An Authentic View of Exciting Topics
CTD Encounters at Home provides bright, curious students an immersive, online experience that delves deeply into a defined topic within a larger field of study. Through live interactions with content experts and peers, students gain an authentic view of the work that professionals encounter in their fields.
Why Choose the CTD Encounters at Home Program?
CTD Encounters at Home is the perfect program for busy students with diverse interests looking for enrichment that fits their schedule.
- Single-day, 3.5 hour experiences on weekends during the school year
- Full-week, multi-topic camps during the summer
- Deep dives into high interest topics
- Experienced instructors
- Engaging live online classroom experience involving a variety of small and large-group activities
- Opportunity to engage with like-minded peers from near and far
In addition to Encounters at Home courses, CTD offers a diverse range of online program options; view a full list here.
The CTD Encounters Program welcomes applications from any interested student. You can access the application online at my.ctd.northwestern.edu.
Applications must be complete one-week prior to the start of the class. Applications completed after the deadline may be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
CTD Encounters at Home courses are at the Amber Tier for eligibility, which is open enrollment. There are no test scores or further documentation required for participation. Please note that successful completion of a CTD Encounters at Home course does not pre-qualify students to enroll in future classes outside of the Amber Tier.
Requests for Grade Advancement/Acceleration
CTD course content is advanced or grade-level accelerated, as reflected in course descriptions and the standard admission requirements. Though course content is advanced, students can engage with intellectual peers who are also age- or grade-level peers. Therefore, most students should apply for courses aligned to the grade-level in which they are currently enrolled. Still, for some students demonstrating a need for an even higher level of instruction than CTD’s advanced and accelerated courses already provide, further acceleration may be an option. Visit the Requesting an Accelerated Placement web page for more information about the process, timeline, and required materials.
Students engage directly with their instructor and classmates through an online video conferencing platform (Zoom) for the duration of the course.
CTD Encounters at Home runs for 3.5 hours on a single weekend day during the school year, and full-week 3 hour sessions in the summer. Course materials will be made available to families prior to the start of the course.
Some courses may have required or recommended supplies that families will be responsible for obtaining prior to the course. Supply lists and recommended suppliers will be provided to parents at least 10 days prior to the course in which they are needed. No course will have supplies that exceed $30 (before shipping and handling), and many required supplies will be common household items that may already be in the student's home.
This is an example schedule for a CTD Encounters at Home course. Times of activities are approximate, and schedules will vary from course to course.
|45-65 minutes||Course work|
|10-15 minutes||Share out|
|45-60 minutes||Course work|
|10-15 minutes||Share out|
Introduction: Introduction to the topic(s) of the day, ice-breaker, reminders of class expectations, materials needed for class, and how to use the functions in the conferencing software
Course Work (2 or more of the following activities during each course work session):
- Interactive instructor lecture and/or slide deck
- Introductory video
- Instructor-led interactive demonstration
- Informational article that is read and discussed in small groups
- Large-group discussion
- Small-group problem-solving activity
- Individual hands-on activity
- Individual research
- Practice with new skill or strategy
- Written reflection
Share Out: Sharing out of student products or findings from small group/individual work and follow-up large-group discussion
Break: Students take a bathroom / snack break. While eating their snack, they might keep their computers connected to the conferencing software so that they can continue to build community and engage with classmates outside of the academic context of the course.
Debrief: Recap learning experiences, revisit essential question(s) of the day, complete exit slips
Students are required to have a laptop or tablet with a camera, a microphone, speakers and/or audio jack, the ability to type/keyboard, and the ability to connect to the Internet. Students need access to a stable internet connection and an updated web browser.
Zoom is the conferencing software that will be used for the live course sessions. We recommend watching the Zoom for Students tutorial video prior to the start of class.
Student acceptance emails will contain a link to a Family Information webpage that includes program information and the Student and Family Handbook.
Instructors will help students navigate the features that will be utilized within Zoom at the start of the class. CTD still recommends, however, that students watch the Zoom for Students tutorial video prior to the start of class.
Primary communication with the course instructor and/or classmates occurs within Zoom.
- For questions regarding CTD Encounters at Home admissions and financial aid, please contact:
- For questions about current CTD Encounters at Home enrollments, please contact:
- For questions about school partnerships, please contact: