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Obnoxious lab science requirements?


Gwen in VA
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My kids have applied to well over a doze colleges, but this requirements is new to me.

 

Arizona State requires that applicants fill out a lab science classes evaluation form where students need to document FOR EACH CLASS:

 

1) time per week spent on labs

2) description of course content, including how the lab equipment was obtained and were household materials used to perform experiments

3) Describe a typical lab assignment by a) stating the problem, formulating a hypothesis, describing the experiment performed, including materials, describing the results using graphs and charts where appropriate, explaining the data or results, providing an analysis, and writing a conclusion. (Yes, this can be just a rewrite of a lab from the lab notebook, but what a pain!)

 

I guess 5's on AP science exams and 800's on science SAT-2's are not good enough? Yikes!

 

Has anyone else run into lab science requirements this obnoxious?

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Wait....isn't your youngest an aspiring music major? If so, this might win the award for the stupidest requirment ever! Is this requirement for everyone or just homeschoolers? How about you substitute this:

 

1. Time per week spent on each instrument.

2. description of overall experience on each instrument, including a description of how the instrument and ancillary materials/equipment were obtained.

3. Describe a typical music class/music group experience by a)stating the focus of the group, level of music performed and the music selection process, describing the specific performances, including pieces performed and assessing the relative difficulty of the performance including recordings where appropriate, provide an assessment of the performance.

 

ROFL

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Has anyone else run into lab science requirements this obnoxious?

 

No, and that would get the school completely axed from our list no matter how attractive they might have been otherwise.

 

As it is now I'm mentally adding Arizona State to my list of homeschooler unfriendly schools.

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And just to clarify: The NOT-so-friendly-to-homeschoolers school is Arizona State University (ASU) in Tempe (Phoenix area).

The University of Arizona (UA) in Tucson is constantly being mistaken for ASU, but they are extremely different state universities! And no one even seems to know about Arizona's third state university, Northern Arizona University (NAU) in Flagstaff. Also, UA and NAU are members of WICHE's Western University Exchange student exchange program.

Arizona DOES has 3 other universities that ARE very homeschooler-friendly, with NO additional requirements of homeschoolers:

- Grand Canyon University (Christian) in Phoenix (freshman admission policy)
- University of Arizona (public) in Tucson
- Northern Arizona University (public) in Flagstaff

Edited by Lori D.
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Have you asked if they will accept the AP or SAT scores instead of the course right up? Because looking at the Arizona Board of Regents requirements I think those scores would be enough.

 

No, they will not accept AP or SAT in lieu of the lab science requirement form. (Yes, ASU does grant CREDIT for AP scores, but that's not the point of this extra form they want from homeschoolers.)

 

ASU's big concern is that homeschoolers actually DID REAL LABS for the science, and that they used REAL LAB EQUIPMENT (beakers, flasks, graduated cylinders, bunsen burner) rather than kitchen items (glass jars, measuring cups/spoons, the stovetop). Seriously. That is what they want to hear on page 1 of the form, so make sure you list all your equipment by the lab equivalent names. ["Because apparently REAL science can only occur in a lab, not in your kitchen or backyard. I wonder if anyone bothered to tell that to Marie Curie...or George Washington Carver...or David Levy (discoverer of 7 comets from his backyard telescope)..." -- she says snarkily.]

 

Here's the form you are required to fill out and submit:

Page 1 has you list the textbook, give a course description, and explain the methodology of the labs (info listed in the original post).

Page 2 they have you provide a typical lab report (they provide a sample scenario and steps they want to see for a lab report to show you know how to do a lab investigation using real lab equipment in the scientific method, and how to write it up as a solid lab report).

 

So, homeschoolers applying to ASU have to meet the same admission requirements as other freshmen (list of required courses for entrance, and either meet minimum scores on ACT or SAT or have minimum 3.0 in competency courses or be in top 25% of class), and additionally homeschoolers must:

- submit a Homeschool Affidavit (as proof of high school graduation)

- submit a Lab Sciences Evaluation Form (for each science course)

 

 

None of the other Arizona universities require either of those additional forms, or any other additional "hoops" for applying for admission.

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We need to think about this and possibly make a phone call or two. The funny thing is that my dd would be applying as a music major with stellar science AP and SAT-2 scores.

 

The last time I was told by a college that one of my kids wouldn't get in due to science lab deficiencies, the kid was not only accepted but accepted as a *** Scholar, placing her in the top 2-3% of the entering class. I'm wondering if the same thing would happen at ASU -- or not!

 

Why are some schools so crazy about red tape? I love the comment about Marie Curie and labs done in the kitchen!

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A homeschooling friend whose daughter graduated with my DS in 2011 got a full music scholarship to ASU. :)

 

For each science class, she just photocopied the textbook cover, copyright page and table of contents; printed a list of all the lab equipment (with the "scientific" names, lol), and all the lab kits used for each science class, plus photocopied a few of the lab reports and sent it all in as a packet as proof of real lab science, along with the required form.

 

I don't recall she had any issues. It just took a little extra time and effort to jump the hoop.

 

 


The last time I was told by a college that one of my kids wouldn't get in due to science lab deficiencies, the kid was not only accepted but accepted as a *** Scholar, placing her in the top 2-3% of the entering class. I'm wondering if the same thing would happen at ASU -- or not!

Why are some schools so crazy about red tape?

 

I know. It's totally ridiculous. Guess it's because it's keeping someone employed... ;)

 

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The reason I asked about SAT subject tests or AP scores is that ASU refers to a requirement from the Arizona Board of Regents as the explanation for the lab science sheet.

 

The policy manual for ABoR has this explanation of admissions reqs http://azregents.asu.edu/rrc/Policy%20Manual/2-121%20Undergraduate%20Admission.pdf which includes SAT or accredited college as means of demonstrating lab science completion.

 

Have you asked ASU about this or are you going just by the form? Because I could read the form either way, as a hoop that makes me bitter or as a means of demonstrating lab experience without using a college course or an exam score.

 

I'm trying to let go of bitterness where I can in life.

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I called ASU admissions and the SAT subject test scores do not remove the need to submit the Lab Science Evaluation Form. I have the contact info for the admissions rep who deals with homeschoolers so I'll let you know if I hear more.

 

I'm going to think of I as a doorway unless it is proven otherwise. But it's good to know the requirement is out there. Another reason to keep a lab notebook.

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How interesting.  My niece just started in the graduate program at ASU in Environmental Science, I believe.  She was radically unschooled K-12, had a great variety of interests, and took many outside classes during high school.  She refused to take the ACT or SAT and got her BS at Franklin & Marshall.  My sister is calling tomorrow.  I'll have to ask her about my niece's high school lab experiences.

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How interesting.  My niece just started in the graduate program at ASU in Environmental Science, I believe.  She was radically unschooled K-12, had a great variety of interests, and took many outside classes during high school.  She refused to take the ACT or SAT and got her BS at Franklin & Marshall.  My sister is calling tomorrow.  I'll have to ask her about my niece's high school lab experiences.

I would assume (hope?) once one had a BS/BA they wouldn't need the lab form any longer...

 

For undergrad, ASU would be 100% off my list.  My guys got into all of their colleges needing nothing more than apps and (good) scores - no extra course descriptions, lab descriptions, or anything similar.  I liked it that way.  ;)

 

However, to each our own.  If someone else wants to jump through the hoops - go for it.

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Would all similar science courses at a B&M school include lab classes?  Just trying to get a handle on the issues.

 

In the UK it is impossible to pass the (roughly AP equivalent) A levels in science without doing labs.  Some schools have realised this and offer summer courses that put home educators through the required labs.

 

L

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My daughter is not even homeschooled for high school, and that would get them axed from our list.  It's just snotty.  I went into an undergraduate major with a lot of lab sciences required, and my podunk little high school didn't even have a lab.  I'd never touched a beaker, much less a bunsen burner, and I made As in every science and every lab.  It's college, not a job designing nuclear reactors.  You shouldn't have to go in knowing everything already.

 

 

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Our (current) decision is that dd will apply but we will ONLY spend 2 hours max pulling this silly document together. More pain than that and it's not worth it.

 

(Caveat -- dd is hoping for merit aid. My older kids have received extremely generous merit aid in the past, so I am acutely aware of how twenty hours spent working on an essay or a weekend spent interviewing can reap literally over $100,000 (and sometimes over $200,000) in benefits. For my dd, this may be worth it -- and it may not!)

 

I am still appalled that there are colleges that are so out of the current educational loop that they haven't figured out that many homeschoolers are bright, self-motivated autodidacts who are VERY desirable students!

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Yeah that is so silly.  You can make the whole thing up.  You can't "make up" good test scores!

 

I suppose it's 100% wrong, but I'd be tempted to make it up in this situation (not so for anyone who didn't have substantial credentials otherwise). I guess with making it up they'd figure you at least knew the terms they were looking for.

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Would all similar science courses at a B&M school include lab classes?  Just trying to get a handle on the issues.

 

In the UK it is impossible to pass the (roughly AP equivalent) A levels in science without doing labs.  Some schools have realised this and offer summer courses that put home educators through the required labs.

 

L

 

My dd received a lab credit from our school district in 9th grade just for being in the room.  She literally never did anything.  She shut down that year and never wrote anything down or did anything but smile, say yes, and put any papers into her backpack.  Very few teachers gave her credit, but the science teacher gave her 1/2 credit for attendance at the labs, and another 1/2 credit for filling out worksheets at summer school for 6 weeks.

 

I know there are more advanced classes, but really, they watch the teacher do labs, do things in groups where some kids do nothing, copy what the teacher writes on the board, it isn't the fancy-shmansy type of work that the teacher who wrote those requirements imagines in his head.  My kids did better work at home, but it didn't necessarily fit in those little boxes.  I like the idea of just copying the equipment list etc. from what you already have.  And if that isn't enough, that's a good sign that they won't want to get in.

 

Julie

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just a heads up for anyone wanting to jump through ASU's hoops: 

 

They suck.

 

Pretty much my entire extended family went there - back when it was a good university.  Nowadays?  Not so much.  One of my nieces transferred out a couple of years ago after showing up for her "classes" only to discover one only had a room and a teacher the first day - after that? She was expected to do the entire thing online.  She doesn't do well with online courses to begin with, and it was Math!  It was a double whammy for her.

 

500+ lecture halls with teaching assistants are the norm, not the exception.

 

Big university, yeah, yeah.  But if you have a kid intent on Arizona, they should go to a University that is more interested in academics than their freaking football team.  U of A has great athletics and is a great school.  NAU definitely puts athletics second and is an awesome school.

 

 

A

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Their silly lab requirement (plus the fact that it's across the country from us!) made the decision rather easy -- dd is not applying to ASU!

 

Hopefully at some point the school will figure out that by making life difficult for homeschooled applicants it is eliminating a great source of motivated students and shrinking its applicant pool!

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Oh good grief! The pot calling the kettle black is what this is...come to my neck of the woods and ask a publicly schooled high schooler what the difference is between a flask and a beaker and you will get a BLANK STARE! They haven't darned the doors of a lab because lab work isn't bubble tested over on the ACT which is the state's main evaluation of high schoolers in Michigan. I took a group of locally educated high schoolers and tried to do what is at our house 5th and 6th grade level labs and required same said high schoolers to fill out a 6th grade level lab form. Nope, couldn't do it! Yet, of course because their transcript was generated by a "school" (a term that should only be used in the very loosest, most liberal sense of the term if one can come up with a definition that negates the actual education part), they would accept their "word" that labs took place.

 

You could wipe an inch of dust off most of the items in the chem lab at the high school.

 

Mostly, they just watch labs on videos every other Friday...a 20 min. video..that's the lab.

 

Definitely would not consider applying to a school with that requirement of homeschoolers only. If they required of the local PS kids, then I'd gladly supply the proof, but not when the PS is telling bald face lies on the transcripts it generates and is allowed to get away with it!

 

Faith

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Just a heads up for anyone wanting to jump through ASU's hoops: 

 

They suck.

 

Pretty much my entire extended family went there - back when it was a good university.  Nowadays?  Not so much.  One of my nieces transferred out a couple of years ago after showing up for her "classes" only to discover one only had a room and a teacher the first day - after that? She was expected to do the entire thing online.  She doesn't do well with online courses to begin with, and it was Math!  It was a double whammy for her.

 

500+ lecture halls with teaching assistants are the norm, not the exception.

 

Big university, yeah, yeah.  But if you have a kid intent on Arizona, they should go to a University that is more interested in academics than their freaking football team.  U of A has great athletics and is a great school.  NAU definitely puts athletics second and is an awesome school.

 

 

A

 

So, Asta, how do you really feel?  :)

 

My daughter is interested in U of A, even though it is on the other side of the world from us.  Glad to hear it gets a thumbs' up.

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So, Asta, how do you really feel?   :)

 

My daughter is interested in U of A, even though it is on the other side of the world from us.  Glad to hear it gets a thumbs' up.

 

 

Yes, administratively / homeschool-wise it's much better.

 

But just don't expect much merit aid. UA has the lowest amount of scholarships to offer of the 3 public universities in the state, and is pretty stingy in handing it out. The vast majority of awards are for about $1000 to $2500 -- which is split in half and awarded half per semester. Check out the list of scholarships here.

 

Plan on funding a UA degree on your own.

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Yes, administratively / homeschool-wise it's much better.

 

But just don't expect much merit aid. UA has the lowest amount of scholarships to offer of the 3 public universities in the state, and is pretty stingy in handing it out. The vast majority of awards are for about $1000 to $2500 -- which is split in half and awarded half per semester. Check out the list of scholarships here.

 

Plan on funding a UA degree on your own.

She should qualify for $30k/year automatically via NMF status. That is how it made the list in the first place.

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Yes, administratively / homeschool-wise it's much better.

 

But just don't expect much merit aid. UA has the lowest amount of scholarships to offer of the 3 public universities in the state, and is pretty stingy in handing it out. The vast majority of awards are for about $1000 to $2500 -- which is split in half and awarded half per semester. Check out the list of scholarships here.

 

Plan on funding a UA degree on your own.

 

 

My dd18 was not a NMF, but she received a very generous scholarship for 4 years. We were pleasantly surprised. So, it is always worth applying!

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  • 7 years later...
On 8/23/2013 at 8:24 AM, Gwen in VA said:

Our (current) decision is that dd will apply but we will ONLY spend 2 hours max pulling this silly document together. More pain than that and it's not worth it.

 

(Caveat -- dd is hoping for merit aid. My older kids have received extremely generous merit aid in the past, so I am acutely aware of how twenty hours spent working on an essay or a weekend spent interviewing can reap literally over $100,000 (and sometimes over $200,000) in benefits. For my dd, this may be worth it -- and it may not!)

 

I am still appalled that there are colleges that are so out of the current educational loop that they haven't figured out that many homeschoolers are bright, self-motivated autodidacts who are VERY desirable students!

Did you fill this out? I need to do now for my son 

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ZOMBIE ALERT -- FIRST TIME POSTER RESURRECTING AN OLD POST!

 

First: I strongly recommend removing your email address from a public form board so you do not risk having your email compromised.

Yes, ASU still requires the science lab form from homeschoolers. Just download, print, fill out, and return to ASU, according to their directions. The form does not look difficult to complete.

Note: ASU does NOT mean covid-crisis students who were doing school at home while their high schools were shut down. ASU means a student who is officially homeschooled -- the family has followed their state's requirements to withdraw from the school system, filled out the affidavit of intent to homeschool, and done any other paperwork required in order to be a legal homeschooler.

Just follow the directions and you should be fine. If you have questions, contact the ASU Admissions Office: 480-965-7788.
BEST of luck as your son applies to ASU.

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It's an annoyance and pretty silly, especially if you did course descriptions that explained some of these things. However, in general, I know ASU accepts many homeschoolers each year. So, I wouldn't be overly concerned.

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Posted (edited)
On 8/23/2013 at 1:52 AM, Gwen in VA said:

1) time per week spent on labs

2) description of course content, including how the lab equipment was obtained and were household materials used to perform experiments

3) Describe a typical lab assignment by a) stating the problem, formulating a hypothesis, describing the experiment performed, including materials, describing the results using graphs and charts where appropriate, explaining the data or results, providing an analysis, and writing a conclusion. (Yes, this can be just a rewrite of a lab from the lab notebook, but what a pain!)

What is interesting is that this assumes an American approach to labs. Here in NZ, students do 1 month of intensive lab work, and it is often only ONE lab. The lab requires a complete 8 page research paper evaluating your results compared to what others have found. So for biology, the local school went to the rocky intertidal and had 200 students count all the animals across a huge range of the beach. Then they had to pick which animals they were going to study and consider competition, predation, environmental factors etc in their analysis, and compare their results to work that has been done around the world. The focus of this lab was not on learning to use equipment, but rather learning to analyze a complex set of data using graphs and statistics, and about learning how scientific research does not stand in isolation but is compared and contrasted to work others have done. Differences in results need to be explained. 

1) Time spent per week on labs = ZERO  (the data was collected in a morning, the analysis took 4 weeks)

2) Lab equipment = NONE

3) Describe typical lab = there was only ONE lab.

My son did this lab for Biology, and MIT accepted it for his *required* lab class for Biology.

Edited by lewelma
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  • 3 weeks later...

I have talked to ASU reps several times about this, most recently this spring when one participated in a panel for the Homeschool Affinity Group of IECA (professional organization for Independent Educational Consultants).

ASU is not looking for reasons to turn down students. They can take some alternative demonstrations of lab experience (AP exam scores, dual enrollment courses with a lab, and maybe the ACT science subsection score). They are definitely willing to discuss this with families to help them understand the requirement.

The requirement was set by the Board of Regents, not by the college itself.

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Sebastian (a lady) said:

I have talked to ASU reps several times about this, most recently this spring when one participated in a panel for the Homeschool Affinity Group of IECA (professional organization for Independent Educational Consultants).

ASU is not looking for reasons to turn down students. They can take some alternative demonstrations of lab experience (AP exam scores, dual enrollment courses with a lab, and maybe the ACT science subsection score). They are definitely willing to discuss this with families to help them understand the requirement.

The requirement was set by the Board of Regents, not by the college itself.

Agree that ASU is not looking to turn down students, and over the years they have relaxed their policy and have included the above-mentioned additional methods for homeschoolers. (And thank you for checking in to this for homeschoolers! 😄 )

However, it IS ASU that set the science lab report requirement, NOT the AZ Board of Regents. Twenty years back, when homeschoolers were just starting to apply to colleges in larger numbers, in order to address how to handle homeschool admissions, the AZ Board of Regents had a broad policy for AZ universities to have homeschoolers validate their transcript credits in some way, in the way each school wished. ASU chose the science lab requirement. The other 2 AZ state universities, UA and NAU, chose much less onerous validation of just needing to provide an ACT/SAT score--neither has ever required science lab "proofs" from homeschoolers.

It was when ASU started getting pushback on the science lab report that they justified their *specific* choice of method with the very *broad* AZ Board of Regents policy. ASU continues to require the science lab report as their OWN policy, as the AZ Board of Regents loosened their homeschool policy by dropping the need for homeschool validation over ten years ago, and the recently-revised AZ Board of Regent's stated homeschool admission policy (chapter 2, Admission Policies") is even less restrictive:

"Home-schooled Student Criteria:
Each university will admit home-schooled students who meet criteria developed and established by each university. As possible, the universities will follow the admission criteria outlined in A.1.a. and b."

[A.1.a. = defines freshman assured eligibility (completion of 16 core credits with 3.0+ GPA), and A.1.b. defines "delegated" admission (
students can still be admitted missing up to 2 of those 16 core credits, and have a 2.5+ GPA)]


From the bolded above, it is clear that the science lab report requirement is (and always was) solely ASU's requirement.

JMO: if that is what ASU wishes to do, that is their choice. But they need to "man up" and take responsibility for choosing to make (and keep) this policy, and not try to make it sound like it is the "fault" of someone else, and that "we're just following orders." That's flat-out deceptive and untrue. 😉 

Edited by Lori D.
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To me a funny thing about ASU's lab requirement is that homeschoolers can take ASU's own course, Bio 101 The Living World, for 4 hours of college credit.  That course (offered through the "earned admissions"/ aka Universal Learner program which is all online) has a virtual lab with a game like feel to it.  Uses the Inspark program called BioBeyond https://inspark.education/biobeyond/   text and labs are all online.

I can imagine the fun of filling out ASU's homeschool lab proof  paperwork after that course.  LOL  I played a video game where I had a mission to get the crew to Mars. This taught me that it's scary to travel in space and the crew will need a lot of protein and calcium and cardio and strength exercises and will have to change the menu and routines or all die and the mission fails!  Glad it was a simulation. 

actually, it was a really cool learning activity.  The whole course was kinda fun way to get credit done.  I'm joking at the paperwork side of it.

One of my students was in the beta test group last fall for this course and used it was dual enrollment credit. But will not attend ASU or get final degree form there.

Maybe if someone is set on going to ASU and needs to deal with lab stuff, that course could be useful to know about. Who knows? maybe admissions would accept one of their own courses as proof?

 

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On 6/9/2021 at 12:05 PM, Lori D. said:

Agree that ASU is not looking to turn down students, and over the years they have relaxed their policy and have included the above-mentioned additional methods for homeschoolers. (And thank you for checking in to this for homeschoolers! 😄 )

However, it IS ASU that set the science lab report requirement, NOT the AZ Board of Regents. Twenty years back, when homeschoolers were just starting to apply to colleges in larger numbers, in order to address how to handle homeschool admissions, the AZ Board of Regents had a broad policy for AZ universities to have homeschoolers validate their transcript credits in some way, in the way each school wished. ASU chose the science lab requirement. The other 2 AZ state universities, UA and NAU, chose much less onerous validation of just needing to provide an ACT/SAT score--neither has ever required science lab "proofs" from homeschoolers.

It was when ASU started getting pushback on the science lab report that they justified their *specific* choice of method with the very *broad* AZ Board of Regents policy. ASU continues to require the science lab report as their OWN policy, as the AZ Board of Regents loosened their homeschool policy by dropping the need for homeschool validation over ten years ago, and the recently-revised AZ Board of Regent's stated homeschool admission policy (chapter 2, Admission Policies") is even less restrictive:

"Home-schooled Student Criteria:
Each university will admit home-schooled students who meet criteria developed and established by each university. As possible, the universities will follow the admission criteria outlined in A.1.a. and b."

[A.1.a. = defines freshman assured eligibility (completion of 16 core credits with 3.0+ GPA), and A.1.b. defines "delegated" admission (
students can still be admitted missing up to 2 of those 16 core credits, and have a 2.5+ GPA)]


From the bolded above, it is clear that the science lab report requirement is (and always was) solely ASU's requirement.

JMO: if that is what ASU wishes to do, that is their choice. But they need to "man up" and take responsibility for choosing to make (and keep) this policy, and not try to make it sound like it is the "fault" of someone else, and that "we're just following orders." That's flat-out deceptive and untrue. 😉 

Lori, thanks for the historical context and the link to the current Regents requirements. 

I will mention this in the Affinity Group and see if we can offer constructive feedback that might encourage them to drop this. 

I can say my own kids often dropped a college simply based on the extra workload an application had.

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 8/22/2013 at 9:52 AM, Gwen in VA said:

My kids have applied to well over a doze colleges, but this requirements is new to me.

 

Arizona State requires that applicants fill out a lab science classes evaluation form where students need to document FOR EACH CLASS:

 

1) time per week spent on labs

2) description of course content, including how the lab equipment was obtained and were household materials used to perform experiments

3) Describe a typical lab assignment by a) stating the problem, formulating a hypothesis, describing the experiment performed, including materials, describing the results using graphs and charts where appropriate, explaining the data or results, providing an analysis, and writing a conclusion. (Yes, this can be just a rewrite of a lab from the lab notebook, but what a pain!)

 

I guess 5's on AP science exams and 800's on science SAT-2's are not good enough? Yikes!

 

Has anyone else run into lab science requirements this obnoxious?

This has been a requirement of ASU for a long time for homeschoolers.  Honestly, they aren't that special of a college; find another college that doesn't treat homeschoolers like second class cierzens.

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