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.

St. Thomas University Expands Minority Students Reach Plus Fellows Leadership Opportunities

November 12, 2010

MIAMI, (MetroCatholic) — Miami’s St. Thomas University was once again selected as a National Partner for the Cristo Rey Network that includes 24 Catholic high schools and 6,500 students. The University Partner Initiative, which includes Georgetown and Boston College, seeks to formalize strategic relationships with colleges and universities committed to supporting Cristo Rey Network students. The partnership is regarded as the platform upon which future programs will be built to ensure post-secondary access and success for Cristo Rey Network students.

“This partnership is an important aspect of St. Thomas University fulfilling its mission of Developing Leaders for Life,” says St. Thomas President, Monsignor Franklyn M. Casale. “Cristo Rey students represent the future of this nation and we are honored to partner in the preparation of the next generation of world leaders.  Cristo Rey Network students will be an important addition to our already diverse and talented student body.”

Expanding the leadership mission, new initiatives have been spearheaded through the NASPA Undergraduate Fellows program (NUFP), which mentors undergraduate students wishing to explore and get immersed in the student affairs field. Two STU students - Diego Sanchez and  David Brown - have been selected for the prestigious National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) Undergraduate Fellows Program.  Both juniors and members of STU’s Student Government Association, Sanchez and Brown, will be mentored by Dr. Beatriz Gonzalez Robinson and Issac M. Carter, respectively.  Dr. Gonzalez Robinson is Vice President for Planning & Enrollment at St. Thomas and serves and the NASPA-FL Latino/a Knowledge Community Chair and Mr. Carter, Dean of Students for STU, serves and the Chair for the Men & Masculinities Knowledge Community, NASPA-FL. Students and mentors apply as a pair, and if selected are provided the foundation to establish a semi-structured mentoring relationship at their institution. Fellows are also given the opportunity to attend a national conference, participate in paid internships, and participate in the Summer Leadership Institute. The mission of the NUFP is to increase the number of historically disenfranchised and underrepresented professionals in student affairs and/or higher education.

Catholic College Keeps Pro-Abortion Links Up Despite 15,000 Complaints

August 30, 2010

McKinney, TX  (MetroCatholic) — Well over 15,000 students and parents have politely requested that Alverno College, a Catholic college founded by the School Sisters of St. Francis, delete several web site links that channel students to abortion advocacy groups. However, despite the large number of complaints the links remain up and running.

Pro-abortion groups listed include the Center for Reproductive Health, National Organization for Women (NOW), EMILY’s List, and many more.

“You can’t be a true Catholic and at the same time favor abortion,” said TFP Student Action director John Ritchie. “It betrays the very mission of a Catholic institution. So, we’ve decided to intensify our prayers and protest until all the pro-abortion links are gone.”

One of the groups linked to Alverno College’s web site is called Radical Women. This organization bills itself as “a trailblazing socialist feminist organization,” and its web site not only promotes communist ideology and homosexual vice, but also the brutal abortion procedure known as partial birth abortion.

After TFP Student Action started its peaceful protest in June, Alverno College merely removed a few links and posted a disclaimer stating: “The views expressed in these weblinks do not necessarily reflect the views of the Alverno College Research Center for Women and Girls.”

However, according to TFP spokesman John Ritchie, “the disclaimer is just window dressing.”

Two Catholic institutions, Rosemont College and the University of Detroit Mercy, recently took down links to pro-abortion groups that were listed on their web sites. Yet Alverno College has not done so thus far.

TFP Student Action is asking its members to “speak out against this scandal” and sign an online protest addressed to Dr. Mary Meehan, president of Alverno College. The petition is available at: www.tfpstudentaction.org.

Thomas More Society Enters ‘Not Guilty’ Plea for First Arrestee Under Chicago’s Abortion Clinic ‘Bubble Zone’ Ordinance

July 28, 2010

Grad Student Prayed Rosary on Sidewalk Outside Chicago Planned Parenthood

CHICAGO (MetroCatholic) — Yesterday morning, Thomas More Society attorney Peter Breen entered a “not guilty” plea to the charge of disorderly conduct on behalf of Joseph Holland, the first person arrested under the new Chicago “Bubble Zone” ordinance, which prevents certain types of picketing activity outside local abortion clinics. Holland, a Northwestern University graduate student, was praying the rosary on a public sidewalk outside the Planned Parenthood Near North abortion facility on July 3 when staff called the police, claiming that he had violated the new ordinance.

The “Bubble Zone” ordinance prohibits approaching within eight feet of a person, without consent, “for the purpose of passing a leaflet or handbill to, displaying a sign to, or engaging in oral protest, education, or counseling.” According to witnesses and available video, Holland was engaged solely in prayer activity and not in leafleting, picketing or “sidewalk counseling.” Video of Holland’s alleged disorderly conduct can be found online here.

“This arrest was about one thing: trying to scare pro-life people away from Planned Parenthood,” said Peter Breen, Thomas More Society executive director and legal counsel. “Joe Holland did nothing wrong — his only ‘crime’ was having the temerity to exercise his First Amendment rights on a public sidewalk. We look forward to defending Joe and others like him against the City of Chicago’s false charges.” During consideration of the new ordinance, Breen presented testimony that the “Bubble Zone” ordinance is unconstitutional, a position with which the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois agreed.

Thomas More Society attorneys today also served subpoenas on Planned Parenthood for security footage of the alleged disorderly conduct and on the City of Chicago for the 911 tapes of the calls placed by Planned Parenthood. The Thomas More Society is also representing David Avignone, the second arrestee under the “Bubble Zone” ordinance. Holland’s next appearance is August 3, and Avignone’s first appearance will be August 30.

About the Thomas More Society
Founded in 1997, the Thomas More Society is a national public interest law firm that exists to restore respect for life in law. Based in Chicago, the Thomas More Society defends the sanctity of human life, the family and religious liberty in courtrooms across the country. The Society is a nonprofit organization wholly supported by private donations. For more information or to support the work of Thomas More Society, please visit www.thomasmoresociety.org.

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Indiana Planned Parenthood Caught on Tape Giving Fabricated Medical Information

July 20, 2010

INDIANAPOLIS (MetroCatholic) — The youth-led pro-life group Live Action released a new undercover video today showing staff at an Indianapolis Planned Parenthood clinic using manipulative and medically inaccurate counseling to convince a young woman to have an abortion. This is the third undercover video Live Action has released showing abusive counseling practices at Planned Parenthood of Indiana.

When the woman, purportedly 10-weeks pregnant, asks the clinician, named “Sarah,” when her baby’s heart begins to beat, Sarah replies, “It’s around I think the 8th or the 9th week that you can hear the heartbeat.” The heart actually begins beating 3 weeks and 1 day after conception, according to Moore and Persaud’s well-known textbook The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology. The Planned Parenthood clinician also insists, “It’s not a baby, it’s a fetus,” which, she claims, is “not like a person.”

In the video, Sarah assures the woman that “having an abortion is safer than carrying to term.” The woman asks, “The abortion won’t hurt me from having more kids in the future, will it?” and the counselor replies, “Nope.” But a 2009 study from the Obstetrical and Gynecological Survey recently found that a previous abortion increased a woman’s risk of pre-term birth by 20%, and a 2003 report from the Shanghai Institute of Planned Parenthood Research notes a 55% increased risk of future miscarriages for women who have abortions.

Lila Rose, UCLA student and president of Live Action, says the new footage places Planned Parenthood well outside the medical mainstream. “Planned Parenthood’s counseling is based on its abortion-first mentality rather than the medical facts that women need,” observes Rose. “Planned Parenthood gives vulnerable women misinformation to sell them the abortion.” Indiana informed consent law requires that women receive accurate medical information before undergoing an abortion.

The undercover video is the third released by Live Action in the “Rosa Acuna Project,” a multi-state undercover investigation of medical misinformation and manipulative counseling at Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion business in America. In the undercover “Mona Lisa Project,” Live Action released footage of two Planned Parenthood Indiana clinics agreeing to cover-up the sexual abuse of a child. Indiana lawmakers have since sought to defund the state affiliate of over $3 million it receives annually in government grants.

“Citizens and lawmakers in Indiana must stop Planned Parenthood from using millions of dollars of taxpayer money to exploit young women,” states Rose.

Watch here: liveaction.org/rosa-acuna/indianapolis-in
About Live Action: liveaction.org

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Bishops Launch Campus Web Site to Promote Catholic Social Teaching, Life and Dignity

April 23, 2010

WASHINGTON (MetroCatholic) —The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development has collaborated with eleven Catholic organizations to create a new Web site to help college students and campus ministers promote Catholic social teaching on campus. The Web site, “Transforming Our World: Our Catholic Faith in Action,” can be found at www.usccb.org/campus.

Site elements include principles of Catholic social teaching, prayer materials, small group resources, tools for action, and multimedia such as videos and podcasts. The home page features quotes from Church leaders, ideas of the week and an invitation to site visitors to submit resources and ideas for possible features on the Web site. Collaborators hope the Web site will become an online clearinghouse featuring “best practices” to promote Catholic social teaching on campus.

Development of the site was initiated to celebrate the ten-year anniversary of the U.S. bishops’ statement Sharing Catholic Social Teaching. The spring 2010 launch of the site responds to Pope Benedict XVI’s Message for World Youth Day 2010, in which he mentioned challenges such as respect for the environment, just division of goods, solidarity with poor countries, promotion of dignity in labor, building a culture of life, and promoting peace.

“They are challenges to which you are called to respond to build a more just and fraternal world,” Pope Benedict said.

Collaborators involved in the Web site include Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities, Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities, Catholic Campus Ministry Association, Conference of Major Superiors of Men, Catholic Relief Services, Fellowship of Catholic University Students, The National Association of Diocesan Directors of Campus Ministry, National Council of Catholic Women, National Catholic Student Coalition, National Catholic Young Adult Ministry Association, and Leadership Conference of Women Religious.

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