Threshold Summer Program

A Summer Enrichment Program for Advanced and Gifted Learners

July 8-12 & July 15-19, 2019

Threshold courses are designed to provide challenge and enrichment for students whose abilities enable them to benefit from experiences beyond those provided by the regular school program. Exciting classes feature higher-level thinking and active learning. Low teacher to student ratios maximizes learning. Each week offers unique class experiences, so students may choose to attend one or both weeks. Threshold is a “day” experience only. Adults must provide transportation to and from Threshold. All classes meet in Abilene Hall on the Hardin-Simmons University campus.

In order to attend Threshold, qualified students must possess demonstrated intellectual ability at the 90th percentile or above. See Qualifications and Testing for more information.

Session One – July 8-12, 2019

Session Two – July 15-19, 2019

Half-day Program for Students Entering K-5

Half-Day Program for Students Entering K-5

($100 Per Session) 9:30-12:15 or 1:15-4:00

Early Steps K-1:  No Non-SENSE

Did you HEAR the news? This class is so much fun you can almost TASTE it! TOUCH amazing mazes, SEE hidden treasures, and SMELL edible sky-high towers as you see, hear, smell, taste and feel your way through challenges for all five senses.

Primary 2-3:  Frozen!

Do you wanna build a snowman? Beat the summer heat and cool off with chilly challenges! How fast can water freeze? How do animals survive in the coldest of climates? “Let it go” and be like Olaf… a happy snowman in summer!

Intermediate 4-5:  Up, Up, and Away!

Ladies and gentlemen, fasten your seatbelts and prepare for takeoff! Join the pioneers of aviation as we fly into the face of adventure and create fabulous flying machines. It’s a bird… it’s a plane… no, it’s YOU meeting the challenges of flight!

Full-day Program for Students Entering 6-10

Full-Day Program for Students Entering 6-10

($160 Per Session) 9:30-4:00

NETWORK GROUPS………………………….9:30-10:15

MORNING CHOICES………………………….10:15-12:15

Who cares?!?

Are you fascinated or frustrated by the social problems in your school, city, state, or country? Why do these issues matter? Why do we care about them so much? Why do we develop such strong opinions about them? Join us to explore images and stories of justice. Instead of feeling helpless, tackle some of these problems with real solutions!

Get in the Game!

What is your favorite game, toy, or app?  Research games of the past, discuss the toys of today, and create the apps of the future.  Build a company that could produce the next Slinky, Nintendo, or Madden Mobile!  You’ve been playing for years—now it’s time to Get in the Game!

A Challenge a Day Keeps the Blahs Away

Unlimited money and all the time in the world–practically anything is possible! Too bad these challenges come with a thrifty budget and a stopwatch. Five challenges in five days will stretch your building skills to their limits!

LUNCH (PROVIDED FOR GRADES 6-10)………………………12:15-1:00

AFTERNOON CHOICES…………………………………1:00-3:00

Doué, Lahjakas, Begavede:  Where in the World?

How would your life be different if you lived in another country? Journey across the globe to spend a day in the life of gifted students in Europe, Africa, China, Australia, and Asia.  Experience a day in their culture as we work through complex problems and challenges!

Get a Life!

Can’t wait to grow up?  Enter a life-sized board game of “LIFE” and roll the dice as you explore challenges.  Will you be married?  Have kids?  Achieve your goals?  Enjoy your career?  Take the chance on “LIFE” and find out!

Fear Factors

Do you suffer from erythrophobia or ergophobia?  Overcome these phobias and conquer challenges requiring physical, intellectual and creative strength. Demolish self-doubt and find new confidence as you explore the psychology of common fear factors and phobias through dynamic group investigations.


Registration Options

  1. Register online. Please be advised that online registration is not available for scholarships or partial payments. If a class is grey on the registration page, it is sold out. Registration is now open.
  2. Download the appropriate Threshold registration form:
    • Grades K-5
    • Grades 6-10
    • mail completed forms along with payment to:
      Dr. Mary Christopher, Threshold Director
      Hardin-Simmons University, Box 16225
      Abilene, TX 79698

Registration Information

New Students
Students who have not previously attended Threshold but have been accepted into a school district’s G/T program must submit:

  • Completed Registration Form
  • Tuition for enrollment and optional parent seminar fee
  • Letter or email from the school documenting the student’s enrollment in a G/T program by May 31

Students who have not previously attended Threshold and are not currently enrolled in a G/T program must submit:

  • Completed Registration Form
  • Tuition for enrollment and optional parent seminar fee
  • Test results through the school or through Hardin-Simmons University verifying the student’s qualifications.

Conditional Students
Students who have previously attended Threshold on a conditional basis must submit:

  • Completed Registration Form
  • Tuition for enrollment and optional parent seminar fee
  • New test scores for the current school year

Returning Students
Students who have previously attended Threshold must submit:

  • Completed Registration Form
  • Tuition for enrollment and optional parent seminar fee

Tuition and Scholarships

  • Early Steps (K-1), Primary Threshold (2-3), and Intermediate Threshold (4-5): $100 per session
  • Threshold (6-10): $160 per session, which includes lunch
  • Written requests for tuition refunds, minus $20 processing fee, will be honored through May 31. Online processing fees will not be refunded.
  • Scholarships are available for families with demonstrated financial need. Complete and submit the Scholarship Application Form to apply for assistance. The deadline for scholarship applications is April 26. Students may apply for a scholarship to either Session I or Session II. You must also fill out the hard copy of the separate Registration form.
  • Notification of scholarship awards will be mailed by May 30.

Interactive Parent Seminars

July 9, 10 & 11 and July 16, 17 & 18 (9:45-10:45 a.m.)
Threshold offers Parent Seminars featuring interactive presentations based on current research and topics in the field of gifted education. Parent Seminars are open to adult family members of gifted children and other interested persons. These seminars meet in Abilene Hall at Hardin-Simmons University from 9:45-10:45 a.m. on select days of both sessions. The fee is $5 per family for all sessions and may be included with your tuition check or with your online registration. Class descriptions will be provided on the first day of Threshold.

Family Celebrations

Friday, July 12 and Friday, July 19
All parents and family members are invited to visit their children’s classes to view their work at the end of each session. Family Celebrations will be held on Friday at the end of each week from 11:50 a.m. – 12:10 p.m. for K-5 students coming in the morning only, 3:40-4:00 p.m. for K-5 students coming in the afternoon only, and 3:00-4:00 p.m. for students coming all day to Threshold 6-10.

Testing Information

  • Individual intelligence testing services are offered through HSU. The fee is $80 and the screening takes approximately one hour.
  • To schedule testing, please email the following information to
    Student name, age, birthdate
    Parent (s) or Guardian(s) name, address, phone number, and email
  • Testing needs to be completed by June 30.

Qualification Procedures

  • Once a student attends Threshold, provided it was not on a conditional basis, it is not necessary to re-demonstrate qualification.
  • New students must possess demonstrated intellectual ability and/or potential at the 90th percentile or above. YOU MUST ATTACH A COPY OF CURRENT TEST DATA (e.g., IQ or Ability tests) FROM WITHIN THE PAST TWO SCHOOL YEARS. STAAR test data and achievement test scores are NOT applicable.
  • New students who are currently enrolled in a school G/T program automatically qualify for Threshold.
  • Students enrolled in pre-AP classes who were not previously identified GT will need to present qualifying ability test scores.
  • Please submit student scores from an ability test at the 90th percentile or above or documentation of student’s enrollment in a G/T program by May 31.

Graduate Studies in Gifted Education

Hardin-Simmons University’s Irvin School of Education offers graduate courses toward gifted certification and/or master’s degree. Threshold serves as a practicum experience for the Masters of Education in Gifted Education at Hardin-Simmons University. Contact Dr. Mary Christopher at for more information about Hardin-Simmons University graduate programs in education.