Austin College to host Duke University program

This summer gifted and talented seventh and eighth grade students will get the opportunity to take a course at Austin College with the Talent Identification Program run by Duke University.

Austin College will host two terms of the Duke TIP Academy for Summer Studies for seventh graders and eighth graders who are in the top five percent of academically talented students in their grade level based on SAT and ACT scores. The terms will run from June 10 through June 30 and July 8 through July 28. In addition to Austin College, Duke TIP will have academy sites at Appalachian State University, University of Kansas, Texas A&M University, the University of Georgia and on Duke’s campus at its Marine Lab.

“They approached us because they wanted a site in the region and they thought that Austin College would be a good home for that,” AC President Marjorie Hass said of the program. “(Students) will be here for a summer enrichment program, living here on campus, having counselors and taking classes.”

Students participating in the terms will have the chance to take a course in a variety of academic subjects. Courses offered during the first term will include national policy debate, entomological investigations, creative writing, physics and engineering design challenges, experiments in science, fantasy literature study, mathematical problem solving, psychology, study of the human body and western philosophy. The second term will offer many of the same courses with algebra and anthropology added in place of western philosophy and mathematical problem solving.

“It’s a great opportunity for us to get some kids on campus who maybe someday would think about being Austin College students,” Hass said.

Some of those students, and their families, were so excited about the program that they’ve already been to the campus for a visit according to Nan Davis, vice president of Institutional Enrollment.

“With our Spring Break open houses, we had no less than probably 10 parents and students come up and look because of the TIP program,” Davis said.

In addition to getting potential students on campus, the program will also provide opportunities for current students, as well as faculty members.

“Duke University, they run the program and they’ll hire some of our students and some of our faculty to teach and to do different things, but it’s their program,” Hass said. “It should be a neat thing to have here. We’re always happy to have opportunities to bring people to Sherman who might not otherwise have an opportunity to come here.”