Thursday, October 9, 2008

UGA One of Six Regional Sites for Duke TIP Scholar Weekends

More than 100 of the brightest high school students from Georgia and surrounding states will get their first taste of college courses during a Scholar Weekend hosted by the University of Georgia’s College of Education Nov. 15-16 through a partnership between UGA and Duke University.

The UGA Scholar Weekend is part of the Duke Talent Identification Program, which seeks out academically talented children and provides resources to challenge, nurture and identify each child’s abilities.

TIP scholars are identified through standardized test scores and invited to take the SAT or ACT in the seventh grade as part of the program. Those scoring exceptionally well are invited to attend TIP’s Scholar Weekends where they are exposed to interesting and challenging topics not typically covered in middle or high school curricula.

UGA is one of six locations in the Southeast to host TIP Scholar Weekends. Other sites include the University of South Carolina, New College in Sarasota, Fla., the University of Houston and Duke University’s main campus. However, Duke is interested in making UGA its main regional site, said Elizabeth Connell, coordinator of educational programs in UGA’s Torrance Center for Creativity and Talent Development.

“The opportunities this program creates for UGA and its faculty are incredible,” she said. “Not only are exceptional students from around the state and surrounding states visiting our campus, they are learning from talented UGA faculty and graduate students, and experiencing the vast resources available through the university. It’s an excellent opportunity for recruitment of some of the best and brightest students to UGA’s programs.”

At TIP Scholar Weekends, students are introduced to the collegiate experience by participating in two days of intense study in courses taught by UGA professors and Athens area school teachers. The overall goal is to enhance student skills, enrich the learning experience and foster an interest in college as well as specific collegiate majors.

Courses in the Nov. 15-16 session include “Shakespearean Comedy: 16th Century Prime Time,” “An Introduction to Behavioral Theory and Applied Behavior Analysis,” “International Relations: U.S. Foreign Policy in the 21st Century,” “Geocaching: High Tech Scavenger Hunt!” “Architecture: From Playhouses to Mansions,” “Introduction to German Studies: Language, Life and Culture” and “Intelligence and the Brain.”

The Torrance Center hosted its first TIP Scholar Weekend in May 2008 with 100 students from Georgia and Florida participating. In November, students from South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee and even Texas have applied along with those from Georgia and Florida.

UGA’s participation in the TIP program will continue to grow. Next spring, UGA will host two Scholar Weekends for exceptional seventh to eleventh graders who have participated in the Duke Seventh Grade Talent Search. UGA also will begin a program called Academic Adventures for students in grades 4-6 who have participated in the Duke Fourth to Fifth Grade Talent Search. It is hoped that these younger students will be able to move from the Academic Adventures to the Scholar Weekend programs.

Deadline for student applications is Oct. 13. UGA professors and Athens area school teachers interested in participating in future Scholar Weekends at UGA are encouraged to contact Connell at connelle@uga.edu.

For more information, see http://www.coe.uga.edu/torrance/ .

By Cindy Schnably
University of Georgia

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