Skip to main content

Last Chance to Enroll into a CTD Summer Program | Now Enrolling for Fall 2024 Online Programs

CTD Policies

Community  |  Discrimination and Harassment  |  Policy on Sexual Misconduct  |  Youth on Campus | Accommodations for Students  |  Accommodations for Staff  |  Computer, Electronic Resources and Network Policies  |  Tax Exempt Status  |  Eligibility  |  Program Closings (Weather or Other Emergencies)  |  Release of Student Information  |  Refunds and Withdrawals  |  Technology Platforms

Center for Talent Development (CTD), housed at Northwestern University’s School of Education and Social Policy, is an accredited learning center and research facility. Northwestern University and Center for Talent Development are equal opportunity, affirmative action educators and employers. Northwestern University and CTD reserve the right to change without notice any statement on its website concerning, but not limited to, rules, policies, tuition, fees, curricula, courses, programs, and faculty.

The information on this web page is not comprehensive; rather it provides an overview of several fundamental Northwestern and CTD policies. More policies, including program-specific policies and procedures, and additional detail about the following policies, are available here on the Northwestern University website and in CTD program and enrollment information.

The CTD Community

Students associated with Center for Talent Development are held to all responsibilities of members of the Northwestern University community. The CTD Honor Code sets the tone and outlines expectations for all members of the CTD community. CTD students, staff and administrators pledge to abide by the Honor Code in both letter and spirit.

Honor Code

In order to create a safe and successful learning community, I commit to

  • Act with personal and academic integrity;
  • Participate fully in program activities and complete my own work to the best of my ability;
  • Treat all individuals—staff, students, and community members—with respect, including those of different races, cultures, religions, national origins, genders, gender identities, gender expressions, sexual orientations, ages, and abilities;
  • Treat all facilities and property with respect and care;
  • Observe all program rules and respect the authority of staff members.

I understand that my actions will shape our community, and that my membership in the community depends on my honoring this code.

Northwestern's Policy on Discrimination and Harassment

Northwestern University prohibits discrimination and harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, parental status, marital status, age, disability, citizenship status, veteran status, genetic information, or any other classification protected by law (referred to as "protected classes") in matters of admissions, employment, housing, or services, or in the educational programs or activities Northwestern operates. See the complete policy for further information.  


Northwestern’s Policy on Sexual Misconduct

Northwestern is committed to fostering an environment in which all members of our community are safe, secure, and free from sexual misconduct of any form, including, but not limited to, sexual assault, sexual exploitation, stalking, and dating and domestic violence. This policy applies to students, faculty, staff, University vendors, contractors, visitors, guests, and third parties. See the complete policy for further information.


Youth on Campus

The University recently adopted a Minors at Northwestern Policy. In addition to revising mandatory reporting obligations to align more closely with Illinois state law requirements, the new policy requires youth programs at Northwestern to register with the University and ensure that all faculty and staff engaging with minors in youth programs undergo a background check and complete online training.

The University's Youth on Campus website provides guidance on implementing the policy’s requirements as well as centralized tools and resources to support the administration of youth programs at Northwestern.


CTD Policy on Accommodations for Students

Accessibility Support for Individuals with Disabilities

Definition of Individual with a Disability

CTD complies with laws that protect individuals with disabilities from discrimination, including the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504). The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) does not apply to CTD.

An individual has a disability within the meaning of these laws if:

  • The individual has a mental or physical impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities;
  • The individual has a record of such impairment; or
  • The individual is regarded as having such an impairment.

An episodic impairment or impairment in remission is a disability if it would substantially limit a major life activity when not in remission. The determination of whether the impairment substantially limits a major life activity will be made without regard to the ameliorative effects of mitigating measures (e.g., except for ordinary eyeglasses or contact lenses).

Examples of major life activities include caring for one’s self, performing manual tasks, seeing, hearing, eating, sleeping, walking, standing, lifting, bending, speaking, breathing, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, communicating, and working.

Accessibility Services

CTD provides reasonable accommodations to qualified students with disabilities in order to provide students an equal opportunity to participate in its programs. Parents or students must request such supports and are strongly encouraged to provide documentation showing that (1) the student is an individual with a disability and (2) the requested supports are needed to provide the student with an equal opportunity to participate in CTD’s program. The following are examples of the types of documentation that is accepted by CTD:

  • Documentation from licensed provider regarding impairment from last 3 years;
  • Individualized Education Program (IEP) from the most recent school year;
  • Documents upon which an IEP or 504 plan is based from within the last 3 years; and
  • 504 Plan from the most recent school year.

Based on the documentation provided and in consultation with the family, CTD will determine the individual student’s eligibility for reasonable accommodation. If CTD determines that a student is eligible, then CTD will notify the parent(s) or guardian(s) and the student’s supervisors of the accommodation CTD  is able to provide for the student.

Examples of reasonable accommodations for supplemental enrichment activities include positioning the student in close proximity to the instructor, movement breaks, and project modifications. Due to the limited timeframe for CTD programs, extended time may not be available. All reasonable accommodations are determined on a case-by-case basis.

Service Animals

CTD permits the use of service animals by individuals with disabilities. A service animal is, for instance, a dog or miniature horse that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other disability.

Parents or students must notify CTD in advance that a student will be accompanied by a service animal.

CTD will ask a parent/student to remove a service animal in the following circumstances:

  • CTD determines that the animal is disruptive or otherwise out of control and the student does not take effective action to control it; or
  • The animal is not housebroken.

Accessibility Support for Transgender and Non-Binary Students

It is the practice of CTD to address the needs and concerns of transgender and non-binary students to ensure a safe, affirming, and healthy environment. CTD is committed to proactively creating a culture that respects and values all individuals. CTD is committed to working to support each student individually based on the specific requests and needs of the student.

Parents or students may coordinate support for transgender and non-binary students by contacting the Program Coordinator.

Appeal Policy

If a request for an accommodation or accessibility support is not approved, a parent or student may appeal the decision by submitting a written request for review to CTD’s Director at within 10 calendar days of the contested decision.

CTD Policy on Accommodations for Staff

Reasonable Accommodation Policy

Pursuant to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and state law, Northwestern University will reasonably accommodate employees with disabilities and pregnant employees, as defined by law. Failure to reasonably accommodate employees with disabilities and pregnant employees is a violation of federal/state law as well as University policy.

The Office of Equity is the administrative office responsible for the management, implementation and coordination of the Northwestern University Reasonable Accommodation Policy. Concerns with respect to architectural barriers and building/program disability related modifications also should be directed to the Office of Equity.

Staff members should contact the Program Coordinator to discuss requests. See the complete Reasonable Accommodation Policy for more information and the procedures for requesting an accommodation.


Accessibility Support for Transgender and Non-Binary Staff

It is the practice of CTD to address the needs and concerns of transgender and non-binary staff to ensure a safe, affirming, and healthy environment. CTD is committed to proactively creating a culture that respects and values all individuals. Staff members should contact the Program Coordinator to discuss requests.

Northwestern Computer, Electronic Resources and Network Policies

It is the policy of Northwestern University to maintain access to local, national, and international networks for the purpose of supporting its fundamental activities of instruction, research, and administration. Users of the network are to take the necessary measures to safeguard the operating integrity of the systems and the accessibility of other users. See the complete policy for further information. 

Use of Technology

Students and staff are prohibited from posting personal information about or images or videos of students or staff on publicly accessible sites; accessing or transmitting threatening, harassing, or obscene material; engaging in commercial activity; or violating any state or federal laws. Inappropriate use of technology may result in a loss of privileges or other disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal from the program. All photo and video usage must be approved by CTD administration.

Because CTD students are minors, they do not have express permission to take or use images of other students. Likewise, program staff members do not have express permission to publish pictures or images of CTD students or other program staff members.

Use of Social Media Platforms

CTD staff should not engage with CTD students (other than family members) on social media platforms, which includes not sending invites/friend requests to CTD students. CTD staff should inform students they will not accept connections/friend requests from current students, or past students under the age of 18.

Federal Copyright Compliance (Downloading and Sharing Files)

Northwestern University does not condone unlawful downloading and unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing of copyright-protected works. Individuals who engage in these practices are in violation of University policy and may be subject to University disciplinary action as well as civil and criminal penalties. Misuse of the Internet is punishable by dismissal from CTD programs.

Management of Accounts

CTD reserves the right to suspend and delete user accounts (with or without prior notice) at its discretion if the services are used in a manner that violates applicable laws, applicable university policies, CTD's agreements with the service provider, CTD's student code of conduct, or rules of the CTD program in which a participant is enrolled. CTD may also remove inactive accounts and delete user-created content. CTD will delete accounts for students at the written request of parents withdrawing students from CTD's programs.

Third-Party Websites

While a CTD staff member may use or refer students to third-party web sites for instructional purposes, they are required to thoroughly review any such web sites for inappropriate content before referencing them. If there is any doubt about whether something is appropriate, a staff member is instructed to err on the side of caution and not use the web site or check with a supervisor. However, because web content continuously changes and is not controlled by CTD, CTD disclaims responsibility for the content contained on third-party websites. If you become aware of anything that may be inappropriate, please notify program administrators immediately. CTD instructors are not to refer students to websites that require students to create individually identifiable user accounts without first getting clearance from a CTD program coordinator.

CTD Tax Exempt Status

Northwestern University, and Center for Talent Development, is exempt from federal income tax under Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3). See Northwestern University tax exempt status information.

CTD Policy on Eligibility

Center for Talent Development offers a variety of talent identification and academic enrichment and acceleration programs designed to meet the learning needs of high-ability students age 3 through grade 12. Every program and each course type has eligibility criteria in order to create the best match between an enrolled student and the learning environment. Eligibility can be established using test scores (above-grade level or grade level, depending on program and course type), a portfolio or previous participation in a CTD course with the same qualifying criteria within the last two years. CTD reserves the right to request additional information beyond the requisite test scores or portfolio requirements to make an admission decision. Final decisions about eligibility and program acceptance are made at the discretion of Center for Talent Development staff.

CTD Policy on Program Closings (Weather or Other Emergencies)

The safety of staff and students is of utmost importance and the decision to close a program is not taken lightly. Before deciding to close a program due to extreme weather conditions, health or safety issues, and/or facility emergencies, the Center for Talent Development consults with a variety of experts both inside and outside the Center. Our commitment is to keep families, staff and the community informed of weather-related, health or safety-related and building emergency issues that may force a program closure.

CTD program staff will attempt to schedule make-up session(s) (in-person or online) to compensate for the time lost due to a program closing, if feasible based on the program’s structure and location. No refunds or prorated tuition will be granted in the event that a student cannot attend the scheduled make-up session(s). Any additional compensation may be determined on a case-by-case basis.

CTD Policy on Release of Student Information

To protect the safety and privacy of the students, the Center for Talent Development’s customary practice is not to share information concerning a student with anyone not identified in the student’s application materials as a parent/guardian without written consent. 

Unless required by law, needed for essential services as part of an approved agreement (e.g. Schoology, etc.), or authorized by parent(s) or legal guardian(s), CTD does not disclose personally identifiable information about its students to third parties. If CTD receives parental consent the center may provide names and addresses of individuals to third parties that have programs geared toward academically talented youth.

Non-personally identifiable information collected may be used for research purposes. Non-personally identifiable or deidentified student information may be shared with third-party vendors for research or program related services.

Information collected may be used for internal research purposes. With appropriate Internal Review Board (IRB) approval and consent, personally identifiable information may be used for research projects and publications.

For further, related information, please reference the privacy policy. CTD is subject to the Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act (FERPA) guidelines and Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) guidelines.

CTD Refunds and Withdrawals Policy

See CTD's Refund and Withdrawal Policies.

CTD Technology Platforms

Northwestern University is based in Illinois in the United States and is governed by laws and regulations enacted by the State of Illinois and the U.S. federal government. CTD's agreements with the providers of its main end user technology platforms require compliance with the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA.)

Some CTD programs involve live virtual meetings using web conferencing software. These meetings may be recorded by Northwestern University personnel and made available to other students enrolled in the same program who could not attend live sessions for later viewing. Class recordings may also be viewed by other CTD staff for quality assurance purposes. By enrolling in a CTD program and allowing your student to participate in a web conference hosted by CTD, you are indicating consent for your child's participation in the web conference to be recorded and used for these purposes. Northwestern University prohibits students from making their own recordings of class meetings.

By registering your child for a CTD program, you are indicating consent for CTD to make use of these technology platforms in the delivery of programs and services to you and your child.

By registering your child for a CTD program, you are also indicating consent for CTD to allow your child to use other online tools and resources it selects for individual courses and programs within the limits of FERPA, COPPA, other applicable laws, and CTD and Northwestern University policies.

Use of Schoology, Zoom, and CTD’s Google Suite for Education

NUIT security specialists have pre-vetted Schoology, Northwestern’s instance of Zoom, and CTD’s instance of Google Suite for Education for safe, COPPA-compliant use with our students.

CTD instructors are not to use with students any additional apps or platforms that require students to create individually identifiable user accounts without first getting clearance from a CTD program coordinator. Teachers may incorporate links or embedded content from third party sites that do not require student logins into their Schoology course pages provided they have previewed the content to ensure its appropriateness without first seeking approval from their CTD program coordinator.

Schoology Privacy Policy and Terms of Use

CTD uses Schoology as its learning management system. The privacy policy and terms of use are available on the Schoology website.

Google Workspace for Education

Some CTD programs use Google software applications that are part of Google Workspace for Education. By registering your child for a CTD program, you indicate your consent for your child to use Google Workspace for Education.

You also acknowledge that (a) your child’s data accessible by Google may include personally identifiable information from education records that may be subject to FERPA ("FERPA Records") and (b) to the extent that student data includes FERPA Records, Google will comply with FERPA. "FERPA" means the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (20 U.S.C. 1232g) and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act Regulations (34 CFR Part 99), as amended or otherwise modified from time to time.

For more information about Google Workspace for Education Privacy Policies, please see

CTD's administrators have the ability to access, monitor, use, or disclose data available to end users within the end user accounts through the Google Workspace for Education administrative console for the purpose of administering CTD's programs, investigating concerns regarding student safety, or complying to requests from law enforcement authorities. Otherwise, CTD will not use or share with third parties any user data in CTD's Google Workspace for Education domain without first obtaining additional user consent.

CTD will make reasonable efforts to prevent unauthorized use of Google services in its domain, and will notify Google of any unauthorized use of, or access to, the Services of which it becomes aware. CTD does not endorse content created by its students or their parents that may be housed or shared via Google Workspace for Education.

2023 © Northwestern University Center for Talent Development