Homeschooled graduates have won Olympic medals, Grammy awards, and international math and science competitions (to name just a few of many outstanding accomplishments).

But many organizations that oversee rules for trade school enrollment still won’t recognize the validity of homeschooling.

Two Kentucky homeschool graduates seeking careers in cosmetology recently contacted Home School Legal Defense Association after they were refused admittance to trade schools for their career.

Seeking Verification

According to HSLDA staff attorney TJ Schmidt, “the state cosmetology board objected to the fact that these students had not attended accredited schools.” Schmidt reported that “the board initially told parents that the local public school district had to provide verification of the homeschool diploma and transcripts before the students could be accepted into a cosmetology school.”

He added that this was especially frustrating to one of the graduates because “the local cosmetology school she applied to told her they would love to have her.”

Schmidt contacted the cosmetology board to explain that their request for diploma verification was not only impossible but also unnecessary.

Parents Keep the Records

He pointed out that in Kentucky, homeschools are considered private schools in the home. In addition to filing an annual notice to local public school officials, homeschool parents are required to maintain attendance and scholarship records.

This means that when Kentucky parents issue high school diplomas to their homeschooled graduates, they are attesting to the fact that they have complied with state education statutes.

Schmidt also explained to Kentucky’s cosmetology board that the National Accrediting Commission of Career Arts and Sciences (NACCAS) advises schools to admit homeschooled graduates. This policy is due in part to HSLDA’s advocacy.

The commission’s policy declares that “homeschooled students … are eligible for admission into a NACCAS-accredited school, if the school’s policy so states, and if their secondary school education was in a homeschool that state law treats as a home or private school.”

Blossoming Career

Schmidt’s intervention led the Kentucky Board of Cosmetology to acknowledge that they could accept our third-party verification of the homeschool student’s graduation and the parents’ compliance with state law as sufficient. Last year, the board authorized the local beauty school to admit and enroll one homeschooled graduate (we hope to hear similar news in the other case soon).

HSLDA recently heard from the graduate’s mother, Andrea McIntosh, who said her daughter is progressing toward her career goal.

“She’s graduated from cosmetology school,” Andrea shared recently. “Her teacher told us that she was very proud of her and that she was one of the best, most respectful and responsible students she’d had.”

Andrea added: “She already has a job lined up! I hope our situation helps make a trail for other homeschool graduates.”