Counseling » Gifted & Talented Programs

Gifted & Talented Programs

There are many opportunities for gifted and talented students right here in Shiawassee County. Many programs offered to our Durand Middle School students and across the country utilize the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) with Northwestern's Midwest Academic Talent Search as a measuring stick to determine eligibility. The SAT test is one of the college entrance exams students may take during their junior year in high school. While there is a fee attached, there are many scholarships available for 7th and 8th graders to help those that can't afford to take this test.
  • Scores received may qualify your child to participate in numerous enrichment activities including the Shiawassee Scholars, and MSU's CHAMP, and ISHALL programs (see info below).
  • Early testing allows the student to become familiar with the requirements and rigors of the SAT, eases apprehension for future tests, and allows outstanding practice without scores going to colleges, which are required once they reach 9th grade.
  • Students who test in 6th or 7th grade, generally show a marked increase in scores when testing again in subsequent years.
  • Testing provides information on educational programs for gifted students throughout the United States
  • The test provides academic counseling information and includes recommended courses matched to students' ability level.
  • The test provides college planning materials
6/7/8th Grade MidWest Talent Search/SAT testing - applications are available right around the third week of September each year.

8th grade students must take the SAT test to become eligible for Shiawassee Scholar program.

SAT paper applications are due right before Halloween.

Shiawassee Scholar/SAT testing - usually occurs on the third Saturday in January at Owosso Middle School.

Shiawassee Scholar selection is usually done the week before spring break.

Students will be notified via letter from the Shiawassee Regional Education School District and their school counselors.

The Shiawassee Scholars program offers unique opportunities and support services to students who achieve a high score on the SAT examination.


Shiawassee Scholars receive:
  • $500 scholarship for academic, arts, leadership and career pathway enrichment
  • Visits to Michigan universities and businesses
  • Access to internships with area businesses and mentorships with local leaders
  • Assistance researching enrichment programs
  • Opportunity to participate in social, academic and community service activities
  • Opportunity to build friendships with other scholars within the county


  • Score among the top 50 eighth grade students in Shiawassee County on the SAT examination
  • Attend any Shiawassee County high school

For more information: 
Click on Programs & Services, then Shiawassee Scholars

Shiawassee Scholars is funded by the Cook Family Foundation

(Cooperative Highly Accelerated Mathematics Program)

Qualifying Information
Available to 9th graders receiving specific score on 8th grade SAT test.

For More Info & Questions
Michigan State University Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) 
or call (517) 432-2129

(Intensive Studies in Humanities, Arts, Language and Literature Program)

Qualifying Information
Designed for 7th and 8th grade students receiving a specific score on their SAT test in 6th and 7th grade.

For More Info & Questions
Michigan State University Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) 
or call (517) 432-2129

For more information on the following programs, please visit Michigan State University Gifted and Talented Education (GATE)


Michigan-Shiga, Japan High School Exchange

    Take advantage of the rare opportunity to forge friendships a world away! Participants in the Michigan-Shiga Exchange travel to Shiga, Japan for two weeks during the summer, where they live and attend school with a Japanese host student. After returning from Japan, participants host their exchange student for two weeks in Michigan. This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity leaves selected students with lifelong memories and cross-cultural friends.

High Achievers at Michigan State University

    Looking for an early glimpse of life in college classes? Perhaps a shining achievement to separate your college application from the pack? High Achievers participants take honors-level college classes over the course of four whirlwind weeks. Taught by some of Michigan State University's most prestigious professors, these courses expose high school students to cutting-edge research technologies and advanced university resources.

China Adventure

    Explore a blossoming world power with thousands of years of rich history! After a week of on-campus study of Chinese language, history and contemporary culture, students depart for an unforgettable trek through China, led by MSU's Asian Studies Center and Visiting International Professionals Program.

Explore Africa at Michigan State University

    See what adventures await as you dive into the history and culture of this fascinating continent! Students spend one fun-filled week on campus interacting with professors and fellow students, preparing to embark on the adventure of a lifetime. While in Africa, students will have the chance to experience firsthand some of the most interesting elements of their on-campus study.

Cooperative Highly Accelerated Math Program (CHAMP)

    Highly academic mathematics students have the opportunity to get a jump on the competition through the CHAMP Program! With weekly classes held on MSU's campus, CHAMP is an academic year-long program designed to teach students the required four-year high school mathematics curriculum in just two years. First year students will study Algebra I & II, while second year students study Geometry and Pre-Calculus.

Intensive Study in Humanities, Arts, Language and Literature (ISHALL)

  • Grades 7-10
  • Apply by May 1

Finally a program designed just for those students who love to read! Similar to the popular CHAMP program, the ISHALL program covers four years of high school English curriculum in just two academic years. In a small classroom environment intended to foster discussion but allow for individualized attention, students will study texts and media from a variety of genres and historical movements.

CSI Youth Forensic Science Program

  • Grades 7-9
  • Apply by April 2

Think you have what it takes to crack the case? The CSI Youth Forensic Science program is a week long day camp or residential program that allows students the chance to live the life of a crime scene investigator. In addition to learning the tools and techniques of Forensic Science, students will analyze mock crime scenes and present their findings at a mock trial in front of a real prosecuting attorney and judge!

Mathematics, Science, Technology (MST)

  • Grades 7-9
  • Apply by May 1

Nuclear Astrophysics, Physiology, and Soccer, oh my! These are just a few of the fantastic class offerings available to students who participate in MST @ MSU, a two week long residential program on MSU's campus. The camp mixes fun with academics, giving students the chance to push themselves academically during the summer, while making lifelong friends with students who love learning as much as they do.