GSA - Gifted Students Network - University of California, Irvine

For full course
descriptions and fees, visit:
University of
California, Irvine
Gifted Students
“Thank you for developing a quality program
that allows students to pick their classes from
so many choices, that has a conducive studentteacher ratio, and the wonderful daily lunch
experience! My son looked forward to each day.
Also, thank you for the supervision during dropoff/pick-up and for the written communication
regarding program logistics. We look forward to
participating again next summer.”
—GSA Parent
Discover Your Future at
Call (949) 824-5069
or email
[email protected]
Gifted Students Academy is a program of the
UCI Center For Educational Partnerships
The mission of the Gifted Students Academy
is to provide gifted students grades 1-10, with an
opportunity to experience a university setting by
engaging them in a program specifically designed
to meet the unique academic needs of the gifted.
Goals and Objectives
The Gifted Students Academy Aims to:
• Provide a well-balanced educational program
that promotes self-discipline, motivation, and
excellence in learning.
• Support gifted students in an atmosphere that
promotes intellectual challenge, creativity, and
reflective thinking.
• Foster the opportunity to learn, study, and live
with other students of similar abilities on the
University of California, Irvine campus in a safe
and supportive environment.
• Inspire interpersonal and communication skills,
and social development.
• Expose students to career paths and related
courses of study.
What Students Say
“This experience has helped me expand my knowledge in my favorite
subject, English. It has also helped boost my self-esteem and will allow me
to have a better education. Now that I have a better view of college-life, I
know more than even that I can do anything if I just put my mind to it.”
“This program was a wonderful experience that helped me gain more
knowledge in new subjects and gave me a chance to further expand
my horizons. I learned to see thing in a different way. One of the
things I enjoyed most was the interaction with other students.”
GSA is one of several programs offered throught
the CFEP Gifted Students Network GSN.
GSN also offers testing and test prep workshops
throughout the year. *See website for details.*
Nondiscrimination Statement: UC provides equal
access to equal opportunity in its admissions,
employment, programs and services in compliance
with applicable federal and state laws.
©Regents of the University of California.
More than twenty-five years ago, the University
of California, Irvine made a commitment to
design and deliver a unique residential and
commuter program for gifted students. The
campus community especially recognized that the
middle and high school years (grades 5-10) are
pivotal in making students aware of the pathways
for admission to highly competitive universities
such as UCI.
Previously housed in University Extension as
the ‘Pre-College Program’, the Gifted Students
Academy, GSA, achieved notoriety and grew
substantially. Since 1994, GSA has been housed
in the UCI Center for Educational Partnerships,
which is the coordination point for academic
outreach at UCI. GSA’s evolution and growth has
enabled it to maintain its focus on serving the
needs of high ability students.
The program is designed to immerse high
ability middle school students in a near as
possible replication of university academic and
residential living. In 1989, 120 students attended.
Today, more than 800 students participate in the
program in a given summer.
Specialized programming for gifted students in
grades 1-3 is also offered.
Innovative and
Stimulating Programs
for Academically
Gifted Youth
Grades 1-10
“Thank you so much for giving me this wonderful
experience, which helped confirm my decision of
one day becoming a research scientist.”
Asked Questions
What is GSA?
The Gifted Students Academy, GSA, is an
intensive summer program for gifted students,
grades 1-10. Participants select courses in each
of the major subject areas of math, science,
language arts, social studies and the arts, and
may attend as a commuter student or reside
on campus in the UCI residence halls. Courses
are offered in one-week modules and span
several weeks. GSA offers a strong foundation of
disciplinary studies while providing students a
sampling of campus life.
The Curriculum
The differentiated curriculum design
is intellectually challenging. Instructors
adapt pedagogy and content to student’s
special abilities. Many of the courses are
interdisciplinary, covering more than one area of
study. For example, the writing course combines
critical thinking, argumentation and writing
skills, adapting a teaching model used in UCI
undergraduate courses.
GSA students collaborate on projects designed
to maximize learning and gain exposure to a
major research institution. For example, those
who select a science course will be able to visit
some of the university’s world-class laboratories,
such as those used by UCI Nobel Laureates
Professor F. Sherwood Rowland, chemistry, and
the late Professor Frederick Reines, physics and
Who are the Instructors?
All of our credentialed instructors have advanced degrees
and supplemental certification in gifted studies. These
highly qualified teachers represent public and private
schools as well as area colleges and universities. Many guest
lecturers are UCI affiliated researchers.
GSA Leadership
Director Darlene Boyd, Ed.D. began her
tenure at UCI in 1991 with the specific goal
of revitalizing and enhancing the existing
program serving gifted students. Dr. Boyd, a
seasoned expert in the field of gifted studies
and curriculum development, served as
Director of the Gifted and Creative Studies
Network at Widener University before
arriving at UCI. Her vision in designing a self-sustaining
program, her long term academic partnerships with local
school districts and her expertise in teacher training for
the gifted result in a unique, university-linked program.
Dr. Boyd presents workshops on designing curriculum for
gifted students, and has presented and published papers
and articles on gifted studies.
Dr. Boyd is Past President of the American Creativity
Association and serves as a board member for several
educational associations. She is the 2004 recipient of
the California Association for the Gifted Distinguished
Service Award for the Orange County Region. Her strong
educational background in administration, educational
policy studies and gifted studies, her participation as a past
board member of the California Association for the Gifted,
and her national leadership roles contribute to the success
of the Gifted Students Academy.
GSA’s Relationship with the National
Association for Gifted Children:
“The data supporting the need for gifted and
talented youth to work alongside peers of similar
abilities and who have similar interests and
motivation is unequivocal. High quality summer
programs for these youth, such as that traditionally
offered by the University of California Irvine, have
a track record of heightening opportunities these
young people have during the school year. As school
budgets tighten and school-year opportunities erode,
summer programs like that developed and offered by
UCI become even more pivotal. GSA has a 25-year
track record of successful outcomes and represents
an important component in the lives of California’s
gifted and talented student population.”
—F. Richard Olenchak, Ph.D., Past President,
National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC)
The GSA Residential Option
Residential students are housed in UCI’s residential
halls, which are divided into suites of four or five
double rooms. Each residence hall contains a lounge,
recreation and study rooms. Residential students
are supervised throughout their stay on campus by
Gifted Students Academy staff. UCI graduate and
undergraduate students serve as Resident Advisors.
They receive special training in working with gifted
youth and oversee socialization activities outside
the classroom. The after-class agenda includes daily
physical activities and evening programs which
enhance and supplement the GSA experience.
What Parents Have to Say
“I just wanted to let you know that both my children
had a terrific time with the program this summer.
We really appreciated the approach and enthusiasm
of your instructors, and especially of the staff ratio.
They experienced weeks filled with excitement
and well-balanced mind and body work. We look
forward to next year.”
“The law class is simply phenomenal! My daughter learned many
interesting legal facts, gained good self-esteem speaking in front
of her class, and enjoyed great team work collaborating with her
peers, most of which were a few years older.“
“My son has had fun every summer attending GSA at UCI. He became very
enthusiastic about going to college after his first summer. He has expressed the
desire to be able to attend every single session. I can’t thank you enough for how
this experience has influenced him. We look forward to being there next summer.”
• Who is eligible for this program?
Students who are presently in grades 1-10
who have satisfied one of the following
•Identified by a local educational agency
as a gifted (GATE) student.
•Demonstrated high performance
achievement on any subtest in math
or verbal reasoning of a recent
standardized achievement test.
•Recommended by a school professional
as being capable of functioning in the
gifted range of ability.
• What are the registration fees?
Fees vary for commuter and residential
options. Please visit our website at for fees and
course descriptions.
• How is the program structured?
Courses are offered in one-week modules
and span over a several-week period
during the summer, beginning the last
week in June and ending in August.
• Is financial aid available?
A limited number of scholarships may
be available for applicants who are in
need of financial aid. A committee of UCI
instructors, UCI financial aid officers,
and UCI’s designees select financial aid
scholarship recipients.
• What is the typical class size?
Every effort is made to limit class size to a
maximum of 20.
• Is the program limited to California
residents only?
No, students from all over the world may