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FAQ (frequently asked questions)

Q: What are the qualifications of "High Achieving High School Students"?

A: The program is open to high achieving high school students. "High Achieving" must be documented in the application essays by any one or more of the following: Top ten percent of high school class; Active participation in a Gifted and Talented program; Outstanding scores on achievement tests or TAKS test; Leadership in school organizations; Leadership in community organizations; Significant accomplishments in the arts and humanities.

Q: What is the deadline to submit student applications?

A: Student application materials are posted on this web (see "applications" tab). We will start accepting applications in February, 2011. We do not have a firm deadline for applications. We will continue to accept applications until we fill the program. The faculty will meet in late March for the initial screening of student applications. We will screen and review applications in April until all 100 students have been accepted. We will notify students as decisions are made in April and early May. Once we have selected our 100 students, we will put all other qualified applicants on a waiting list. The faculty will keep a short waiting list of students in case any of the accepted students withdraw from the Governor's School. Student applications will not be reviewed until all forms are received and application materials are complete.

Q: What are the dates of the Governor's School at Texas A&M?

A: The program begins in the afternoon on Sunday, June 5, 2011. Parents or guardians must bring students to campus before 3pm. See map below. The program ends on Friday, June 24, 2011 at noon. Parents or guardians must pick up students between noon and 1pm on June 24. The first meal is dinner on June 6 and the last meal is breakfast on June 24.

Q: Do I have to attend the entire Governor's School if I am accepted?

A: Yes. Students must arrive on the first day of Governor's School and remain on the TAMU campus in the program for the entire three week experience. This includes weekends and evenings. Students may not arrive late or leave early --- and please arrive on time on the first day! Students may not go home at any time during the Governor's School. Students may not leave the Governor's School (even for a few hours) for any other academic or personal event. If you have conflicts in your schedule, you will have to choose between the Governor's School and the other event(s). Do not apply for the TAMU Governor's School if you have any conflicts on your calendar. There are no exceptions to this policy.

Q: Will I be able to attend religious services during the Governor's School?

A: We will work with students and parents to make arrangements for participation in religious services on the Texas A&M campus on weekends as our schedule allows. There are many religious services available on weekends on campus or within walking distance of campus. Parents and students should make requests for weekend religious worship on the Texas A&M campus with the co-directors prior to arrival at Governor's School.

Q: What should students expect from a typical day at the Governor's School?

A: Here is a general idea of what you should expect Monday through Friday:

     7:00 AM: Wake up

     8:00 AM: Breakfast

     9:00 AM: Classes start

     12:00 PM: Lunch

     1:00 PM: TAMU Campus Event (Tour Kyle Field, Bush Library, Theatre, Corps of Cadets, Admissions Office, Media Center, etc.)

     2:00 PM: Classes continue

     4:30 PM: Organized free time

     6:00 PM: Dinner

     7:00 PM: Planned recreational activities and/or study hall

     9:30 PM: Free time/showers/etc.

     10:30 PM: Small group work

     11:00 PM: Lights out

Q: Where will students eat, sleep, and take classes during the Governor's School?

A: Students will eat all meals in Sbisa Dining Hall on campus. All students will be housed two per room in Briggs Residence Hall on campus (female and male students in separate sections) and attend classes during the day in the Harrington Tower and Harrington Educational Classroom Center.

Sbisa Dining Hall
Briggs Hall
Harrington Tower

Q: Can I select my own roommate?

A: We will accept requests for roommates, but we cannot make any guarantees. Additionally, both people must request each other as roommates.

Q: If I attended the TAMU Governor's School last year, can I return to the TAMU Governor's School the following year?

A: No. We want to provide other students with an opportunity to attend the TAMU Governor’s School. There are four different Governor's Schools in Texas. We encourage students who attended the TAMU Governor's School as a junior to attend a different Governor's School for the second experience at Lamar University in Beaumont, University of North Texas in Denton, or Texas A&M University in Corpus Christi.

Q: What should I bring to the Governor's School?

A: Students should bring comfortable and casual clothing for their three-week stay including suitable attire for attending class and appropriate sports and recreation attire. Please bring an umbrella and waterproof jacket/rain gear. Students should label their clothes on the inside cuff, waistline, or neckline in case clothing is left in the communal laundry room. Students should bring notebooks, pens, pencils, linens for a single mattress, pillow, blanket, towels, soap, shampoo, and other personal items. If you bring dry snacks, please put all food in a sealed zip-lock bag. Students may want to bring an extra case of bottled water to keep in their residence hall room. Coins for the vending machines are optional. Students will have access to coin operated laundry facilities which will require laundry products and quarters. Students may bring cell phones, laptop computers, digital cameras, digital video cameras, musical instruments, and iPods/MP3 players. However, all cell phones and iPods must remained locked in the residence hall room during weekday classes and activities. Students will have a key to securely lock their residence hall room. However, Texas A&M cannot assume responsibility for loss, damage, or theft of personal items. Students who are required to take medication should bring enough with them to last the three-week stay. Students who bring medication must notify the residential director. However, students are responsible for their own medication.

Q: What should I NOT bring to the Governor's School?

A: Students should not bring weapons, hunting knives, pocket knives, pets, cooking appliances, hotplates, microwaves, bicycles, skateboards, radios, stereos, televisions, or expensive jewelry. No matches, cigarettes, flammables, candles, incense, or fireworks of any kind are allowed. Under no circumstances should students possess, distribute, purchase, sell, or consume alcohol, tobacco, or drugs. Do not bring any drug paraphernalia. The Governor's School will have a zero tolerance policy for the possession, distribution, or use of these items or any other illegal items.

Q: Should I bring money with me to the Governor's School?

A: Students do not need to bring any money with them except quarters for the laundry machines and the vending machines in the residence hall. Some students may want to shop at the Texas A&M bookstore for items to bring home. Also, some students may want to buy coffee between classes at one of the coffee houses on campus. Others may want to buy a souvenir at the museum stores at the George Bush Presidential Library or during our Saturday field experiences. These purchases are all optional. However, students who decide to bring money should not bring large sums of money, and when on campus should lock all valuables in the residence hall room. Texas A&M University and the Governor's School are not responsible for the loss or theft of money or valuables.

Q: Can I drive my car and park on campus?

A: No. If you have extenuating circumstances that require the use of a car you should contact the co-directors. Under no circumstances will students be allowed to leave the program at any time.

Q. Will I have to walk across campus?

A. Yes. A lot. Bring comfortable shoes, sun screen, ball caps, an umbrella, and a set of waterproof clothes for the days that it might rain. The distance between buildings is about a 7-10 minute walk. This will be good exercise. We will provide water bottles to bring to class. Students will be escorted by staff members on all transits between classroom buildings, cafeteria, and the residence hall.

Q. Should I bring my musical instrument, lap top computer, cell phone, and i-pod?

A. Yes, you may bring these items. However, you are responsible for locking your valuables in your residence hall room. There will be performance times during the Governor’s School, and you may want to have your musical instrument available. However, please note that students may not bring any of these items to class during the day. Cell phones and i-pods must remain locked in the residence hall during the day.

Q. What benefits will I receive from attending Governor’s School?

A. The experience of new friendships, challenging college curriculum, tours of the Texas A&M campus, creative art projects and theatre performances, field experiences to The Blanton Museum of Art, the Contemporary Art Museum of Houston, the Ally Theatre, a live music performance in Austin, and other cultural events every weekend, a certificate of graduation, and the opportunity to include Governor’s School on your college application are some of the many benefits of attending the Governor’s School.

Q. Will I make new friends and enjoy my time in Governor’s School?

A. Yes, very much so!

Q: Can my parents and family visit me during the three-week program?

A: No. In the case of an emergency, parents and family should contact the co-directors or residence hall director.

Q: I have specific diet restrictions/requirements. Will I be able to find the foods I need?

A: Yes. The Sbisa Dining Hall is a large cafeteria-style facility that offers a wide range of food options, however students with special needs must notify the residential director prior to arrival at the Governor's School so that accommodations can be made.

Q: Will students have access to work-out and exercise equipment?

A: No, students will not have access to university recreation facilities, swimming pools, or exercise and work-out equipment. We will plan many recreational activities, games, and sports so students can stay in shape and active during the Governor's School.

Q: What will students do when they are not in classes?

A: This is another great question. Many evening and weekend recreational activities will be planned. Students will participate in neat stuff like Ultimate Frisbee, Basketball, Sand Volleyball, and Capture the Flag at Night. The residential staff will plan other fun activities involving costumes and theater. There will be all kinds of music and dance, movies (like some we make our own), and cell phone photo scavenger hunts (and you don't even have to own your own cell phone). And let's not forget, there will be plenty of time to just hang out in the hall with your new Governor's School friends! Accommodations will be made for students with special physical needs. Please inform the co-directors and residence hall director prior to arrival at the Governor's School if there are any physical restrictions or special needs related to activities that we offer.

Q: What if my parents or family need to contact me while I am at the Governor's School?

A: Parents or family can call students directly on personal cell phones in the evenings and on weekends. Parents can also reach the co-directors and residence hall director by e-mail (tamugovernorsschool@gmail.com). Telephone contact numbers will be provided on-site at registration. In case of serious emergency, the Texas A&M University Police on the Texas A&M University campus can be reached at the following numbers: (979) 845-2345 or 9-911 on-campus.

Q: Where can parents/family park when dropping off and picking up students at the beginning and end of the Governor's School?

A: The map below provides details about available parking lots for check in and check out. Click on the map for a downloadable PDF file.

These areas are available for check in/out on Sunday, June 5 from 12pm(noon) to 3pm and Friday, June 24 from 12pm(noon) to 2pm only. Extended parking is available in the University Center Garage..

Q: What is the history of the Governor’s School Program?

A: The Governor’s School concept began in 1963 when North Carolina established a residential summer program for gifted students. Several states, mostly in the South, established similar programs in the next few years, all focusing on innovative curricular and instructional approaches for high ability students. In the 1980s Governor’s Schools were established in other parts of the country including Missouri, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. And in 1988 an umbrella organization—the National Conference of Governor’s Schools (NCoGS)—was established to promote this type of non-traditional approach to learning and to provide a mechanism for Governor’s Schools to share information and ideas. According to the NCoGS there are currently between 15 and 20 states in any given summer that offer Governor’s Schools, consisting of about 50 individual programs. The number of states offering Governor’s Schools fluctuates with legislative funding patterns for the programs. Governor’s Schools also vary from one to six weeks in duration, with the number of student participants ranging from 50 to 800 at a school.

The impetus behind the development of Governor’s Schools was to stem “brain drain” from the states and to provide intellectually gifted high school students with a challenging academic and enriching environment not typically available to this population during the regular school year. The NCoGS bylaws define a Governor’s School “as a residential, state-affiliated, seasonal enrichment program of at least one week in length, sponsored or sanctioned by the state … as a ‘Governor’s School,’ frequently [but not always] with the word ‘governor’ in the title, and designed for selected students with special academic, creative, artistic, and /or leadership talents.” The first Governor’s School in Texas, called the Texas Governor’s Honors Program, was established in 1986 at The University of Texas at Austin. Funded by the state Legislature, the program continued at UT in the summers of 1987 and 1988. After a year hiatus in 1989, the Governor’s program moved to Lamar University, which offered the school in the summers of 1990 – 1999. After the state withdrew funding for the Governor’s School in 2000, Lamar continued its program under another name using private funds. In 2006 the 79th Legislature (Third Special Session) reestablished funding for Texas Governor’s Schools, and the 80th Legislature in 2007 designated authority for Governor’s Schools to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB). The THECB contracted with the University of North Texas to develop and offer a Governor’s School in the summer of 2007, and in 2008 the THECB issued an RFP inviting all state public universities to make proposals to operate Texas Governor’s Schools. The THECB awarded three one-year grants to 1) Lamar University, 2) Midwestern State University, and 3) the University of North Texas. Then in 2009 the THECB issued another RFP for Governor’s Schools, this time for a three year period. The institutions receiving these grants were 1) Lamar, 2) Texas A&M University—College Station, 3) Texas A&M University—Corpus Christi, and 4) the University of North Texas.

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