Aspiring Teacher Told to Get GED
- Michael Donnelly Director of International Affairs, HSLDA
- 2014 8 Aug
Chelsea had studied for the past year to be a certified teacher with the Adrian Dominican Montessori Teacher Education Institute in Michigan. Six years after graduating from her homeschool program, she had taken several college classes before entering the institute and was preparing to move on to the next step of her career when she was contacted by her school.
“You need to get a GED before we can certify you,” they told her. Her graduation was already scheduled for that coming weekend.
Chelsea immediately contacted HSLDA for help. The American Montessori Society (AMS)—the accrediting institute for the school—was claiming that before the teaching credential could be issued, Chelsea needed to be able to prove that she graduated from a school with recognized accreditation or that she received a GED.
Michael Donnelly, HSLDA staff attorney, wrote to AMS explaining that homeschooling is a legal and valid form of schooling in the state of Michigan and that parents may issue homeschool diplomas to their students without receiving a “recognized accreditation.”
Donnelly also reviewed federal guidelines which show that homeschool diplomas are recognized for the purposes of federal financial aid eligibility and that the federal government discourages colleges from discriminating against homeschool students.
Days later, the AMS contacted HSLDA with the good news: Thanks to HSLDA’s help, Chelsea would be allowed to graduate with her credential as planned.
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Courtesy HSLDA. Used with permission.
Staff Attorney Mike Donnelly answers questions and assists members regarding legal issues in Michigan. He and his wife homeschool.
Publication date: August 6, 2014