Home Governor’s Schools of West Virginia Governor’s Honors Academy

Governor’s
Honors Academy

During the 2024 West Virginia Honors Academy at Fairmont State University, students will grapple with the challenges and opportunities of their generation, exploring contemporary issues and their historical roots to foster a forward-thinking approach to the world’s future.

Where

Fairmont State University

When

June 16 – July 3, 2024

Apply Online ›

Apply online before March 29, 2024

Download the 2024 Governor’s Honor Academy flyer

(for 11th grade students)

In This Section

About
School & County Information
Apply Online
Parent Information
Jobs
FAQ
Photos

About This School

In 1984, Gov. John D. Rockefeller, IV, started West Virginia’s first Governor’s School, the West Virginia Governor’s Honors Academy (GHA). The GHA is a project birthed through partnerships among education, business, and state government leaders. The GHA is a three-week summer residential program whose mission is to stimulate and support excellence in education for rising high school seniors in West Virginia. Approximately 175 academically driven students are selected through a rigorous application process. The program is funded by the State Legislature as requested by the Governor. State funds provide tuition, room, board, and instructional materials for each student on the site of a residential college campus.

As a non-credit program seeking to create a unique setting for select students, the GHA provides an atmosphere impossible to sustain in ordinary academic settings. The excitement of intellectual and artistic pursuits and the expectation of significant conceptual gains permeate all aspects of the experience. The curriculum serves as a unique supplement to the standard high school curriculum. The program is not an acceleration of high school or an expectancy of college curricula. Students are led to explore cutting-edge theories in the arts and sciences and develop a greater understanding of how art, culture, and knowledge change with time. Students are challenged with developing creative and intellectual skills critical to their placement as productive citizens of our communities.

The GHA has been hosted at West Virginia Wesleyan College, Shepherd College (now University), Marshall University, Concord University, West Virginia State College, Bethany College, Fairmont State University, and West Virginia University. Fairmont State University will host the GHA through 2024.

This year’s theme is “The World We Will Create.” Within this theme, students will participate in academic and extracurricular activities while exploring contemporary issues facing their generation. Generation Z will assume the reigns of leadership in the wake of myriad upheavals related to unprecedented events like the Covid-19 pandemic, the ongoing technology revolution, the potentially catastrophic impact of climate change, growing political strife, challenging socioeconomic uncertainties, and intensifying social justice movements. The theme enables students to understand the past pertaining to their future. Programming enables students to explore critical historical and contemporary realities at local, state, national, and global levels to determine what aspects of our shared past they wish to keep and revitalize in the future and which elements are best left behind.

School & County Information

The GHA requires high schools and county boards of education to recruit and assist students during the application window. The school counselor should not be the only individual involved in recruitment. Please use the flyer attached below to share this information in classrooms and with teachers who may be able to promote the program.

2024 GHA Flyer (for 11th grade students)

High School Responsibilities

  • Inform all qualifying students of their eligibility. Speak with students about the merit of GHA. If students within the school attended last year, please have them speak to prospective students.
  • Inform students of the application.
  • Communicate with the county contact about deadlines to ensure students from the high school have submitted their applications with sufficient time for the school counselor to scan documents and make selections to the county.
  • The school counselor must scan student applications as PDF files and establish a committee to determine who will be nominated by the principal. The principal must sign the recommendation form and scan it as a PDF. All PDF student applications and the principal recommendation are sent electronically to the county contact. Each county will have its own deadline for schools. The state deadline for counties to submit their recommendations to the WVDE is March 29, 2024.
  • The school counselor must print transcripts and first-semester student grades when they ask as required in the application.

Principal Recommendation Form

County Contact Responsibilities

  • Establish a county deadline for schools to submit PDF files of student applications and principal recommendations for consideration at the county level. The state submission deadline for counties for the superintendent nomination form is March 29, 2024.
  • Share the PDF flyers with all middle and high school principals and counselors to post and share with students and parents.
  • The county contact must convene a county selection committee to select two students (male or female) for GHA. Additional nominations may be made based on information within the superintendent’s recommendation form. Please plan accordingly.
  • The county contact should complete the superintendent’s recommendation form, ask the superintendent to sign it, and scan it into a PDF file. Please submit the PDF file and the PDF student applications of the nominated students to the state file upload folder.
  • Please label the PDF as the county name and 2024 GHA Superintendent Recommendations (i.e. Pocahontas_2024GHA_Superintendent_Recommendations)
  • State Submission Folder

Superintendent Recommendation Form

Apply Online

Thank you for your interest in GHA. Please review the qualifications listed below before completing this part of the application.

Required Qualifications

  1. Must be a current high school student in West Virginia with plans to attend next school year.
  2. Must be a West Virginia resident.
  3. Must be a junior at the time of application.
  4. Must not graduate before January 2025.
  5. Must have a grade point average of at least 3.5 or be in the top 10% of the class.
  6. Must not have transcribed grades below a C.
  7. Must satisfy all immunization requirements according to the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR). Non-public school and homeschooled students must provide proof of immunizations.

Preferred Qualifications

  1. Achieve a composite score at or above the 90th percentile on the PSAT, SAT, or another standardized test OR
  2. Attain a score of three (3) or higher on an AP exam.

The school counselor must be involved in the application process for GHA. Please provide sufficient time for school personnel to secure the required documents for the application.

Within the application, students must acquire one teacher recommendation. Please provide sufficient notice to teachers before applying.

Application Part I

Apply Online

A PDF version of Part I is provided here. We recommend collecting all required documents within the application before starting the online form. We do not accept PDF versions of Part I. Please submit this part online only.

Part I goes directly to the West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE). Students must complete this part of the application below before starting Part II.

Important: Once you have all the required signatures and supporting documents, please scan all documents into one PDF file and electronically submit it to the school counselor for review by the school selection committee. Once the PDF is submitted to the school counselor, the application process is complete for the student.

The state deadline for applications from the county superintendent is Friday, March 29, 2024. The school and county will have established deadlines to provide time for review of applications before making selections and sending their recommendations to the WVDE. Please check with the school counselor or principal to determine the deadline to submit Part II.

Application Part II

Part II of the application requires students to type information within the PDF and print pages to be completed by the school counselor and principal.

Important: Once you have all the required signatures and supporting documents, please scan all documents into one PDF file and electronically submit it to the school counselor for review by the school selection committee. Once the PDF is submitted to the school counselor, the application process is complete for the student.

The state deadline for applications from the county superintendent is Friday, March 29, 2024. The school and county will have established deadlines to provide time for review of applications before making selections and sending their recommendations to the WVDE. Please check with the school counselor or principal to determine the deadline to submit Part II.

Parent Information

Drop Off and Pickup

Please be advised, parents are required to drop off students on June 16th and pick up students on July 3rd at Fairmont State University in Fairmont, WV.

Handbook and Itinerary

The 2023 Student Handbook and Itinerary are posted below. We share this information only to inform students and parents of expectations and what the experience may look like for the duration of the school.

Information and events within the documents are subject to change as the hosting college/universities/organizations prepare for the summer. Please only use the information as a guide to what might be expected during GHA.

2023 GHA Student Handbook
2023 GHA Itinerary

The West Virginia Department of Education maintains a Facebook page to showcase students during each school. Please visit the page to view all the exciting activities going on throughout the summer. 

Jobs

The GHA employs both faculty and residential employees to accomplish the mission and goals of the program. These positions are considered part-time and require specific qualifications.

Resident Director

Required qualifications:

  • Must have a background check on file with the university.
  • Must have leadership experience on a college or university campus.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Must hold an earned degree from an accredited college or university.
  • Must have experience as a resident assistant.

Resident Assistant

Required qualifications:

  • Must have a background check on file with the university.
  • Must have graduated high school between 2017-2022.
  • Must have leadership experience on a college or university campus.

Faculty

Required qualifications:

  • Must have a background check on file with the university.
  • Must hold a bachelor’s degree and 3 years teaching experience.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • A master’s or doctoral degree and 3 years of teaching experience.

Applications for either position are located below.

If you have questions about these positions, please contact the GHA deans: