|| PATRICK HENRY COLLEGE
Elite education: Hope for our national crisis
Homeschoolers have long understood the importance of educational excellence. We are pleased to cite studies that show our form of education ranks at the top in quality. We have won political acceptance for homeschooling largely on the strength of this academic excellence.The same principle is at work in American public life. Those with superior educational preparation receive greater access and approval, particularly in careers of public service.
This summer, United States Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor noted the importance of "elite education" in her disturbing majority opinion in Grutter v. Bollinger, the University of Michigan Law School affirmative action case:
Moreover, universities, and in particular, law schools, represent the training ground for a large number of our nation's leaders. Individuals with law degrees occupy roughly half the state governorships, more than half the seats in the United States Senate, and more than a third of the seats in the United States House of Representatives. The pattern is even more striking when it comes to highly selective law schools. A handful of these schools accounts for 25 of the 100 United States Senators, 74 United States Courts of Appeals judges, and nearly 200 of the more than 600 United States District Court judges.
Just 14 law schools have produced this incredible number of leaders. And though Justice O'Connor did not mention it, all nine of the U.S. Supreme Court justices also come from this same handful of colleges and universities.
Unfortunately, the education offered by these "selective" schools is not neutral. Justice Antonin Scalia referenced this problem in his dissent in Lawrence v. Texas (the homosexual rights case). Scalia urged the nation to recognize that we are being ruled by the "law school culture." The law schools of the nation, as a whole, he said, have internal rules that promote homosexual rights.
The only sensible conclusion that one can make when examining all the facts is that elite secular education has systematically produced high achievers with liberal values who are dominating our nation to its great harm.
What is the solution?
The premise of Patrick Henry College is that we cannot fight the effects of elite liberal education with second-tier Christian education. We must bring both godliness and excellence to engage in an effective clash of cultures. The strategic position and potential of PHC become apparent when you examine how far the college has come in terms of invading the ranks of government.
This spring, five of the college's government majors will be earning their apprenticeship credits while interning at the White House. One of these positions is typically filled by students already in law school. But the achievements of the PHC student who won the post are so impressive that he landed a job in the office of the White House Counsel—the president's "law office." (In fact, this student turned down an internship in the Supreme Court to accept this position.) A college of 10,000 would be proud to have five students selected for White House internships. By God's blessing, PHC has accomplished this in just four years with a student body of less than 250. Patrick Henry College is truly preparing students for tomorrow by standing for what is right today.
In addition to the White House, this past year PHC students interned in congressional offices, executive branch departments, various think tanks and research organizations, campaign offices, and Washington law firms.
In terms of academic achievement, PHC students are more than holding their own. The college was too small to be included in last year's college rankings by U.S. News & World Report, but using their data, here is how PHC compares today with many of the elite colleges that Justice O'Connor's opinion referenced. (Other colleges were also added to the list below to give a better sense of how Patrick Henry College compares nationally.)
There is no doubt that PHC ranks so highly because of its overwhelming number of homeschooled students. While we accept bright, godly students from public and private schools, homeschoolers comprise over 90% of the student body and are the key to our quick academic success.
High SAT scores are not the only measure for academic success. PHC students are excelling in other tangible ways:
|>>||PHC entered the Midwestern Regional Moot Court competition and won 1st and 2nd place as well as all four of the top speaker awards at the tournament.|
|>>||PHC won 1st place at the Eastern Regional Moot Court competition. Out of 68 competitors, the college took eight of the top 10 places in the speaker awards, including the top trophy.|
|>>||PHC debaters have won numerous value debate and parliamentary debate tournaments. The college competes against schools like Notre Dame and Hillsdale and is consistently winning 1st- or 2nd- place trophies in all forms of forensic debate.|
Very recently, the college was invited by the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) to send students for officer training. Placing graduates on the path to leadership in the U.S. military is another way PHC can influence the nation.
In short, a disproportionate number of Patrick Henry College students are excelling at the highest levels. PHC may be small, but it is demonstrating a unique ability to penetrate the areas most in need of a new generation of godly leadership.
For application or financial aid information, visit http://www.phc.edu or call Admissions at 540-338-1776.