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Lamar hosts Texas Governor’s School

TGSThe Lamar University College of Education and Human Development hosted the Texas Governor’s School, a program of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, from June 15-July 3. The three week intensive leadership summer program is offered to secondary students in grades 9-12. One hundred and seventeen students participated in this year’s program.

“This program is primarily an opportunity to showcase high ability, high-achieving students and to give them the opportunity to learn with other students who are highly motivated and have similar abilities and interests,” said Dorothy Sisk, director of the Texas Governor’s School. “It gives them an opportunity to take classes they wouldn’t normally take and explore new things.”

Four Texas public universities were awarded funding to provide programs in mathematics and science, fine arts, leadership and public policy, and humanities. Lamar was awarded $600,000 for a three-year period to host the Texas Governor’s School for Leadership Development. The curriculum of the program is designed to develop intrinsic motivation and provide skill development opportunities with an emphasis on leadership development.

 “The program gives the students a sense of who they are and who they could be,” Sisk said. “It builds tremendous motivation and allows the students to improve on their communication skills. The students are provided a network of support and a heads-up to what college is like.”

Students enrolled in state approved honors classes, gifted classes, advanced placement classes, and students with demonstrated outstanding ability in leadership are eligible to apply. The selection of students is based on a review of the application package, which includes a counselor information form, a formal transcript, two teacher recommendation forms, and a personal data form.

 “When I was in the program, I went through all the roles as scholar, junior counselor and senior counselor,” said Joseph Cantu, assistant director of the Texas Governor’s School. “Now as an administrator, I have gained learning experiences from both sides of the program. Academically, you always learn something from this program that you take back with you and you never forget. While a member, I was able to meet a lot of people throughout Texas, and I am still in communication with some of them.”

The students live in a Cardinal Village residence hall for three weeks and attend courses, which are not for credit, Monday through Friday. Students enroll in one activity period and three classes—such as Chinese, simulation and gaming design, psychology of the criminal mind, environmental ecology, drama and musical production, ornithology, and group dynamics.

Participating students are provided a full scholarship covering room, board, and all required materials and books. There is a student fee of $350 plus travel to and from Beaumont.

For more information on the Texas Governor’s School, contact Dorothy Sisk at siskda@lamar.edu.