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New Mexico

June 9, 2005

Community College Discrimination

Homeschoolers across the country have successfully been admitted to colleges and universities, including the most elite institutions. During the Clinton years, many colleges were afraid to accept homeschoolers because of implied threats in Department of Education materials that suggested that schools would lose their eligibility for federal funding if they accepted homeschoolers. Most of those problems are in the past now, since the Department of Education has made it very clear that homeschool graduates are as acceptable as any other high school graduate. Despite this fact, San Juan College in Farmington, New Mexico, has shut the door on homeschoolers.

In a policy that dates back almost 20 years, homeschoolers are welcome to San Juan College as long as they have an accredited homeschool diploma. While it is technically possible to obtain an accredited diploma as a homeschooler (there are several distance learning programs that provide this type of certification), the overwhelming majority of homeschoolers graduate with an unaccredited diploma. Thus, San Juan College's policy shuts the door to the vast majority of homeschool graduates.

San Juan College does allow homeschoolers to enter on a "provisional" basis, and will let them receive a degree if they are willing to take a graduate equivalency degree (GED). Anyone familiar with the GED knows that it does not even pretend to verify that a person really has mastered the equivalent of a high school education. Demanding a GED from a homeschool graduate is insulting.

Homeschoolers in Farmington are working to change the college policy. Please pray for the families and let HSLDA know if other New Mexico colleges are similarly discriminating against homeschoolers.