All About Duke TIP Program
If you dream about your child walking across the lawn at the ivy leagues, Duke TIP may be the ticket. TIP (Talent Identification Program) is a program that identifies gifted children based on standardized test scores and provides resources to assist in nurturing their development. Being part of TIP means that the gifted child has access to programs and services that may not be available at school.
Duke TIP helps gifted kids and also provides valuable resources for their parents, teachers, and school administration. Duke's program is considered a leader in this type of early identification of gifted talent. Since 1980 they have helped over 1.8 million gifted children learn about their exceptional abilities.
Beginning in fourth or fifth grade, students who participate in TIP become part of a network of other gifted children and their families. The annual fee is $25 and for that you get access to advanced testing, a newsletter, and plenty of communication and information about how to give your gifted child everything to reach his or her full potential.
Advanced Level Testing
Although not required, a big advantage of being in TIP is the opportunity for fourth and fifth grade students to take seventh grade level standardized tests. When they reach seventh grade, they take college entrance exams like the SAT. What's the point? Gifted kids often score so high on their own grade-level testing that the results are not useful because they fail to measure variation.
Taking above-level tests gives gifted students and their families a better understanding the student's level relative to gifted peers. This is helpful in determining appropriate challenges for that particular student. Above-level testing can pinpoint areas of strength as well as demonstrate to the child (and school administration if necessary) the child's advanced ability. Tangible test scores can be a strong motivator for kids who may not otherwise realize their uniqueness.
When seventh grade kids take the college entrance exams they receive information about university level resources available to them based on their scores. This can be invaluable both academically and financially.
Testing is the most tangible benefit of joining TIP, but there are other advantages. Students receive valuable publications, formal recognition, and the opportunity to make friends with other gifted children. They are exposed to new and challenging academic opportunities and receive a clear message that developing their intelligence is worthwhile - not to mention fun!
Independent Learning Program
Independent Learning Program
TIP also includes an option for at-home learning. In the Learn on your Own program for grades 4-12, students find a mentor in a particular subject area who will work the student using Duke TIP course materials. Students explore a topic of interest at their own pace. There are also CD-Rom Courses for students in grades 7-12 that provide an interactive, multimedia academic experience on topics not typically studied at the in middle or high-school level.
How Do Kids Qualify?
Students must live in or attend a public, private, or home school within Duke TIP's 16-state region, which includes Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas.
Admission into TIP is based on test scores. Students must have scored at the 95th percentile or above on a grade level standardized test, such as those that are routinely given in elementary school. Scores must be from either of the two most recent tests and must not be more than two years old. The student only needs to qualify on one acceptable composite or sub test area.
In speaking with parents, I found the most popular motivator for enrolling a qualifying child in Duke TIP program was that the child would be included on a talent search list. The list gets the gifted child in the pipeline and on the radar of a major university. Not a bad deal for $25 a year.