A homeschool family at a Genesee Community College ceremoning a few years ago, courtesy of GCC.
Genesee Community College has long prided itself on proactively identifying the emerging needs of our community and providing new services and opportunities accordingly.
More than a decade ago, college administrators recognized the unique needs of homeschooled students and established a system of services and enrollment opportunities to not only help these students transition to college, but to simultaneously help them earn their required New York State High School Equivalency Diploma.
These services begin with several special Homeschool Information Sessions held each spring at various campus centers to inform homeschooled families about the array of educational resources available.
GCC's helpful and popular program now serves more than 200 homeschool students and their families and is particular point of pride for GCC.
Through the years and the desire to support, connect and encourage local families, some of these information sessions included a picnic, refreshments and even live music by a local musician.
Today, GCC's desire to help families who homeschool their children is stronger than ever and may now find new growth opportunities as the institution expands its online learning modalities under the current coronavirus pandemic.
The College's ACE (Accelerated College Enrollment) Office, which oversees GCC's Homeschool Program has developed a special informational presentation available completely online that replaces the onsite Information Sessions usually held at the campus centers.
Contained in this presentation are all of the resources and documentation homeschool students and families would have received during a traditional onsite session.
The program includes information on how GCC's coursework is specially bundled to help homeschooled students earn their high school diplomas. In addition, GCC's simple, one-page admissions application, information on tuition costs related New York State residency requirements, and the Genesee Promise Plus Summer Scholarship program are also covered.
"We have a long history of working with homeschool families in our community, giving them the reassurance and demonstrating how GCC is an excellent option and a solid stepping-stone for their children," Angela Tozer, ACE Program specialist, said.
"Interestingly, our homeschool families are experiencing the least amount of disruption to their educational routines due to COVID-19 as they are able to take advantage of GCC's extensive online learning options readily available to them."
Homeschooled students advance their education through GCC with a wide range of different classes offered in many subject areas. In addition, students under age 18 may take approved courses at the reduced ACE tuition rate of $60 per credit hour -- a savings of nearly 68 percent over regular GCC tuition.
"Homeschooled students appreciate GCC's student-centered mission and all of our classes are small," Tozer said. "The College's extraordinarily low student-to-teacher ratio makes the transition to college much easier," citing GCC's 14-to-1 student to faculty ratio enjoyed by students and faculty alike.
"At the same time, GCC is big enough to offer the many different courses and subject areas that students want and our affiliation with SUNY makes GCC the perfect pathway for homeschool families. With support and individual attention, students transition from their at-home learning environment to a college-level curriculum full of hands-on learning, experience and success."
Furthermore, families utilizing the homeschool presentations will also have the opportunity to learn about the Genesee Promise Plus Summer Scholarship program, which provides students with one or two summer 2020 classes online tuition-free at GCC!
More than 100 courses are being offered this summer throughout the following three summer sessions:
- Full Summer Session runs May 26 - Aug. 7
- Session I runs May 26 - June 26
- Session II runs July 6 - Aug. 7
"The homeschooling program at GCC gave me many unique opportunities that I am very grateful for," said Laura Allen, a currently enrolled student said. "The team for homeschooling and the advisors are very supportive and understanding, always working with you for the best achievement of education.
"Being a homeschooler, I was nervous that I was going to struggle being at a college level, but GCC's program worked with me through it all. They offer free tutoring services, and help you get the best out of your education. I am very grateful for all the work everyone does for the homeschooling program, and I am excited to say that I found my career pathway thanks to GCC."