Homeschooling thru HS and Pre-Employment Background Checks

Find out how to handle homeschooling through high school and college prep!

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Lauria
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Homeschooling thru HS and Pre-Employment Background Checks

Postby Lauria » Thu Jul 06, 2006 5:05 am

... the outcome really depends on the company you're being hired with -- not the background check company.

I was homeschooled for high school, and went to college almost 10 years ago after completing our family's curriculum. I've had two experiences where I had to have a background check that verified educational experience, not just previous employment/criminal etc. The first was a horrific experience -- the second, which I am in the process of now, I hope will work out.

For the first, the job requsition stated it needed a "high school diploma or GED". In my case, my state wouldn't allow me to take a high school equivalency exam before I left for college -- I was admitted to college right before my 17th birthday. Our family didn't have the money to pay for some of the services that will keep your records and issue a diploma. I've seen much better offerings for those who plan to homeschool for high school when your state doesn't offer an equivalency test (we were from Arkansas) lately, this was awhile ago.

However, I am firmly of the opinion that if a homeschooler graduates from their parents curriculum they have the right to say they have a high school diploma. It might not be accredited, but there are lots of other programs we could have gone through that likely weren't accredited but would have given the paper that the first company wanted so badly. They wouldn't accept one from my mother's home school. Even though I went to college on full scholarship.

This time the background check people have given me a hard time as well, and I immediately called my company's recruiter and explained the situation. I made sure when I applied that the job requision did not say anything about a high school diploma, and said I was homeschooled in the interview (the other time it was just on my resume).

He agreed with me, and said they have the final decision-making power. Of course, this company's home office is in a slightly more progressive state, where people homeschool through high school more often and have a state equivalency test. When I explained that as far as I know Arkansas still does not allow homeschoolers to take the GED early if they go to college early, or have any state equivalency test they can take that labels them as homeschoolers and not dropouts, he was appalled.

They said I have the job regardless of how the background check comes out on this issue.

... God does look out for us! This is a much better job than the other one that declined me for being homeschooled!

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Theodore
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Re: Homeschooling thru HS and Pre-Employment Background Chec

Postby Theodore » Thu Jul 06, 2006 10:41 am

Another option is to take individual subject tests for everything, especially core / major areas. A lot of colleges do consider the GED to be second-rate, but good AP, CLEP, or DSST exam scores are accepted everywhere for purposes of high school graduation, and will often get you a good chunk of college credit as well. Just find out what your state requires for official high school graduation, cover the material, and either portfolio or take an exam for each subject area.

Note - this route won't give you an "official" state diploma either, but a self-awarded diploma is every bit as good if you can back it up with test scores and/or a well-organized portfolio of work.

Lauria
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Re: Homeschooling thru HS and Pre-Employment Background Chec

Postby Lauria » Fri Jul 07, 2006 8:00 pm

Theodore wrote:Another option is to take individual subject tests for everything, especially core / major areas. A lot of colleges do consider the GED to be second-rate, but good AP, CLEP, or DSST exam scores are accepted everywhere for purposes of high school graduation, and will often get you a good chunk of college credit as well. Just find out what your state requires for official high school graduation, cover the material, and either portfolio or take an exam for each subject area.

Note - this route won't give you an "official" state diploma either, but a self-awarded diploma is every bit as good if you can back it up with test scores and/or a well-organized portfolio of work.


True. (BTW: Found out Arkansas passed laws in 2001 and 2003 to save other homeschoolers from going through what I did -- the GED test can be taken by homeschoolers at age 16 now. Glad to hear it!!!)

... well, the self-awarded diploma is sometimes not good enough for the outsourced background check companies to sign off on "yes, this person got a diploma". After that, though, it is company policy as to who they will and will not accept. The biggest thing I can say is to say "Homeschooling" for the name of the school right off of the bat, and not say "Smith Family Home School". Even when I just said flat-out "homeschooling" I had one person call saying "You said you went to a highschool named Homeschooling . Where is this located?" (I'm actually serious here.) My transcript and the home-issued diploma have the name of our home school on them, but very clearly it says on it homeschooling.

You know, we really thought college was going to be the hardest part -- getting admitted, dealing with financial aid as this was before the 1998 financial aid changes, etc. I never thought any company would reject a homeschooler who had completed some college and had viable work experience. I also don't understand why the information that was good enough to get me a full tuition scholarship to college wasn't good enough for the other job.

I must also say I've probably had a background check for every company I've worked for, but only these two have ever called educational institutions instead of just doing a criminal/employment check. They are larger companies that have excellent benefits, and I really hope that the Human Resources department at the company I've been conditionally hired with is correct about their policy for homeschooling. (I told him that it was my firm belief that a homeschooler had the right to say they earned a diploma if they completed the course of study required by their homeschooling parents. The diploma is good enough for the millitary and Federal financial aid programs, after all. He agreed with me!!!)

Even with the issues with the other employer, I can't say I regret homeschooling. I regret there wasn't an opportunity to take an equivalency test so there would be a record outside of our homeschool that I actually completed high school for these kinds of background checks, but I don't regret homeschooling one bit.

(It also blew my mind that they even looked at high school when I had verifiable college attendance.)


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