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Doug Epperson, Psychology, (515) 294-2047
John McCarroll, University Relations, (515) 294-6137


AMES, Iowa -- Iowa State University's Office of Precollegiate Programs for Talented and Gifted (OPPTAG) will not offer one of its six programs in the coming academic year.

The office has decided to suspend the Iowa Talent Search, a program that identifies talented and gifted Iowa youth.

OPPTAG will continue its summer and academic programs for precollegiate youth, such as the popular CY-TAG and ACES programs.

Suspension of the Iowa Talent Search will have minimal impact on talented and gifted children in Iowa because the Belin-Blank Center at the University of Iowa offers a similar talent search, said Doug Epperson, professor of psychology and OPPTAG interim director.

"Like many other non-profit organizations, OPPTAG has been severely impacted by the ongoing national and state economic downturn, and we've been unable to generate enough revenue to support all of our programs," Epperson said. "We had to streamline in ways that would have minimal negative impact on Iowa's talented and gifted youth."

The Iowa Talent Search was OPPTAG's most expensive program. The savings from its suspension will be applied to OPPTAG's other continuing programs, which serve up to 400 students each summer and 300 students during the school year.

The programs that will continue include:

ACES -- Academic Challenging Experiences for Students. Courses for talented and gifted students that meet at Iowa State on alternate Saturdays during the academic year.

CY-TAG -- Challenges for Youth-Talented and Gifted. A three-week summer residential program designed primarily for middle school and high school students. Students complete an academic-year high school class in three weeks.

EXPLORATIONS -- A one-week, residential summer program targeted primarily for middle school and high school students.

ADVENTURES -- A one-week, non-residential summer program for elementary school students.

OPPTAG has served the needs of more than 34,000 talented and gifted youth in Iowa for the past 16 years.


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Ames, Iowa 50011, (515) 294-4111
Published by: University Relations,
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