If you are a high school student in Indiana who is attending an accredited home school, some of your courses may be used towards college credits. If you don’t already know it, your state has one of the most liberal and progressive ways to earn an education. In Indiana, there are virtually no requirements that a home school or home school teacher must meet. The only provision is that the home school curriculum is taught in English (Ind. Code Ann. § 20-33-2-4(2)). According to Indiana state law, children between the ages of 7 through 18 are required to regularly partake in some sort of academic instruction. Students are expected to attend 180 days of school per year until satisfactory completion.
There are two types of educational venues that a homeschooler may attend in Indiana. The first is a non-accredited home school, for which the state has no legal authority to interfere with the curriculum or the content of the home school, unless the program or instructors are otherwise proven negligent in their duties, e.g. child are not instructed on a regular basis. Basically, the home school must uphold standards that are equal or greater to the local public school system. A far better option, or at a least supplement option, is to take advantage of the more than 100 courses offered by Indiana University High School. Because the school does not operate on a traditional semester schedule, a student can apply and begin anytime. A student has a menu of three kinds of structured education which he or she wishes to pursue. Each is based on the child’s future plans after completing high school. If a student does not plan on attending college, the standard high school program is advised. If however, a student is preparing for college, there is the dual-credit program, as well as advanced placement distance education. Courses taken during enrollment of on either of these paths will count towards college credit if completed satisfactorily. Most of these courses are offered online.
A student who is currently being homeschooled or has completed course work from a non-accredited home school and wishes to have some of their work reviewed for possible transfer credit towards their high school diploma, must submit a written learning portfolio. The written learning portfolio consists of each course completed beyond the eighth grade level. Additionally, a student may earn up to one elective credit per school year, but no more than four credits in total for qualifying life experience.
The following is required per each written learning portfolio submitted for credit consideration, and must be submitted in the likewise order:
1. Detailed description of the course or topic of study. Specific course goals and objectives must be listed. It is advisable that the applicant discuss this with their home school instructor.
2. A detailed narrative bibliography (similar to an annotated bibliography) that lists all of the textbooks read, including the publisher’s name, author’s name, year published, and edition number if applicable. Be sure to include other learning materials utilized, such as journal articles, newspapers, film, and software programs. A detailed written description of the tasks, e.g. reports, and activities completed, which demonstrates how the student acquired knowledge of the topic at the home school.
3. Detailed explanation on how successful the student believes he or she was in meeting the course goals and objectives.
4. Three samples of major written assignments, including at least one major test -preferably a final examination.
Current or former students who attended an accredited home school are to submit their learning portfolios with a completed admission application form. All applications must include a $40 nonrefundable application fee. However, prior to applying, be sure to call (800) 334-1011 and ask to speak to an IUHS advisor. The advisor will determine if you need to submit additional materials and answer any other questions that you may have.