HSU is a Summer Threshold for Learning

35 years of Threshold brings 375 students from around the Big Country to HSU.


For more than 35 years the Hardin-Simmons Department of Education has hosted a program called Threshold geared toward encouraging creative thinking and development in students from kindergarten to the tenth grade. 

Participating students must either be currently enrolled in a Gifted and Talented program at their school, or take a test in order to participate in the Threshold program. This year Threshold has 375 participating students.

Kristina Alexander, senior education major from Coppell, Texas, said, “I think this environment allows kids to express themselves freely and think outside the box. It gives them a chance to be creative without limitations of a normal school day.”

For students in kindergarten through the fifth grade a half-day program is available and students from sixth to tenth can participate in the full-day program.

Activities for K-1 include Kidgenius: Inventions and inventors, 2-3 Under the Sea, and 4-5 Design Squad. Students 6-10 participate in activities such as Get a Clue, Designing Tomorrow and Full Story at 10.

Dr. Mary Christopher, Director of Threshold and of the Master of Gifted Education, said, “I think it benefits both undergrad and graduate students to understand the needs of gifted children in the classroom.”

Threshold also benefits Hardin-Simmons students. The program serves as a practicum experience for the Master of Education in Gifted Education students at HSU, and also involves undergrad students from HSU and teachers from across the state.

Amy Boone, graduate student working on her master’s degree in gifted education from Abilene, said, “Threshold is a great practicum experience. The program is a well-oiled machine and has a huge following in the Big Country. This piece of the graduate program at HSU is a very important real world experience.”

This year Threshold added a service project for all of the students to participate in that taught them how to recognize opportunities to give back or help others.   Students were asked to collect books that were either new or gently used to donate for children in need or that do not have access to books during the summer.

25 Mabel Winton Scholarships through the Abilene Community Foundation were awarded to help financially support students’ involvement.

For more information about the Threshold program visit http://www.hsutx.edu/academics/irvin/educationalstudies/threshold/information/.


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