CTD Works with Schools to Improve Practice

Dr. Sophie, Superintendent at Lake Bluff School District 65, explains how her district has benefitted from a collaboration with CTD to meet the needs of their advanced learners.

Forms & Downloads:



CTD can advise you about programming options, provide feedback on your program materials, help revise policies, or plan parent programming that reflects best practices and meets state and national policy guidelines.

We would be happy to discuss a customized consulting approach that meets your needs and budget.

Contact us at ctd-school-services@northwestern.edu or 847/491-3782 to discuss a proposal for services.

Gifted Program Evaluation and Policy

CTD can help assure your gifted program reflects best practices and meets state and national policy guidelines.

  • Customized consulting to design or improve existing programs and services
  • Evaluation of your gifted program and related services using National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) programming standards
  • Policy development and/or document review for identification, program placement, and academic acceleration

Contact us at ctd-school-services@northwestern.edu or 847/491-3782 to discuss a proposal for services.

Professional Development

Targeted professional development regarding the needs of high ability or gifted students and best practices for instruction enables educators to be more effective, especially since many educators do not receive training as part of their teacher preparation programs. CTD provides a wide range of learning opportunities for educators.

  • Educator Boot Camp (a 15-hour introduction to gifted education)
  • Face-to-face conferences and workshops held at Northwestern University each fall and spring
  • Customizable online, face-to-face, or hybrid workshops and trainings for educators and administrators at your site led by nationally recognized personnel on topics including, but not limited to, identification best practices, social-emotional needs, differentiation, and service-learning and leadership
  • Opportunities to work in CTD summer, online, or weekend programs, providing on-the-job skills and experience

View current offerings or contact us at ctd-school-services@northwestern.edu or 847/491-3782 to discuss a proposal for services.

Assessment and Growth Monitoring for High-Performing Students

Grade-level tests, including state and popular computer-adaptive exams, do not have sufficient ceilings to measure the full extent of high-achieving students' knowledge. In contrast, above-grade-level assessment offered through Northwestern University's Midwest Academic Talent Search (NUMATS) provides the data needed to accurately unmask exceptional potential, determine a zone of proximal development, differentiate instruction, measure growth, and demonstrate the impact of services for accountability purposes. Assessment with CTD's NUMATS offers you significant value.

  • Benchmarks the performance of your gifted students against peers in districts with similar demographics
  • Above-grade-level assessment via PSATTM 8/9 in grades 3-6 and SAT or ACT in grades 6-9, pinpoints what students know and are ready to do academically
  • Provides recommendations for course sequences and appropriate services

Contact us at ctd-school-services@northwestern.edu or 847/491-3782 to discuss a proposal for services.

Programming for Students and Parents

Expand the enrichment and accelerated programming you are able to provide to students, utilizing CTD's expertise and high-quality programs. Engage students in CTD's online, summer, spring break, and weekend programs or collaborate to tailor a program for your school or district, from STEM and humanities to service-learning and leadership. Provide parents with the information and resources they need to support their child's talent development. 

  • Opportunities to collaborate with CTD to provide online, weekend, after school, or summer programming for students
  • Conferences and free seminars for parents
  • Online communities for parents and students facilitated by CTD staff (CTD Backpack)

Contact us at ctd-school-services@northwestern.edu or 847/491-3782 to discuss a proposal for customized services.

Collaborations | Analytics, Scholarship Opportunities, and High-Quality Content

CTD collaborates with business and organizations to extend the range of programs and services available to students, families and educators.

Current Collaborations

ECRA Group

ECRA Group is a premier research and analytics consulting firm that helps educational leaders improve student outcomes by adopting more evidence-based practices. ECRA Group combines consulting, professional development, and advanced analytic technology to empower educational leaders at the local level with solutions to ensure energy and resources are directed toward what truly matters for students.

ECRA Group’s partnership with The Center for Talent Development offers local school districts personalized learner profiles to implement policies related to the identification and monitoring of advanced learners. To learn more, contact CTD and download a PDF of Meeting the Needs of Advanced Learners, a joint publication of CTD and ECRA Group for school administrators interested in learning more about best practices.

Jack Kent Cooke Foundation

The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation is dedicated to advancing the education of exceptionally promising students who have financial need. By offering the largest scholarships in the country, comprehensive counseling and other support services to students from grade 7 to graduate school, the Foundation is dedicated to ensuring high-performing, low-income students have the support necessary to develop their talents and excel educationally.

CTD works with the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation to connect students to the Young Scholars program and provide parents, students, and educators with resources and support necessary for talent development. Learn more by visiting CTD's Scholarship and Grants web page.

World Science Festival | World Science Scholars

The World Science Festival gathers great minds in science and the arts to produce live and digital content that allows a broad general audience to engage with scientific discoveries. Through discussions, debates, theatrical works, interactive explorations, musical performances, intimate salons, and major outdoor experiences, the Festival takes science out of the laboratory and into the streets, parks, museums, galleries and premier performing arts venues of New York City and beyond. Check out the video library, which offers information on a wide range of science topics.

The related World Science Scholars identifies and selects a small group of high school sophomores and juniors worldwide who have demonstrated extraordinary mathematical talent and provides them with a unique opportunity to grapple with challenging ideas and explore new disciplines in which to apply their abilities.

Information and Resources for Educators and Administrators

CTD publishes a monthly e-mail digest for school personnel. Each email includes updates on professional learning opportunities, news about CTD programs and events, and articles and links about best practices or hot topics in the field if gifted education.

To subscribe to the monthly digest, complete the online subscription form. Digests are sent around the 15th of each month.

Distributing Information to Families about Educational Opportunities for Advanced Learners

Students and their families are Center for Talent Development’s first priority, and we are careful to protect our students’ information. We do, however, recognize the value in supplying family mailing labels to selective programs that recruit gifted and academically talented students. Students benefit from knowing their options for educational programming, and our label rental services allow us to increase student awareness of learning alternatives designed specifically for them.

If you run a gifted education program that may be of interest to CTD students, view CTD's Label Rental Instructions & Application to learn more. If you have questions, please contact Andrew Bauer at Andrew.Bauer@northwestern.edu.

Label Rental Instructions and Application


Organizations may also be interested in purchasing a listing in CTD's Educational Program Guide. Contact Andrew Bauer at Andrew.Bauer@northwestern.edu for more information.

Educational Program Guide Application

Copyright 2014 Northwestern University Center for Talent Development