Help Your Student Grow By Referring Them to a Governor's Institute

Students get to live on campus, study the topics they care about, explore career possibilities, network with peers, and learn from experienced professional mentors.

Student Fit and Accommodations at GIV

Are you wondering if GIV is a good fit for a student you know? To attend, students must have:

  • Deep interest in or passion for the topic matter of the Institute.
  • Ability to participate fully in the Institute (with accommodations if needed).
  • Readiness to attend, which is comprised of a personal desire to participate fully and the emotional maturity to succeed for an extended period away from home.
Students Building

Specific Considerations and Challenges

Cognitive Ability

GIV’s advanced, in-depth curricula are designed for students with higher-than-average cognitive ability. Students who gain the most value from GIV are often, although not always, enrolled in AP or dual enrollment classes or expect to do so within the next two years. If they are enrolled in a tech center or alternative education provider, they are likely doing advanced work and enjoy contextual/theoretical learning as well as hands-on. Prior experience in the Institute topic is not required for most Institutes, but the student must have had sufficient exposure to the topic to have formed a sustained desire to learn about it.

We are often able to accommodate students whose cognitive ability is high but whose learning pace is slower than their peers’. Please contact us to talk about the specific Institute that your student is interested in.

GIV’s student population often includes young people with autism, Asperger’s, ADD and ADHD. GIV is very appropriate for such students when they regularly function at a high cognitive level and have the capacity when motivated to work successfully in a group setting.

Physical Ability

With advance notice, GIV can accommodate almost all students’ physical conditions and disabilities, including chronic medical conditions, mobility, sensory and muscular limitations, life-threatening allergies, eating disorders, and more. Students whose conditions severely limit their intellectual or emotional stamina or basic communication ability may not be a good fit given the intensive nature of the Institute. Please contact us early if you have questions about a specific student’s fit or accommodations.

Emotional Ability/Mental Health

GIV can and regularly does accommodate a wide range of mental health issues. Supervised medication dispensation and social and emotional support are provided whenever needed. However, GIV is not designed or equipped to be a therapeutic program.

Spending an extended period away from home can exacerbate pre-existing emotional and mental health challenges. That should be considered whenever referring a student to GIV. Students whose conditions have caused severe dysfunction in their home or school environment within the last year are unlikely to thrive at an Institute.

Students with certain challenges are not appropriate matches for the relative independence students enjoy and the residential nature of GIV. These include students who are repeatedly unable to regulate their emotions in their regular school settings, students with a background of committing violence or sexual predation, and students with active cutting or self-harm behaviors, substance use disorders or suicidal ideation.

Behavioral Challenges

GIV offers a residential, college-like environment where students are given a significant degree of independence. Students who succeed at GIV are those who are personally driven by learning around the topic of the Institute. Students with a history of oppositional or risk-taking behaviors may not be good fits, and students who lack a strong personal investment in the topic of the Institute are strongly discouraged from attending. Please contact us if you have questions about our ability to support a specific potential student.


Unfortunately, at this time GIV is only available to students with average or better proficiency in spoken English. Reading and writing demands vary by Institute. Please contact us if you need more information about the reading or writing content of a specific Institute or if your student has a writing challenge that could impede their ability to apply.

If You Have Questions About Whether Your Student Can Thrive at GIV, Please Call Us!

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