Let’sHomeschoolHighSchool.com recently had an opportunity to interview Barnabas Bridgman, enrollment officer at LeTourneau University in Longview, Texas. During the 2011-2012 school year, one in every four LETU students came from a homeschool background.
LHSHS: Did the University set out to attract homeschoolers, or are they responding to an increase in registrations from homeschoolers?
LETU: At first, homeschooling families sought our University out. We really have been more sought out by home schooling families than we have intentionally recruited them.
However, we have become very intentional in our recruiting of homeschooling families. We are a private, interdenominational Christian University, so the interest from homeschooling families is not surprising, because we hold the same type of standards and values that prompt families to homeschool in the first place
LHSHS: I notice there is an orientation specifically for homeschooled students. In what ways does it differ from the general orientation?
LETU: The general new student orientation is for all students, no matter what background. However, within the scheduling of orientation, the University has time set aside to bring all our incoming students with homeschooling background to talk about the transitioning into college life. The homeschool orientation ia more of a time for students who were homeschooled to meet and connect with other new students at LeTourneau who come from a home schooling background. This is a time to make friends that sometimes last all through college and beyond.
LHSHS: So, homeschoolers attend the typical orientation, but they are offered additional information, specific to homeschooled students. In general, do you notice a difference in academic progress between homeschooled students and those who attended traditional schools? What about social success and adjustment to college life?
LETU: LeTourneau University is a rigorous school, but we have seen repeated cases of homeschooled students excelling academically. We have many different social outlets on campus, and some of the groups are lead solely by homeschoolers. For example, our past two student body presidents were homeschooled prior to studying at LeTourneau University.
LHSHS: Does your enrollment process differ for homeschooled students? What kinds of high school documentation do you require?
LETU: The process is the same for all our students. Families can contact me directly with questions regarding high school transcripts.
LHSHS: Is there anything else you would like to add?
LETU: I would encourage homeschooling students to take a few college visits. The best way to know if a college/university is right for you is to have the University experience – sit in on a class, stay overnight, tour the campus, etc.
LETU offers several preview events (including the homeschool preview and homeschool symposium), as well as an opportunity for families to set up individual visits. Go on a campus visit. You will usually get the chance to sit in a class, talk with faculty and staff, tour the campus, and chat with the current students.
LHSHS: Thank you for taking time to speak with us today! Our readers will appreciate the information you’ve shared.