BETHANY, W.Va. – The prestigious West Virginia Governor’s Honors Academy (GHA), an elite three-week summer educational program attracting the top high school students from each of the state’s 55 counties, has been awarded to Bethany College for the next three years.

The GHA, under the auspices of the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts, is funded by the legislature. A total of 180 students are expected for this year’s event, which is scheduled for June 29-July 20. The GHA is committed to return to Bethany College in the summers of 2009 and 2010.

“We are honored to have been selected to host the Governor’s Honors Academy and look forward to welcoming many of the best and brightest of West Virginia’s high school students to our campus over the next three summers,” said Bethany College President Dr. Scott D. Miller. “We are planning a number of exciting and challenging activities to help in expanding the educational horizons of these gifted young men and women.”

Founded by Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV in 1984, during his term as Governor, the GHA is designed to stimulate and support excellence in education by placing high ability/high achieving students in an academically rich environment at an institution of higher education. There is no cost to students for tuition, room, meals, activities, textbooks or instructional materials.

Many broad-based and intensive courses will be offered in science, math, humanities and the arts, and students will choose one broad-based and one intensive class. They will attend daily seminars and participate in field trips and other activities designed to enhance their educational experience.

The GHA is open to all high school juniors who reside and attend school in West Virginia. Students must meet established academic requirements and obtain multiple recommendations in order to apply for the program. One male and one female are selected from each county with other applicants entering a statewide pool for consideration. The remaining 70 students are selected from this pool.

Faculty are chosen by committee after a review of class proposals, application and interview are completed. Staff is comprised of college or graduate students, a large majority having attended the GHA when they were in high school.

Students and faculty will be housed on the Bethany College campus for the duration of the program with the full resources of the College at their disposal. Bethany College Director of Special Projects Saralyn Dague will serve as Dean of the GHA, working closely with State Governor’s Schools Director Sherry Keffer.