The Center for Talent Development
Center for Talent Development
About Us

Center for Talent Development (CTD), housed at Northwestern University’s School of Education and Social Policy, is an accredited learning center and research facility that identifies, educates and supports gifted students and their families and serves as a leader in gifted education. See the video below to learn more about CTD!

Whether CTD students study the arts or biology, math or technology, or take above-grade-level tests, they all come to the same life-altering conclusion: Learning is cool. The equation is simple, yet elegant:

Offer students the opportunity to find out how really bright they are.

Bring together gifted students such as these from around the world in an environment conducive to learning – intense, accelerated courses offset with ample time for hanging out, exchanging worldviews and making friends.

Add in enthusiastic, expert instructors who eschew lectures and foster learning-by-doing.

Multiply by parents truly engaged in their children’s education.

Finally, subtract labels typically assigned to kids who do well in school. At CTD, it’s hip to be smart.
The results: happy kids and enthusiastic learners, empowered parents and energized instructors.

Why do we do what we do?
First and foremost – research says it works. We use research-proven methods for identifying and educating gifted students such that they are challenged and inspired to learn, achieve and realize their full potential.

While research drives our methods, our motivation is simply kids. Laughter emanating from classrooms. A child’s delight in new knowledge. A teenager’s quiet confidence. Their ambition, persistence and passion for learning – sometimes against all odds – and their families’ sacrificial commitment to helping them grow. These are the things that inspire us. These are the reasons we strive each day to work hard, take risks and continue to lead the country in service to the gifted community.

How long have we been doing it?
Center for Talent Development (CTD) started in 1982 and has been empowering gifted students and their families ever since. Our history is characterized by program development, enrollment growth, standard-setting research and results-oriented advocacy.

How well do we do it?

Back in 1994, we asked an objective third party – the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement – to answer this question. Their answer was we do it well – well enough to receive accreditation 15 consecutive years and counting.

If that doesn’t convince you, take a look at our press or ask one of the 500,000 families who have participated in our programs over the years.

Who are we, anyway?
To get to know us, first get to know our director, Paula Olszewski-Kubilius, renowned scholar in the field of gifted education. Her commitment to Center for Talent Development and its service to the gifted community inspires each of our 35 full-time staff members. She motivates us all to excel and work as a cohesive team.

With such a strong staff, we are able to recruit outstanding educators. They are the people who educate CTD students with the enthusiasm and expertise for which we are known.

Who we are, though, means nothing without those we serve – the thousands of gifted students and families whose curiosity, drive and appreciation for learning give our jobs meaning and whose satisfaction and achievements define our success.

next: Accreditation