Thursday, June 17, 2010

Young College Students

A friend posted this story on Facebook.  It's about a 13 year old girl who is finished with high school, wants to attend the local community college, and has been denied solely due to her age.  The college administrators don't think she's ready to sit in classrooms with older students. 

My question, on reading this, is what is the point of denying this young lady the opportunity to finish her education (if education is ever finished, but that's another post) because an administrator just thinks 13 year olds are "not ready" for college work?  If she's finished high school (yes, she's home schooled) then she's already demonstrated her readiness.

What's more, the story states that the administrators changed their policies to only allow 15 and up after this young lady was denied. 

When Megan was denied entry to Lake-Sumter last fall, there was no formal rule stipulating that applicants be of a certain age to gain admission. Charles Mojock, president at Lake-Sumter, told Inside Higher Ed that the college has long had an informal minimum age requirement of 15 but that a rule was only drafted following Megan's complaint. In April, the college's Board of Trustees unanimously approved a change to its rules stating that the college "accepts all students who have reached the age of fifteen (15) years on or before the first day of classes each term" and have either earned a high school diploma, a General Equivalency Diploma, previously completed college-level work or completed a home-school program. There is a clause in the rule change that allows for the president to grant exceptions.
Why 15?  What is magic about that number?  A young lady wishing to attend at 13 is an exception to the rule in any case, and if she's completed her homeschool program, she's ready.

Ironically, most of the major colleges, including my alma mater, Brigham Young University, actively and gladly recruit homeschooled students, citing an increased readiness for life on campus.  Community colleges, in contrast, are open campuses, with no dorms.  Students don't live on campus like I did at BYU.  So if she's living with her parents, does it matter which school she attends, so long as she's academically challenged?

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