Guest post by Sheila Jones, GCU Admissions Representative
I didn’t know much about homeschool students or the homeschooling process before working as an admissions representative at Grand Canyon University. GCU hired me to advocate for and assist this underserved community at the college admissions level. I will never forget going into my first meeting with a homeschool family. I had the typical stereotypes in my mind as I walked through the door and sat down to speak with them. I thought I likely was going to meet a helicopter-type mom with a quirky and quiet child, but boy was I in for a big surprise!
I was surprised to see the mom sit quietly while her child took the stage. Her daughter had a couple pages of handwritten questions and a pile of printed sheets with website facts. This student read through her on-point questions one by one as I sat dumbfounded by the depth of her thinking, planning, and dreaming. My momma-heart immediately fell in love with this homeschool adventure and not a day goes by that I don’t see endless positive effects it has on these kids and their futures. In only one meeting, I was completely hooked on the homeschool way of life.
Many homeschool students are choosing to come to our university, and I feel blessed to know GCU has become so homeschool-friendly. These incredible kids and families feel like my own and my goal is to help give them every opportunity our students coming from private or public schools enjoy.
Homeschool students at GCU are standing out in a big way! They create clubs, join our HAVOCS, create businesses, lead Bible studies and weekly worship, and lately a few added me on LinkedIn because they already found jobs. Homeschool kids are different in the best way! They are not buried in their phones like many kids today. They are confident, deeply engaged, and soaking in all the opportunities that come their way. Homeschool students are entering our university with high GPAs, exceptional test scores, and a year or more worth of dual enrollment. They are well beyond prepared to be at college and we find they maintain their high GPAs throughout their time at Grand Canyon University. Homeschool students here are growing, thriving, and a wonderful asset to our university in every way.
So for you homeschool moms, perhaps weary from the journey, do not give up homeschooling your kids in high school. Stay the course and persevere! The young adults you are raising give us high hopes for our future as a university and for our nation. I have said it before and mean it from my heart, your hard work is creating extremely bright kids with exceptional futures. What a true blessing it has been to share a piece of their journeys.
Grand Canyon University is a sponsor at the 2018 AFHE Convention for the 2018 AFHE Senior High Graduation. AFHE is grateful for the partnership with GCU and for their open arms in welcoming homeschool students.
Sheila Jones, Grand Canyon University
Sheila Jones currently serves as program manager for Strategic Educational Alliances, working closely with homeschool groups within GCU’s Alliance Program for Homeschool Achievement (ALPHA) program. Sheila spent her previous years in admissions at GCU and supplementing education by running and owning a private tutoring company servicing the state of Arizona. Sheila earned her undergraduate degree at Northern Arizona University and completed her Master’s degree in Business Leadership and Grand Canyon University. Sheila’s hope is to explore and learn more about how she can glorify the Lord through her opportunities as a servant leader. She adores working and advocating for homeschool groups and hopes to have a hand in furthering their opportunities for growth through GCU.