The Education Program for Gifted Youth
, at Stanford University
The Leland Stanford Junior University, commonly referred to as Stanford University or Stanford, is a private research university on an campus located near Palo Alto, California. It is situated in the northwestern Santa Clara Valley on the San Francisco Peninsula, approximately northwest of San...
, is a gifted education
Gifted education is a broad term for special practices, procedures and theories used in the education of children who have been identified as gifted or talented...
program which offers distance and residential summer courses for student
A student is a learner, or someone who attends an educational institution. In some nations, the English term is reserved for those who attend university, while a schoolchild under the age of eighteen is called a pupil in English...
s of all ages. It is a distance learning program, meaning that courses are taught remotely via the Internet
The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks that use the standard Internet protocol suite to serve billions of users worldwide...
, rather than in the traditional classroom
A classroom is a room in which teaching or learning activities can take place. Classrooms are found in educational institutions of all kinds, including public and private schools, corporations, and religious and humanitarian organizations...
setting. Courses target students from elementary school up to advanced college graduate. Subjects offered include: Mathematics
Mathematics is the study of quantity, space, structure, and change. Mathematicians seek out patterns and formulate new conjectures. Mathematicians resolve the truth or falsity of conjectures by mathematical proofs, which are arguments sufficient to convince other mathematicians of their validity...
English studies is an academic discipline that includes the study of literatures written in the English language , English linguistics English studies is an academic discipline that includes the study of literatures written in the English language (including literatures from the U.K., U.S.,...
The humanities are academic disciplines that study the human condition, using methods that are primarily analytical, critical, or speculative, as distinguished from the mainly empirical approaches of the natural sciences....
Physics is a natural science that involves the study of matter and its motion through spacetime, along with related concepts such as energy and force. More broadly, it is the general analysis of nature, conducted in order to understand how the universe behaves.Physics is one of the oldest academic...
, and Computer Science
Computer science or computing science is the study of the theoretical foundations of information and computation and of practical techniques for their implementation and application in computer systems...
. EPGY is similar to the Center for Talented Youth
The Center for Talented Youth is a gifted education program for school-age children, founded in 1979 by Dr. Julian Stanley at Johns Hopkins University. It was initially a research study of the rate at which gifted children can learn new material and became the first program of its kind to identify...
at the Johns Hopkins University
The Johns Hopkins University, commonly referred to as Johns Hopkins, JHU, or simply Hopkins, is a private research university based in Baltimore, Maryland, United States...
in terms of certain objectives but is generally considered more rigorous.
In the early 1960s, Stanford professors Patrick Suppes
Patrick Colonel Suppes is an American philosopher who has made significant contributions to philosophy of science, the theory of measurement, the foundations of quantum mechanics, decision theory, psychology, and educational technology...
and Richard C. Atkinson
Richard Chatham Atkinson is an American professor of psychology and academic administrator. He is the former president and regent of the University of California system, and former chancellor of U.C...
began researching whether computers could be effectively used in schools to teach math and reading to children. At the time, their area of research was known as computer-aided education
. Atkinson eventually left to pursue a career as an administrator (he would retire as President of the University of California
The University of California is a public university system in the U.S. state of California. Under the California Master Plan for Higher Education, the University of California is a part of the state's three-tier public higher education system, which also includes the California State University...
), but Suppes stayed. Later Suppes extended his research to college-level material, and computer-based courses in Logic and Set Theory were offered to Stanford undergraduates from 1972 to 1992.
In 1985, Suppes received a "proof of concept" grant from the National Science Foundation
The National Science Foundation is a United States government agency that supports fundamental research and education in all the non-medical fields of science and engineering. Its medical counterpart is the National Institutes of Health...
to develop a computerized first-year calculus
Calculus is a branch of mathematics focused on limits, functions, derivatives, integrals, and infinite series. This subject constitutes a major part of modern mathematics education. It has two major branches, differential calculus and integral calculus, which are related by the fundamental theorem...
course with the initial objective of making it available to students in their last year of high school who were at schools that did not otherwise offer calculus. Suppes, together with a team that included Raymond Ravaglia, the current Executive Director of EPGY, began work on the course in earnest in 1987. When the course was ready for testing in 1990, the focus was turned to younger students who had been accelerated in their mathematics educations. For the summer of 1990, approximately 40 junior high and high school
High school is a term used in parts of the English speaking world to describe institutions which provide all or part of secondary education. The term is often incorporated into the name of such institutions....
students with some knowledge of algebra were selected for a five-week instructor-taught accelerated precalculus course at Foothill College
Foothill College is a community college located in Los Altos Hills, California and is part of the Foothill-De Anza Community College District. It was founded on January 15, 1957 by Founding Superintendent and President Dr. Calvin C. Flint.-History:...
. Of those students, thirteen located at seven local schools were invited to take the computer-based calculus course during the subsequent school year, 1990-91. All thirteen took the Advanced Placement AB Calculus examination in May 1991. Six students scored 5, six scored 4, and one scored 3.
Following this initial success, computer-based courses in Beginning Algebra, Intermediate Algebra, and Precalculus were created to replace the accelerated summer course. These courses were tested during the 1991-92 academic year with a new group of students. At the same time, the calculus course was expanded to include the material necessary for the BC examination. That year four students took the BC examination, with all scoring 5.
After porting the software to the Windows operating system, the Education Program for Gifted Youth (EPGY) was formally launched at Stanford University, in fall 1992, making these courses generally available.
In April 2006, EPGY received a substantial and generous gift from the Malone Family Foundation
of Englewood, Colorado. The donation went to forming an online high school independent of EPGY's regular distance learning courses. It is formally titled The Education Program for Gifted Youth Online High School at Stanford University
The EPGY Online High School at Stanford University is an independent school for gifted students located within Stanford University's Education Program for Gifted Youth EPGY...
but is typically referred to as the OHS or Stanford's High School.
Application and admission
The application and admission process for EPGY courses is primarily online. Students are required to submit materials from their previous years of schooling to demonstrate their capabilities and interests. Enrollment in some courses requires that a student submits test scores, or take placement tests (usually in advanced courses not typically offered at public high schools). Students ages 7 to 13 taking a math, physics or computer programming course, must take the online EPGY mathematical aptitude test.
Tuition and financial aid
EPGY offer two types of courses: variable-term and fixed-term. Tuition for variable-term courses is payable on a quarterly basis. Tuition for most fixed-term courses is payable at the start of the course term and ranges from $500 to $750.
In addition to internet-based courses for accelerated students, the Education Program for Gifted Youth hosts the Summer Institutes and the Middle School Program in June, July and August.
EPGY Summer Institutes
The EPGY Summer Institutes are three-week and four-week residential programs for academically talented and motivated high-school students. The Summer Institutes provide an opportunity for these students to enrich and accelerate their academic pursuits and to meet others who share their interests and abilities. Past EPGY Summer Institutes participants have come from 44 countries and 49 states.
Summer Institutes participants live in supervised Stanford housing and are taught by Stanford instructors. Students engage in intensive study in a single course, and they are introduced to topics not typically presented at the high-school level. The Summer Institutes provide a taste of college life in the beautiful surroundings of the Stanford campus.
Summer Institutes subject areas include mathematics, science, writing, humanities, computer science, engineering and business
. The instructors are assisted by undergraduate and graduate student mentors who have expertise in the course subject areas. These mentors serve a dual role of Residential Counselor and Teaching Assistant so that the academic and social aspects of the program are tightly integrated.
Middle School Program
The university also offers the Middle School Program ("MSP"). The EPGY Summer Institutes Middle School Program (MSP) consists of three two-week sessions for students in grade 6 and 7. Similar to the Summer Institutes for high-school students, this program provides academic enrichment, a taste of college life at Stanford, and the opportunity to meet others with similar interests and abilities. However, rather than pursuing focused study on a single topic, students study several related topics within a single subject area.
Summer Institutes MSP participants live in supervised Stanford housing, and are taught by Stanford instructors. The instructors are assisted by undergraduate and graduate student mentors who have expertise in the course subject areas. These mentors serve a dual role of Residential Counselor and Teaching Assistant, meaning the academic and social aspects of the program are integrated. The courses include material not typically presented at the middle-school level. Course offerings include Mathematics, Computer Programming, Physical Science, Expository Writing and Creative Writing. Students participate in a single intensive course while attending the Summer Institutes MSP.
Summer Institutes MSP students come mainly from California; however, students from across the U.S. and around the world also attend.
The EPGY Summer Institute hires undergraduates, recent graduates, and graduate students to work during each summer as counselors and teaching assistants. Residential Counselors (RCs) are selected for their ability to work with young people in a residential setting, and for their academic qualifications. This arrangement allows for the social and academic portions of the program to be tightly integrated.