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This thread was hijacked last week. I decided to start a new thread to report on my discussion with a lady (forgot to get her name) in the homeschool dept at NCAA today.

 

First and foremost, it is my humble opinion that the NCAA is not trying to stop homeschoolers with conscientious parents from playing college sports.  There are unscrupulous coaches and negligent parents who are harming their student athletes under the guise of homeschooling by not providing a college preparatory education.  That is what the NCAA is looking for.  In order to find those buggers, they have to look a little more closely at all of us.

 

This is how the NCAA will judge “non traditional” courses from the NCAA Guide (with my comments in red):

 

Nontraditional Courses

 

What are Nontraditional Courses?

 

Nontraditional courses are those taught through the Internet, distance learning, independent study, individualized instruction, correspondence, computer software programs or other similar means.

 

There are many types of nontraditional educational programs available to high school students. When considering an online, distance learning, correspondence or even a credit recovery program, there are several things to consider. However, the following themes should be kept in mind:

  • All nontraditional courses must include ongoing access between the instructor and student, as well as regular interaction for purposes of teaching, evaluating and providing assistance. This may include, for example, exchanging of emails between the student and teacher, online chats, phone calls, feedback on assignments, and the opportunity for the teacher to engage the student in individual instruction.  This is reasonable.  The 5 high school classes (1 non-core) ds took online all had access to a teacher.  He needed someone to instruct (Derek Owens had videos, Rebekah Randolph used email instructions, all others had weekly conference calls or online classrooms), answer questions, provide assignments and assessments, grade (one teacher provided a test key and I graded).  As a conscientious parent, this is what I am looking for anyway.
  • All nontraditional courses must have a defined time period for completion. For example, it should be clear whether the course is meant to be taken for an entire semester or during a more condensed time period, such as six weeks, etc.  This is reasonable.  The student should not have the ability to drag the class on for years.  As a conscientious parent of an unmotivated student, this is what I am looking for anyway.
  • Nontraditional courses should be clearly identified as such on the high school transcript.  This is reasonable.  There is nothing to fear if it the class was college preparatory.
  • NCAA rules require that all core courses are academic four year college preparatory courses. Also, courses that are taught through distance learning, online, credit recovery, etc. need to be comparable in length, content and rigor to courses taught in a traditional classroom setting. This is reasonable.  As a conscientious parent, this is what I am looking for anyway.  Well, actually I am looking for something more rigorous than what I could find in my local traditional classroom setting.

 

I asked specifically about ChemAvantage because this seems similar to the classes ds has taken in that it was with a private teacher with only a few offerings (Derek Owens, History at our House, Laurel Tree Tutorials).  She gave me the line about how the provider would have to go through the NCAA approval process, but I asked if a student could initiate the process and she said that if they were evaluating a student’s courses and the provider had not been approved, that would initiate the evaluation.  I do not know why they told snowbeltmom that ChemAdvantage would not be approved because I imagine it adheres to the guidelines above.

 

Give me a minute to finish in the next post.  I'm afraid that I'm going to hit some sort of a limit.

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I may call back when I have some more free time and ask more about online “schools”.  I think of Landry Academy with their variety of subjects and teachers.  Ds took a semester long science class through them.  The NCAA had no idea it was through Landry Academy.  I listed Greg Landry as the teacher (he didn’t start the class but he finished it and don’t get me started).  The NCAA did not ask for or get a website for the class.  I listed the chapters in the textbook as the course content/goals/outline.  So, they don’t even need to know that the class was taken through an online “school”.

 

When they talk about having the provider (or school?) go through the NCAA approval process, I suspect that it is more for schools like Landry Academy or Potter's School or BJU or Memoria Press or PAH Homeschoolers that have a large number of students in many different subjects.  It’s not for someone like Derek Owens who offers a few specialized options.

 

I shared with her my experience when ds was in 8th grade.  I sent Kevin Taylor (I even mentioned his name – apparently he’s still around) the syllabus for ds’s 8th grade history class (in preparation for 9th grade history) and a sample of the support materials, homework, essays, exams.  This class had no textbook so I was especially nervous about it.  Kevin Taylor was able to give me a thumbs up on it.  I asked if a parent could do that now, but she said that they did not have the time to evaluate classes that may or may not ever come to their attention for students that may or may not ever have D1/D2 interest.  She directed me to the above quote to keep in mind how the class would be evaluated.

 

Looking at the core course worksheets I sent in, I just filled them out as honestly as I could.  For some, I attached the course syllabus.  Some showed weekly dates and assignments.  I imagine that would comfort the NCAA.  For Derek Owens, I simply copied the chapter titles from his website.  I could have sent in the syllabus with dates and assignments, but I felt it would probably be TMI since it contained things like HW 1A, 1B, Lab 1A, etc.  I even stated that there was no textbook but that the course was based on Giancoli's Physics.  I didn’t think to add the teacher’s degree and school.  Surely, a BSE from Duke University would also comfort the NCAA.  I did not list a website for any of these classes because it was not asked for, though I imagine it would have been helpful to them if they had a desire to investigate.  I’m happy to share my core course worksheets and homeschool administrator statement with anyone.  Just PM me with your email address.

 

Another thing I will mention.  My (type A) personality demands that I have something concrete (Janice in NJ would call it “output”) to demonstrate ds’s knowledge.  Most online courses have provided that.  There were graded homeworks, lab reports, and exams from Derek Owens.  There were graded homework assignments and critiqued and graded essays from Laurel Tree Tutorials.  There were course notes, geography worksheets, essays, and exams from History at our House.  Landry had most work online, but I do have a copy of one exam from him.  All had course outlines.  Had I ever needed to demonstrate college preparatory-ness, I would have had plenty of evidence to back it up.

 

I have no experience cobbling a program together with only a portion being an online class, so I cannot speak to how that should be presented to the NCAA.  I only have experience using semester long or full-year long classes where I was little more than a conscientious parent overseeing my student’s work.  If this is the type of online course that you are using, I hope that I have helped to allay any NCAA fears.  Believe me, I know the angst of sleepless nights with athletic eligibility hanging in the balance.  I have found the folks at the NCAA Eligibility Center to be professional and reasonable.  That’s all I can ask for.

 

HTH!

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I asked specifically about ChemAvantage because this seems similar to the classes ds has taken in that it was with a private teacher with only a few offerings (Derek Owens, History at our House, Laurel Tree Tutorials).  She gave me the line about how the provider would have to go through the NCAA approval process, but I asked if a student could initiate the process and she said that if they were evaluating a student’s courses and the provider had not been approved, that would initiate the evaluation.  I do not know why they told snowbeltmom that ChemAdvantage would not be approved because I imagine it adheres to the guidelines above.

 

Give me a minute to finish in the next post.  I'm afraid that I'm going to hit some sort of a limit.

Wow.  I find it very disconcerting that Sue and I both asked the same question, yet received VASTLY different answers from the two reps at the NCAA.  I was told that if I listed ChemAdvantage as the teacher of record on the worksheet, the class would not be approved, period.  I specifically asked if I could send in documentation to prove that the class met their requirements and was told that I could not.  Absolutely nothing was mentioned about the possibility of the online provider being evaluated and approved after the class had been taken.

 

Sue, I am confused about the response you received about the procedure that takes place if the provider listed on the worksheet has not been approved.  Does the NCAA contact the provider to initiate the evaluation or does the homeschooling parent send in documentation to prove that the class meets the NCAA requirements for an online class? 

 

Are the specifics details of this policy stated anywhere on the NCAA website?  I could not find any detailed information last year when I looked and just relied on what I was told by the NCAA rep.  I would feel much better having this policy in writing.

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Did you ask about ChemAdvantage or Peter Moskaluk as the teacher of record?  I think that is the difference.  ChemAdvantage may sound like something different than a single teacher, Peter Moskaluk.

 

I don't think the NCAA contacts the provider at all.  I think they evaluate the class based on the core course worksheet and homeschool administrator statement.  Maybe if it looks fishy, they dig deeper.  That's why you want to do it thoroughly.  Just glancing at the syllabus for the ChemAdvantage class shows that it is college preparatory.  Just the prereqs show it. 

 

Their policy is in the quote in the original post.  That's it.  In writing.

 

I've called the NCAA homeschool dept probably a dozen times over the last 5 years.  They have always been consistent with me.  I never got the impression that they were unreasonable.

 

I did ask (again) about a list of approved providers, but they steadfastly refuse to admit to one.  I have never been given the impression that all providers had to be pre-approved.  They don't have time to pre-approve every provider. 

 

Because you seem to have had a bad experience, I would recommend that you call back, get the person's name, discuss again, and document the conversation.  Heck, call back once a month and do it all over again.  Ask for clarification of anything you don't understand.  I had enough discussions that I was as comfortable as I could be.  I considered writing down a textbook for the textbook-less class, but didn't because it would have been dishonest.  They know that homeschoolers use many methods.

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Did you ask about ChemAdvantage or Peter Moskaluk as the teacher of record?  I think that is the difference.  ChemAdvantage may sound like something different than a single teacher, Peter Moskaluk.

I explained that ChemAdvantage was a one person operation geared strictly to homeschoolers. 

 

I don't think the NCAA contacts the provider at all.  I think they evaluate the class based on the core course worksheet and homeschool administrator statement.  I was also told that they evaluate the course based on the information submitted on the core worksheet. I was also told that if I list ChemAdvantage as the teacher of record, that the class would not be approved.   Maybe if it looks fishy, they dig deeper.  That's why you want to do it thoroughly.  Just glancing at the syllabus for the ChemAdvantage class shows that it is college preparatory.  Just the prereqs show it. The ChemAdvantage course was AP Chemistry. Whether the class was college prep was irrelevant.  I was told that the only issue was whether the online class had gone through the NCAA approval process, and since ChemAdvantage was not listed in the database, the class would not be approved.

 

Their policy is in the quote in the original post.  That's it.  In writing.  What you posted lists the criteria that an online class must meet in order to be approved.  Nothing in the policy that you posted addresses the issue of what happens when an online class, while meeting the NCAA guidelines for an online class, has not gone through the NCAA approval process. While I was told by the NCAA rep I spoke with that the class would not be approved in this situation, it appears the rep you spoke with said that a situation like that would initiate the approval process. (I am still unsure what that would entail)

 

I've called the NCAA homeschool dept probably a dozen times over the last 5 years.  They have always been consistent with me.  I never got the impression that they were unreasonable. If you would have had the conversation that I had with the rep last spring, I think you would have hung up the phone with the impression that they were most definitely unreasonable. ;)

 

I did ask (again) about a list of approved providers, but they steadfastly refuse to admit to one. I don't understand why the NCAA rep you spoke with was not aware of the database that contains all approved online providers.  During my phone conversation last spring, the rep I spoke with looked up the various online providers my son had used to see if they were listed in the NCAA database.  At that time, Pennsylvania Homeschoolers and Johns Hopkins CTY were listed in the database.  Therefore, the NCAA rep told me that all of the classes my son had taken with those providers would be approved.  He went on to tell me that if I listed AoPS, ChemAdvantage or Memoria Press as the teacher of record on the new worksheets, that those classes would NOT be approved.   I have never been given the impression that all providers had to be pre-approved.  They don't have time to pre-approve every provider. 

I read somewhere that the NCAA evaluates and approves up to 400 classes per day. The database is enormous.  Every high school in the country , both B&M and online has its approved classes listed in this databaseIn order for a class to be approved, the class needs to be listed in the database. This is true for all students, not just homeschoolers.

 

Because you seem to have had a bad experience, I would recommend that you call back, get the person's name, discuss again, and document the conversation.  Heck, call back once a month and do it all over again.  Ask for clarification of anything you don't understand.  It is not a matter of not understanding the situation.  We have been given different answers to the same questions.  One of these reps is providing inaccurate information.

 

I am really surprised that the rep you spoke with was unaware of the database of approved providers.  The fact that she was unaware of this database makes me question the other information she provided to you.  I had enough discussions that I was as comfortable as I could be.  I considered writing down a textbook for the textbook-less class, but didn't because it would have been dishonest.  They know that homeschoolers use many methods.

Thanks for these posts, Sue.  I will contact the NCAA again sometime this week.  I had assumed that your son's classes were approved even though the online providers were not in the NCAA database because your son had taken the classes before the new regulations were implemented.  Now, I am not sure what to think. (I posted in the other thread that another online provider stated on its website that certain classes taken before July 2012, would be approved by the NCAA, while the same classes taken after that date would no longer be approved.)

 

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Did you ask about ChemAdvantage or Peter Moskaluk as the teacher of record?  I think that is the difference.  ChemAdvantage may sound like something different than a single teacher, Peter Moskaluk.

 

I don't think the NCAA contacts the provider at all.  I think they evaluate the class based on the core course worksheet and homeschool administrator statement.  Maybe if it looks fishy, they dig deeper.  That's why you want to do it thoroughly.  Just glancing at the syllabus for the ChemAdvantage class shows that it is college preparatory.  Just the prereqs show it. 

 

Their policy is in the quote in the original post.  That's it.  In writing.

 

I've called the NCAA homeschool dept probably a dozen times over the last 5 years.  They have always been consistent with me.  I never got the impression that they were unreasonable.

 

I did ask (again) about a list of approved providers, but they steadfastly refuse to admit to one.  I have never been given the impression that all providers had to be pre-approved.  They don't have time to pre-approve every provider. 

 

Because you seem to have had a bad experience, I would recommend that you call back, get the person's name, discuss again, and document the conversation.  Heck, call back once a month and do it all over again.  Ask for clarification of anything you don't understand.  I had enough discussions that I was as comfortable as I could be.  I considered writing down a textbook for the textbook-less class, but didn't because it would have been dishonest.  They know that homeschoolers use many methods.

 

I had a similar concern as Snowbeltmom.  It's been about a year since I contacted NCAA. I spoke with both Kevin and then another person in the office in a later call.

 

The impression I got was that if a student submitted something that used a provider that hadn't been approved, then they would need to initiate the approval process. But the impression I have is that they would need to have the provider send in all of the material needed to do that approval.  If the provider declined to submit this information or wasn't timely, I don't know if NCAA would approve.

 

If the worksheets are submitted with the name of the teacher rather than a company name or website name, that might not be evaluated as a non-traditional course at all.  But I don't know.  And I'm not sure if the standards will change in two years.  They have certainly changed in the last two.

 

I do agree that NCAA is mostly looking to detect players/families/coaches who are engaging in actual fraud.  I remember finding an article about one football recruit who had several online courses submitted that he didn't even know he'd signed up for.  It turned out that one of his high school coaches had taken the courses under his name.

 

I do agree with you that most of the rationale for their requirements does not conflict with our family's education goals.  On the other hand, I'm not sure how the specifics of what we do will be evaluated in the end.  Will they look at a worksheet with information about the long time certified teacher who is a native speaker or the PhD in classics who has taught in private schools or at the college level and say good enough?  Or will they say no because the umbrellas under which they register students has not been approved?  I simply do not know.

 

The reality for our family is that my sons probably won't be at the competition level for Div 1/Div 2 sports.  But I'm trying to keep doors open for that burst of development that I can't predict.  I'm doing the best I can within a system that (to me) feels quite opaque.

 

I do appreciate you sharing the specifics of your experience. It makes me feel a little more hopeful.

 

 

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FWIW, I've had a couple conversations over the last 18 months with the providers of the two online courses we use.  One said that they would submit for NCAA approval, but were currently in the process of submitting for approval by the state DOE for a state in which they are the content provider for the state virtual academy.  (Ironically the state virtual academy in question is approved by NCAA, but the original content provider is not.)  They haven't yet gotten back to me about having completed the process with NCAA.

 

The other provider explained (very nicely) that they just didn't have the time or manpower to meet these requests.  They'd been asked to make submissions for some states as well, but had declined.  However, they did leave me with the impression that they might be willing/able to work with me in completing the worksheets.

 

I'm hoping that I get to 16 without needing to go back to anyone and ask them to do more work for us. And it might never be an issue if my swimmer doesn't reach that level.

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I think the problem comes that there really is no hard and fast rule. A homeschooler can submit a class that they think will meet approval only to have it come back as not, and then it is too late. How many are willing to take that chance? What do you do then? You have a required class that has been taken and reported. Do you at that point add on another semester or year of school to retake that core class? Personally, I wasn't willing to risk it.

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I think the problem comes that there really is no hard and fast rule. A homeschooler can submit a class that they think will meet approval only to have it come back as not, and then it is too late. How many are willing to take that chance? What do you do then? You have a required class that has been taken and reported. Do you at that point add on another semester or year of school to retake that core class? Personally, I wasn't willing to risk it.

 

:iagree:

 

And this is exactly why I will be listing myself as the "teacher of record" on all of the worksheets I submit to the NCAA.  Then there will be absolutely no question whether or not my kids' online classes will be approved. 
 

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  • 1 month later...
Guest fshwear

Sue - Do you know of any homeschool curriculum that is "ironclad" as far as NCAA eligibility goes? We are currently using Switched-On Schoolhouse, but a university rep told us that it probably is not good enough. Can you (or anyone else) help? 

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest 7wonders

Thanks for posting your experiences. It's helpful to hear how the process is working for others. My son is soph., but we went ahead and registered him online. It states not to send transcript until end of Jr. year, however, that seems late to me to find out if courses will be accepted. Is there a way to find out if what we've done up to this point will meet approval??

 

Thanks in advance!

 

Becky

non-type A mom freaking out just a little :)

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Sue - Do you know of any homeschool curriculum that is "ironclad" as far as NCAA eligibility goes? We are currently using Switched-On Schoolhouse, but a university rep told us that it probably is not good enough. Can you (or anyone else) help? 

 

Wait, SOS is not enough for the University that is recruiting her to be sure that she is a good fit or SOS is not going to be NCAA approved?? 

 

I would think that NCAA would be mostly ok with anything that is listed as high school level with you as the teacher and a good description of the class, but yeah, I can totally see how some uni's would want more than what that curriculum would offer. And maybe SOS is nontraditional and therefore not approved??  Now if you were using Monarch, I think that would be a whole different ballgame and I would not think that it would be approved based on the info in Sue's first post. 

 

Particularly if is a large public university that wants her, I would use something other curric (I personally would not use Abeka or BJU, but would use something more rigorous than SOS, at any rate) and I would consider dual enrollment classes/online approved classes to take it up a notch and to give him/her something other than mommy grades.  The latter would seem almost imperative to me, though your mileage may vary!

 

All of DD's courses have been approved, and there were some "different" things on there.  No Abeka and BJU, but plenty of homemade stuff, lol. BUT it was all clearly at a high school level or above.

 

hth,
Georgia

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  • 2 weeks later...

First, Sue in St. Pete, I greatly appreciate the support and sharing that you have given to me regarding the NCAA over the past year. Like you academics was always our focus. Neither of my boys were ever interested in anything athletic so it was a *shock* to me when my younger ds became interested in competitive rifle shooting in 10th grade. It was even more of a shock when his coach advised us to register him with the NCAA, mid-Junior year, because "if he wanted he would not only compete in college but he would receive an athletic scholarship." Oh my, does DS ever want to continue.

 

Last spring I prepared our Core Course Worksheets and wondered if the French classes DS took from Potter's School would be accepted. DS didn't *need* these courses to meet the NCAA Division 1, 16 Core Course requirement, but I prepared them anyway. I wanted to see if the NCAA would accept them as Core Courses. They did!  I was quite clear on the CCW the length of the course, the frequency of instruction and included the detailed syllabus provided to us from Potter's School. I did list myself as the Teacher of Record with the PS teacher listed as 'Other' but I don't know whether that was important. The information I provided certainly substantiated the fact that the course lasted a full school year and covered material that a student in a conventional classroom might also cover.

 

DS took 8 courses from the local CC. In a phone conversation with an NCAA rep I was assured that since the course was taken at the CC, taught by a CC prof that the course would be worth 1 high school credit. She also stated that if the CC course had been taught at the local high school then it would be worth 1/2 credit. I awarded each CC course 1 high school credit and these courses were accepted as meeting the core course requirement and awarded 1 credit each. I did not file Core Course Worksheets for these classes but had the CC send DS's transcript to the NCAA.

 

This morning DS academic status with the NCAA changed to: Final Qualifier (Early Academic Qualifier). He just has to complete English 12 which I'm teaching.

 

Next Wednesday, on the National Letter of Intent signing day, DS will be signing with OSU and joining their rifle team.

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I also want to add that I had 2 courses *rejected* from the NCAA. The first was English 9 --- we used IEW Level B Continuation. I had provided a general outline of the course syllabus (Unit titles) and they wanted:

1) Text(s) used: (what books or novels were used for writing assignments.)

2) More detailed course description/outline.

3)More detailed assessment information.

 

I went to the IEW site, pulled up their detailed scope and sequence chart, labeled it with dates, included a note that English 9 was a writing course and as such books or novels outside of the IEW text were not used. It was accepted.

 

The other course was Rhetoric-Logic. Again, the request was for additional information regarding assesments. In the updated CCW I included the ISBNs numbers for the test book. I don't know if that was acceptable or not since this course was not listed as one of DS's 15 approved courses. The last couirse he needs to meet their 16 course requirement is English 12.

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