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Distance Learning
Stanford University

220 Panama St, Stanford, CA. 94305-4101
Tel: 800-372-3749/Fax: 650-618-1929

By Linda K. Foster

Preparing gifted students for success, both in life and in their future intellectual pursuits, is a challenge for any family. Online or distance-learning programs often do not offer courses that truly challenge and stimulate gifted students. The Education Program for Gifted Youth Online High School (EPGY OHS) at Stanford University offers just such a program.

EPGY OHS is a fully accredited, diploma granting, online independent high school. EPGY offers a chance for gifted students everywhere to receive an education comparable to that offered in the best schools in the world. Students achieving a diploma through EPGY OHS are able to pursue advanced academic opportunities without worrying about fitting into their local high school’s diploma requirements.

EPGY courses are a mix of seminar-style and directed-study courses taught on a college-style class schedule. The courses are rigorous as well as challenging. The program is also flexible enough to allow pursuit of outside educational opportunities and support for students who take some courses at their local schools.

A full-time course at EPGY is five classes, with coursework designed around a student’s particular field of interest and consisting of a selection of Honors and AP courses in mathematics, science, English, history, etc.

In addition to more traditional study topics, core courses are the central part of the EPGY OHS experience. Year-long courses in “The History of Science: Great Ideas, Observations, and Experiences”, “Democracy, Freedom and the Rule of Law” and “Critical Reading and Argumentation” engage students in critical reading, intensive writing and philosophical discussion.

EPGY OHS also offers some impressive options for summer study. Students can attend the general courses offered by the EPGY Summer Institutes or may attend summer programs offered by other institutions. Additionally, the EPGY OHS has special residential programs at Stanford that provide students with the opportunity for face-to-face interaction with other students, instructors and administrators, as well as opportunity for lab work in science courses. This exciting component enhances a student’s ability to succeed socially and academically throughout the school year.

Several important features set EPGY OHS apart from other online high school programs for gifted students. EPGY offers enhanced mathematical content where students study material in greater depth, more closely approximating a university program. EPGY OHS also places an emphasis on writing, discussion and argumentation, themes that are incorporated throughout the curriculum. Rather than spending 30 hours per week in instructor-led courses at a traditional high school, EPGY OHS students spend between 15 and 20 hours in class and more time outside class studying in preparation.

EPGY OHS courses are self-paced, directed-study courses. This format eliminates much of the frustration generally felt by gifted students whose progress and abilities are limited by other students in traditional settings. Without regular student-student interaction, EPGY OHS students can proceed through the curriculum at an accelerated pace under the direction of an instructor.

EPGY OHS offers a variety of academic options for gifted students that are not usually found in other online programs or in traditional settings. Students can enroll in single courses, can be involved in joint enrollment at EPGY OHS and their local school and can incorporate outside work at other institutions into their course of study. Whatever the need, EPGY OHS can provide a viable academic alternative for students of virtually any age anywhere in the world.

For additional information on EPGY OHS including evaluation and application procedures, please visit LKF


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