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Center for Talent Development

Developing Children's Talents Through Unique and Challenging Academic Programs

Explore Our Student Programs

What Makes CTD Special?
Over 40 Years of Experience Developing Children's Talents

Explore. Discover. Excel.

Learning is an adventure. Realizing one’s full potential is a journey. Since 1982, Center for Talent Development (CTD), part of Northwestern’s School of Education and Social Policy, has provided comprehensive programs and services that guide and encourage students on that journey. CTD’s Pathways approach helps young people find their individualized strengths and interests, while creating their unique talent development path. At CTD, students learn more than content and academic skills. Our students:

  • Create lasting relationships with peers and mentors
  • Generate attitudes and skills that promote lifelong learning
  • Learn and grow from setbacks and disappointments
  • Turn interests into career explorations
  • Turn career explorations into future goals and achievements
  • Have a lot of fun

Learn More About CTD and Our Work

Grade Levels

Programs and Courses Designed For Every Age Group

Students at different ages learn in different ways, have different needs, and have different goals. They need programs that are designed to help them advance in ways that fit their stage of development and family situation. Find the right program for now or think ahead to plan your next steps: 

Program Types

There’s No One Right Time (or way) To Learn. 

Students have a lot of responsibilities throughout the year (and so do families). We’ve designed our programs to fit in every season, adapt to competing schedules, and address multiple interests and goals. View all our program options. 

Hand of test-taker holding pencil

Understand Your Abilities. Find Your Strengths. Chart Your Own Path.

Not every student knows their strengths or the level and pace at which they are ready to learn new content. For students looking to discover and nurture their talents, there are many ways CTD can help. For over 35 years, CTD has utilized above-grade-level testing as a tool for identifying academic ability, measuring growth, and connecting academically advanced students with resources and opportunities (including gifted education services, gate programs, advanced academic programs). But, above-grade-level testing is just one tool CTD offers to inform your talent development journey. 

  • Early learning assessment (Age 4 - Grade 3)
  • Above-Grade-Level assessment (Grades 3 - 9)
  • Talent development pathways consulting
  • CTD Pathfinders membership for students

Learn About CTD Assessments


Enroll in CTD Programs

If you have found the program and course for you, we would love for you to apply. Learn more about the application and admissions process for CTD's various courses. 

Students doing experiment
Opportunities for Families

Why Do Students and Parents Love CTD?

At CTD, we believe that a deep love of learning is key to lifelong growth and satisfaction. When a student sees that learning can engage their curiosity, spark their interests, provide a network of peers and mentors, and help them understand the world, they carry that into the classroom and into life. At CTD, we provide resources and programming to both students and parents, engaging the whole family in fostering talent development.

  • Courses that challenge and delight students at every age
  • Opportunities to hang out and learn with a diverse group of students who share interests
  • Spaces to take creative risks, collaborate on adventures, and bridge differences
  • Networking opportunities for parents and students
  • Parent seminars, workshops, and consulting

Learn More

Teacher conversing with students
Services for Educators and Schools

CTD Is Where Educators Develop Their Talents Too

Best practices and continuous improvement in education are at the heart of our mission. We give educators and administrators the tools and resources necessary to create the best learning environments possible and advocate for advanced learners. Our expert staff members work with schools to review and reimagine gifted education programs and services that are equitable, inclusive, and responsive to the diverse needs of students. CTD professional learning teaches educators to identify abilities and learning needs and to provide more personalized enriched and accelerated instruction. Customized courses bring CTD's enrichment and accelerated coursework into classrooms.

Collaborate with CTD to enhance and extend programming for advanced learners.

Learn More

Support the Center for Talent Development

Your donations help provide scholarships for talented students who need financial assistance. Our mission is to help students fulfill and exceed their potential. With your help, we can expand our reach and assure students have access to critical talent development opportunities.


Find the Right Course for You


Dozens of subjects. Hundreds of courses. Countless experiences.

Start your journey with CTD today.

Connect with the CTD admissions and advising team.



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