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HSLDA's advocacy can extend beyond graduation.

Employer Wants Proof of Graduation—From 20 Years Ago

by Dan Beasley • January 8, 2019

After two decades in the workforce, homeschool graduate Peter Crabtree was excited about the prospect of landing a more fulfilling job.

An open team coordinator position at Oshkosh Corporation looked like the perfect fit, given his skill set and six years of supervisory experience at his former company.

He applied for the position with Oshkosh and received a job offer. All that was left before he could start working was a routine background check, to be done by the company’s vendor, EBI. However, as Peter soon learned, when it comes to homeschool graduates, background screenings can end up being anything but routine—especially when the screening company doesn’t understand homeschooling.

Unexpected Snag

The background check conducted by EBI initially progressed smoothly. And, as Peter worked with his recruiter at Oshkosh to finish the hiring process, he was impressed by how easy it was to communicate with his future employer. Then the process hit a snag—EBI was having trouble verifying Peter’s high school education.

Peter and his family scrambled to get the correct documentation to the company—he’d graduated from his family’s homeschool in Tennessee nearly 20 years ago. He never expected to have to verify his high school education two decades later.

Over the next couple weeks, EBI struggled to verify Peter’s high school credentials, even after he sent a copy of his parent-issued transcript and diploma to his recruiter. Though Peter was clearly a homeschool graduate, EBI was not satisfied with the documentation provided. After realizing that his job could be at stake, Peter and his family called us.

Clearing a Path

HSLDA immediately began working with Peter and his mother to collect documentation supporting his diploma. We sent a letter to Peter’s recruiter, referencing this documentation and explaining that Peter had complied with Tennessee’s compulsory school attendance law, and was a highly qualified candidate for the position.

Less than a day after Peter’s recruiter received our letter, Peter heard from her again—she and her team had discussed the situation and cleared Peter to start work in a week. When we checked in with Peter a month into his new position, he could only say positive things about Oshkosh and how glad he was to be working with them.

We were pleased to hear that Oshkosh accepted Peter’s homeschool diploma almost immediately upon reviewing our letter. However, this situation is a reminder of the discrimination and misinformation some homeschool graduates must overcome to prove their qualifications for employment or higher education. When graduates face these roadblocks, we’re here to help.

Related article: “Justifacts to HSLDA: Help Us Treat Homeschoolers Fairly”

Dan Beasley

Staff Attorney

Dan is an attorney and homeschool graduate who provides legal guidance and answers questions for HSLDA member families in 13 states. Read more.

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