January 29, 2009

Board of Regents Changes Joint Enrollment Policy

According to Tonya R. Lam, associate vice-chancellor for student affairs of the Georgia Board of Regents, the Board of Regents changed its discriminatory policy denying homeschoolers participation in the college joint enrollment program at its January 2009 meeting. Beginning in the fall of 2009, state colleges are permitted to enroll any homeschool student who meets the University System of Georgia requirements and any requirements for joint enrollment established by the individual college. The joint enrollment program permits a high school junior or senior to continue in high school and also enroll in courses for college credit. Following is the language of the new policy:

Students attending non-accredited home school programs or non-accredited high schools may also be eligible to participate in the joint enrollment program if they meet all the regular System and institutional joint enrollment requirements and can validate their on-track, Required High School Curriculum (RHSC) units in accordance with the policy of the institution to which they are applying.

Homeschooled students seeking admission as joint enrolled must meet the System’s minimum standards for joint enrollment as well as any additional requirements defined by the individual institution. Participation in this program is not mandatory and institutions can set higher than the System joint enrollment requirements for all students.

Homeschool students are not eligible for ACCEL funds.

For several years, the policy handbook of the Board of Regents has contained a provision that all students participating in the joint enrollment program must be enrolled in an accredited school. However, until recently, colleges have been accepting homeschool students into the program even though their home study programs were not accredited. In a reversal of practice, colleges closed the door this school year to homeschoolers who were not in accredited programs. The action by the Board of Regents in January adopting a more lenient policy means that homeschoolers may once again participate in the joint enrollment program without being enrolled in an accredited school.