Lighting the Way: A Narrative Analysis of the Experiences of Homeschoolers in College

Over the last 50 years, homeschooling has gained in popularity across the United States and the world (Callaway, 2004). This shift in schooling culture has resulted in greater numbers of homeschooled students attending both public and private universities. Many myths about students who were homeschooled have been perpetuated. Specifically, researchers query whether homeschooled students are academically and socially prepared to attend college (Guterman & Neuman, 2017; Ray, 2004; Romanowski, 2006; Snyder, 2013), while others have explored the veracity of these myths (Pool, 2010; Ray, 2018). However, in the literature there is a failure to investigate in any depth the actual experiences of undergraduate students who have been homeschooled. Further review of the literature has suggested little to no research on investigating the experiences of homeschoolers while attending universities (Bolle, Wessel, & Mulvihill, 2007; Cogan, 2010). Through a deinstitutionalization (Bachrach, 1983; Kwiek, 2012) and deschooling (Butson, 2011; Illich, 1971), and sense of belonging (Chiu, Chow, McBride & Mol, 2016; O’Keeffe, 2013; Tinto, 2017) perspective, this qualitative study will address the following research question: What are the undergraduate experiences of students who were homeschooled? This thesis hopes to advance our understanding of the homeschool-to-college journey and the experiences of these students while at university.