Archive for December, 2010

Early college deadlines start in January

December 29, 2010 Leave a comment

If your high-school student is ready for the challenge of college coursework, there’s no shortage of options here in the Atlanta area. Just don’t miss the deadline for the program you want!

There are three primary types of early transition to college:

  1. Dual enrollment
  2. Move On When Ready
  3. Early admission

Dual enrollment (also called joint enrollment) means that a student is enrolled in high school but takes one or more courses at a college. Georgia has established a scholarship program for juniors and seniors called Accel, which is available to students in public and private schools as well as accredited home schools. Accel is funded through the HOPE Scholarship program, so it’s worth noting that the classes your child takes under the Accel Program will be deducted from their total HOPE eligibility. (HOPE sets a cap of credit hours it will pay for per student.) If all goes according to plan, your child will graduate from college early and the Accel spending will be a moot point, but it’s important to know how the system works.

Move On When Ready is a new, state-wide program for high-school juniors and seniors which was launched just this year. In MOWR, a student is still enrolled in high school but takes a full-time class load at the college level and none at the high school. All state colleges are required to participate in MOWR, which is open only to students who are currently enrolled in a public school. Tuition is paid by the state, but parents are responsible for all other expenses (books and fees). Students earn high-school credit for any college coursework they successfully complete, which means they will receive a high-school diploma. MOWR students also remain eligible for extra-curricular activities at their high-school, including sports.

Dr. Katherine Kinnick, director of pre-college programs at Kennesaw State University, asked me to share this advice for students choosing between Accel and MOWR:  “Students using MOWR funding must attend the college full-time and may not take any courses at their high schools. Students using Accel funding may take as little as one college course and the rest of their classes at the high school, so it is a good option for students who would like to balance a mix of AP courses while taking college courses that aren’t available through AP.  This is the route that we recommend for students who are looking at highly selective colleges, because it offers the best of both worlds.”

Early admission is just what the name says: skipping the senior year of high school and starting college instead. Unlike students admitted under dual enrollment or Move On When Ready, early admission students are full-fledged collegians, and they can choose any classes that any other college freshman could take. (In contrast, Accel and MOWR limit class selections to the approved course directory.) However, going the early admission route could mean not earning a high-school diploma, so you’ll want to check with the guidance counselor at your child’s school.

I visited web sites and e-mailed admissions officers at a dozen local colleges and universities to see what they offer and when their application deadlines fall. I didn’t limit myself to schools in DeKalb, because there are some great opportunities beyond the county line.

Here’s what I learned:

Agnes Scott College: Offers dual enrollment for college seniors. Accel scholarship is accepted but won’t fully cover tuition. Apply “as early as possible but no later than one month before the start of the new semester.”

Clark Atlanta University: Offers dual enrollment to juniors and seniors who attend Atlanta Public Schools or City of Decatur Schools. Also accepts applications for early admission. Priority deadline is March 1.

Clayton State University: Offers dual enrollment or early admission through Accel and MOWR, and they told me they have “the largest dual-enrollment program among the comprehensive universities in Georgia.” Dual enrollment coordinator is Bill Hagans. Official application deadline is July 1, but they recommend applying in March to give them more time to help students work out their schedules.

Emory University: Offers dual enrollment (deadline June 15) and early admission (early decision II deadline Jan. 1; regular decision deadline Jan. 15). As a private school, Emory doesn’t participate in MOWR or Accel.

Georgia Gwinnett College: Participates in MOWR and Accel for dual enrollment. The coordinator for both programs is Donald Singer. Deadline is June 17, but they recommend applying by June 1 or earlier.

Georgia Perimeter College: Offers dual enrollment with the Accel or MOWR scholarships at all campuses. The coordinator for Clarkston/Decatur campuses is Susan Lofstrom (678-891-3625).  The coordinator for the Alpharetta/Dunwoody campuses is Janet Orr (770-274-5375). General application deadline is July 1; unclear whether there is a different date for dual enrollment applications.

Georgia State University: Offers dual enrollment through Accel and MOWR. Deadline May 1.

Georgia Tech: High-school juniors and seniors can take classes through dual enrollment using MOWR or Accel (deadline May 1; application will be available March 1). Current juniors can apply for early admission (deadline Jan. 15).

Kennesaw State University: Offers dual enrollment with a twist: It’s an honors program, which means high-school students can enroll in honors sections of classes. Deadline Jan. 14. As a state college, they accept MOWR and Accel.

Oglethorpe University: Offers dual enrollment to high-school juniors and seniors as well as early admission. Their web site says students can apply anytime using the online application. Unclear whether they accept Accel or MOWR for tuition.

Southern Polytechnic State University: Offers dual enrollment through Accel or MOWR. Deadline is June 1. Also offers early admission. Coordinator is Gary Bush.

Spelman College: Offers dual enrollment for high school seniors in Atlanta Public Schools only. Deadline Jan. 15.


Sorry this was such a long post, but I hope it was worthwhile!

Categories: Beyond K-12

Wetland ecology class for high-school credit

December 27, 2010 Leave a comment

High-school students looking for a hands-on science experience can still apply for the wetland ecology class at Fernbank’s Advanced Studies program. Unfortunately, coordinator Denise Savage said that’s the only class with spaces for spring semester.

Denise said that the ornithology class on the schedule won’t be taught because there wasn’t enough student interest. If you have a child interested in birds — and maybe they have a few friends with a similar interest — you could contact her to see if they might reconsider that decision and open the class.

Advanced Studies classes are open to high-school students who have a GPA of 3.0 or higher. The classes, which are held after regular school hours, earn school credit. Students who attend DeKalb County schools can take the classes for no charge; there is a fee for those outside the county system.


Early bird registration for UGA-TIP scholar weekend

December 24, 2010 Leave a comment

How would your child like to spend a weekend learning about robotics, bacteriology, or arguing a case before the Supreme Court?

These are three of the courses available at February’s UGA-TIP Scholar Weekend at the University of Georgia. The program is open to students in 8th-11th grades who have taken part in a talent search through the Duke Talent Identification Program (TIP). Classes will be held on Feb. 12 and 13, with students having the option to stay on campus overnight. TIP Scholar Weekends are designed to expose gifted students to subject matter beyond the standard curriculum and provide a taste of the collegiate atmosphere.

The early registration deadline is Jan. 7, 2011. Regular registration ends Jan. 28. But if history holds, those dates are meaningless — the most popular classes will fill up well before the deadline.

Categories: Enrichment

Juried art competition for high-school students

December 23, 2010 Leave a comment

High-school students (grades 9-12) are invited to submit exceptional artwork to the Atlanta High-School Art Exhibition. Winning artists will receive cash prizes and their works will be displayed at the Dogwood Festival in April 2011.

Acceptable types of work are painting, drawing, printmaking, mixed media,  photography, collage, sculpture, pottery, computer graphics, architectural design, and 2D or 3D animation.

Students must have their work submitted by a teacher, and the artwork must be a school project, either done in an art class or created as part of the regular curriculum. (Governor’s Honors projects are not accepted.) Home schooled students can submit their work independently.

The entry deadline is Feb. 18, 2011.

Categories: Enrichment

Early college? Apply now for scholarships at Advanced Academy

December 20, 2010 Leave a comment

The Advanced Academy of Georgia — located at the University of West Georgia in Carrollton — is now taking applications from students who will be in 11th or 12th grade in 2011-12. Advanced Academy is a full-time, residential college program for high-school-aged students. To be considered for the best scholarships, your application must be received by Jan. 17, 2011. The regular admission deadline is June 15, 2011.

Categories: Beyond K-12

Short essay contest with $2,500 prize

December 18, 2010 Leave a comment

Here’s another potential project for winter break: Olive Garden is conducting a short essay contest for kids in 1st through 12th grades. To enter, the student should write an essay between 50 and 250 words on the topic, “Describe how furthering your education beyond high school will help make your dreams come true.”

The grand prize for the best essay is a trip for four to New York and a $2,500 savings bond. There will also be 12 first prizes — one per grade level — of a  $500 savings bond and dinner for four at your local Olive Garden restaurant.

The deadline to submit essays is Jan. 21, 2011. You can pick up an entry form at your local Olive Garden restaurant or enter online.

Admittedly, this isn’t a gifted thing per se. But when I saw a flier about this today at lunch, I thought that surely our gifted children have dreams as big as anyone’s!

New session of parenting group will start in January

December 16, 2010 Leave a comment

Two local experts on the emotional needs of gifted children will offer a new round of the parents’ support group they started this fall.

Kathy Courchene and Muriel Knope, the group facilitators, both have been trained by SENG (Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted) to lead parent groups. The sessions will touch on such areas of concern as perfectionism, self-management, and relationships with family and friends.

The local group will meet in the Dunwoody area on six consecutive Monday nights, beginning Jan. 24. The cost is $120 for up to two individuals who are closely involved in the life of the gifted child (e.g., two parents, one parent and one grandparent, one parent and a nanny, etc.). For more information or to register, contact Muriel Knope at knope-at-mindspring-dot-com. (I’ve disguised the address to limit robotic spam from hitting Muriel — you can reassemble it to e-mail her.)


Categories: Parenting

Did you know kids as young as 7 can go to Space Camp?

December 15, 2010 Leave a comment

Having family from Huntsville, Ala., I’ve long known about the U.S. Space and Rocket Center there and its prestigious Space Camp. But not until I went to the recent NAGC conference here in Atlanta did I know that Space Camp offers programs for kids as young as 7.

Youngsters can attend Parent/Child Space Camp, a 3-day program held on weekends starting in February and continuing through summer. As you can tell by the name of the program, a parent must attend with the child. The parent/child camp is open to kids as old as 12.

For kids 9 and up, there are other Space Camp programs to choose from as well, and registration for all programs is open now.

The camps aren’t cheap, and the drive isn’t a short one — about 4 hours from Atlanta — but for some kids, there’s just nothing like it.

Categories: Enrichment

Science and math enrichment at Morehouse

December 13, 2010 Leave a comment

Registration is now open for the spring session of the Ben Carson Academy at the Morehouse School of Medicine.

The program is open to students in 4th to 8th grades. Classes will meet on Saturdays mornings from Feb. 5 to March 12, 2011. Ben Carson Academy offers enrichment in math and science, with an emphasis on health science.

As I’ve written before about this program, it is not restricted to minority children, but the curriculum does place an emphasis on African-American culture and history. The program requires teacher recommendations and a decent grade average, but gifted identification is not a requirement.

By participating in Ben Carson Academy, your child can improve his or her chances of earning a spot in Morehouse’s Vivien Thomas Summer Program, a research program that allows high-school students to work as apprentices in biomedical research labs.

Registration for Ben Carson Academy is open until Dec. 31.


Categories: Enrichment

Creative writing contest for grades 4-12

December 8, 2010 Leave a comment

The long, winter break could be the perfect time to have your little writer start working on a piece of poetry or fiction to enter in the 2011 Torrance Legacy Creative Writing Awards competition. Contest winners will have their work published in a collection.

Short stories (limited to 1,250 words) and poems will be accepted from Jan. 15, 2011 until August 15, 2011. All works must focus on one of the following themes:

  • Magic of adventure
  • Serendipity
  • Beyond the horizon
  • Unexpected answers
  • Nothing set in stone
  • Creating solutions

The contest is sponsored by the National Association for Gifted Children, among others; however, children do not need to be enrolled in a gifted program to enter.

The Web site I linked to above doesn’t have much posted for the 2011 contest yet, but I assume they will once they are officially receiving entries.