University of Iowa College of Education The University of Iowa The College of Education
Leaders, Scholars, Innovators
Capital Campaign
Give | Directory
Belin-Blank Center

Contact Us

Belin-Blank Center

600 Blank Honors Center
Iowa City, IA 52242

Map PinMap Us!


Dr. Susan Assouline
Belin-Blank Center

Early Entrance to Iowa at the Belin-Blank Center

The National Academy of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering (NAASE) has served nearly 200 high ability students over the past 15 years. While we will continue to support the needs of early-entrance students, it will likely not be via the NAASE program any longer. We are excited that we are developing a new STEM Academy that will enroll high-ability students who have completed 10th and 11th grades. While we are still in the planning process, we hope to enter our first classes as soon as possible. The new Academy will be an even better version of our NAASE program with additional support and services for our students.

It is likely that our fall 2015 class will enter into a hybrid of the NAASE and Academy programs. Here is what we know for sure:

Our program is the only early entrance program at a Division I public research institution. We create a residential community for our students as they leap from their sophomore or junior year in high school to the stimulation of university research and course work.

Students entering through our early-entrance program are regular University students—taking classes, using libraries and labs, living in residence halls, and planning their studies. Like all other first-year students, our students choose majors from any of the University’s undergraduate colleges. Yet our early-entrance students have the advantage of living together in the honors residence hall, supported by meetings with the professionals at the world-renown Belin-Blank Center for Gifted Education, right next door.

The early-entrance program includes the following structure and support:

  • A first-year weekly seminar with Belin-Blank Center staff. Topics in this seminar include study skills, learning styles, time management, communicating with faculty, study abroad opportunities, preparing for graduate school, and many other issues and topics associated with the successful transition to college.
  • First-year students all live in Daum Hall, the honors residence hall. Daum is attached to the Blank Honors Center, which houses the Belin-Blank Center, through a skywalk. Also located in the Blank Honors Center is a computer lab, library, commons lounge, classrooms, and study rooms.
  • During their first year, students have individual biweekly meetings with a Belin-Blank Center graduate assistant to discuss any issues or questions they have as they begin their studies at Iowa.
  • The staff of the Belin-Blank Center provide advocacy for our students across campus. This advocacy continues throughout their time on campus. Advocacy comes in many forms from the B-BC, including letters of recommendation and connections to other offices across campus.
  • The Belin-Blank Center staff plan cultural and social events throughout the year. These events, which include theatre productions, Thanksgiving lunch and spa days, and our annual graduation luncheon, provide opportunities for students to get to know our upperclass students as well as interact with each other and the staff of the Belin-Blank Center.
  • The Belin-Blank Center, students, and parents work together. Communication is open between all parties, and all are working towards a shared goal: the success of the student.