From Homeschool to Asbury: an Alumni Perspective
March 24, 2016
Alumnus Joel Sams ‘15 reflects on his transition from homeschool to Asbury.
When I was homeschooled, I became familiar with three questions most homeschoolers will recognize: 1). “Do you go to school in your pajamas?” 2). “What do you do for socialization?” and 3). “What about college?”
Answers: Yes, I have gone to school in pajamas. It’s not as exciting as you think. Socialization? I have six siblings — next question, please.
As far as college, I was never concerned about being able to survive (as the question seemed to suggest I should be). Every year, homeschoolers prove they can succeed at college. I was interested in thriving, however. I knew I would spend four of my most formative years at college, so I wanted a community that valued my background, built on its strengths and opened up new opportunities. That’s why I enrolled at Asbury University with the Unshakable Class of 2015.
With 15 percent of its undergraduate student body made up of homeschoolers, Asbury understands where you’re coming from. Professors are already familiar with some of the challenges homeschool students might face, and they go out of their way to help students thrive academically and personally. Asbury understands the important role families play in college as well, recently hosting Homeschool Visit Day, a special event giving students and families a window into life at Asbury. Homeschool families also have Asbury Academy at their disposal — a dual-enrollment program that allows juniors and seniors to get involved with the Asbury community and earn college credit while still in high school.
In addition to understanding the homeschool background, Asbury builds on its strengths. As a homeschooler, I was independent, intellectually curious and used to interacting with people outside my own age group and interests. At Asbury, I found a like-minded community that encouraged collaboration across disciplines and class years — Music majors comparing notes with Business majors on a theology paper, Equine majors collecting Psychology research and Biology majors working through tough questions of worldview in a Philosophy class. It’s an exciting environment, and one in which homeschool students can thrive.
Asbury also opens up new opportunities for homeschool students. With a student-faculty ratio of 11:1, Asbury students can build relationships with their professors, and small class sizes mean they can enjoy meaningful class discussion. Asbury’s extensive alumni community offers amazing networking resources, and the Center for Career and Calling helps students identify their strengths and explore different career paths.
For me, coming to Asbury was an important step to personal and academic growth. After learning independently for my first 18 years, I found that Asbury’s academic community “clicked” with me. And on a personal level, Asbury wasn’t just another place to get a degree; it was a community of students and professors who shared my interests, challenged my thinking and sparked a life-long love of learning. In academics, spiritual life, residence life and every other facet of campus, Asbury seeks to build community. Looking back, it was successful — for me, Asbury has become one more extension of home.
To learn more about Asbury’s dual-enrollment program, visit: asbury.edu/academy