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CTD Pathfinders

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

CTD Pathways Approach
A Journey of Discovery

Pathways Approach to Talent Development 

Giftedness is not a state of being. It’s a process a journey that involves developing potential into achievement. CTD’s Pathways approach to talent development recognizes that talents, passions, goals, and achievements are discovered and nurtured through exploration, experience, and guidance from mentors and experts. When students find their path and receive the proper challenge and support, they are on their way to becoming bold, creative achievers and contributors. 

CTD Pathfinders Program

Talent development requires more than content knowledge; it requires engagement within a community of peers, access to information about career pathways, tools that facilitate goal-setting, and opportunities to explore and take risks. CTD PathfindersTM is our peer community for students grades 4 through 12, designed to provide the right activities, tools, and resources to support each step of the talent development journey. A 3-year membership in CTD Pathfinders provides all of the components described below, connecting to each aspect of the path finding process!

hand with pencil filling in test answer sheet

Set Your Compass  

Assessment or Interest Exploration 

  • Registration for one test through NUMATS (PSAT 8/9TM, ACT®, or SAT®) OR one administration of MAP or CogAT with interpretive materials and recommendations; OR
  • For students who prefer not to test, enrollment in one CTD Encounters at Home session 
boy and girl working on ipad together

Gather a Support Team for Your Journey 

CTD Backpack for Students  

Students converse and connect in our moderated, worldwide network of fellow students. In Backpack, students can generate activities with their peers (e.g. book chats, creative story writing, Minecraft groups) or take advantage of CTD led activities of interest that support their talent development, such as video chats and podcasts

CTD Backpack for Parents 

Parents receive guidance from CTD staff members and can network with other parents about issues related to parenting and gifted education. Monthly webinars are hosted by CTD staff on topics related to parenting for talent development and issues of interest to community members.

Please note: Complementary, limited-term access to CTD Backpack for Students (as a stand alone product) is provided to families registered for select Center for Talent Development courses.

two high school boys in classroom

Forge Your Talent Development Pathway

  • Activity playlists and badges: CTD has created playlists of media-rich activities in various fields of study (e.g. digital citizenship, law, politics) that work together to help students develop important knowledge and skills related to the topic. Completing a playlist results in a digital badge. 
  • Career interests survey  
  • CTD course participation tracker    
  • Monthly webinars (live and on-demand; for parents and students): Topics include Building a Portfolio; Getting the Most Out of Online Experiences; Applying to College; and Civic Engagement for Young People  
  • Educational Program Guide: Listing of enrichment and accelerated programs from around the country

Present Your Pathway Discoveries  


  • Pathfinder's ePortfolio helps students “tell their story” when they are applying for academic scholarships and programs, preparing for college, or seeking employment. Through ePortfolios, students can digitally collect and present their work (e.g. certificates, resumes, grade reports, photographs, videos, artwork). ePortfolios can also include activities such as volunteer experiences, job skills, extracurricular activities, and more.

Join CTD Pathfinders Today!

A 3-year CTD Pathfinders membership is $200, per student, which includes the fee for one test (value of up to $75) or CTD Encounters (value of $75). 

Register Now

Need Help Getting Started? 

If you would like to work with a CTD staff member to discuss your child’s strengths, interests, or talent development pathway, consider setting up a consultation.

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