Colleges Nationwide Recruit Homeschool Grads

January 4, 2011

GRAY, Tenn., (MetroCatholic) - As the modern-day homeschool movement confidently marches forward into its fourth decade, colleges and universities are opening wide their doors to welcome its mature, prepared graduates to their ranks. Homeschoolers score an average of 37 percentile points above the national average on standardized achievement tests and typically score above average on the SAT and ACT, statistics that apparently have caught the eye of college admissions personnel. Since 1999, the number of homeschoolers in the United States has increased by 74%, and today thousands of young men and women are graduating from high school — at home.

Colleges are employing a wide variety of strategies aimed at recruiting homeschoolers, including strong representation at homeschool conventions, direct mailing campaigns, and promotions in catalogs, on their websites, and in publications such as The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, the nation’s most popular print magazine for homeschoolers. Colleges sponsor “Homeschool College Days” for juniors and seniors, and at Wheaton College, where nearly 10% of the freshman class is represented by homeschool grads, applicants can even be put in touch with current Wheaton students who were homeschooled. Regent University’s website heralds the school as “the right choice for home-schooled students,” and the U.S. Air Force Academy’s website includes guidelines addressed specifically to homeschooled applicants.

A number of institutions have appointed “homeschool liaison and recruitment specialists” to serve incoming freshmen and their families. In her 2009 article titled “‘We Love Homeschoolers!’ Prominent Colleges Jump on the Recruiting Bandwagon,” author Claire Novak, herself a homeschool grad, quoted one such specialist, who said, “As the number of homeschooled students grow, colleges are finding it’s a market you can’t ignore.”

Nearly 30% of Bob Jones University’s current students were educated at home. BJU’s website reports: “As a group, our homeschooled students are among the best students in the entire university student body. They have added a fresh dimension to the body of conventionally schooled students. We consider them a real asset.” Stanford Magazine reported that “among the nation’s elite universities, Stanford has been one of the most eager to embrace them [homeschoolers]. . . .[H]omeschoolers bring a mix of unusual experiences, special motivation and intellectual independence that makes them a good bet to flourish on the Farm.” Savannah College of Art and Design “welcomes home-schooled students and recognizes the outstanding talent and achievements of this diverse group of well-rounded individuals.” And these are just a few examples of the favorable reputation that homeschooled students have earned.

Recent studies confirm the academic success of homeschoolers who attend college. Citing results of a 2010 survey, the Journal of College Admission reports that “homeschool students possess higher ACT scores, grade point averages (GPAs) and graduation rates when compared to traditionally-educated students.”

Seth Back, a homeschooler who took and passed the GED test at age 15 and is currently enrolled at Harvard, is confident that he was “better prepared for certain college situations than students who had been through the public/private school system.” During the past five years, Seth earned a juris doctor degree, passed the California Bar Exam, earned a master’s degree in church history, and studied at Oxford — all while managing his own consulting business. He credits homeschooling with fueling a love of learning and teaching him to take personal responsibility for his education, which included pursuing a wide variety of opportunities for his personal enrichment. He is but one example of the thousands of motivated, successful, visionary students who have benefited tremendously from their home education.

Colleges are looking for young people like Seth. They are excited about the exceptional potential presented by homeschool graduates and are vigorously pursuing their attention.

As college professors nationwide are given the opportunity to influence and further equip homeschool graduates, surely they will be refreshed and encouraged by this new breed of “independent thinkers” who are filling their classrooms. Wise college professors will carefully take advantage of the privilege they are being given in those classrooms — to build on the strong foundation laid by these students’ former teachers: their parents.

About The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine: Soon to celebrate their 10-year anniversary, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine is recognized as the premier magazine for homeschoolers. This professional publication offers approximately 200 pages of information, inspiration, and encouragement to homeschooling families around the world in each quarterly issue. View a sample issue here.

CatholicSportsNet to Provide “One-Stop Shop” for Catholic Sports Fans

July 27, 2010

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (MetroCatholic) – Many media outlets cover the booming industry of sports, but only one can lay claim to the sole reporting of Catholic sports – CatholicSportsNet.

Based in Louisville, Ky., CatholicSportsNet (CSN) is a new media company that recently launched its flagship entity – www.catholicsportsnet.com – a website that will serve as a national showcase for on and off the field achievements of male and female Catholic high school, collegiate, and professional student-athletes, teams, coaches, and administrators.

Serving nearly 1,200 high schools, 160-plus colleges, and over 70 million Catholic Americans around the country, CSN will provide up-to-date news, feature articles, student-athlete spotlights, national rankings, recruitment information, and a comprehensive multimedia unit that will include weekly newscasts, interviews, and streaming video.

CSN founder Steve Fehder, a 26-year broadcast veteran and entrepreneur, developed this concept after noticing a tremendous void in the coverage of local and national Catholic sports. A Catholic himself, Fehder believes CSN will satisfy the insatiable appetite of the rabid alumni and fan bases of Catholic schools and their athletic teams.

“What makes CatholicSportsNet unique from any traditional sports site, is that we are 100 percent dedicated to serving the ‘huge niche’ of Catholic sports and that Catholicism will be the underlying theme of all content,” Fehder said. “The tradition, the values, the alumni base, the success of athletes and programs across the country, and the incredible stories are what makes this venture so special.”

Joining Fehder’s team is author, writer, and former Louisville Courier-Journal sports editor Billy Reed. Member of both the U.S. Basketball and Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fames, Reed has written over 800 articles during a 29-year association with Sports Illustrated, and has penned over a dozen books pertaining to topics ranging from Freedom Hall to Paul Hornung to the world-famous Kentucky Derby.

“I’m excited to be a part of this new venture because it will embrace two things that are dear to me – high journalistic principles and positive stories about the sports world,” said Reed, CSN’s senior editorial advisor and consultant. “CSN should be the place to go for anybody interested in what’s happening with Catholic schools and athletes both locally and around the nation.”

CatholicSportsNet has other projects on the horizon, including the development of local and regional Catholic sports sites that will provide hyper-local coverage to the schools and teams of specific cities around the country. In addition, CSN plans to schedule a series of online “webinars” that high school and college athletes, coaches, and fans can attend virtually. They will feature and contain compelling topics and guest speakers who will educate and entertain the viewers.

CSN will offer a wide variety of marketing options for traditional advertisers, in addition to the opportunity for schools to put their campuses, programs, and achievements on display within the CSN College Roadshow – a resource that will give potential students a chance to learn more about educational opportunities at various Catholic institutions.

“From online to on the field, our goal is to be the leader in Catholic sports,” said Fehder. “Our team is extremely excited about the potential of (CSN) and looks forward to connecting with thousands of Catholics who share the same values and passion for sports. As we say at CSN, we are Catholic sports.”

CatholicSportsNet (CSN) is a media company that serves as an aggregator of news and producer of content pertaining to the overall achievements of Catholic high school and collegiate sports teams, student-athletes, and coaches. CSN houses nine employees in Louisville, Ky., in addition to a stable of national contributors and analysts. More information on CSN can be found at www.catholicsportsnet.com

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