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Open House for High School Students, Free College

The Texas Academy of Leadership in the Humanities at Lamar University (TALH) will host an Open House Sat., Oct. 12, in the Mary and John Gray Library. The Academy is an early entrance college residential honors program at Lamar University.

“TALH is a program designed for gifted students to receive dual credits, high school and college,” said Scott TALH Open HouseStevenson, assistant director of the TALH program. “The Open House is a fantastic opportunity for parents and interested students to learn more about the program and hear the benefits first-hand from students.”

During the Open House, which is suggested for students entering 9th, 10th and 11th grades and their parents, there will be presentations on the academic and social life at TALH, residence hall living and security, financial aid and the benefits of a TALH education as well as presentations from administrators, students and parents.

The Open House begins with check in at the Mary and John Gray Library at 8:30 a.m. Lunch for prospective students will be provided at the Brooks-Shivers Dining Hall. The event will conclude at 2 p.m. Pre-registration is suggested and may be done online.

The academy, one of two such programs created by the Texas State Legislature in 1994, gives high school-aged juniors and seniors the opportunity to accumulate 60 or more hours of college credit by graduation. TALH is a selective program for students eager for an enriched intellectual experience, enhanced by programs in the humanities and leadership development. University faculty teach TALH students and work with students on research. Students are immersed in a collegiate culture and learn to embrace responsibilities.

All students accepted into the unique program receive full-tuition scholarships for up to 15 credit hours per semester and get to live on campus, as any other college student.

Stevenson believes the overall TALH experience fosters independence and student responsibility for their own learning--skills that will serve them the rest of their lives.

“TALH students are integrated into Lamar University classes alongside traditional students so they are held to the standards of a university classroom,” said Stevenson. “They have opportunities to work closely with faculty in their research projects and experience for the first time the academic life. These opportunities are not available at dual-credit programs at high schools and community colleges.”

Vishal Mundodi, a senior in the TALH program, felt as though his previous high school did not challenge his intellectual abilities, but he wasn’t sure he could manage a college workload.

“As long as you are dedicated to getting your work done, you should not be scared of the college workload,” said Mundodi.

Mundodi has been able to manage his course work and even maintain a social life. Through the TALH program, he has been able to participate in several organizations on campus including the American Medical Student Association and the Soccer Club. He also applied for and received the Office of Undergraduate Research grant. These accomplishments would have not been possible without joining the TALH program.

TALH students have the opportunity to pursue the ideals of academic excellence, ethical leadership and community service within the context of a rigorous university setting, far beyond that of a high school education. Students are given the opportunity to pursue research that only a university experience can provide.

TALH uses the humanities to help create better citizens who are aware of the world around them, can think critically about their situations and work actively to better their environment.

For more information about the program, visit www.lamar.edu/texasacademy or call (409) 839-2995.