NGU News

NGU Hosts Upstate Homeschool Expo

Posted on: June 20, 2023
By Billy Cannada,

Tigerville, SC (June 20, 2023) From robotics coding to ballet demonstrations, the 2023 Upstate Homeschool Expo had something for everyone.

More than 1,000 students and parents attended the Homeschool Community of the Upstate event, hosted by North Greenville University (NGU), in June.

“We love seeing the homeschool community enthusiastically engaging with our local homeschool educational resources,” said Carrie Knepper, board co-chair for the Homeschool Community of the Upstate. “It’s not every day that they get to talk to staff from these organizations in person and make those connections.”

Featuring a wide range of educational booths in Todd Dining Hall, breakout sessions, and mini field trips, the event provided students with an in-depth look at available curriculum and extracurricular activities.

Amy DeShong, owner and director of Cornerstone Ballet, attended the expo with a few of her ballet students. Cornerstone Ballet offers classes for students ages 2 and up. DeShong said about 20 percent of her dancers attend homeschool.

“A lot of times, ballet can seem unapproachable when you’re watching it up on the stage,” she said. “Being able to see the moves up close and interact with the dancers makes others realize that they too can be up on stage and participate.”

Attendees also had the opportunity to interact with robots, as Ignite Learning Center offered coding demonstrations.

Ignite offers Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM) programming for K-12 students in Greenville County.

“Ignite is a STEAM learning center that focuses on incorporating engineering technology into curriculum,” Ignite Founder Beth Kinzer said. “We have a variety of robots that we use. Kids can use block coding to teach the robot how to move in specific ways. Our main purpose is to ignite ingenuity in kids. We want to spark wonder and joy, and open academic doors and opportunities.”

The Homeschool Community of the Upstate hosted its annual science fair at NGU in March.

“Many parents love the camaraderie of larger events but sacrifice the possibility of that when they choose to homeschool,” said Jessica Silva with the Homeschool Community of the Upstate. “One of our many goals is to remove that barrier and feeling of sacrifice.”

Silva said the organization will incorporate more large-scale events in the future.

“We have a new club program being offered on Thursdays, and we look forward to that continuing next fall,” she said. “We are so grateful to the volunteers, board members, and parents who put so much energy and effort into these events and ensuring cohesion for our children.”

The Homeschool Expo sold out at 1200 participants, according to Billy Watson, NGU’s senior vice president for Tigerville operations.  

“The expo will definitely become an annual event on our campus,” Watson said. ”It was great having folks here that may have never been to campus. Several staff members conducted break-out session that covered a wide range of topics, and we were able to share about opportunities here at NGU.”

Opportunities available for homeschool students at NGU include dual enrollment courses, which allow students to earn college credits while still in high school.

“Dual enrollment students can get a head start on college and learn in a Christ-centered atmosphere from highly qualified Christian professors who will challenge them to grow spiritually while they learn academically,” said Andy Ray, senior director for enrollment engagement at NGU.

Students wishing to participate in dual enrollment at NGU must have a grade-point average of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale, and complete two high school mathematics courses and two high school English courses to qualify.

For more information on dual enrollment opportunities at NGU, click here.

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NGU offers more than 125 areas of study across certificate, bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral, and early college opportunities. Online. In-person. At our main campus in Tigerville, SC, the Tim Brashier Campus in Greer, SC, or several educational centers around the U.S. One university, many locations. Every day. Epic. Learn more.

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