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