under 21 curfew, and no intervisitation between men’s and women’s dormitories. Although there is a strong Catholic emphasis in all aspects of the curriculum and life at Christendom College, non-Catholics are welcome to apply.

Christendom College is institutionally committed to the Magisterium, or “teaching authority,” of the Roman Catholic Church. The college was founded in 1977 by Catholic historian Warren Carroll in response to the devastating blow inflicted on Catholic higher education by the cultural revolution of the 1960s. At a time when other Catholic colleges were no longer following the guiding light of the Catholic faith, Christendom College stepped up and dedicated itself to the restoration of a truly Catholic culture.

The stated mission of Christendom College is “to restore all things in Christ.” The college’s vision statement reads in part: “The only rightful purpose of education is to learn the truth and to live by it. The purpose of Catholic education is therefore to learn and to live by the truth revealed by Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ….Only an education which integrates the truths of the Catholic Faith throughout the curriculum is a fully Catholic education.”

With the vision of providing “a liberal arts education that would fully integrate natural and revealed truth,” Christendom has a core curriculum of carefully selected subjects required for all of its students. The undergraduate curriculum consists of three years of study in Theology, three years in Philosophy, two years in English Language and Literature, two years in Classical or Modern Language, two years in History, one year in Political Science and Economics, and one year in Mathematics and Natural Science.

Christendom offers degrees in Classical and Early Christian Studies, English Language and Literature, French Language and Literature, History, Philosophy, Political Science and Economics, and Theology. Every junior has the option of spending a semester in Rome, living just outside the Vatican and across from St. Peter’s Basilica. Students study Moral Theology or Apologetics, Art and Architecture, Italian, and Roman Perspectives while in Rome.

Christendom College does not participate in any Title IV Federal Student Financial Assistance Programs which includes federal student loans. This was a prudential decision made by Christendom College to protect its freedom to teach the Catholic Faith without hindrance. However, the College has developed its own institutional financial assistance program that is competitive with colleges who do accept federal financial aid. The College is also an active participant in the Yellow Ribbon Program for Veterans.

Successful applicants to Christendom College must show promise of being able to do serious intellectual work at the college level. Admission is determined by a variety of indicators including, but not limited to, high school grades, SAT or ACT scores, essays, and letters of recommendation. The normal scores that the Admissions Committee is looking for in order to accept a student are: SAT 1650 or higher (all three sections combined) and ACT 24 or higher. The Admissions Committee uses these numbers as standards but treats each applicant individually and takes many other factors into consideration before making a final determination.


Applicants will write essays on topics like the following: 1. Why do you want to attend Christendom College? State what you hope to gain from your experience at Christendom; what you hope to add to the College community; and what attracts you to the College. (500 word minimum.) 2. Describe your life within your family. Do you have brothers and sisters? What interests do you share? Have you discussed your plans for college with your family? If so, what do they think? (250 word minimum.) 3. Describe some person or experience who/which has had a deep impact on your life. Explain its value to you. (250 word minimum.) Essays are judged on content, grammar, spelling, and style.

Homeschoolers are encouraged to apply, and homeschool applicants follow all of the same admission procedures as other students. Your mother or father may fill out the academic letter of recommendation if they have been your teachers. Or have a teacher who has instructed you submit an academic letter of recommendation. Ask your parish priest, an employer or counselor to submit a personal letter of recommendation.

Christendom College recognizes accredited Catholic homeschooling programs such as Kolbe Academy, Mother of Divine Grace, Our Lady of the Rosary, and Seton Home Study. Homeschooled students who are not enrolled in one of the approved homeschool programs should provide documentation of completed course work. Homeschool transcript forms to be filled in are available from the college and may be downloaded at:

Christendom does not require that a particular core curriculum be completed prior to applying for the college, nor does Christendom require a student to have graduated from high school or to have earned a GED. However, the following high school courses are recommended for students preparing to attend Christendom College: English/Literature (4 years) – Grammar and Composition, World Literature, American Literature, British Literature. History and related studies (3 years) – World History, American History and Government, Geography. Language (2 years of same language) – Classical or Modern Language. Mathematics (2 years) – Algebra I and II, Geometry, Trigonometry, Pre-calculus/Calculus. Science (2 years) – Biology, Chemistry, Physics. (Plus one additional year of either math or science.)

According to Thomas McFadden, Director of Admissions, “Homeschoolers do very well at Christendom College. Each year approximately 50% of the incoming class comes to us from a homeschool background, although many more have been homeschooled at one point in their elementary or secondary education. One of the things we have noticed about our homeschooled students is their incredible ability to read voraciously and also to comprehend what they have read. I think this is something particular to the homeschooled student because they tend to have a little extra time during their week to read for pleasure. This ability to read quickly and comprehend what they have read comes in very handy at Christendom. In all of our classes at Christendom, we require lots of in-class reading, [and] also out-of-class reading.”

McFadden adds, “Many parents have made the choice to homeschool their children because they are not too happy with today’s culture and they want to keep some of the bad aspects of today’s culture out of their children’s lives. At Christendom, the college seeks to help parents in their roles of primary educators and works hard to not only keep bad things out of the campus culture, but to provide a good Catholic culture in its place. In fact, at Christendom, one of the slogans used to advertise the school is, ‘Catholicism is the air that we breathe.’ It doesn’t really get much more Catholic than that!”

Learn more about Christendom College at


Hillsdale College

January 11, 2011

Hillsdale College“Pursuing Truth and Defending Liberty Since 1844”

Hillsdale is America’s premier college that teaches students and educates citizens about the blessings of liberty and about our nation’s founding principles. Hillsdale’s educational mission rests upon two principles: academic excellence and institutional independence. Hillsdale College provides students with a well-rounded traditional liberal arts education that covers an important body of knowledge and timeless truths about the human condition. But unlike other liberal arts colleges, Hillsdale emphasizes what liberty means and the moral conditions of its preservation. Hillsdale College carries out its mission both in the classroom and nationwide through its extensive outreach programs.

Hillsdale was established in 1844 by Freewill Baptists, although the college has been officially non-denominational since its inception. Hillsdale’s founders were determined to uphold the principles of civil and religious liberty articulated by the Founding Fathers of America who declared that “all men are created equal.” Hillsdale was the first American college to prohibit discrimination based on race, sex, or religion in its charter. Black students were admitted from the beginning, and Hillsdale was the second college in the nation to grant four-year liberal arts degrees to women. Hillsdale College continues to value the merit of each unique individual rather than succumbing to the dehumanizing trends of “social justice” and “multicultural diversity,” which judge people not as individuals but as members of a group competing against other groups in divisive power struggles.

The concepts of individual liberty, personal responsibility, free market economics, and limited government under the Constitution are no longer taught at many American colleges, so most students graduate with little or no understanding of what makes America unique, free, and prosperous. Today’s college professors often openly denigrate America, teaching students to distrust free markets, fear religion, and be ashamed of patriotism. In contrast, Hillsdale is dedicated to training a new generation of leaders for America who understand the Constitution of the United States, and who will uphold and defend the principles of liberty upon which America was founded. Every Hillsdale student comes to understand how the Constitution is responsible for America becoming a beacon of liberty and prosperity for the world – what President Reagan liked to call “a shining city on a hill.”

Hillsdale’s mission statement reads: “The College considers itself a trustee of modern man’s intellectual and spiritual inheritance from the Judeo-Christian faith and Greco-Roman culture, a heritage finding its clearest expression in the American experiment of self-government under law.” Hillsdale explains why America is exceptional in human history and teaches its students that: 1.) The Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution are the greatest charters of liberty ever written, and are responsible for America quickly becoming the freest, most prosperous nation in human history. 2.) The free enterprise system is essential to American freedom and prosperity. 3.) The United States is a great nation – but a nation that is in danger because our national leaders have so little understanding of the principles of liberty and limited government that are the reason for its greatness. 4.) Faith in God, far from undermining liberty as the ACLU would claim, actually supports liberty. Thomas Jefferson wrote, “…can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God?”

Hillsdale is a world-class college that can compete credibly with Harvard, Yale, Stanford, and other prominent institutions of higher learning for the best professors and students. Hillsdale consistently ranks highly in U.S. News & World Report, while Forbes magazine ranks Hillsdale as one of the “Top 100 Colleges in America” today – ahead of three Ivy League colleges. Hillsdale’s tuition is less than half the tuition at many equally prestigious schools, so Hillsdale is also listed among the Princeton Review’s fifty “best value” private colleges – even though Hillsdale does not permit its students to bring federal financial aid to campus. Unlike nearly every other college and university in the country, Hillsdale does not accept any federal or state taxpayer subsidies – not even in the form of student grants and loans. The college does this because they don’t want the government dictating who they must hire, who they must admit for enrollment, or what they are allowed to teach.

Hillsdale has built a national reputation on its principled refusal of government funding, ever since the 1970’s when the college refused to alter its admissions policies for the sake of affirmative action. But Hillsdale does not want expense to be a barrier for any qualified student to attend, so the college offers competitive privately-funded financial aid packages. Need-based, athletic, fine arts, and academic awards are available. Scholarships include the William and Berniece Grewcock Scholarship for students who graduate from Nebraska Christian or parochial high schools or homeschoolers from Nebraska. Recipients of this scholarship must meet Hillsdale admissions standards, be of sound moral character and of proven leadership ability, maintain a minimum 3.0 grade-point average, agree to community/campus service requirements and participate in campus Christian organizations.

More than 1,400 students – including about 90 homeschoolers – attend Hillsdale from 45 states, the District of Columbia, and eight foreign countries. The incoming freshman class averages a high school grade-point average of 3.73, a composite ACT score of 29, and a combined SAT score of 1970. In addition, 50% of incoming freshmen rank in the top 10% of their high school graduating class. Hillsdale is highly selective; only one applicant is accepted for every two applications received. The Office of Admissions considers the following: GPA, SAT/ACT scores, official academic transcripts, extra-curricular involvement (leadership and volunteerism are important), interview, essays, and letters of recommendation. Admission requirements for homeschoolers are the same as regular applicants, but their recommendations do not have to come from teachers, and a parent is asked to write a letter about the student’s education.

Jeffrey Lantis, Director of Admissions, says, “We tend to look very favorably upon homeschoolers applying to our college. Homeschoolers are consistently among our top students.” He offers the following advice for homeschool students interested in attending Hillsdale: “We look to extracurricular activities, and community involvement to see leadership development in our applicants. Volunteer work in outreach organizations, employment, community music groups, and sports teams all provide the opportunity for homeschooled students to show us the leadership skills they’ve gained.” While Lantis finds homeschoolers to be strong students and good campus leaders, this admissions director has noticed that handling peer pressure is a weakness among homeschoolers at Hillsdale.

Located in rural southern Michiganat the bottom of the mitten near where the Ohio and Indiana borders meet, the 200-acre Hillsdale campus contains both historic and modern buildings. Facilities include multiple instructional and office buildings, subject-specific computer labs, thirteen residence halls, six fraternity and sorority houses, a state-of-the-art health education and sports complex, a music hall, arts center, and an arboretum. Adjacent to the campus is Hillsdale Academy, a private K-12 liberal arts school that emulates a one-room schoolhouse education. Their comprehensive downloadable Reference Guide is used in hundreds of schools and homeschools throughout the country.

Hillsdale College employs 116 full-time faculty members and maintains an ideal student-to-faculty ratio of 10-to-1. Hillsdale offers a variety of liberal arts majors including 34 traditional majors and eight interdisciplinary majors, as well as nine pre-professional programs, a teacher education program, and a journalism certificate program. Its maintenance of a classical core curriculum exemplifies the traditional liberal arts program. All students, regardless of major, are required to take courses in humanities, natural science, and social science during their first two years. A broad perspective is also encouraged through community volunteerism and opportunities for off-campus internships, overseas study programs, and adjunct seminars.

Hillsdale boasts one of the largest and most distinguished lecture programs in the country. Hillsdale’s Center for Constructive Alternatives (CCA) has sponsored more than 1,100 speakers since 1971, including conservative luminaries such as Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, and Walter Williams. Students are required to attend two hours of CCA seminars in order to graduate. In addition, there are Mises Lectures in free-market economics, National Leadership Seminars, and seminars at the Charles R. and Kathleen K. Hoogland Center for Teacher Excellence. Launched in June of 2001, the Center for Teacher Excellence expands the reach of Hillsdale’s message of classical curricula for the advancement of liberty to a nationwide audience of teachers. Over 1,000 public, private and homeschool teachers from 38 states have participated in the seminar series in American civics education.

Hillsdale’s new 16,000-square-foot Allan P. Kirby, Jr. Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship in Washington, D.C. officially opened in December 2010. The renovated building, which dates to 1892, is located just a few minutes’ walk from the Supreme Court building, Senate office buildings, and Union Station. It will serve as a headquarters for Hillsdale students who are serving as interns in government, the media, and think-tanks on Capital Hill. Additionally, the Kirby Center will hold educational programs and provide research on the Constitution and America’s founding principles for elected officials and other policymakers. Besides educating our leaders to have a greater appreciation for America’s heritage of liberty and limited government, the Center will educate American citizens on the vital importance of the Constitution.

Hillsdale College is also making its educational programs on liberty available to millions of Americans via “Constitution Town Hall” webcasts on the internet. More than 50,000 citizens from all fifty states have viewed “Reviving the Constitution,” Hillsdale’s first-ever online town hall which was originally held on January 30, 2010. The entire program of “Reviving the Constitution” is available for free online, courtesy of the Kirby Center. It features almost five hours of instructive content, including presentations on the Constitution, its framework for the protection of our liberties, and the assault waged upon that framework by the Progressive movement. This resource is also available as a two-disc DVD set for viewing at home, in classrooms, or with church groups and civic associations. The DVD is available for online purchase exclusively from the Hillsdale College bookstore.

Hillsdale’s flagship publication IMPRIMIS (Latin for “in the first place”) dates back to 1972 and has a current circulation of 1.9 million. Subscriptions are available to anyone free of charge. This always timely, always informative monthly digest of speeches delivered by conservative leaders from a variety of fields features commentary and analysis on national and international events concerning cultural, economic, political and educational issues of enduring significance. In early 2011 the Kirby Center will publish “The U.S. Constitution: A Reader,” a collection of more than 100 primary source documents relating to America’s founding, the Civil War, Progressivism, and American government today. “The Constitution is not just the domain of judges and lawyers,” states Kirby Center Director Dr. David J. Bobb. “It’s the responsibility of all Americans to understand and uphold it, and our aim…is to help equip citizens to do so.”

For more information about all that Hillsdale has to offer, visit the following websites:

Hillsdale College –

Hillsdale Academy –

Center for Teacher Excellence –

Kirby Center –

Constitution Town Hall –



The College of William & Mary

December 5, 2010

A fourth-grade field trip for many…a four-year adventure for the select few!

The College of William & Mary (also known as William & Mary, or W&M) is a public research university located in Williamsburg, Virginia. It’s the second-oldest college in America after Harvard University. The royal charter for William & Mary was issued by King William III and Queen Mary II on February 8, 1693, for a “perpetual College of Divinity, Philosophy, Languages, and other good Arts and Sciences” to be founded in the Virginia Colony.

William & Mary is famous for its firsts:

– the first American institution with a Royal Charter.

– the nation’s first collegiate secret society (the F.H.C. Society, founded in 1750).

– the first Greek-letter fraternity (Phi Beta Kappa, founded in 1776, the oldest honor society for the liberal arts and sciences).

– the first law school in America (established in 1779 at the urging of alumnus Thomas Jefferson, then governor of Virginia).

– the first school of higher education in the United States to install an honor code of conduct for students (also established by Thomas Jefferson in 1779).

The Sir Christopher Wren Building, a National Historic Landmark, is the oldest college building in continuous use in the United States. The Wren Building was constructed on the W&M campus between 1695 and 1700 before Williamsburg was founded, when the capital of the colony of Virginia was still located at Jamestown. Two other buildings around the Wren Building – the Brafferton (built in 1723 and originally housing the Indian School, a school of higher education for young Indian men), and the President’s House (built in 1732) – complete a triangle known as the “Ancient Campus.”

W&M has been called “the Alma Mater of a Nation” because of its close ties to America’s founding fathers. A 17-year-old George Washington received his surveyor’s license from the college. Thomas Jefferson (class of 1762) received his undergraduate education there, as did U.S. presidents James Monroe (class of 1776) and John Tyler (class of 1807). Distinguished alumni include other key figures important to the development of the nation, including U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall (class of 1780), and sixteen signers of the Declaration of Independence. George Wythe, one of the signers and a distinguished jurist, became America’s first professor of law at W&M.

After the Civil War started, enlistments in the Confederate Army depleted W&M’s student body. On May 10, 1861, the faculty voted to close the college for the duration of the conflict. The buildings were put into use as a Confederate barracks and hospital, and later as a Union hospital when those forces took over Williamsburg. Four years after the war ended, the college re-opened but had to close again in 1882 due to lack of funds. In 1888, W&M was able to permanently resume operations when the Commonwealth of Virginia passed an act to support the college as a state teacher-training institution.

Since then, the second oldest college in the nation has also become a cutting-edge research university. W&M’s prime location – close to Colonial Williamsburg, the NASA Langley Research Lab, and the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility – plus its extensive on-campus facilities, libraries, museums, and special collections make W&M a national research destination.

The Center for Gifted Education at W&M was established in 1988. The Center provides services to educators, policy makers, graduate students, researchers, parents, and students to support the needs of gifted and talented individuals. W&M curriculum has been used by a number of homeschool families. This requires some revision on the part of the parent, because the units do emphasize small and large group interaction among students, but the units are definitely usable in a homeschool setting – especially the language arts and social studies units. Within the curriculum units, specific teaching models are used to strengthen students’ critical thinking skills. For more information about this curriculum, see:

Homeschoolers will appreciate the fact that W&M maintains a low student-to-faculty ratio of 11-to-1 (the second lowest among U.S. public universities), thereby providing a small college environment and fostering better student-professor interaction. The 2011 U.S. News and World Report college rankings placed W&M 5th in the nation for “Best Undergraduate Teaching.” Of all undergraduate classes at W&M, 86% contain 40 or fewer students, and 99% of all undergraduate classes are taught by professors (not teaching assistants).

W&M’s four-year, full-time undergraduate program comprises most of the institution’s enrollment. With over 40 different majors – from art to mathematics to linguistics to neuroscience – there is something for everyone. Most students graduate from W&M with a B.A. or B.S. degree in Liberal Arts & Sciences. You can also choose from programs in the schools of Business and Education, or even design your own major. The interdisciplinary majors of Global Studies, Environmental Studies, and Medieval and Renaissance Studies were originally dreamed up by students. Graduate programs include law, business, public policy, education, marine science, and American colonial history.

W&M and The University of St. Andrews, the oldest university in Scotland, have recently joined forces. Beginning in the fall of 2011, students will be able to complete two years at each institution and earn a single diploma – a Bachelor of Arts, International Honours – with the insignias of both institutions, one of the few programs of its kind in the world. W&M also offers undergraduates a dual degree program in engineering with Columbia University.

Admission to W&M is considered “most selective” according to U.S. News and World Report. Only about 35% of applicants are admitted, with 79% of enrolling students having graduated in the top tenth of their high school class and 77.6% with a high school GPA above 3.75. The average range of incoming SAT scores is 630-730 for reading, 620-710 for math, and 610-720 for writing.

Although W&M is highly selective, it is also public, offering a superior education without the sticker shock. In fact, W&M is considered one of the few “Public Ivies” in the nation, providing an Ivy League collegiate experience at a public school price. W&M ranked as the #3 “best value” among America’s public universities in the 2007 issue of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine. W&M’s undergraduate program ranks #4 and #6 respectively among American public universities, according to the 2010 Forbes and 2011 U.S. News & World Report rankings.

W&M is happy to accept applications from homeschool students, which are subject to the same review as students applying from a traditional high school. The admissions committee understands that each homeschool program is different, and an “official” high school transcript is not necessary. However, admissions staff will be looking for students who take challenging courses such as calculus, physics, and composition at a local community college. They also like to see students taking 4 high school years (4 college semesters) of a single foreign language. Although not required, the admission committee recommends taking SAT II subject tests to demonstrate proficiency in some of the core academic subject areas (Math, Science, English, etc.). Finally, all homeschooled students must complete the “Common Application’s Home School Supplement,” in which the parent or homeschool supervisor has to describe their homeschooling philosophy and state why homeschooling was chosen for the applicant. For more information, go to and click on Admission, then Undergraduate Admission, then Homeschool Applicants.

W&M has a number of traditions, including the Yule Log Ceremony. Right before students take off for Winter Break, the whole student body squeezes into the Wren Courtyard where festive “cressets” (wood-burning torches) warm the crowd. The students are treated to student speeches explaining international holiday traditions as well as live carols sung by the Gentlemen of the College and the William & Mary Choir. The college president dressed as Santa Claus reads a rendition of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” and the Vice-President of Student Affairs reads “Twas the Night Before Finals.” Afterward, students pile into the Great Hall to toss ceremonial sprigs of holly into the Yule log fire for good luck. Then it’s hot cider and cookies for everybody. A Christmas tree on the Wren Building porch is adorned with paper doves bearing messages of peace that students have inscribed on them.


UC Riverside

November 9, 2010

UC Riverside Welcomes Homeschooled and Non-Traditionally Educated Students

The University of California, Riverside, commonly known as UC Riverside or UCR, is a public research university and one of the ten general campuses in the University of California system. UC Riverside realizes that quality students come from all walks of life and all manner of educational backgrounds. That’s why UCR is consistently ranked as one of the most ethnically and economically diverse universities in the United States. In fact, UCR’s extensive outreach and diversity programs have contributed to its reputation as a “campus of choice” for minority students of all kinds. UC Riverside also recognizes the unique qualities that homeschooled and other non-traditionally educated students can bring to campus. UC Riverside encourages these students to apply during the November 1-30 application period through its admission program for non-traditionally schooled students.

Examples of non-traditional educational settings include those where the high school education was: primarily home-based (homeschooling); completed as home-based after leaving a traditional high school during the last year or two; a combination of courses from various sources such as high school, community college, and online programs, with or without extensive home-based education; completed early by taking the California High-School Proficiency Exam AND performing additional studies outside of class or participating in significant educational life experiences such as charity work or experience in another country; taken at a non-accredited charter school that uses innovative educational methods and doesn’t have a UC-approved course list; any other novel educational approach to learning in a setting other than a regularly attended classroom.

UCR has developed a special admission program for homeschooled and other non-traditionally educated students in recognition of the depth of learning and socialization benefits they have gained. Students who have received an innovative, customized, or self-determined education, which includes real-life learning experiences, may not only have obtained an excellent education but may also have developed the personal character and vision that can lead to success in college and life. Such qualities include: maturity and self-discipline, leadership skills, creativity and ingenuity, an intrinsic motivation to learn, determination, a desire to volunteer or perform community service, an interest in the exploration of other cultures and languages, and a possession of clear and achievable goals. These characteristics provide excellent foundations for pursuing an education at UCR, and UCR is likewise a good fit for such students.

Founded in 1907 as the UC Citrus Experiment Station, a pioneer in biological pest control, UC Riverside is now a major research institution and national center for the humanities with a current undergraduate and graduate enrollment of nearly 21,000. Some of the world’s most important research collections on citrus diversity and entomology, as well as science fiction and photography, are located at UC Riverside. Key areas of research include nanotechnology, genomics, environmental studies, digital arts, and sustainable growth and development. UCR provides many research opportunities for undergraduates as well as cutting-edge knowledge in the classroom. All of this excellence lies within a tight-knit community of recreation and social opportunities that meet every student interest, convenient shopping and entertainment, and nearby beaches, mountains, and desert. The 1,200-acre park-like main campus is located in the heart of inland Southern California, with a branch campus of 20 acres in Palm Desert.

All applicants must have a high school diploma, a GED, or a Certificate of Proficiency and submit ACT/SAT scores. In addition, non-traditional applicants should prepare a portfolio, a paper document that follows certain guidelines describing subjects they studied and learning methods used. The portfolio provides an opportunity for applicants to describe their unique educational backgrounds and their specific educational accomplishments which were not captured in the UCR application. Examples include: learning from source documents rather than a textbook, blending English and history in a single learning project, making extensive use of a museum for learning, in-depth study of a topic of great interest, or choosing a particular mathematics curriculum after determining the best match to one’s learning style. A committee of faculty members and staff who are familiar with home or non-traditional schooling will review the portfolio along with the other application materials. (Applicants with strong SAT scores and/or strong grades in several college-level courses – e.g., community college or Advanced Placement – may elect to postpone their preparation and submission of a portfolio, and instead wait to see if the review committee can make a positive decision from the rest of the application materials without a portfolio.)

Homeschooled and other non-traditionally educated students should look at the Non-Traditional Admission section of the Paths to Admission area of the UCR website for more information:


Southwestern College

October 1, 2010

Southwestern College Offers the Home School Learner Grant

Southwestern College in Phoenix, Arizona, is looking for students who can think, speak, and write well. They want students who understand the value of academics and have a passion for the Lord Jesus Christ. The faculty and staff at Southwestern College recognize the qualities that homeschoolers bring to campus – such as initiative, independent learning, and critical thinking.

To honor homeschooling families for all those years of working to provide their children a quality education with Christian values, Southwestern College has introduced the Home School Learner Grant for non-graduated home schooled students seeking college level courses* taught from a Christian worldview.  The grant reduces the standard tuition rate for up to 6-8 credit hours per semester – for credits that transfer to any college and university and apply towards degree or certificate programs. (*Students would complete the non-degree seeking application and will not be eligible for Title IV funds.)

Students need to provide one of the following sources to demonstrate ability prior to enrolling: SAT, ACT, PSAT, AIMS, Sanford 9 (Norm-Referenced Achievement Tests), or placement test such as the Compass or Accuplacer. In addition to academic readiness for college level work, students should also possess the requisite maturity appropriate for the respective subject matter. Some students choose to take classes as a dual credit program when they are 16 years old and that is acceptable as an addition to their homeschooling program. However, the college normally only enrolls students full time who are no more than a year younger than the freshman class.

WHEN: Spring classes begin January 11, 2011

WHERE: Southwestern College, 2625 E. Cactus Road, Phoenix, Arizona 85032

COST: Home School Learner Grant – $125.00 per credit hour

CONTACT: Tami Lopez, Admissions & Financial Aid Specialist for information about the Home School Learner Grant, 602-386-4109


Southwestern College has welcomed homeschool students for many years. While the college does not require applicants to have a GED or state certified diploma, they do require all students to have a transcript of courses and grades taken during high school years. The high school transcript should be a comprehensive transcript, detailing the course work from ninth through eleventh grades as well as the course work for the current year in progress. There should be a grade listed for each course and a cumulative grade point average based on a 4.0 scale should be given at the end. Finally, the transcript must be signed and dated by the preparer and sealed in an envelope. Southwestern College supplies a transcript template that can be used as a guideline.

Since 1960, Southwestern has been an evangelical college focused on ministry. It offers both Associate and Bachelor degrees in various fields of study for students who prefer to be taught from a Christian perspective. Bachelors in the arts and sciences degrees are offered in Behavioral Health, Biblical Studies, Business Administration, Christian Ministries, Education, & Music. Two-year Associate degrees in the arts and sciences are offered as well as a one-year “Certificate in Bible” program for those who wish to be educated in theology without earning a degree.

Southwestern College has the same regional accreditation that the state universities have, plus a Biblical worldview is interwoven into the curriculum – whether it’s an elementary education degree, counseling, or business. Southwestern College also emphasizes the importance of communication, critical thinking, biblical literacy, technological literacy, personal and professional ethics, and interpersonal skills.

Small class sizes and exceptionally qualified faculty create an unparalleled educational environment with lots of individual attention and plenty of opportunity for personal interaction between professors and students. Southwestern College provides the high level of academic preparation students need to succeed, the full college experience that helps them to mature, and the biblical foundation to guide their behavior.

Applicants with the most likely chance for admission have academic credentials that include at least a “B” grade average, an ACT or SAT test score above the national average, and a strong testimony of faith in Jesus Christ. Once you are ready, applying to Southwestern College is an easy process:


Homeschool Dad becomes President of Southwestern College

The Board of Trustees of Southwestern College has just announced the appointment of attorney, public policy expert and experienced non-profit leader Len Munsil as the 6th President in the 50-year history of Arizona’s only fully-accredited, non-profit Christian liberal arts college. Southwestern College, founded in 1960, is a non-denominational Christian college nearing 500 students for the first time in its history.

“I am honored to have this chance to lead Southwestern into its second half-century,” Munsil said. “This is an exciting time in our history. I believe we are poised to explode into a new era of growth and influence as a top-notch liberal arts college in the Southwest, while maintaining our ‘intentionally Christian’ heritage.”

Len Munsil, a third-generation Arizonan, has been a principled conservative leader in Arizona for more than 20 years, going back to his days as editor-in-chief of the daily newspaper at Arizona State University, where he wrote strongly-worded editorials in support of President Ronald Reagan and a strong national defense.

Munsil helped found The Center for Arizona Policy, which quickly became one of the largest and most influential state-based family policy groups in the United States. As President of The Center for Arizona Policy, he devoted nearly two decades to influencing public policy on behalf of children and families.

Len and his wife Tracy have both taught political science classes at Southwestern College, and they are parents of two students currently attending Southwestern – Anne, a junior Biblical Studies major and member of the women’s basketball team, and Michael, a sophomore Education major. The Munsils are huge fans and advocates of home education, having homeschooled their children from 1991 through 2005.

Southwestern College offers degrees in Behavioral Health, Biblical Studies, Business Administration, Christian Ministries, Elementary and Secondary Education, Music Education and Music Ministry. Recently the College added emphases in pre-law and pre-medicine, along with a fully accredited Adult Degree Completion program. The College competes in athletics at the NAIA level, and added baseball this year with the hiring of former Major Leaguer Thad Bosley.



September 5, 2010

CollegePlus! is an alternative approach to earning recognized undergraduate credentials. It’s actually a Christian coaching program that helps students earn their bachelor’s degrees faster, for less, and for sure through CLEP exams, online courses, and onsite classes from local colleges and universities. Depending on their major, students may use all three or just one of these.

There are two degree tracks open to CollegePlus! students, depending on their degree plan. Most students take the maximum amount of CLEP and other exams possible, and then enroll in a distance learning college. This degree track typically saves students $25,000 or more on their degree costs! Other students complete a limited number of CLEP exams before enrolling in a traditional classroom environment at the college of their choice. These students save an average of $7,000 by enrolling with CollegePlus!

CollegePlus! students usually decide to graduate with broad degrees since statistics show that 80% of college grads work in a field unrelated to their college major. Students graduating through a distance learning college such as Thomas Edison State College can choose from over 20 different majors. (Starred majors indicate the ten most popular.)

Bachelor of Arts (BA) major fields include: Anthropology, Biology, Communications*, Computer Science*, Criminal Justice, Economics, English*, History*, Humanities*, Journalism, Liberal Studies, Music*, Natural Science/Math, Political Science, Psychology*, Social Science.

Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) specialties include: Accounting*, Computer Information Systems*, Entrepreneurship, Finance, General Management*, Human Resources/Organizational Management, International Business, and Marketing.

Other specialty majors include Engineering and Pre-Med.

To help students who are unsure about their major, CollegePlus! recommends Life Purpose Planning, a series of assignments that help identify a student’s passion in life and how to pursue that life calling. Completing Life Purpose Planning and choosing a broad degree are ideal for younger high school students who want to do college in high school but aren’t sure what to major in. They can eventually complete graduate school in the field of their choice since just about any undergraduate major is eligible for any master’s level program.

Every CollegePlus! student is guided by a degree coach that walks them through their entire degree process. This coach is knowledgeable in study skills, CLEP exams, and navigating the distance learning college the student will graduate from.

Michael Back, Director of the Christian Home Educators of Ohio, says “We home educators are always thinking outside the box. CollegePlus! is certainly outside the box! A college degree in half the time, at a fraction of the cost with real life and work experience and parental involvement. CollegePlus! is the way to go.” For more information about College Plus!, visit:


Jacksonville State University

August 10, 2010

JSU Logo

Jacksonville State University… Where You’re Going

From the moment you step foot on the campus of Jacksonville State University in Alabama or enroll in our online studies program you’ll discover that you are not the only one invested in your future. For more than 125 years our focus at Jacksonville State University has been on one thing: getting you ready for where you are going.

Jacksonville State University is a public university — a comprehensive teaching institution that provides educational, cultural, and social experiences for a diverse undergraduate and graduate student population. Located in northeast Alabama in Calhoun County, the school’s 459-acre campus is set in a picturesque area in the foothills of the Appalachians. The school is situated just north of Interstate 20 nearly mid-way between Birmingham, Ala., and Atlanta, Ga.

Where You’re Going… a top-notch education is waiting.

As a student-centered university, JSU strives to balance academic challenges with a range of support services for students, academic, career and personal goals. As an academic institution, JSU seeks to produce broadly educated graduates with skills for employment, citizenship, and lifelong learning. As a comprehensive university, JSU supports scholarly and service activities consistent with its academic and professional strengths.

JSU offers more than 150 courses of study including 24 graduate majors, seven graduate degrees, and extensive online offerings. Historically, JSU has graduated more teachers than any other college of education in Alabama, and the Princeton Review ranks the JSU College of Business among the nation’s best. JSU also offers excellent opportunities to pursue advanced degrees online. There are complete online undergraduate and graduate programs in emergency management available, as well as the online STEP (RN-BSN-MSN) program for nurses.  In December 2010, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute selected JSU for the Science Education Alliance’s National Genomics Research Initiative.

Where You’re Going… the faculty actually knows your name.

The first step toward helping you succeed is really getting to know you. Our faculty works to build a strong learning environment that works for every student. The individualized attention and smaller class sizes at JSU translate into bigger academic success for you, and that is something worth knowing!

Where You’re Going… is the Friendliest Campus in the South.

According to the National Survey of Student Engagement, JSU deserves the title “Friendliest Campus in the South.” Factor in the local area’s national reputation for Southern hospitality and this may just be the friendliest campus anywhere. At JSU, being friendly isn’t something we do, it’s just who we are.

Where You’re Going… you can go the distance.

Jacksonville State University currently offers twenty academic programs online, including bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees and graduate certificates, with even more coming online in Spring 2011. Check often for the latest offerings.

Where You’re Going… there are more paths to uncover.

Jacksonville State University is surrounded by 375,000 acres of the lush Talladega National Forest and recently completed the 23,000 square foot Little River Canyon Center, which serves as home to the JSU Field Schools. Also near JSU are the Chief Ladiga Rail Trail and Mt. Cheaha, Alabama’s highest peak. With such great outdoor activities right at your backdoor, JSU offers plenty of room to explore your future. So whether you’re into hiking, biking or simply relaxing, you’ll find that enjoying campus life at JSU just comes naturally.

Where You’re Going… has a rhythm of its own.

For the nationally acclaimed “Marching Southerners,” excellence is the norm. This award-winning band has been leading the way both musically and stylistically for more than 50 years. And every year, they carry on the tradition of captivating stadium crowds throughout the Southeast.

Jacksonville State University is ready to help you tackle the exciting challenges that lie ahead and achieve success personally and professionally. We look forward to helping you get ready for where you’re going next.

Visit us online at, call 1-800-231-JAX1 or e-mail

More Quick Facts About JSU

·    JSU began in 1883 as a two-year school to train teachers.

·    In Fall 2009, 9,351 students were enrolled at Jacksonville State University (59% female, 41% male). 3,334 of those students took courses via Distance Education.

·    Jacksonville State University’s International House Program began in 1946. In 2009, JSU’s student body included 234 international students representing 71 countries. Today, Jacksonville State University has an English Language Institute and partnerships with four Chinese universities.

·    Students at Jacksonville State University experience a low student to teacher ratio (20:1) and have the opportunity to participate in more than 100 clubs and organizations while pursuing their degrees.

·    Prestigious alumni of JSU include Randy Owen, lead singer of the award-winning group Alabama; and Heather Whitestone McCallum, Miss America 1995.

·    JSU is the only school in the nation to lay claim to National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) national titles in football (1992), men’s basketball (1985), baseball (1990 and 1991), and women’s gymnastics (1984 and 1985).

·    JSU’s colors are red and white and our mascot is a Gamecock.

·    To follow JSU online, visit us on Facebook at or follow us on Twitter: