Frequently Asked Questions

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More About TALH

What is TALH?

TALH is the Texas Academy of Leadership in the Humanities. The early college entrance program was established by the Texas Legislature in 1993 in response to the special needs of gifted and talented students across the state. It is a two-year residential program located on the campus of Lamar University, Beaumont, approximately 80 miles southeast of Houston. All credits earned at TALH are automatically accepted at all Texas-funded colleges and universities.

How much is Tuition?

Texas Academy students are awarded Tuition Scholarships for tuition and fees for a course load of 15 credit hours. The current value of the TALH Scholarship for the 2018- 2019 school year is $5,055.70. Students are responsible for the costs of credit hours in excess of 15. Students are also responsible for room and board, books and miscellaneous supplies.

TALH is a bargain, especially compared to with other state colleges and universities.

Qualified students may also apply for financial aid to offset room, board, and textbook costs.

Admission

Who can apply to TALH?

Application is open to Texas residents enrolled in the tenth grade or equivalent.

What are the requirements for admission?

All applicants must complete and file application through ApplyTexas. The minimum SAT score required for consideration is 1,130 with a minimum score of 580 on critical reading and 530 on both math and writing sections of the college admissions test. We also require additional documentation, including school transcript; an autobiographical essay; letters of recommendation from the student's principal or counselor, and English teacher; and resume. TALH administration conducts a personal interview with the applicant and parents prior to admission. TALH also accepts ACT scores. An applicant must score at least a 21 to be considered for acceptance. Applicants are also required to complete a Texas Success Initiative college-readiness test required by the Texas Education Code Sec. 51.3062 using an approved assessment instrument (TSIA, ACCUPLACER, COMPASS, THEA or ASSET).

What is the application deadline?

Early notification deadline is December 9. Regular admission deadline is March 10. Late Application deadline is April 14. Though we have a rolling application deadline, it is highly recommended that all application materials be in no later than April 14. Applications may be accepted after April 14 if space is available.

Tuition

How much are the tuition and fees for the Texas Academy?

Tuition and fees for a 15 hour courseload is $5.055.70 a semester. Students are responsible for tuition and fees for hours in excess of 15.

Is there any other financial aid available?

Qualified students may apply for full financial aid including Pell Grants, student loans, and Lamar University scholarships. For more information, please contact the TALH office.

How much is room and board?

The cost for a Cardinal Village Morris Hall suite with living room, bath, and private bedroom is $5,540 for the full 2018-2019 academic year. The Brooks-Shivers Dining Hall is a service cafeteria that serves three meals a day. In addition, students can also dine at the following on campus restaurants:

  • Outtakes featuring Papa John's
  • Tiny House BBQ
  • Big Red Food Truck
  • Big Red Juice Bar

Beginning Spring 2018 the newly renovated Student Setzer Center will offer Jason's Deli, Chick-Fil-A, and Panda Express . Meal plans for 2018-2019 range from $1,355-1,160 per semester. Most of our students prefer a plan with a declining and renewable balance to give them more dining options. There are a number of meal plans specially designed to fulfill your student’s individual needs.

How much will my books cost?

Depending on your student’s course load and availability of used textbooks, his/her costs for books generally range from $500 to $600 per semester. Costs may be reduced significantly by renting textbooks. Many of our students are able to re-sell their books back at the end of the semester.

What miscellaneous expenses can we expect?

In the course of a semester, your student may have additional expenses not covered above like rental of a post office box, TALH field trips, personal entertainment, as well as school supplies, pharmaceuticals, and personal expenses.

Coursework

What type of courses will I take?

All TALH students are enrolled in University core curriculum courses. A first term TALH student will typically be enrolled in English, Math, History, Science, and a Foreign Language. Individual graduation plans may vary depending on coursework already completed at prior school.

What will my required load be?

All TALH students are considered full-time and are required to take 15 hours. Any additional hours must be approved in writing by the Director.

Since TALH is a humanities program does it require math and science?

Yes, TALH students are required to take math and science per the university core curriculum. TALH provides an enriched humanities focus through a weekly humanities course, ethical issues course, field trips, futurism symposium and special events.

What is the grading system?

Grades are based on the standard university 4.0 system. However, in order to smooth the transition to college academics, TALH has instituted a number of innovations to support student success. These include
  • Study hall is held Monday through Thursday night for all first semester students. This arrangement allows students to learn the concentrated study skills necessary to succeed in college.
  • Monthly grade reports are solicited from TALH students' professors and that information is both used by the TALH counselor for a proactive approach to student success and to allow the parents to monitor their student's progress; and
  • Tutors are available for TALH students who require them

Administration

How is the program administered?

TALH's administration is as unique as the program itself. While the Academy is part of the Lamar University System under the Senior Associate Provost, we have our own handbook that has been reviewed and approved by the university system's legal counsel. The director of the program has the final authority to make decisions regarding the program.

How is the program's administration organized?

The TALH program is under the direction of Dr. Ted Stuberfield. There are five other full time administrators including a counselor, admissions director, student services coordinator, marketing and recruitment coordinator, and administrative coordinator. This equals one administrator for every 10-12 students, an impressive ration in terms of today's super high schools. Plus, there is additional support staff such as the community advisors and security officers.

Living Arrangements

Where will I live?

TALH students live in their own building in Cardinal Village Morris Hall. The complex features two bedroom suites with a living area and bath. Each bedroom comes complete with individual ethernet and telephone hookup. Cable is also standard, as are a microwave and mini-refrigerator.

TALH employs its own community leaders (CLs) to supervise residence life and assist in our students' acclimation to university life. Our ratio of one CL to 24 students is much lower then the statewide ratio of one CA to 80 students, thereby providing more individual attention. The Academy, through the university police department, provides 24-hour security including a night security guard and up-to-date security equipment.

In addition, the TALH administration and Lamar University recognize the unique responsibilities inherent in a residential program for minors. To provide the utmost in responsible supervision, the Student Service Coordinator and the Director are on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Do I need to bring my own computer?

Although Lamar University maintains computer labs, it is recommended that each student bring their own computer.

What else should I bring?

Going away to school is both an exciting and challenging adventure. So many new experience await you - the first of which is living away from home. One of our most frequently asked questions is, "What do I bring?". Below is a list of suggestions for your review. This list is intended to be a guide, not a rule. Remember that your dorm room will be your "home" for the next ten months. We want you to be comfortable so that your year at the Academy is everything you hope it will be.

YOUR ROOM
Your suite will be in Cardinal Village Morris Hall. Your space will include a private bedroom with a bed, desk, storage unit, closet, and individual Ethernet and phone lines. Each suite also includes a bath for you, and your suitemate, living room furniture (sofa and two chairs), a microwave and dorm refrigerator.

BEDDING:
- Mattress pad/egg crate
- Twin Bed Sheets (2 sets or it's the laundry room!)
- Pillow (s)
- Blanket or Comforter
- Bring 3-4 towels/washcloths

LIGHTING
- Desk lamp and bedside lamp (if you like to read in bed)
- NO HALOGEN BULBS PLEASE
- Power strip(s)

TELEPHONE
- Cell phone

APPLIANCES
- CD Player/Stereo/headphones
- Television/DVD
- Computer/Printer)
- Misc.: Fan, alarm clock, iron, blowdryer, etc.
- All appliances should not exceed 10 amps totalMISC
- Clothes hangers, Shelving/storage bins, telephone books
    area rug, drying rack, framed posters, cleaning supplies
    mementoes from home. NO CANDLES PLEASE!.

DESK AND SCHOOL SUPPLIES
- Desk: ruler, tape, stapler, paper, pens, pencils, paperclips
- Calculator
- Three hole punch
- Dictionary and thesaurus
- Notebooks and binders
- Backpack/book bag

PERSONAL ITEMS
- Toiletries (shampoo, soap, deodorant ,toothbrush, etc.)
- Healthcare Supplies (vitamins, pain relievers, bandages, etc.)
- Shower curtain

LAUNDRY SUPPLIES
- Detergent and laundry basket

CLOTHING
- Casual clothes for class
- One "dressy" outfit for special occasions
- Comforable shoes (you'll be walking)
- Cold weather gear
- Rain gear (raincoat, umbrella, "rain shoes")
- Lots of underwear or it's the laundry for you!

EXTRA
- Drivers License or TX ID (available at DPS)
    to open a checking account (Education First Federal Credit Union)
- Beaumont has a number of state wide pharmacies
    including: CVS, Walgreens, and Wal-Mart.

What is campus life outside class?

The Academy is a close-knit community designed to provide leadership and education through a variety of ways. First, our students can participate fully in the Lamar University campus activities, including the student government association, student events like film festivals, sports events, guest lectures, plays, and cultural celebrations as well as campus-wide student organizations like the orchestra and band, campus newspaper, Springfest and Homecoming.

Within the Academy itself, the academic year's calendar is planned to include cultural field trips to the opera, ballet, and the theater, as well as trips to regional events that spark our students' interest such as a particular exhibit at a Houston Museum or exploring another culture at a regional fair. TALH also offers a series of lectures and learning opportunities through two programs: Think Tanks, and Keys to Success. The first program, Think Tanks, brings expert lectures to the Academy to discuss such diverse issues as world religions or the stock market. Keys to Success is a pilot project where TALH students polish their communication skills in presentations of their chosen topic. Through Think Tanks and Keys to Success, our students stretch their learning beyond the classroom.

Students may also participate in TALH organizations like student government, journalism, literary journal, yearbook, social justice, and JSA. We also have an active social calendar, which features dances, dinners, picnics, retreats, prom, films and even shopping trips.

Further, TALH students strive for the ideal of compassionate leadership through weekly volunteer opportunities. Again, these are carefully matched to our students' interests, skills and ambitions to provide the maximum benefit. This year our students served as tutors and mentors in at-risk schools, turned their performing arts talents into service in a year-long season entertaining retirement and nursing homes, shadowed physicians weekly at the region's largest hospital, and volunteered in area hospice, the epilepsy and cystic fibrosis foundations, the federal attorney's office, the campus writing lab, and the regional humane society.

What about rules and discipline?

While TALH was established for gifted and talented high school aged students who want more then a traditional high school offers, our student community still consists of minors. The safety and security of our residential students are one of our foremost concerns. While our students generally experience more freedom than typical high school students, they also are expected to abide by more structured sets of rules than the average college student. These include (but are not limited to) curfew, visitation, health and safety, and travel.

TALH has an official handbook that outlines the general code of behavior expected of our students. The handbook also includes a guide to the disciplinary system.

Enrollment in TALH should be understood to be a privilege, not a right and students who find the guidelines expected of a successful TALH student too restrictive are strongly encouraged to seek other educational opportunities.

Bits and Pieces

More Questions....More Answers

more answers to your questions:
  • Yes, you can develop your leadership skills in meaningful service projects that are designed to meet your interests and passion.
  • Yes, you can explore the wider world of the humanities through weekly humanities lectures that range from poetry to politics, from film to philosophy. You can also learn from the best Lamar and Southeast Texas has to offer through TALH's Think Tank Series and challenge yourself and your peers through the student-centered Keys to Success.
  • Yes, you may travel home on weekends provided that you have completed the Weekend Travel Pass Request according to policy.
  • Yes, you can develop your social skills with the opposite gender. However, TALH does not support an "open door" policy between male and female residents. Our students socialize in the TALH Lounge located in the office, in the community rooms of the residence complex, and in any number of specially planned TALH and campus social activities. We see this as a positive arrangement, which encourages not only healthy respect for and social ease with the opposite gender, but preserves the privacy and academic focus of the individual.
  • Yes, you can and will interact with the upperclassmen in the program. A family program is in place that provides you with helpful "big sisters" and "brothers" to guide you in your first weeks of school. In addition, TALH facilitates a mentor program for each student with a professor on campus to provide yet another asset toward your success in the program.
  • Yes, you can open a checking account. The Education First Federal Credit Union across the street from campus will open a checking or debit account for a small fee. You will need two forms of photo ID. Your Lamar ID will satisfy one of these; most of our students apply to the Texas Department of Public Safety for an ID if they do not have a driver's license.
  • Yes, you can have a car….even as a junior. All TALH students' vehicles must be registered in the TALH office. You will have to purchase a Lamar parking permit in the Parking Office in the Carl Parker Building before parking on campus. A gentle reminder: TALH students are not allowed to leave the county limits without notifying the TALH office and receiving parental approval.
  • Yes, there is a health center on campus that is open every weekday.
  • Yes, you can have your prescriptions filled in Beaumont. CVS, Walgreens and Wal-Mart all have pharmacies in town.
  • Yes, Lamar offers students the Cardinal One Card
    Students use this card to credit their food account. Additional funds may be deposited into your student’s Cardinal One Card account so your student can use the card as a debit card with most regional merchants.