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Proficiency Exams Benefit College-Bound Homeschooler

by Lorraine D'Aleo, Director of Marketing, Regents College

Homeschooling is certainly not a new concept, but it is one that is growing by leaps and bounds. Families are entering the arena with children of all ages and levels as the homeschool option becomes the most appealing to parents. With the growth of homeschooling over the years, a new wave of homeschooled young adults are moving on to college. And as the mother of an 18 year old leaving home for college this fall, I know how overwhelming this new "adventure" can be for everyone involved! The college world is very traditional and many colleges maintain pretty rigid entrance criteria, standing on principles that dictate that the learning take place within their walls. These notions are contrary to the educational freedom enjoyed by homeschooled students.
Fortunately more and more colleges increasingly recognize how well educated and trained homeschooled students are - when they have the tools to validate what those students know and have learned. If your child is considering attending a traditional school, there is a way to prepare her or him for the college experience, which includes helping her or him demonstrate college-level readiness and knowledge to Admissions staff. That way is college-level proficiency exams and most specifically, Regents College Exams, an American Council on Education (ACE) recognized tool. The battery of Regents College Examinations is well-known and widely accepted among colleges and universities throughout the world. These Exams provide college-level learning experiences that support the habit of independent learning which your child has acquired at home. There is a way to help your child maintain her or his educational freedom and style of learning in college, too. That way is Regents College which I discuss further in this article.

Prepare Your Child for the College Experience.

My child leaving for college this fall is my "baby." Her older brother has gone before her to college - paving the way into the abyss of huge classes on a sprawling campus, selecting just the right credit hours to fit into degree requirements and recognizing in his first semester on campus that the level of study and comprehension required of college students is greater than where he had been in high school. Quite a revelation for our first born!
Of course, many homeschooled students have great study habits and deep comprehension levels, but if there's a way to make the transition to college-level learning smoother, I recommend you take advantage of it. Regents College Examinations can help ease your child into the level of study and comprehension required for college, (or confirm what is needed for those students who are already at those levels). Available in more than 40 subject areas, the exams are developed and updated by teams of faculty experts from select institutions. The faculty are charged with making sure the exam will impart the knowledge a student must have to successfully pass an equivalent course of college study.
Study materials recommended by the faculty for each exam are listed in Free Content Guides available by request or by downloading from the Web at Comprehensive Guided Learning Packages for some exams may be purchased through the Regents College Bookstore as well as The Regents College Examinations Official Study Guide. This one-volume source, published by The College Board, provides in-depth information about taking Regents College Exams including complete study guides for the undergraduate exams, sample questions and answers rationales for the multiple choice exams, study resources, references, and tutorial Web resources on CD-ROM. You can also find the Guide at major bookstores.
Significant online study resources are available for those preparing to take Regents College Exams too, such as the Regents College Online Writing Service which provides email access to an experienced writing tutor. When registered for this service, you can submit essays or papers to the tutor and receive feedback via email. Plus, the Regents College Online Study Service, now available for the Statistics Exam, connects students with a subject matter expert and others studying the same subject.

Demonstrate College-Level Readiness and Knowledge.

The distinct advantage of proficiency exams like Regents College Exams is that the student taking them can demonstrate the same level of knowledge as one who sits in a classroom for semesters at a time. With successful completion of the exams, a student can earn the same amount of college credit as one who learns in a traditional setting.
In addition to gaining an appreciation for the depth and breadth of study and knowledge required at the college level, your child can take advantage of Regents College Exams to earn college-level credit - and save money on college tuition in doing so. Hundreds of accredited colleges and universities throughout the world accept Regents College Examinations for placement and to award credit toward their degree programs, so having passed an exam, your child could enter college having completed a required or elective course.

College-Level Learning Experiences that Support the Concept of Independent Learning.

The variety of Regents College Examinations allows your child to pursue a deeper knowledge of a subject of interest. From English Composition to Anatomy & Physiology to Microbiology and more, preparation and study for the exams allows the child to delve into the topic of interest at a new level. Students study independently for the exams, in their own space, at their own pace, so they can spend as much time with a topic as they like or need to. Several years ago, Regents College Exams eliminated the rigid testing requirements where you tested on a certain day and time with your "#2" pencil. Today we have partnered with Sylvan Technology Centers to allow students to take their Regents College Examinations at the time and place most convenient for them. So when your child is ready to test, he or she calls and schedules the exam at the Sylvan Center nearest you. The tests are taken by computer and we offer a free online tutorial for testers so that they may experiment at home as often as they wish, then go into the Sylvan Center more comfortable with the actual test format.

Maintain the Educational Freedom Enjoyed in the Homeschool Environment.

Regents College Examinations originated with Regents College as a credit-earning opportunity for our students. Believing that "what you know is more important than where or how you learned it," we've spent the past 30 years paving the way for independent learners to demonstrate their college-level knowledge and earn their degrees in Business, Liberal Arts, Nursing and Technology. In that time, we've conferred degrees on more than 89,000 students, recognizing learning as it has taken place in many forms and venues - accepting credits from many accredited sources. Our students work with Academic Advisors to develop personal plans for degree completion, combining traditional college classroom credit with credit earned via proficiency exams, distance courses and more. In other words, we employ many avenues toward degree completion for our students and, because we have no residency requirement, our respected degree programs may be an ideal way to maintain the educational freedom that has expanded your child's mind through the homeschooling experience.
If you're like me, helping your child pass from one stage of life to another, it's helpful to know there are ways to aid in their transition. Regents College Examinations and Regents College offer unique benefits to the homeschooled child. I invite you to find out more about them for your college-bound child. Contact us for more information, and good luck. It's an exciting time for your family, I know.
Lorraine D'Aleo
Regents College Examinations
7 Columbia Circle
Albany, NY 12203

Callout for article on Regents College Proficiency Exams

Choose from more than 40 Regents College Examinations in a variety of subject areas. The following gives a representative list of some of exams available and the credit hours awarded for successful completion of each:
Anatomy & Physiology
English Composition
Life Span Developmental Psychology
Production/Operations Management
Ethics: Theory & Practice
Organizational Behavior

Regents College Examinations are recognized by the American Council on Education (ACE), Center for Adult Learning and Educational Credentials, for the award of college-level credit. Regents College Examinations in Nursing are the only nursing exams recognized by ACE.

Separate Callout:

Regents College is accredited by the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, 3624 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104, 215-662-5606. The Commission on Higher Education is an institutional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).
The associate and baccalaureate degree programs in nursing are accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC), 61 Broadway, New York, NY 10006, 800-669-1656. The NLNAC is a specialized accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education.
The baccalaureate degree programs in electronics engineering technology and nuclear engineering technology are accredited by the Technology Accreditation Commission (TAC) of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET), 111 Market Place, Suite 1050, Baltimore, MD 21202, 410-347-7700. TAC of ABET is a specialized accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education. All the College's academic programs are registered (i.e., approved) by the New York State Education Department.

Regents College admits students of any race, color and national or ethnic origin.

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