Dialogue with Dan / Q&A
"The ACE program appreciates the contribution homeschooled students make to our college community," Dan Snyder, ACE and Homeschool Student Specialist said. "We aim to help homeschooled students transition into the public college environment from the onset of the application right through to graduation at GCC, and also enable the possible transfer to a four-year college for a bachelor's or higher degree."
Q. After homeschooling my three children since first grade, some of my friends tell me that colleges don't like to accept homeschooled students and others tell me it doesn't matter. What is your opinion?
DAN: Most colleges and universities accept homeschooled students but they have their own policy as to how homeschool curriculum is evaluated. At GCC with our ACE program, we prefer to advise each homeschooled student individually. We evaluate their academic standing through the (ATB) Ability to Benefit placement test, and equally important, we help students explore their career interests and enroll in courses best suited for their future.
Q. One of my friends said that her daughter began taking Genesee Community College classes when she was 15. How does this work?
DAN: Any homeschooled student under the age of 18 can begin college classes through GCC's ACE program if they pass the (ATB) Ability to Benefit placement test. The ACE Program gives homeschooled students the chance to participate in college-level courses and the tuition is only about one-third of GCC's usual tuition.
Q. Where are ACE courses offered?
DAN: While many ACE courses are offered in area high schools, the College Today ACE courses, are generally offered at all of GCC's campus center locations including Albion, Arcade, Dansville, Medina, Lima and Warsaw as well as the Main campus in Batavia. In addition, homeschooled students are encouraged to sign up for any college course that fits their schedule, as long as they have passed the (ATB) Ability to Benefit placement test or fulfilled any course specific pre-requisites.
Q. It's hard for us to teach the sciences at home. Does ACE offer courses in Biology, Chemistry, or Physics?
DAN: Yes. Students can register for any science courses from our list of approved courses. As a matter of fact, with a threshold of ten students who need a particular course, GCC and ACE will offer this course at a convenient time and campus center location for any group of 10 or more homeschooled students. So let's say you and a group other students from other homeschooled families need college-level biology course. If you can recruit at least ten students, we'd be happy to offer say, Human Biology (BIO102) or Introduction to Chemistry (CHE100) in one of our labs for your group.
Q. I've heard that students can study at home and receive credit. Can my child enroll this way?
DAN: Absolutely. You're probably thinking about our online eLearning courses and degrees. These courses are taught by the same faculty and cover the same curriculum as those in the classroom. Elearning students must have a computer, high-speed internet connection, and they should be motivated students who readily work independently with their own schedule.
Q. Once my child has secured his NYS High School Equivalency Diploma by taking courses from GCC's ACE program, can he or she stay at GCC to earn an associate degree?
DAN: Sure! However the discounted ACE tuition rate will end once your child has earned 24 college credit hours. The transition to becoming a regular GCC student is seamless. No further applications are necessary and he can easily continue the connections he might have made with faculty, friends, student clubs and other involvements.
Q. How easy will it be for my son or daughter to be accepted into a four-year college or institution with a NYS High School Equivalency Diploma?
DAN: All colleges and universities have their own unique enrollment and admission processes, but having college credit from a community college along with good academic standing and a strong application essay reflecting serious educational interests can be advantageous.
Dan Snyder is been GCC's Program Specialist for the ACE program since 2005, and works closely with the homeschooled students and their families. He also is an adjunct faculty member who teaches Public Speaking, and father of three children.