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Talent Search Programs at Universities

Gifted and Talented Expert Advice from Rita Culross, Ph.D.

Q: My son has an IQ of 151 and is in the sixth grade. I have read on your site about talent searches and would like to know what they specifically involve and how they would benefit my son. I am trying to obtain info from Duke University's Tips program. My son also attended a Gifted Summer Program at Wofford College in South Carolina. We are always looking for ways to challenge and help him explore his options for college and a career. The program in my county for the gifted is very limited. It is definitely up to me to provide the extra resources he needs.

A: The talent search programs are excellent vehicles to identify the highly gifted. Students in middle school take the SAT or ACT as an out-of-level screening device. Either test is acceptable. Students who score at a high level on these tests receive recognition and may be invited to participate in special programs where they can take college-level courses in subjects like math and science.

Besides Duke, programs have been offered at Northwestern University, the University of Washington, the University of Connecticut, and Johns Hopkins University, to name only a few. Fee waivers may be offered to students with limited financial resources. Colleges also use this program to identify early students they wish to recruit for their undergraduate student body. More information about the Talent Search Program is available on the Duke University website, at www.tip.duke.edu. Complete registration information plus more general information about TIP is available there.

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Rita Culross is Associate Dean, College of Education, and Adjunct Professor of Psychology and Curriculum and Instruction at Louisiana State University. Culross has served as the consulting school psychologist for a public school elementary gifted program, and has written a book and several journal articles on gifted education.

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