Recognizing Community College Talent & Identifying Advanced Learners

Woman holding a microphone in front of a photo backdrop of a group of students

February 7, 2020 – Here’s what we’re reading this week about the issues affecting high-achieving students. Learn about innovative methods for identifying advanced learners in K-12. In higher education, the high potential of community college students is spotlighted by national organizations, as well as local publications.

Do you know an academically talented 7th grader? Encourage them to apply for the Cooke Young Scholars Program, a selective pre-college scholarship that offers educational support to exceptionally promising students from across the nation. Cooke Young Scholars receive comprehensive advising and scholarship support from 8th grade until high school graduation. The application deadline is March 23, 2020 at 12:00 p.m. ET.

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Elementary & Secondary Education:

  • An innovative program at Tallequah’s Cherokee Elementary School has begun identifying gifted students by asking students to watch a video and record their questions and observations. As NPR Oklahoma notes, tasks like these, which break the repetition of day-to-day coursework, can be very beneficial for high-achieving students.
  • A study by the National Center for Research on Gifted Education finds that assessing students on “soft skills, interests, motivations and curiosity” could be a better predictor of student performance than traditional standardized testing. As Education Dive points out, this strategy may represent a new and more inclusive way to assess students for advanced coursework.


Higher Education:

  • In an interactive annual report, Phi Theta Kappa highlights how the honor society and its 238,000 active members have impacted student success through strengthening awareness, equity and inclusion, and more.
  • A new article in Education Dive discusses the many opportunities for community colleges to fill gaps in STEM education. Community college and transfer students face many obstacles when it comes to STEM education, including excess credit policies, a lack of diversity in STEM education, and the difficulty of receiving enough STEM credits to transfer in two years.


Cooke Foundation Highlights:


Social Media Spotlight:


Photo header: Cooke Transfer Scholar Stephani Calderón welcomes new scholars at the Foundation’s annual Scholars Weekend.