news-category: Summer Enrichment Programs

Gardner-Webb Hosts Honors Experience for Academically Gifted and Talented Students

a student prepares to give a mannequin patient a vaccine

Program Adds New ‘Innovation Challenge’ to Bring Classroom and Community Engagement Together

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C.—The Honors Experience at Gardner-Webb University is a one-week college immersion for academically gifted and talented students who are currently in the ninth- through 11th-grade. Scheduled for July 17-22, students will engage in two credit-bearing college courses while living in the residence hall, eating in the cafeteria and attending chapel.

Now in its fifth year, the program is adding an “Innovation Challenge,” a collaborative activity that will bring the classroom and community engagement together. Before they arrive, students will receive a prompt related to a problem affecting the community. When they come to campus, they will be divided into teams to work together on creating solutions.

“Our goal is to ignite a heart for service and give the tools to renew culture, bless people, and grow in leadership in their community,” noted Robbie Gaines, associate minister to the University for Community Engagement & Athletic Ministries.

A student listens to the heartbeat of a nursing simulation mannequin
In the “Healthcare Heroes—Surviving a Pandemic” class last year with Tara Hayes, instructor of nursing, students learned how to give a vaccine and also practiced on the patient simulation models.

Additionally, the courses are designed to help participants develop the confidence they need to continue in their pursuit of academic excellence, engage academics with Christian faith, and experience the impact of service learning. In the past, subjects have included biology, religion, pottery, and nursing.

Students who are accepted into The Honors Experience, will automatically be invited to participate in Gardner-Webb’s Ignite Excellence Scholarship competition during their senior year of high school, where they will compete for GWU’s most competitive academic scholarships—the highest honor covers full tuition as well as room and board, totaling over $30,000 per year.

Applications for The Honors Experience must be submitted by July 1, 2022.

The following students may be eligible for a $50 application discount:

  • Children of current faculty, staff, and alumni.
  • Those who bring a friend to apply for a discount for each student.
  • Returning participants.

For more information, contact Robbie Gaines at [email protected].  

Gardner-Webb University is North Carolina’s recognized leader in private, Christian higher education. A Carnegie-Classified Doctoral/Professional University, GWU is home to six professional schools, 14 academic departments, more than 80 undergraduate and graduate majors, and a world-class faculty. Located on a beautiful 225-acre campus in Boiling Springs, N.C., Gardner-Webb prepares graduates to impact their chosen professions, equips them with the skills to advance the frontiers of knowledge, and inspires them to make a positive and lasting difference in the lives of others. Ignite your future at

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