NC Governor's School
"It's a place where people care about the students, about the teachers, about the process of learning in itself. We hardly ever get a chance to experience true passion for education, so one must take advantage of this opportunity." Drama student, 2006
"This summer has given me a greater sense of infinity; the infinity of things to learn, of emotions, strategies, improvements, meaning, possibilities, and potential. I haven't conquered all my flaws or overcome all my fears, but I believe more strongly than before that I can do something in the face of them." Drama student, 2007
The Governor's School of North Carolina is a five and one-half week summer residential program for intellectually gifted high school students, integrating academic disciplines, the arts, and unique courses on each of two campuses. The curriculum focuses on the exploration of the most recent ideas and concepts in each discipline, and does not involve credit, tests, or grades.
The Governor's School is the oldest statewide summer residential program for academically or intellectually gifted high school students in the nation. The program, which is open to rising seniors only, with exceptions made for rising juniors in selected performing/visual arts areas, is located on two campuses of up to 325 students each: Governor's School West at Salem College in Winston-Salem (begun in 1963), and Governor's School East at Meredith College in Raleigh (begun in 1978). The program is administered by the Public Schools of North Carolina, the State Board of Education, and the Department of Public Instruction through the Exceptional Children Division. A Board of Governors, appointed by the State Board of Education, acts as an advisory body.
All students study in three curricular areas:
The basic study of the student's nomination, that emphasizes contemporary texts, compositions, artistic expressions, issues, and ideas and the theories that flow from them. Each campus focuses on ten academic and performing/visual arts disciplines:
- French (East)
- Spanish (West)
- Natural Science
- Social Science
- Choral Music
- Instrumental Music
Study that explores connections between and among the Area I disciplines. As integrative concepts emerge, the class attempts to construct an understanding of contemporary ways of thinking and of the culture that arises from them.
Study that grounds the learning from Areas I and II in student's own personal experience, and applies that understanding to their social worlds; that is, they try to discover links between ideas and actions, theory and practice.
Area I, II, and III classes are augmented by a rich array of visiting speakers, performances, exhibitions, field trips, demonstrations, optional seminars, and film series. (Social and recreational events complement the academic focus.)
Faculty and staff are drawn from bright, dedicated teachers and professionals across the country, from public and private schools, colleges and universities, and independent artists and scholars. Most faculty members are in residence on campus and with the teaching assistants/counselors and students form a true community of learners.
"Put all your heart into this place and allow it to completely just absorb you. You'll find yourself becoming the person you were meant to be: open-minded and passionate about what you believe in. Governor's School isn't just a place to go for the summer; it's a place that is, in and of itself, a world to go to for learning how to live." – Natural Science student, 2006
The TACs (teaching assistants/counselors) program employs college juniors and seniors, graduate students, and young professionals as dormitory counselors who also have an active involvement in the overall program, either through assisting with particular classes or other support roles. Many TACs attended Governor's School and have a strong knowledge of the program.