Interesting university transition program
Unfortunately this is nowhere near where I live, although it's in my province. Basically it's an accelerated public high school program for gifted kids which is on the campus of a well-regarded university and includes the kind of emotional and personal-planning support these kids tend to need to transition effectively to early university study. Because of its affiliated with the university it is also able to grease the wheels of early university admission. It's a two-year program admitting kids in their Grade 8 or 9 years, and most start at University of British Columbia at 15. It's been running since 1993.
Since Canada seems to have so much less in the way of gifted programs and services I'm just surprised to see such an innovative program here.
This obviously won't work for my kid because we don't live anywhere near Vancouver, but it got me thinking... what I would really love is a residential program at the university level that's designed to support early entrants. Meaning a small residence that would offer a more home-like atmosphere, adult house-parents who would be available to assist with personal planning and emotional support, and a system for communication with the students' parents. Wouldn't that be cool?
The University of Washington in Seattle also as an early entrance program, for kids under 15. They have 1 year in "transition school" and then early entrance to the University. But it's not residential.
The Davidson Center for Talent Development also runs a school for middle and high school studies in Reno. But I'm pretty sure the family has to move to Reno to attend.
Maybe I'll feel differently when my daughter's actually a teenager, but I can't imagine sending her to a residential college program at 15!
If I had a kid wanting to go to college at 15, a local college would certainly be my preference and my child's too, but since we live in the boonies, there is no such thing for us. We've found other ways to create challenge for our kids between 15 and 17 without college -- though the solutions we found certainly had their limits. I do think that my current 15-year-old would be emotionally ready for a boarding-school-like living situation that allowed her to study at a university. She's moving out partly on her own in a couple of months anyway. And I wouldn't be surprised if my now-11-year-old were similar. My ds17 seems younger and less ready to take on the world than his sister was at his age, so different kids are different, for sure.
On the other hand when my eldest was almost 13 and still scarcely able to endure a sleepover at a friend's house or order her own food at a restaurant, I would never have believed that only two years later she'd be backpacking through Myanmar and Laos for months with some adult friends, half a world away from her family. Things can change really quickly with teens.
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