Free Download Program Pa Homeschoolers Diploma Program
This program is for PA residents only. For non-PA residents click HERE and scroll all the way to the bottom of the page for information on the CVS Program. In 1990 the question was posed - who should award PA homeschool students' diplomas so that they could qualify for financial aid in PA?
Free download program Pa Homeschoolers Diploma Program
For more information about PHAA, download the free Guide to PA Homeschoolers Diploma (pdf) which explains PHAA's standards and procedures. PHAA is a democratic non-profit corporation. Its directors are elected by its membership (evaluators and parents) and any changes in PHAA's bylaws can only be passed through votes of the membership.
Every year, PHAA brings homeschoolers, including parents, students and evaluators together to discuss the unique challenges and opportunities of doing high school at home. For 24 years, we held our High School at Home Conferences at physical locations. But starting with March 30, 2020, due to the coronavirus, we began holding it online. All PHAA members were privately emailed links that they could use to participate free, live and online in the sessions. Some of the presentation sessions were later uploaded to YouTube and can be accessed from PHAA's FaceBook page and from PHAA's YouTube channel. Click here for the latest information about our conferences. Connect with high school homeschooled students: Join the Excelsior StaffPHAA publishes an online student-run newsletter called The Excelsior which is edited by a different senior each year and is available (on one of our private websites) to all PHAA members. All students in the PHAA diploma program are invited to join ths staff, which has its own website.Transcripts for PHAA students, PHAA graduates and BCEI graduatesOne of the main jobs of the PHAA Board of Directors is to insure that PHAA will always be there for PHAA and BCEI graduates to send out transcripts at their request or at the request of their parents. (BCEI was a sister organization to PHAA; when it closed, we took over its records.) We also confirm graduation when called by one of the many services which investigate resumes whenever PHAA or BCEI graduates apply for jobs or promotions.
Pennsylvania Homeschoolers Accreditation Agency (PHAA) is astate-wide homeschool membership organization founded by Pennsylvania Homeschoolers in 1991 in order to provide legitimate diplomasto the homeschooling community. It has had many beneficialeffects, such as encouraging homeschoolers to continue throughhigh school, helping homeschoolers get scholarships to college,and enhancing the reputation of homeschool graduates bycollecting and publicizing statistics about its graduates.Beginning with just 6 graduates in 1991, PHAA had 271 in 2013.
PHAA is just one of the diploma-granting organizations, recognized by the Pennsylvania Department of Education to provide diplomas to graduates of Pennsylvania home education programs. Theseorganizations give homeschoolers a recognized alternative to the GED andthe correspondence school diploma. Unlike the GED, these diplomasbear no stigma; in fact PHAA's graduates generally do better ontests than school-educated students. Unlike most correspondenceschool programs, PHAA's requirements are very flexible permittinghomeschoolers to complete their course work in a wide variety ofways.
In addition to awarding diplomas, PHAA publishes a state-widehigh school student newsletter called the Excelsiorwhich is edited by a different senior each year and is mailed free toall PHAA members. Address verification for the Excelsior is provided by smartystreets.com.PHAA holds graduation ceremonies each year near Harrisburg and Pittsburgh and an annual High School at Home Conference near Carlisle in July. The upcoming conference will take place at the Hotel Carlisle. Tofind out about upcoming PHAA events, click on "Conference" or "Ceremonies" on the sidebar.
Click here (pdf) to download free the Guide to PA Homeschoolers Diploma, a 32 page booklet which explains PHAA's standards andprocedures, includes copies of PHAA forms, and givesother helpful information about high school at home.
When planning for the high school years, homeschoolers have many options available. Looking into diploma/transcript options at the beginning of the high school years can help you plan ahead, and may affect the records you decide to keep as you go along. There are many obvious things to consider when choosing your path -- your style of homeschooling, your student's future goals, and so on.
7th & 8th grade Documentation: It may make sense to document some of what your child does in 7th or 8th grade, especially if you plan to use a diploma program. The Pennsylvania law requires certain courses sometime between 7th and 12th grade -- it may be wise to get some of these out of the way early. Also, if a particular activity, project, or course is special, unique, or would otherwise be of interest to colleges or employers, you can add it to your transcript or college application materials, even though it was done in middle school.
College Athletics: If you plan to play sports in college, you may need to meet NCAA eligibility requirements. It is best to research these as early in the high school years as possible, as it will affect your homeschool record-keeping and your approach to a diploma/transcripts. Some diploma options, such as a PA diploma program, can simplify this process by helping you to bypass the normal process for homeschoolers. See the NCAA's web page, which has several pages of eligibility information specifically for homeschoolers - find them under the "resources" tab.
A Pennsylvania student may fulfill the requirements of a home school organization to receive a home school diploma. There are several of these non-profit programs available. Many are run by homeschoolers, for homeschoolers, and have been around for at least a decade. Many of them cost under $100. Each program has its own guidelines for earning credits and meeting the graduation requirements in the home education law. PHAA is the oldest and has been the most widely used in the past; the newer programs such as Erie are becoming more well-known. For those wanting a third-party diploma, a diploma program is probably the most flexible option, as unlike most correspondence schools, diploma programs allow students to earn credits in many different ways, and to combine credits from several sources (study at home, co-op classes, on-line classes, community college classes, etc.). See my PA Diploma Programs page for lots more info about the programs, links, addresses, etc.
You may use a correspondence school or private cyber school to earn a diploma. A disadvantage to correspondence programs is that you usually have to do most or all of your high school courses through the program in order to get their diploma. (Another option is to take courses through a correspondence or cyber school and use another diploma option, such as a parent-issued diploma or a PA diploma program, to combine these credits with those earned elsewhere.) You may want to check to see whether a diploma from the particular school you are interested in will qualify you for PHEAA funding. Here are several schools to consider. There are probably many more.
Some homeschoolers put their children into public or private bricks-and-mortar schools for high school. Reasons include one-stop-shopping for classes, access to experienced teachers and facilities (such as labs), freeing mom up to focus on younger children, getting some experience in traditional schooling before college, or just that it seems to be the right fit for a particular child.
PSAT: The PSAT test is taken in the fall of the junior year of high school, and can be taken in the sophomore year for practice. It is most useful for students who expect to score highly and thus qualify for the National Merit Scholarship Program. Qualifying for this program can result in significant merit scholarships at some colleges, and can be a strong asset for admissions to others. It is also useful for students who may qualify for the National Achievement Scholarship Program, which provides recognition for outstanding Black American high school students. College-bound students who aren't likely to score high enough to qualify for the scholarship program may still wish to take it as relatively inexpensive practice for the SATs, especially if they have limited experience with standardized testing in group situations. This test is given on only one or two specific days each year, usually in October. Unlike the SAT, for the PSAT you will have to call around to find a public or private school who will allow your homeschooler to take the test with their students. The school will have to order an extra test for your student; don't wait until the last minute. The College Board, which administers the PSAT, says on their web site, "If you are a home-schooled student, contact a principal or counselor at a local public or independent high school to make arrangements to take the PSAT/NMSQT at their school. Be sure to do so well in advance of the mid-October test dates, preferably during the previous June."
School Codes: The general SAT "school code" for homeschoolers is 970000. The ACT code is 969-999. The PSAT code varies by state. If you are using a PA diploma program, they may have their own code, which you should use instead. Make sure your child knows this code on test day, because the person running the testing may not. (Note that, when you sign up for the test, the 970000 SAT number comes up as "homeschooled - NY", however I've called the College Board and they said it was for homeschoolers nationwide. I also urged them to make this clearer, but they were not particularly responsive to my suggestion!)
The above courses must be taught some time between 7th and 12th grade. The requirements for graduation, below, must be met between 9th and 12th grade. If you are using a diploma program, you will want to ask about their standards for meeting these requirements. If you are not using a diploma program, the supervisor of the home education program sets the standards.