/Home-schoolers unite

Home-schoolers unite

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Austin MacCraw

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New to campus, the Troy University HomeSchool Club gives formerly home-schooled Trojans an opportunity to hang out and meet other students who share their unique upbringing. The club held its first meeting of the semester on Wednesday, Aug. 23, at 5 p.m. in the Adams Administration Building.

“The initial reason why I started it is to get a club for home-schoolers to come together,” said Wyatt Crawford, a junior accounting major from Honolulu, Hawaii, and president of the HomeSchool Club.

According to the club’s Facebook group, “The purpose of the organization is to: (1) Provide a home-schooler friendly environment at Troy University; (2) Promote student activity both on and off campus; (3) Encourage and assist home-school students transitioning to Troy University.”

“For a lot of home-schoolers … they’ll move to campus, they’ll live in the dorms and it’s a completely different lifestyle,” Crawford said. “Not having that same community of home-schoolers that you used to be with, it’s hard to find.”

Dendy Moseley, associate director of enrollment services and the adviser of the club, also stressed the importance of having a community available for incoming students who were home-schooled.

“Greek or band or all those things, (students that join) have this immediate connection that they form when they immediately join the university,” Moseley said. “A club like this where a student can be home-schooled, not know anybody when he comes, he immediately can come and say, ‘Hey, I’ve got a group of people here that I can join.’”

Crawford said the club has already helped him connect with other home-schooled students.

“I’d only met three other home-schoolers before I started this club,” he said. “That was another reason why I started it.”

In the United States, the number of home-schoolers has grown substantially in the past couple decades, according to a report by the National Center for Education Statistics. The report states that there were an estimated 1,773,000 K-12 students being home-schooled in 2012, which is around 3.4 percent of all K-12 students in the country.

To get home-schoolers to come to Troy, Moseley said, the recruiting process is tougher than recruiting public or private school students.

“The thing that we want to be able to do from an admissions staff is we want to figure out how to better recruit home-school students, and that’s difficult because they’re just so spread out,” Moseley said. “When we want to go recruit Pelham High School, we go to Pelham High School and we recruit, right?

“When we want to recruit home-school students, it’s difficult because how do we find them?”

According to Moseley, Home-school Day—held last March—is one of the ways Troy is attracting home-schoolers to the university, with over 100 home-schoolers from the event considering Troy as an option.

Crawford said that the Home­School Club has also begun helping in the effort to recruit home-school students, networking with over 80 cover churches and Christian academies in Alabama.

“Now I’m actually going out to home-school groups, like, even high school groups and middle school, other academies,” Crawford said. “I actually am going to be giving a tour at the career fair to some of the Wiregrass home-schoolers.”

As for the future of the club, Crawford said he wants to partner with other organizations and have the club expand into all of the Troy campuses.

“In fact, we’re starting a HomeSchool Club down in the Dothan campus,” Crawford said. “I’ve already talked to their president they’re trying to elect … so they should be approved this semester.”

If any non-home-schooled Trojans are interested in joining, the club is open to everyone.

“I’d say about 40 percent of our club that we have right now were never home-schooled,” Crawford said. “We’re not just for home-schooler students; we’re for everyone.”

The HomeSchool Club’s first event of the year will be a tailgating party on Saturday, Sept. 9, starting at noon. There will be free food and all students and families are welcome to join. For anyone interested in finding out more about the HomeSchool Club and their upcoming meetings, the club can be contacted at homeschool@troy.edu.