Investigations in Leadership and Global Issues
What does it take to be a leader and affect change? Global Leadership Intensive students examine pressing issues and create sustainable solutions, using Chicago as a laboratory to extrapolate local discoveries to a global scale. Talent in any subject area and the courage to consider challenging topics is all you need to succeed in this skills-building course. Each Intensive covers a unique topic so that each week may be taken on its own or paired together.
Why Choose the Global Leadership Intensive?
Your child is passionate about global issues, and wants a learning experience that will provide the tools needed to grow as a leader. This program will do just that.
- Application of problem-solving and critical-thinking skills
- Small class sizes and individual attention from master teachers
- A robust activities program
- Connections with students from all over the world
In addition to Global Leadership courses, CTD offers a diverse range of online program options; view a full list here.
The Global Leadership Intensive welcomes applications from pre-qualified applicants as well as New Scores and Portfolio applicants. Before beginning the online application, determine which type of applicant you are based on the descriptions below.
Applications are submitted through MyCTD. Applicants are encouraged to apply early; many courses begin to fill by mid-March. Applications are reviewed in the order in which they are completed. Incomplete applications do not "hold a spot" in the desired course. Once you have made a payment and submitted the application you will receive an email with further instructions. You will then be able to return to the application and select View Application Details to upload any necessary documents and to get the teacher recommendation link, if necessary.
Pre-qualified Review Applicant
You are a pre-qualified review applicant if you are in grades 4 through 6 and meet both of the following criteria:
- You have successfully completed a CTD course through the Weekend Enrichment Program, Summer Program, or Online Program at the Emerald Tier, or a tier with a higher score requirement, within the previous twenty-four months.
- You are now applying for a course with the same qualifying subject area (Verbal or Math) of a CTD course you previously completed.
New Scores Applicant
You are a new scores applicant if you are in grades 4 through 6 and you meet one of the following criteria:
- You have not attended any CTD program for the past two years and you have qualifying grade-level test scores (Verbal or Math) for your desired course that are no more than two years old.
- You have previously attended a course with the Weekend Enrichment Program, Summer Program, or CTD Online Program, but you are now applying for a course with a different qualifying subject area (Verbal or Math) and you have qualifying grade-level test scores.
- You have participated in above-grade-level testing such as the PSAT™8/9 test taken in grades 3, 4, 5, or 6, or the ACT® or SAT® test taken in grade 6 (NUMATS).
New Portfolio Applicant
You are a portfolio applicant if you are in grades 4 through 6 and you do not have qualifying test scores because you have either:
- never taken a nationally normed standardized achievement test, OR
- taken this type of test but not achieved a qualifying score.
An Admission Portfolio includes the following documents:
- Required: one teacher recommendation form (available once you have submitted your application) indicating that the student is performing 1½ to 2 years above grade level in the subject area of the course to which the student is applying;
- Required: most recent school report card indicating exceptional performance in the subject area of the course to which the student is applying;
- If available: most recent standardized testing report (e.g. NWEA/MAP) or results of a state grade-level assessment.
Please note that students should apply for the Summer Program at the grade level they are in as of January 2021. For the purposes of the Summer Program, students are considered to be in the grade they just completed and NOT the grade they will enter in the fall.
Because applications are accepted on a continuous basis, courses that are listed as available may close before a student's application is complete and comes up for review. We strongly suggest listing second and third choice courses on applications. Applications are processed and reviewed by Admissions staff when all necessary documentation has been provided through the applicant's MyCTD account.
It can take up to a week for our staff to review newly submitted applications and any documentation provided to complete an application later. Until our staff has verified the documents, submissions will not be reflected in what you see in MyCTD. We kindly ask you to not call nor e-mail our office to confirm receipt of documentation or application items within a week of submitting them.
It may take 2 to 4 weeks for an admissions decision to be made once the application is complete. You will receive an email once an admissions decision has been made.
Application deadlines are typically in June, but courses are filled on a first-come, first-served basis.
The Global Leadership Intensive is at the Emerald Tier for eligibility. To qualify for Emerald Tier courses, students must be in grade 4 through grade 6 and must also provide one of the following:
- Achievement of a score of 90th percentile or higher on a nationally normed grade-level assessment in the required qualifying subject area (Verbal or Math) for the desired course; OR
- Successful completion of a CTD course, with the same qualifying subject area within the past two years; OR
- Submission of a portfolio application, consisting of a teacher recommendation (available after submitting the application) and the student’s most recent report card, demonstrating that the student is performing exceptionally well in the qualifying subject area.
Because courses are taught in English, test scores are used to assess proficiency and assist in course placement. TOEFL (or TOEFL Jr. for grades 4-8) or IELTS scores are required for students for whom English is not the first language and who do not have PSAT, I-Excel, SAT, ACT, ASSET, or PreACT scores.
For families looking for insights into student learning or interested in assessment for program eligibility (test scores are valid for 2 years for CTD programs), Center for Talent Development offers REMOTE assessment for using MAP. Because of the requirements of remote testing, there are limited days and times available. Registrations will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. Learn more.
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.
Please see our withdrawal information for policies.
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. Please see the Financial Aid page for details.
- The deadline to complete a financial aid application for the Summer Program is May 31. However, funds are limited and historically our financial aid has been fully dispersed before the deadline date.
- Do NOT wait for your 2020 tax info to be completed. You can provide your 2019 info along with your 2020 W-2.
- You will receive the FACTS application link in your application confirmation email once the $60 dollar tuition deposit is paid and the application is submitted.
- It is imperative that you complete the financial aid application as soon as possible as it may take FACTS up to ten days to process your information.
- If you previously completed a FACTS application for the 2019-2020 academic year for CTD, you must still attach the 2020-2021 FACTS application to your FACTS account. You will be able to link your FACTS account to this new FACTS information. You may need to update financial information.
- If you experience difficulties with the FACTS process please call the FACTS helpline at 866/412-4637.
Summer 2021 Dates:
Two sessions are available. Students may participate in one or more sessions.
July 12 - July 16
July 19 - August 23
Live, synchronous sessions take place Monday through Friday. Live sessions are held each morning (CST) to accommodate the widest range of time zones possible.
Academic Day Schedule
10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.: Synchronous class day
Instructors hold daily office hours before or after class.
Optional Afternoon Programming
2:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.: The Hangout. Meet new friends and bond over shared interests!
3 p.m. - 4 p.m.: Afternoon activities. Teaching Assistants lead students in rotating afternoon clubs such as gaming, arts and crafts, and performance activities.
Students engage directly with their instructor and classmates through an online video conferencing platform (Zoom) for the duration of the course.
All course materials (documents, videos, discussion boards) are posted in Schoology, CTD's secure, online learning platform.
Courses run for 3 hours on a single day with a 15-minute break. See Sample Class Agenda further down this page for details on how live classes are conducted.
Supplies: Some courses may have required or recommended supplies, including print-outs, 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. Courses with more significant supply requirements include a materials fee so CTD can facilitate ordering and shipping.
Summer Program staff are preparing a wide range of fun, creative social and recreational activities that will foster friendships with peers from around the world and cultivate personal interests and passions through on-going clubs and rotating physical activities. Pre-recorded social-emotional learning opportunities such as journaling and meditation will help students start their day before jumping into classwork.
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.
Course materials (including the link to the course’s Zoom classroom) are hosted in Schoology, which is a learning management system designed for K-12 students. Schoology is a web-based application, so no software is required. Instructions to setup student accounts will be shared with families upon acceptance to the program.
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 during synchronous sessions in Zoom and through Schoology messages.
All students who successfully complete a Global Leadership Intensive course receive a brief narrative evaluation that includes comments on the student’s performance in class as well as recommendations for future study. These evaluations are available 6 weeks after the final class of the session.
- For questions regarding CTD Global Leadership Intensive admissions and financial aid, please contact:
- For questions about current CTD Global Leadership Intensive enrollments, please contact:
- For questions about school partnerships, please contact: