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New Yorkers who plan on sending homeschool graduates to a NY university --- help!

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OK -- to the best of my knowledge, in order to get a degree from a NY college or university, the student must prove she has completed preliminary education requirements before she can be awarded a university degree.


The following is from: http://www.highered.nysed.gov/ocue/ceomemos/05/homeinstruction.htm


Preliminary Education Requirements for Students Beyond Compulsory School Age.

Section 3.47(a)(2)(ii)provides six alternatives for students beyond the age of compulsory attendance seeking to demonstrate acceptable preliminary education before they may be awarded a college degree:


Holding a high school diploma; or


Having completed the substantial equivalent of a four-year high school course, as certified by the Superintendent of Schools or comparable chief school administrator; or


Holding a High School Equivalency Diploma; or


Completing 24 semester hours or the equivalent as a recognized candidate for a college-level degree or certificate at a degree-granting institution, as defined in the regulation (6 semester hours or the equivalent in English Language Arts including writing, speaking and reading (literature), 3 semester hours or the equivalent in Mathematics, 3 semester hours or the equivalent in Natural Sciences, 3 semester hours or the equivalent in Social Sciences, 3 semester hours or the equivalent in Humanities, and 6 semester hours or the equivalent in any other courses within the registered degree or certificate program; or


Having previously earned and been granted a degree from a degree-granting institution, as defined in the regulation; or


Having passed and completed all requirements for the following five Regents examinations or approved alternative assessments for these examinations: the Regents Comprehensive Examination in English, the Regents examination in mathematics, the Regents examination in United States history and government, a Regents examination in science, and the Regents examination in global history and geography.


Now, I read all this and I had decided to have my kids earn a high school diploma through a correspondance school. I figured they'd be covered. But while researching different SUNY locations, I found this at Orange County Community College:


Homeschool Information

Orange County Community College is pleased to welcome homeschool graduates into the College every year. When reviewing admissions applicants with home instruction, we use the New York State Department of Education regulations guiding the admissions of all students for college study and the conferral of a college degree. These guidelines were established in September 2004.



Below you will find 6 ways a potential college student may gain the credentials needed to be awarded a college degree:


If you have submitted quarterly reports and curriculum plans to the school district in which you reside you may have completed the substantial equivalent of a four year high school course as certified in a letter by the district’s superintendent of schools. This letter would serve as the equivalent of a high school graduation.


You may have passed and completed all requirements for the following five NYS Regents examinations: The Regents Comprehensive Examination in English, the Regents Examination in mathematics, the Regents Examination in United States history and government, a Regents Examination in science, and the Regents Examination in global history and geography.


You may have previously earned, and been granted a degree from a college or university, accredited by one of the six regional accrediting agencies.* If this is the case than you have, what New York State would consider the equivalent of a high school diploma. We would then be able to admit you for studies at SUNY Orange.


You may be accepted by SUNY Orange to complete The 24 Credit Hour Program as a recognized candidate for a college level degree, or certificate. The 24 Credit Hour Program is an alternative means of achieving a high school equivalency diploma, which allows you to take a specific distribution of 24 college level credits that can be used both for the Equivalency Diploma and towards you college degree, or certificate.


You may choose to take the test for the High School Equivalency Diploma.


You may have a high school diploma through a correspondence school or private school that is accredited by one of the six regional accrediting agencies*, or is recognized, or approved by the state department of education in which that school resides. As of March 2008, the NYS Department of Education declared that "at present, residents of New York State may not use a high school program of correspondence study to meet the requirements for a secondary education in NYS."


*The regional accrediting agencies include; The Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools,; The New England Association of Colleges and Schools; The North Central Association of Schools and Colleges; the Northwest Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities; the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools; and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.


Look at what I put in bold. Does anyone know from what ruling this originates? Is this going to be a state-wide thing soon? What happened in March, 2008? This is making my head spin!


Any insights?

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Hi unsinkable,


It is my understanding that these rules about college entrance only apply to public colleges and universities in New York state (community college, SUNY and CUNY schools), not private colleges & universities. I believe that private institutions do not fall under NYSED.


But I googled your bold phrase and various parts of it, and the only response was from SUNY Orange. My conclusion is that their statement is inaccurate.


Can you ask someone at SUNY Orange about it? Maybe then can send you a copy of the appropriate document. (?)


Alternatively, can you meet one of the other requirements? My ds was accepted to SUNY Cobleskill for the fall; our superintendent signed Cobleskill's form that ds had received an equivalent education.


Hope you find out what's going on here.




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I think what your bolded statement is attempting to refer to is..........some correspondence schools are not accredited in New York State therefore that correspondence schools coursework and/or diploma will not count towards the requirements to be able to recieve a college diploma from state schools in New York.


Clear as mud, eh!


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It's my understanding that this means they can't accept a diploma from an umbrella school as proof of "graduation" for a homeschooled student. So even if you spend hundreds of dollars a year on NARHS or Keystone or whatever, it's worthless in NY. Your only options are a letter from the superintendent, a GED, or the 24-credit process. It's also my understanding that this applies to any college or university in the state, including private. I could be wrong about this, though.


Most colleges don't care about a high school diploma at all as long as you have a transcript/portfolio of your work and good test scores. Many colleges have come up with criteria to make it easier for homeschoolers to apply. It's only New York that has such draconian requirements. The really interesting part is that NY colleges can accept you without a high school diploma (or one of the equivalents), but they can't confer your college degree without it. In other words, you can go through four years of college and have a 4.0 GPA, but they can't give you your BA degree if you haven't met one of the criteria for finishing high school. Ridiculous!


Our solution is most likely going to be encouraging the kids to go to college out-of-state. It's a shame because there are so many excellent schools here, but it's not worth jumping through the unfair barriers the SED has put up against homeschoolers. Just one small part of the brain drain in this state.

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I was told the same thing last week by an admissions officer from Onondoga Community College in Syracuse. It is a new ruling, or actually a new interpretation of the rules. If you have a diploma from an accredited correspondence school and live in say, Ohio they will accept it. But if you live in NY they will not accept it. It doesn't make any sense, does it?


This shouldn't be a problem for college admission though, only for graduation. Most colleges in NY don't require a high school diploma or equivalent for admission. The problem comes in graduating from college. But the 24 credit hour option is supposed to be pretty easy to achieve. The courses required for the 24 credit option are courses that the student would take anyway for their degree, like 2 English, 1 math, etc. So after those courses are completed the student has to complete some paperwork to show it was done and they are eligible to graduate.


We enrolled our daughter in the the American School last year, and getting the accredited diploma was one of the reasons. It has worked out well for her, and we will stay with it even though the diploma will be useless in NY. I feel bad for the people that enrolled in some of the more expensive correspondence schools though. My guess is many people don't even know about this change yet.

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would be to put the correspondence schools courses on your IHIPS. These would be accepted as an equivalent form of education, thus in compliance with Homeschool regs.

When my child earned enough credits to be considered completed, I would request my Letter of Completion. Then, if my child decides to go to a school that wants an umbrella....it is there...BUT if my child decides to stay in NY (which my 2 oldest dd's and oldest ds decided to do,) I have their letter of completion. Well, actually, I only have a LOC for my son...dd's did GED's and Community college. And while we did not use an umbrella school, we did use many online classes and other forms of outside classes to complete their credits.

I actually found NY's regs freeing to me in a way...I could pick and choose which classes online, which classes were homespun and which were farmed out. So far, I am happy with the results.



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I was curious to know for certain whether these regs applied to all New York colleges and universities or only to SUNY, CUNY and community colleges.


I visited the websites of some private schools and searched for their homeschool admission policies. None of them mentioned submitting information as per the various options above, which leads me to conclude that only the publicly funded schools must adhere to the NYSED requirements.


I checked:

Roberts Wesleyan College

Houghton College

University of Rochester

Cornell University

Rochester Institute of Technology

Nazareth College


Maybe someone else wants to look into others?

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No, this is strictly a public higher education issue. Private colleges/universities in NY have not usually been using these same guidelines.


I just wanted to interject that you should not plan out your dc's high school program with the expectation that your superintendent will sign the letter of completion. They are not obligated to do so and some do not. It is not a given. Ask around to see how the other hs'ers in your district have made out when they asked for the letter.


We have chosen to use the 24 credit hour option. They are all courses most kids would be taking anyway, so there are no extra steps involved and I do not have to comply with the yearly testing or submit anything to the district past my dc's 16th birthday. That has truly been freeing for us.

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Thanks, everyone!


I know there are other options besides the correspondance school diploma...and the if I can't get the super's signature, the 24 credit option seems the most logical.


But doesn't it seem like the tightening of a noose, in a way? I just see it as each option is going to be tightened up until it is so restrictive...


I am actually looking at Kolbe for dd. Many of my friends and aquaintances use Seton and they seem to think that is the only way to go. Seton does not look like a good fit for my dd. I feel like I am paddling upstream. Well, Kolbe isn't regionally accredited anyway.


Thanks again!

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