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Enrichment and Acceleration at CTD

Learning at a depth and pace commensurate with ability

Approaches to Instruction and Course Content

Advanced Enrichment

Advanced Enrichment courses at Northwestern University’s Center for Talent Development offer academically challenging and engaging opportunities for bright students with strong interests and a desire to learn.  Our courses give students opportunities to focus on specific areas of study within a community of like-minded peers.  In Advanced Enrichment courses, CTD students delve deep into topics and fields that are not part of the core curriculum at school.  Courses are designed to place greater emphasis on higher order thinking, facilitate creative thinking and provide earlier exposure to more advanced concepts in developmentally appropriate ways. Our classrooms are student-driven, hands-on, exploratory and interactive. From coding to smart wearables or debate, CTD courses are designed to enable students to explore diverse areas or to focus on building skills and competency in an area of passion.

Advanced enrichment courses at CTD complement school-based curriculum by extending student learning to real world problems, providing them with insight into the cutting-edge, emerging careers that deal with these critical issues on a daily basis. Most importantly, by participating in CTD Advanced Enrichment courses, your child becomes part of a community of young learners with a strong scholar identity, challenging them to take intellectual risks, and encouraging their eagerness to struggle with academically demanding content.


Experiencing appropriate challenge and encountering new ideas is essential for learning. Many gifted and advanced learners have already mastered many of the concepts and skills that make up grade-level curriculum expectations in traditional schools. When the level and pace of curriculum is not appropriately challenging, advanced students can miss opportunities to continue their academic growth and develop academic and executive functioning skills that are key to future success. They may also develop unhealthy attitudes about education.

When advanced students have opportunities to accelerate academically by accessing curriculum more commonly used with older students and have opportunities to advance at a pace more in sync with how quickly they learn, students learn more, feel more engaged in class, maintain motivation, and are more likely to develop academic skills and healthy learning habits.

Complementing courses providing opportunities for enrichment, CTD offers a wide variety of courses and programs that allow students to accelerate academically, providing early access to advanced content, opportunities for faster pacing, and/or a compacted time frame.

Glossary of Terms

We have created a glossary to help families and educators better understand our approach and common terms used in gifted education.

View the Glossary

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