While many students identified as academically gifted may find adequate challenge through enrichment and acceleration options offered by their schools, some students would benefit from programs that can only be offered on a regional or national basis. To effectively match programming options to student needs, we must go beyond simply identifying gifted students and assess the degree of their giftedness. The most widely used assessment approach for students already identified as gifted is the Talent Search Model which offers a cost-efficient, well research, standardized approach to provide details of a student\'s ability beyond the limitations provided by grade-level standardized tests. HEROES and Rutgers Division of Continuing Studies (DoCS) offer programs for these exceptionally able students which would be impossible or impracticable to be offered by individual school districts such as:
- Recognition at the Annual HEROES Awards Program at Rutgers University in September.
- On-line and hybrid courses throughout the year.
- Credit-bearing Rutgers Summer Session Courses
- Annual HEROES Conference sponsored by Rutgers DoCS where students can spend two days attending classes and labs taught by faculty members and researchers
- Work with mentors though small study groups with other students their age who share a common interest
HEROES and Rutgers DoCS sponsor two annual talent searches to identify these students: The Academic Talent Search and the Writing Talent Search. Both programs are designed to assess the ability of students who are already reaching the ceiling on tests designed for students their age.
Students participate in the Academic Talent Search by taking either the SAT or ACT before the age of 16 and having their scores sent to HEROES.
HEROES will award three $500 scholarships in conjunction with the Academic Talent Search, one each for the student who earned the highest combined SAT in each of the following age categories: under 12 years old, 12-13 years old and 14-15 years old.
Students who earn at least 700 on the SAT-Math or at least 30 on the ACT-Math will qualify to take the Rutgers Math Placement Test which is taken by all incoming Rutgers Students. Based on their Math Placement Test results, student may qualify to take credit-bearing Summer Session courses at Rutgers â€“ New Brunswick.
Students who earn at least 550 on the SAT-Critical Reading or SAT-Writing or at least 23 on the ACT-English or ACT-Reading will qualify to take the Rutgers English Placement Test. Based on their English Placement Test results, students may qualify to take credit-bearing Summer Session courses at Rutgers - New Brunswick.
Students may also qualify for other HEROES programs and awards based on their SAT results.
Students participating in the Writing Talent Search will receive a writing assignment designed according to the guidelines for the first writing assignment given to students enrolled in Expository Writing (355:101). Students will submit their assignments electronically through the HEROES web-site. Instructors from the Rutgers Writing Department will grade each essay and provide individualized comments, a completed grading rubric and an estimated course placement assessment.
Students who receive an estimated course placement assessment of at least Basic Composition (355:100) will qualify to participate in the final round where they will take the Rutgers English Placement Test. Based on their English Placement Test results, students may qualify to take credit-bearing Summer Session courses at Rutgers - New Brunswick or participate in other HEROES programs and awards. The winners of the first, second and third place scholarships will be selected based on the essays submitted as part of the proctored Rutgers English Placement Test.