High School Options

Options for Recognition of Education at Home

This information is posted as of April 2008, at a time when important changes are taking place in the Québec education system. We do not know to what extent the Reform in education will have an effect on the adult or distance education programmes. It is important to remember that we are preparing our young people to succeed I whatever postsecondary option they choose, and not according to the Québec education programme presently in effect in the high schools.

Preliminary Information Regarding

Postsecondary Institutions

College (Cégep):

To gain access to college, students should focus in on the mastery of concepts for those courses that are prerequisites to the programme chosen.

University:

A student may also make a request for admission and go directly to university. Some universities, such as Ottawa University and McGill University, are more flexible with homeschooling candidates. Ottawa University even has a policy for homeschoolers posted on their website. A student may also register for distance courses with Athabaska University in Alberta. Trinity Western University in British Columbia offers a special online programme geared to homeschoolers, with a guarantee that credits can be transferred.

Options

Apprenticeship

Diploma of Vocational Studies (DVS)

Secondary School Diploma (SSD) via a school board

Three options:

1. Conventional School

2. Adult Education

3. Distance Education

Official homeschool transcript

Home transcript with high school portfolio


Apprenticeship

Definition

  • Student works with a mentor in an area of interest to eventually obtain an employment.
  • Examples: auto mechanics, woodworking, computer programming, etc.

Advantages

  • Individualized learning.
  • Motivating since student is doing something he/she enjoys.
  • Goal seems attainable (a job!).
  • Allows for a variety of experiences in different fields.

Disadvantages/Challenges

  • Certain fields require a proof of competency in order to be hired. This is the case in Québec for many trades.
  • Salary is often based on accredited studies. For those who don’t have a high school diploma, an equivalency exam is available (TENS). This test, geared to adults already in the work force, can certify that a certain equivalency has been attained, giving access to an equivalent salary. However, this test is not valid for entrance into postsecondary institutions.

Recent experience in Québec

  • A young adult had never been registered with a school board when he finished homeschool high school. Having heard that he was very computer-literate, a local company called on his services for some technical problems they were experiencing. He succeeded in solving their problems! He was then offered a training period. Since then, he was offered a transfer to the United States, where he completed a bachelor’s degree at the company’s expense. He has since returned to Québec since fall 2007 with his wife and two young sons, and is employed by the same company as Data Manager.

Contact

  • An uncle, an aunt, a neighbour…

 


Vocational Studies Diploma (VSD)

Procedure

  • A student inquires at the appropriate school board for a technical field in particular. He/she will then be required to show proof of acquired skills in some of the core subjects.

Advantages

  • Motivating since student is doing something he/she enjoys.
  • Goal seems attainable (a job!).
  • No waste of time for some students who are not interested in courses leading to college education since they have no intention of going anyway.
  • A student may opt for a professional school rather than go to regular high school.

Disadvantages / Challenges

  • Clientele may differ from one group to the next and from one field to another, since these courses are at the high school level.
  • If a student decides that college may interest him/her after all, he/she may take the courses necessary to obtain the supplementary prerequisites, but it will have taken more time to get there.

Recent experience in Québec

  • A student who will have been homeschooled to the end of high school has just recently made a request for admission for a VSD in a hotel management school. He must show proof of equivalency or pass exams for the prerequisites. ACPEQ is monitoring this closely.

Contact

  • Local school board, vocational schools (both public and private).

Secondary School Diploma (SSD) via a school board – First of three options:

1. Conventional School

Procedure

  • Contact local school board for necessary exams leading to necessary credits for SSD.
  • Under the former Québec Education Programme, some homeschoolers went to the school board at the end of Secondary 4 whereas others requested exams only at the end of Secondary 5, to avoid being monitored too closely by the school board for the last year of high school.
  • With the Reform, some credits may be granted much earlier than Secondary 4.

Advantages

  • Diploma guaranteed if student passes the exams, and application to postsecondary institutions will consider them on the same basis as others.

Disadvantages / Challenges

  • A student must follow the government curriculum for each grade level.
  • In the context of the Reform, credits granted cover such subject areas as visual arts, ethics and religious culture, etc., and can begin much earlier than Secondary 4 (according to the implementation of the Reform).

Contact

  • Local high school or school board.

 


Secondary School Diploma (SSD) via a school board – Second of three options:

2. Adult Education

Procedure

Student contacts school board and placement tests are administered to determine grade level for each subject.

Advantages

  • Student avoids school board monitoring.
  • Student works at his/her own pace in an individualized learning approach, while having access to tutoring during class time.
  • Essential courses only, therefore no waste of time.
  • Inexpensive.

Disadvantages / Challenges

  • Student must be 16 years old as of July 1st of the school year he/she would like to register, therefore some homeschoolers will « lose » a year.
  • Student must go to class.
  • Clientele can vary (sometimes quite a number of dropouts).
  • Content of certain courses is questionable (oriented towards the reality of today’s young people, which is not the reality of most homeschoolers).

Contact

  • Local school board.

Secondary School Diploma (SSD) via a school board – Third of three options:

3. Distance Education

Procedure

Student inquires at an appropriate school board (not all administrative regions in Québec have a Distance Education center). Well worth doing some shopping to compare costs since a student is not required to register with the school board that is closest to his residence.

Advantages

  • Student avoids school board monitoring.
  • Student works at his/her own pace in an individualized learning approach, while having access to tutoring by phone or email.
  • Essential courses only, therefore no waste of time.

Disadvantages / Challenges

  • Student must be 16 years old as of July 1st of the school year he/she would like to register, therefore some students will « lose » a year.
  • Content of certain courses is questionnable (oriented towards dropouts and the reality of today’s young people, which is not the reality of most homeschoolers).
  • Expensive.

Contact(s)

  • Distance Education Centers. Eastern Townships Distance Education is familiar with homeschoolers. They offer services in both languages. Commission scolaire de la Riveraine also has an excellent approach with homeschoolers, in French.

Official homeschool transcript

(Examples: ACE, Tree of Life, Bob Jones, Christian Light Education, etc.)

Procedure

  • Student registers with a homeschool distance monitoring service…
  • Or a pre-established education programme by such a service…
  • Or follows a parent-directed programme that is validated by this service.

 Advantages

  • Choice of educational materials and personalized programme.
  • These services often suggest educational materials that are in line with Christian values and perspectives.

 Disadvantages / Challenges

  • In English only.
  • Can be costly

 Experience in Québec

  • Out-of-province transcripts (from other provinces or from the States) have been accepted by certain colleges/cégeps, both private and public.
  • ACE Québec now recommends that families register with a partner organization in the States for this transcript.
  • However, ACE of Canada transcripts (therefore coming from outside Québec) have been accepted in the past.

Contact(s)

  • Accelerated Christian Education (ACE), Bob Jones, Christian Light Education, Tree of Life School and Book Service (based in New Brunswick). There are many more out there.

 


Home transcript with high school portfolio and overview

for the last years of high school

Procedure

  • Parents and student prepare a transcript with supporting documents showing course of study and results obtained for the last two or three years of high school. This includes the results of evaluations administered privately by certified teachers. These evaluations cover the prerequisites for admission into the college programme aimed for by the student.

Advantages

  • Choice of educational materials and course of study, therefore certain flexibility in sequence of courses. For example, a student can decide to cover History of Québec and Canada in Secondary 5 rather than 4; he/she can take a world history course spread out over two years; he/she can also decide to take a break for a few months or more to pursue other interests (short- or medium-term missions or humanitarian aid, special leadership training, spend more time on an academic subject for which he/she has a passion, etc.).
  • Private tutoring available by evaluating teachers, if necessary.

Disadvantages / Challenges

  • Road less travelled by and no guarantee that an initial request for admission to a college will be successful the first time around. Rest assured that ACPEQ and HSLDA are there to support you!
  • Finding certified teachers for evaluation purposes (ACPEQ is actively working on this).

Experience au Québec

  • We know of two students who have been successful in being admitted to college on the basis of such a portfolio. These admissions were with a private college (equivalent of cégep).
  • Determining factors as stated by admissions officer:

1. Evaluations by certified teachers included in the portfolio, attesting to the fact that the student had passed exams for prerequisites and corresponding to the total number of credits usually required in high school.

2. The College Education Regulations – General and Vocational Colleges Act (updated February 2008) article 2.2, stipulates the following:

2.2. Despite sections 2 and 2.1, a college may admit a person to a program of studies leading to a Diploma of College Studies if the person has received instruction the college considers equivalent.

Contact(s)

  • For coaching: ACPEQ website and volunteers.
  • For evaluating teachers: homeschool-friendly high school specialists; ACPEQ (help us round those up!).
  • For homeschool-friendly colleges/cégeps: ACPEQ
  • For legal assistance, if required: HSLDA.