Spectrum Video Pageblock

NEW for 2019!

Learn to craft a world-class fright in Scare Quotes: Horror Fiction, and build wealth through math in Financial Algebra. Returning favorites include Cold Open: Crafting Political Comedy, Open Source Science, and Imagining the Multiverse: Fanfiction Workshop.

Details

Application Process & Deadlines

Applications are submitted using MyCTD, the online course application system. Applicants are encouraged to apply early; many courses begin to fill as soon as mid-March. Complete applications are reviewed as they are received starting January 2. Applications are reviewed in the order in which they are completed.  Incomplete applications do not "hold a spot" in the desired course.  Additionally, the $500 deposit does not hold a seat in a course.

The grades 6 to 8 Spectrum Summer Program welcomes applications from returning 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.

Returning Applicant - Please read description carefully. Applicants must make sure they are qualified to apply as a returning applicant.
You are a returning applicant if you are in grade 6 through grade 8 and you meet both of the following criteria: 

  • You have successfully completed a CTD course through the  Summer Program or Online Program at the Magenta Tier or Indigo Tier (for Advanced Enrichment courses) or Indigo Tier (for Accelerated courses), within the previous twenty-four months. 
  • You are now applying for a grades 6 to 8 Spectrum Summer Program course with the same qualifying subject area (Verbal, Math or Science) as a CTD course you previously completed.

New Scores Applicant
You are a new scores applicant if you are in grade 6 through grade 8 and you meet either one of the following criteria:

  • You have not attended any CTD program for the past two years and you have qualifying test scores (Verbal, Math or Science) for your desired course that are no more than two years old.
  • You have previously attended a course with the Summer Program or CTD Online Program, but you are now applying for a course with a different qualifying subject area (Verbal, Math or Science) and you have qualifying test scores. 

New Portfolio Applicant
You are a portfolio applicant if you are in grade 6 through grade 8 and the following is applicable to you:

  • You do not have qualifying test scores because you have either:

             1) never taken the required grade-level assessment or above-grade-level test

OR

             2) taken this type of test but not achieved a qualifying score.

 An Admission Portfolio includes the following documents:

  • Required: one teacher recommendation form 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 state testing report (e.g. NWEA/MAP) or any results of a grade-level test.

Please note that students are to apply to the grade level that they are in as of January 2nd for Summer Program courses.  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.

Applicants are encouraged to apply early, as many courses close by mid-March. Due to the rolling enrollment nature of our program, 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. 

 

Our residential space is limited.  For the last several summers we have experienced more demand for residential space than we have the capacity to provide.  If you are interested in joining us as a residential student we encourage you to COMPLETE your application as soon as possible.

It can take up to a week for our staff to first review newly submitted applications as well as any documentation added to complete an application later. Until our staff has verified the documents it will not yet be reflected in what you see in MyCTD.  We kindly ask you to not call nor email 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 recieve an email once an admissions decision has been made.

Deadlines 

The application period for Spectrum Session 1 (June 30 - July 19, 2019) will close Friday, June 14th, 2019.  

The application period for Spectrum Session 2 (July 21 - August 9, 2019) will close Friday, June 28th, 2019. 

After May 14th, 2019, tuition increases by $100.00.

Applications submitted after Friday, June 10th must be accompanied by full tuition payment.

 

Eligibility Requirements

The grades 6 to 8 Spectrum Summer Program is comprised of courses representative of both the Magenta and Indigo eligibility tiers.  The qualifications for these two tiers are different due to the increased rigor of the Indigo accelerated, credit-bearing courses.  Please do make sure to thoroughly read the admissions requirements, including any prerequisites in the individual course descriptions.

To qualify for Magenta Tier Spectrum Advanced Enrichment Courses students must be in grade 6 through 8 and must also provide one of the following:

  • Achievement of a score of 95thpercentile or higher on a nationally normed grade-level assessment in the required qualifying subject area (Verbal, Math or Science) for the desired course. 
  • Successful past completion of a CTD course at the Magenta or Indigo Tier, with the same qualifying subject area (Verbal, Math or Science) within the past two years. 
  • Submission of a portfolio application, consisting of a teacher recommendation and the student’s most recent report card demonstrating that the student is performing exceptionally well in the qualifying subject area. 
  • Participation in above grade-level testing such as the PSAT™8/9 test taken in grades 4, 5, or 6, or the ACT® or SAT® test taken in grades 6, 7 or 8 (NUMATS) within the last two years.
  • Students from India, UAE, Kuwait or Singapore who have tested with ASSET Talent Search may be able to apply as new students with qualifying test scores.

To qualify for Indigo Tier Spectrum Accelerated Courses students must be in grade 6 through 8 and must also provide one of the following:

  • Qualifying score on an above grade-level assessment in the required qualifying subject area (Verbal, Math or Science) for the desired course.
  • Successful past completion of a CTD course, with the same qualifying subject area (Verbal, Math or Science)  at the Indigo Tier within the past two years.
  • Submission of a portfolio application, consisting of a teacher recommendation and the student’s most recent report card demonstrating that the student is performing exceptionally well in the qualifying subject area. 
  • Students from India, UAE, Kuwait or Singapore who have tested with ASSET Talent Search may be able to apply as new students with qualifying test scores.

Prerequisites and Graded Writing Sample

Many courses require additional prerequisites for admission, listed at the beginning of the course description. Any student applying to a course with a prerequisite must submit documentation showing the prerequisite has been met unless CTD already has such information from previous applcations, or if the prerequisite has been met via a CTD course.
 
Graded writing samples are required for English Language Arts classes in the Spectrum Program.  Evidence that the writing sample has been assessed for academic purposes can be provided on the writing sample itself or by sumbitting an accompanying rubric or other feedback that is clearly tied to the writing sample.  Providing an ungraded writing sample will result in a delay of the application being deemed complete and may cause an applicant to miss out on a class that fills to capacity.

 

FEES, FINANCIAL AID & WITHDRAWALS

Tuition 

  • Commuter student, tuition only: $2,185
  • Residential student tuition: $3,795

Withdrawal Policy

  • Requests for withdrawals and refunds must be made in writing by Monday, June 10th, 2019. E-mail requests should be sent to CTD-admissions@northwestern.edu.
  • Withdrawals are subject to a processing fee of $60.
  • Withdrawal requests made after the deadline will recieve 50% of fees paid, less the processing fee.
  • Students who withdraw after the start of the program are not eligible for any refund.
  • Once a refund has been initiated, it may take up to six weeks to appear in the account from which it was paid, depending on the type of account and the billing cycles.

Financial Aid

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 apply for financial aid for the Spectrum Summer Program is April 12, 2019.  However, funds are limited and historically our financial aid has been fully dispersed before the deadline date.
  • Financial aid applications are not reviewed until a student has completed their course application and has been placed into a class.  Acceptance emails for students who have indicated they are applying for financial aid are not sent until a financial aid decision has been rendered.
  • 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 have previously completed a FACTS application for CTD you must still begin with the current link in the application confirmation email for this year’s program.  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.
  • five-month payment plan is available for students in Spectrum.

Technology Scholarship

Students with financial need applying to technology courses may apply for the Sandra Denhardt Technology Scholarship.  For a list of eligible courses and more information please see our Scholarship Opportunities page.

The application deadline for this scholarship is April 15.

Payment Plan

A five-month payment plan option is available. The payment plan application is due within 30 days of acceptance. There is a $50 service charge for using the payment plan; families eligible for financial aid will not be assessed the service charge.

Reimbursement through a Flexible Spending Account

Parents with Flexible Spending Accounts may be eligible for tuition reimbursement; please consult your accountant or tax preparer.

Academics

Spectrum students enroll in one, three-week course per session and may attend one or both sessions each summer. Classes meet for five hours a day, five days a week. All courses require several hours of daily homework. Students receive a final evaluation on achievement and performance in the course; areas in need of further development; and student work habits and attitudes. Courses are generally limited to 18 students.

CTD is accredited through the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement, and students who complete a credit-bearing course with a C- or better are eligible for one or two semesters of high school credit. Students who wish to receive credit for a course should discuss their school’s policy concerning credit from outside institutions with an academic counselor or school administrator before applying. Advanced enrichment courses do not carry high school credit.

Campus Life

Spectrum students develop life-long friendships and enjoy a summer on Chicago's North Shore under the supervision of professional, caring staff. Residential students are assigned to co-gender floors, but roomed by gender; roommates are randomly assigned. Accessible bathrooms are available on each floor. Students eat with staff and University community members in dining halls. The weekend finds residential students enjoying a broad range of activities, such as social dances, off- and on-campus movies, museums, and talent shows.

Spectrum students who prefer to reside at home while participating in the Summer Program may choose to commute. Commuter students are dropped off and picked up at a central location monitored by Summer Program staff, and are encouraged to participate in afternoon activities and evening study sessions.

NOTE ON RESIDENCE HALL AVAILABILITY: Northwestern University residence halls are undergoing a major renovation project for the next several years. While CTD strives to provide space for all students who wish to reside with us on campus, available rooms may be limited and will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis. Due to renovation schedules, residence halls assigned to CTD may not have air conditioning.

Safety & Conduct

CTD takes every reasonable step to ensure student safety. Faculty and staff provide clear conduct guidelines and careful supervision. Students are coached in safety procedures, including the use of on-campus emergency phones; student ID cards are worn at all times and include emergency phone numbers on the back.

Summer Program participants must adhere to the CTD Honor Code, which establishes standards and expectations for student behavior and reflects CTD’s commitment to fostering character development, integrity and respect. Summer Program rules and policies help ensure the safety of our students and staff, and students are expected to abide by them.

Technology

Spectrum students are required to bring a personal laptop or tablet with word processing software and the ability to connect to the Internet. Some courses specifically require a laptop or a tablet; see course descriptions for details.

International Students

TOEFL, TOEFL Jr., or IELTS scores are required of students for whom English is not the first language.

The CTD Summer Program requires a student visa for any non-U.S. citizen/permanent resident. Please see the International Students Page for more information.

Courses

Open Source Science

June 30, 2019 - July 19, 2019 8:30 am to 2:45 pm
Description

This is a three-week, Monday-Friday course with a residential option.

Science doesn't stop at the laboratory's edge. Discover how researchers, science advocates, and everyday citizens turn research into practical application through political advocacy; participate in open-source research projects; distinguish between science and pseudo-science; and practice science writing outside the standard lab report format. Conversations with officials from Northwestern University and the City of Evanston will supplement this wide-ranging investigation of the most pressing scientific issues. 

ADMISSION CRITERIA:

  • ≥ 95th national percentile rank in verbal or reading on grade-level standardized achievement test (e.g. NWEA/MAP) OR 
  • SAT® OR ACT® (taken above-grade-level in grade 7 or 8) OR 
  • PSAT 8/9 (taken above-grade-level in grade 5 or 6) OR 
  • Admission Portfolio

QUALIFYING SCORE: Verbal
All CTD Courses are assigned to an eligibility tier with designated admission criteria. For more information please visit the CTD Eligibility page.

Program
Spectrum
Subject Area
Science
Location
Evanston, IL

Electronic Digital Instruments

July 21, 2019 - August 9, 2019 8:30 am to 2:45 pm
Description

This is a three-week, Monday-Friday course with a residential option.

The first digital instruments were expensive, gigantic, and only considered suitable for "experiments" by avant-garde composers. Fifty years later, digital instruments fit in the palm of your hand and are the backbone of popular music. Using Novation Launchpad Controllers, learn to manipulate audio in Ableton Live and create digital music of your own, while studying the history of computer music and the science behind your tracks. 

NOTES: A laptop computer (not a tablet) is required for this course. This course is Coughlin STEM Scholars eligible.
PREREQUISITES: Pre-Algebra AND demonstrated experience in one programming language
ADMISSION CRITERIA:

  • PSAT 8/9 M ≥450 OR R ≥24 OR 
  • SAT M ≥550 OR R ≥28 OR  
  • ACT M ≥22 OR ACT R >22 OR 
  • Admission Portfolio

QUALIFYING SCORE: Math or Verbal
HIGH SCHOOL CREDIT AVAILABLE THROUGH CTD: 1 Semester
All CTD Courses are assigned to an eligibility tier with designated admission criteria. For more information please visit the CTD Eligibility page.

Program
Spectrum
Subject Area
Technology & Engineering
Location
Evanston, IL

Market Crashers: Disruptors & Innovators

June 30, 2019 - July 19, 2019 8:30 am to 2:45 pm
Description

This is a three-week, Monday-Friday course with a residential option.

Whether Wikipedia supplanting encyclopedias or streaming video bankrupting Blockbuster®, the modern world is shaped by faster and faster disruptions to institutions and industries. Study the history of disruption from the printing press to modern companies like Uber® and Rent the Runway®, and create an original, industrial-strength disruptor based on market research and data. Hear from Chicago-area industry-shakers and gain professional insight into making your concept a reality. 

ADMISSION CRITERIA:

  • PSAT 8/9 R ≥24 OR EBRW 480 OR 
  • SAT R ≥28 OR EBRW 550 OR 
  • ACT R ≥22 OR  
  • Admission Portfolio 

QUALIFYING SCORE: Verbal
HIGH SCHOOL CREDIT AVAILABLE THROUGH CTD: 1 Semester
All CTD Courses are assigned to an eligibility tier with designated admission criteria. For more information please visit the CTD Eligibility page.

Program
Spectrum
Subject Area
Arts & Humanities
Location
Evanston, IL
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