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Lafayette will host more than 500 of the most gifted pre-collegiate students in the country next summer through a prestigious academic program.

Administered by the Center for Talented Youth at Johns Hopkins University, the program selects students within the 97th percentile on standardized tests normally taken in school. Candidates for admission participate in an additional set of standardized tests used to measure mathematical and verbal reasoning.

Courses for students who have just completed grades seven, eight, nine, or ten will be held on Lafayette’s campus in two sessions: June 29-July 18 and July 20-Aug. 8. About 270 participants in each session will work in class seven hours each day, five days a week.

Lafayette’s excellent facilities were a major reason for its selection as a program host, according to Charles Beckman, CTY head of public information.

“In hearing from colleagues, people were thrilled to be there,” he says. “It’s also a compact campus in a safe, secure environment.”

The usual CTY summer class size is 15 students, with science classes slightly larger at about 18. Program courses span a range of liberal arts disciplines, including language, history, the arts, mathematics, and science. All classes are taught well above grade level. Rather than assign grades, instructors write detailed evaluations describing each student’s progress and achievements in the course and outlining areas for further growth.

“It is a happy coincidence that just as Lafayette is earning a national reputation for academic excellence, the Center for Talented Youth will be sending some of the brightest young people in this country to our campus,” says June Schlueter, Lafayette’s Charles A. Dana Professor of English and provost. “We hope that these students will mature into the nation’s most promising college students and that some of them will find a home at Lafayette.”

In addition to their studies, the CTY groups will participate in activities such as sports, arts and crafts, music, and special events like dances and a talent show. Their living arrangements will include supervision by resident assistants.

For more than 20 years, CTY has identified America’s top academic students in grades two through eight and provided challenging educational programs through their tenth grade year. In 2002, students in CTY summer programs came from 44 states in the U.S. and 26 countries.

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