Area homeschooled students are getting a peek at the college experience through a University of Mobile partnership with a local homeschool group.
The UMobile faculty is teaching workshops to middle and high school homeschooled students during the 2015-2016 academic year. Subjects range from “Separation Science: Paper, Chromatography,” to “Beginning Ceramics” and “Basics of Music Production.”
Dr. Lonnie Burnett, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, said students are exploring a variety of topics as they also explore college life.
“Our goal is for them to see the campus,” said Burnett. He said professors at the Christian university enjoy teaching the non-credit mini-sessions to students they hope will one day enroll as college students.
Burnett said this is the university’s first time to partnership with a homeschool group. Limited spaces are available for additional homeschooled students for upcoming lectures. The fee is $25 for each student and $15 for the second family member in the same workshop. For information, contact Burnett at 251.442.2319 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Erin Wainright of Mobile, who homeschools her children, approached the university about the possibility of offering the classes. She said she has been putting together homeschool field trips for about three years, but the workshops on college campuses are still something new for home-schooled students.
“I see these workshops as a fantastic opportunity to get my kids on a college campus and I am comfortable with the set up and the teaching styles,” said Wainwright. “For the students it is an opportunity for them to hear different ideas and see different teaching styles.
“Also, there is access to equipment, like science and art and music equipment, that is outside most of our budgets,” Wainwright said.
Wainwright was impressed with the University of Mobile when her daughters returned home from a workshop lead by Dr. Ted Mashburn, associate dean and professor of philosophy.
“They weren’t excited going in,” said Wainwright. “Critical thinking sounded like such a blah subject to them.”
But, she said, Mashburn “presented it in such a way as to have their wheels going a mile a minute.”
“As a mother, I can’t ask for more than that,” she said.