CTD Receives $1.2M Grant for Gifted Education for Disadvantaged Kids

CTD Receives $1.2M Grant for Gifted Education for Disadvantaged Kids

CTD computer group

Northwestern University’s Center for Talent Development (CTD) has been awarded a prestigious $1.2 million Javits Gifted and Talented Education Program grant from the U.S. Department of Education. The grant will help the School of Education and Social Policy's center identify gifted and academically advanced students from economically disadvantaged families.

The grant also will provide access to an accelerated curriculum for participating students to earn high school credit while in middle school. Five hundred Ohio students with financial need will participate in the program over the three-year life of the grant, thanks to the state’s innovative policies on academic acceleration and credit flexibility.

The Jacob K. Javits Gifted and Talented Students Education Program focuses on scientifically based research, demonstration projects, innovative strategies, and similar activities designed to build and enhance the ability of elementary and secondary schools to meet the special education needs of gifted and talented students. The program emphasizes serving students traditionally underrepresented in gifted and talented programs, including economically disadvantaged, limited English proficient and disabled students, to help reduce achievement gaps at the highest levels.

CTD is a partner in a consortium that has been awarded the prestigious $1.2 million Javits grant. In addition to CTD, partners in the Ohio Curriculum Consortium for Accelerating Middle School include the Center for Gifted Education at the College of William & Mary, the Ohio Department of Education, Akron Public Schools, Columbus Public Schools, Kent City Schools, Sandusky City Schools, and Westerville City Schools.

CTD associate director Eric Calvert conceptualized the project to enable more economically disadvantaged students in Ohio to access the state’s innovative policies on academic acceleration and credit flexibility.  The aim is to help these students to capitalize on more advanced learning opportunities available in high school, such as Advanced Placement courses and College Credit Plus, a dual enrollment program allowing high school students to take college courses and earn both college and high school credit.

The project will adapt award-winning curriculum units developed at the College of William & Mary for use in an online environment, and will develop supplemental programming designed to help overcome barriers to successful participation in online courses.

The curriculum will be piloted by teachers from CTD’s online learning program, as well as faculty members and gifted coordinators in the partnering school districts. Northwestern University’s Midwest Academic Talent Search will be used as a key measure of academic growth within the project research. CTD Director Paula Olszewski-Kubilius, her co-primary investigator Tracy Cross at the College of William & Mary, CTD Research Director Saiying Steenburgen-Hu, and Tania Jarosewich of Ohio Evaluation Partners will lead the research.

At the end of the pilot project, opportunities to participate in the compacted, accelerated courses will be expanded to new schools to help address the disproportionate lack of access to gifted education programs and advanced coursework in schools serving diverse students across the state and nationally.

The Center for Talent Development, which is part of Northwestern University’s School of Education and Social Policy, is a leading research center in the field of gifted education and talent development. Through online, assessment, summer, weekend, and civic engagement programs, CTD serves more than 25,000 families annually. CTD also supports K-12 schools through graduate-level educator training programs, professional development programs, and consulting and evaluation services.

By Center for Talent Development
Last Modified: 1/4/16