Saturday Enrichment Program (SEP)

Saturday Enrichment Program (SEP)

Why participate in the Saturday Enrichment Program (SEP)? The SEP Program:

 

  • Offers a community of like-minded peers.
  • Provides challenging accelerated courses with admissions score criteria.
  • Presents opportunities to delve deeper into a single topic and to develop an advantage in one’s area of strength.
  • Focuses on the whole family, offering parent education workshops that address the social-emotional development of gifted learners.

Free Parent Seminars

Join us on Saturdays for free seminars designed to guide parents of gifted children age 4 through grade 9. 

View the Parent Seminar Schedule

Calendar:

May
30
Saturday 9 am to 2:30 pm each day
Jun
27

Forms & Downloads:

Details

Application Process

The Saturday Enrichment Program welcomes applications from new applicants, returning applicants and portfolio applicants. When beginning the application process, click on the applicant type, best suited to you based on the descriptions below.

New Applicant
You are a new applicant if you are age 4 through grade 9 and you meet either one of the following criteria:

  • You have never attended any CTD program and you have qualifying test scores that are no more than two years old.
  • You have previously attended a Weekend Enrichment Program, Gifted LearningLinks Program or the Summer Program, but you are now applying for a course in a different subject area and you have qualifying test scores.

Returning Applicant
You are a returning applicant if you are age 4 through grade 9 and you meet both of the following criteria: 

  • You have successfully completed a CTD course through the Saturday Enrichment Program, Summer Program or Gifted LearningLinks Program.
  • You are now applying for a SEP course in the same subject area of the CTD course you previously completed and wish to use your old scores as evidence of your qualifications for the program.

Portfolio Applicant
You are a portfolio applicant if you are age 4 through grade 9 and you meet the following criterion:

  • You do not have qualifying test scores because you have either 1) never taken a nationally normed standardized achievement test or 2) taken this type of test but not achieved a qualifying test score.

Eligibility

Some SEP courses require prerequisites. Please see course descriptions for more information.

Enrichment

To qualify for Saturday Enrichment Program (SEP) admission to enrichment (not for credit) courses, students must be age 4 through grade 9 and must also provide evidence of one of the following criteria:

  • Within the last two years, successful completion of a CTD Saturday Enrichment Program, Gifted LearningLinks (excluding Family Program courses) or Summer Program course in the subject area of the SEP course to which student is applying;
  • Within the last two years, a score at the 90th percentile or above on a nationally normed standardized test (see below) in the subject area of the SEP course to which student is applying;
  • Participation in above grade-level testing such as the EXPLORE® test taken in grades 3, 4, 5, or 6, the ACT® or SAT® test taken in grades 6, 7, 8 or 9 (NUMATS).
  • Qualifying academic evaluation (available to students age 4 through grade 3) performed by Center for Talent Development or a similar testing agency; or
  • Submission of an Admission Portfolio (an option only for students in grades 3 through 9).

Admission Portfolio for Enrichment Classes

An Admission Portfolio is accepted once a student is in grade 3 and must include all the following documents:

  • One teacher recommendation form indicating student is performing 1½ to 2 years above grade level in the subject area of the SEP course to which student is applying; 
  • Current school report card indicating exceptional performance in the subject area of the SEP course to which student is applying; 
  • Most recent state testing report, if available; and 
  • Any results of EXPLORE®, ACT®, SAT® or other nationally normed test, if available.

High School Credit Courses

To qualify for SEP admission to honors-level high school credit courses, students must provide evidence of one of the following criteria:

  • Within the last two years, a score at the 95th percentile or above on a nationally normed standardized test in the appropriate subject area (see below);
  • Within the last two years, participate in above grade-level testing and receive score as follows in the appropriate subject area:
    • ACT-Reading 19 or above
    • ACT-Math 18 or above 
    • ACT-Science 18 or above 
    • SAT-Math 460 or above 
    • SAT-Critical Reading 440 or above
    • EXPLORE-Reading 14 or above
    • EXPLORE-Math 15 or above 
    • EXPLORE-Science 16 or above; or 
  • Submission of an Admission Portfolio.

Admission Portfolio for High School Credit Courses

An Admission Portfolio is accepted once a student is in grade 3 and must include all the following documents:

  • Two teacher recommendations forms indicating student is performing 1½ to 2 years above grade level in the subject area of the SEP course to which student is applying;
  • Current school report card indicating exceptional performance in the subject area of the SEP course to which student is applying;
  • Most recent state testing report, if available; and
  • Any results of EXPLORE®, ACT®, SAT® or other nationally normed test, if available.

Homeschooler Admission Portfolio
A Homeschooler Admission Portfolio includes:

  • Two teacher recommendations forms from adults unrelated to the applicant; and 
  • Parent’s statement describing the student’s learning in the appropriate academic area over the past year, including references to curriculum, books, projects and activities.

Additionally, the Homeschooler Admission Portfolio may include any or all of the following, depending on availability:

  • Copies of the student’s best work in the appropriate academic area; 
  • Copies of teacher evaluations from any classes taken from umbrella schools, co-ops, etc.; 
  • Copies of any available standardized test reports taken in the last 24 months; 
  • Copy of transcript or grade report for current academic year (Please indicate if this was produced by a parent); and
  • Any other information that might provide insight into the student’s academic strengths and help us place him/her in the appropriate course.

Acceptable Tests for SEP Eligibility

To prove eligibility for SEP, applicants may submit any one of the following tests taken within the last two years demonstrating a score in the 90th percentile* or above (National Percentile Rank) in math and/or reading:

  • Center for Talent Development Academic Evaluation 
  • ACT® or SAT® Test
  • Stanford Achievement Test 
  • Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS)
  • Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) 
  • Terra Nova Test 
  • ERB Tests: Comprehensive Testing Program, Independent School Entrance Exam
  • Northwest Evaluation Association Tests (NWEA): Measures of Academic Progress (MAP), MAP for Primary Grades 
  • Otis-Lennon Test
  • Kaufman Test of Education Achievement (KTEA) 
  • Weschler Tests: WPPSI, WISC, WIAT 
  • Woodcock-Johnson Test 
  • Peabody Individual Achievement Test (PIAT) 
  • California Achievement Test 
  • EXPLORE® 
  • School and College Ability Test (SCAT) 
  • Any other achievement test with a National Percentile Rank (NPR %)

*95th percentile or above (National Percentile Rank) scores in math and/or reading are required for SEP honors-level, high school credit courses.

Financial Aid Opportunities

CTD offers need-based financial aid awarded as requests are received. Families are encouraged to apply early because the amount of aid available is limited.

  • The amount of financial aid awarded varies from partial to full tuition, and awards are based on family income and extenuating circumstances (e.g., loss of job, unforeseen medical expenses, etc.). Most families awarded aid have a total household income of less than $50,000.
  • Financial aid is awarded for one program and one session per child.
  • To be considered for financial aid, families must complete the Financial Aid Application, available once a family has applied through the online application. All supporting materials (tax information, statement of need, etc.) must be included in the financial aid submission in order for an application for financial aid to be considered.

Course Environment

Key Aspects that Make the SEP Environment Unique

  • Extensive time is spent in the classroom studying one subject. 
    • Choosing a course that suits a student's strengths and interests is crucial. 
  • Students must advocate for themselves and seek out help when needed. 
    • SEP staff takes great efforts to get to know each student quickly, but students must know who to go to with questions or when they need help. 
  • Classes are rigorous, designed to be up to 2 years academically advanced, and there is little unstructured time. 
    • This requires significant focus and energy on the part of the students.

Locations

Evanston, IL (EV)
Northwestern University

Palatine, IL (PA)
Quest Academy 
500 N. Benton St.

Chicago, IL (CH)
The Frances Xavier Warde School
Holy Name Campus 
751 N. State St.

Naperville (NP)
North Central College 
31 N. Loomis St.

Lake Bluf, IL (LB)
Lake Bluff Elementary School
350 W. Washington Ave.

Safety & Conduct

The Saturday Enrichment Program (SEP) staff takes every reasonable step to ensure the safety and well-being of every SEP student, including the following:

  • Requiring a high standard for student conduct; and
  • Protecting student information.

High Standards for Student Conduct In order to maintain a safe and inviting learning environment, SEP participants must adhere to the CTD Honor Code. The Honor Code establishes standards and expectations for student behavior and reflects CTD's commitment to fostering character development, integrity and respect for diversity. 

Program Orientation

Acceptance notifications are sent via e-mail two to three weeks following receipt of a completed application. Please pay special attention to this notification. It will include information about student course placement and a link to access further information on:

  • Program orientation
  • Program policies
  • Supplies
  • Behavioral expectations

Emergency Closing Information

If we have to cancel classes due to weather-related or other campus emergencies at any of the sites, it will be indicated at www.emergencyclosings.com, listed as Saturday Enrichment Program.

Evaluations

All Saturday Enrichment Program students receive a narrative evaluation that includes comments on the student’s performance in class as well as recommendations for future study. Students enrolled in high school credit-bearing courses also receive an official Center for Talent Development (CTD) transcript (upon request) with the course grade. Whether taking classes for enrichment or academic credit, students benefit from the feedback and guidance they receive at the end of each session.

Job Opportunities

CTD takes pride in having excellent instructional staff. Courses are designed to be rigorous hands-on experiences for academically advanced students.  Visit the Saturday Enrichment Program Job Opportunties pages to learn more.

Copyright 2014 Northwestern University Center for Talent Development