GLL Enrichment Page Block with Video

Gifted LearningLinks allows high ability students to:

  • Access advanced subject matter, including credit-bearing honors and AP® level courses
  • Learn at an accelerated pace anytime and anywhere
  • Receive personalized guidance from expert instructors
  • Engage online with peers from around the world

NEW!

Online Enrichment courses for high school students and highly motivated middle school students. Based on feedback from CTD families, many high school students wanted the chance to explore a topic without the pressure of grades. Our Exploring Genetics and Ancient History: Greece courses have been designed to provide a rich and fascinating experience while learning for learning's sake.
 

Video Tutorial | CTD Online Application

 

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Details

Application Process

The Online Enrichment Program at CTD welcomes applications from returning applicants as well as new score and portfolio applicants. Before beginning the online application, determine which type of applicant you are based on the descriptions below. 

Returning Applicant
You are a returning applicant if you are in grade 3 through 10 and you 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 an Online Core Enrichment 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 grade 3 through 11 and you meet any one of the following criteria: 

  • You have never attended any CTD program 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  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, the ACT® or SAT® test taken in grades 6, 7 or 8 (NUMATS) within the past two years;

New Portfolio Applicant
You are a portfolio applicant if you are in grade 3 through 11 and the following is applicable to you:

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

             1) never taken a nationally normed standardized achievement 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 (homeschool students may submit two teacher recommendations from non-family member adults who can speak to their capabilities in lieu of a teacher recommendation. Family members may not submit teacher recommendations for students); 
  • Required: most recent school report card indicating exceptional performance in the subject area of the Online Enrichment 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 such as PSAT™8/9 taken in middle school.

Eligibility

To qualify for Emerald tier Online Enrichment Courses, students must be in grade 3 through 10 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 past 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 and the student’s most recent report card, demonstrating that the student is performing exceptionally well in the qualifying subject area; OR
  • Participation in above grade-level testing such as the PSAT™8/9 test taken in grades 3, 4, 5, or 6, the ACT® or SAT® test taken in grades 6, 7 or 8 (NUMATS) within the last two years.

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 and Accelerated Placement web page for more information about the process, timeline, and required materials.

Fees, Withdrawals and Financial Aid

Tuition 

 Nine-week Online Enrichment Course

  • 2019 - 20 Academic Year $565 

Withdrawal Policy

  • Requests for withdrawals and refunds must be made in writing before the course begins. E-mail requests should be sent to CTD-admissions@northwestern.edu.
  • Withdrawals are subject to a processing fee of $60.
  • Withdrawals that occur after the course start date, but before the 21st day, are refunded 50% of the tuition, less the processing fee.
  • After the 21st day (including orientation and late starts) no refunds may be granted.  
  • Refunds may take up to eight weeks to appear in the account from which they were paid depending on the type of account and the billing cycle. 

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 complete a financial aid application for Online Enrichment programs is the last day of the month prior to the start date of the course. (e.g. December 31st for a January 15th start)
  • You will recieve 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.
  • Beginning in August of 2019, CTD has one FACTS application link for all 2019-2020 programs.  It is no longer necessary to attach different program links to your FACTS account if applying to multiple programs for the 2019-2020 academic year.
  • If you previously completed a FACTS application for the 2018-2019 academic year for CTD, you must still attach the 2019-2020 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.

Course Environment

Students will be engaged in academically stimulating and engaging activities designed to develop higher-level thinking skills. A student should have a keen interest in the subject, be eager to work through academic challenges, and have a desire to learn using technology.

While students will have flexibility in terms of when they log on, courses' weekly pacing guides are designed to help students stay on track. The student’s ability to manage their time and adjust their effort are keys to success to success.

Students should expect to spend 2-5 hours per week engaged in course activities. Our dedicated instructors will initiate and guide online discussions, but students should possess effective communication skills including proficient reading and writing skills and feel comfortable asking questions.

Instructors make every effort to schedule real-time class sessions around busy schedules. When attendance is not possible, students can access recordings of real-time class sessions anytime after they occur.

Schoology, CTD's course environment, is a secure, user-friendly platform designed specifically for K - 12 online learners.

Program Orientation

  • Acceptance notifications are sent via e-mail upon receipt of a completed application.
  • Prior to the course start date, students receive login information approximately 24 - 48 hours before the course date allowing them to gain access to the learning management system (LMS), Schoology, which houses online courses.
  • Course access begins on the official start date.
  • The CTD Online Program experience starts with a virtual online orientation for all new students (returning students are welcome to repeat the orientation).
  • Syllabi, assignments, timelines, discussion boards, links and more are found on the course site, which is available 24/7.
  • Primary communication with the course instructor and/or classmates occurs within the learning management system. Depending on the nature of the subject matter and student preferences, instructors may use additional tools including, but not limited to, discussion boards, the phone, and teacher-supervised online class meetings.

Evaluations

Students will be e-mailed a narrative evaluation that comments on the student’s academic performance and online learning skills including communication and time management as well as future course recommendations.

Evaluations can also be accessed through the family's MyCTD account.

For Schools

CTD offers discounted group tuition to schools and education organizations. To learn more about how schools can partner with CTD, email gll@northwestern.edu for more information.

Technical Requirements

  • Students need access to a stable internet connection and updated web browser.
  • Participation in “live” online sessions may require a computer microphone or headset.
  • While iPads and tablet computers may be sufficient for most coursework, some web tools and/or websites may require the use of a computer or laptop.

FAQs

Online Program FAQs

What is the difference between the various categories of courses?

Online Family Program courses are for students in grades K - 3. Your child does not need test scores to qualify for these courses, which are designed for parents and children to work on together. These courses begin four (4) times each year.

Online Core Essentials and Online Enrichment courses are for students in grades 3 - 8. Online Core Essentials courses are standard academic offerings while Online Enrichment courses are electives. Sessions begin four (4) times each year and last nine (9) weeks. They require approximately 2 - 5 hours of activity per week.

Online Honors and Online Honors Electives courses are designed for students in grades 6 - 12. They begin on the 15th of each month throughout the year. These are credit bearing high school-level courses that require approximately 5 - 7 hours of activity per week. Online Honors courses last 36 weeks while Online Honors Electives courses last 18 weeks.

Online AP® courses are one and two semester courses that have been authorized by the College Board. They are designed to prepare students for college-level work and for the AP® exams in May.

Online ASO (Accelerated Summer Option) courses are offered over the summer. They condense one and two semester high school level classes into intense nine (9) week sessions. One credit courses typically require 10 - 15 hours of activity each week for successful on-time completion, and two credit courses typically require 20 - 30 hours per week.

Why do students need to qualify for Online Program classes?

Our classes are designed for students working 1 - 2 grade levels above their chronological age. Not all students are ready for these courses, which are designed for learners who are advanced for their age and learn at a faster pace than most students. Our goal is not to be exclusive, but to ensure students are placed in a course that is appropriately challenging.

How can my child qualify?

Students can qualify in one of three ways:

Fast Track Returning Student – this method is for any student who has been accepted into a similar CTD course within the past two years. If you were previously accepted into an Online Core Essentials or Online Enrichment course and are now applying for an Online Honors,Online Honors Electives, Online AP® or Online ASO course, you may NOT apply as a “fast track” participant.

New Student/New Scores – If you are applying for an Online Core Essentials or Online Enrichment class, you may apply with scores at or above the 90th percentile (in the subject area of the course to which the student is applying) from any test with a national percentile ranking (NPR). We also accept ASSET test scores. You may apply for Online Honors, Online Honors Electives,Online AP® or Online ASO courses with PSAT, SAT or ACT scores. On the program page, click on “Qualifying Test Scores” to learn exactly what scores are required.

Admission Portfolio – This method is for students who do not have the appropriate tests or scores. Students must submit two (2) teacher recommendations and a recent report card. Many students qualify with the portfolio method.

What is the procedure for applying?

First, complete the online application form and pay for the course. Second, submit your qualifying materials. Finally, wait to hear from the Admissions Committee.

When do I pay for my child’s course?

In order to upload qualifying materials and be considered by the Admissions Committee, you will need to pay when you apply. If you have not paid, qualifying materials such as teacher recommendations cannot be uploaded into your application. If your child is not accepted into their course, you will receive a full refund.

What is a nationally-normed test?

This is a test that compares students’ scores in the same grade across the entire nation.

What is a prerequisite?

A prerequisite is identified by the instructor as the knowledge or skills necessary to start a course. For instance, Algebra 2 has a prerequisite of Algebra 1.

How do I know when my materials have been received?

Materials will not be marked “received” until a CTD staff member checks them in. During busy periods, this can take up to five business days. You can check your MyCTD Toolbox account to see if materials have been “received.”

What does it mean when my child’s application is marked “complete”?

It means that you have submitted all of the necessary qualifying materials. The next stop for your child’s application is the Admissions Committee. They will contact you with more information.

When will I hear if my child has been accepted?

The Admissions Committee meets several weeks before course start dates. They review applications on a rolling basis and only consider completed applications (i.e. all qualifying materials have been submitted). They will contact you with their decision or with a request for more information. Login information is sent 24-48 hours before the start of class.

When will I receive textbook information?

Your acceptance email will contain a link to our online bookstore. You can purchase the book from MBS or any other bookstore.

Can my child work at his/her own pace?

Yes. Our courses are flexibly paced and independent study. Students may complete their course in less than the allotted time.

What if my child does not finish the work by the end of the session?

Online Core Essentials, Online Enrichment and Online Family Program courses end after 9 weeks. Students in Online Honors, Online Honors Electives, Online AP® or Online ASO classes may request up to 3 one month extensions from their instructor. Extensions cost $100 each.

Are there online lectures?

No. Courses are facilitated independent study. That means students log in and work according to their own schedule. Instructors, who have designed the course, grade assignments, give feedback, and are available to answer any questions. Students may be directed to other websites that may include lectures or articles

Who teaches Online Program courses?

Our instructors come from various professional backgrounds and are selected because of their mastery of the subject matter, teaching experience, enthusiasm, and ability to work with gifted students. Teachers receive guidance and support from experts in online learning design.

What is the procedure for requesting financial aid?

Need-based financial aid is available for most CTD programs. Families are encouraged to apply early as the amount of aid available is limited. Please see Financial Aid Opportunities for more information.

What is the Online Program’s refund policy?

To learn more about our refund policy, please visit our Refund & Withdrawal Policies page.

How many courses can my child apply for at one time?

Please consider your child’s schedule when applying for multiple classes. Online Enrichment courses require approximately 2 - 5 hours of work per week. Many students successfully take multiple courses at a time. However, if your child is new to online learning, we recommend starting with one or two courses and then consider increasing involvement over time once your student is comfortable in the online environment.

Courses

Classical Mythology: Myths of Ancient Greece & Rome (3-5)

September 15, 2019 - November 17, 2019
Description

In what ways do myths of the past exemplify the cultural values of yesterday and today?

In what ways do myths of the Ancient Greek and Roman world still teach us about worldviews and truths of the ancient and modern values? Mythology provides a window to the world—past and present. Become familiar with the world of gods, goddesses and other mystic beings through the legends of the ancient world from Greece and Rome. As you examine the literary elements, discover why these stories continue to fascinate readers and scholars today. Each week, we will focus on a different theme and complete short, open-note comprehension quizzes, discussion posts, and fun projects. The course will conclude with students writing their own myth or modernization of an ancient myth!

Eligibility: http://www.ctd.northwestern.edu/eligibility

Program
GLL Enrichment
Subject Area
English & Language Arts
Location
Online

Geometry of Architecture (3-5)

September 15, 2019 - November 17, 2019
Description

Walking through neighborhoods and towns, it is easy to look past the carefully-placed geometric shapes that make up homes, buildings, and other structures. This course will help students understand the basic geometric shapes and their properties through the lens of architecture. Students will also learn about the six basic elements of geometry: point, segment, ray, line, angle, and triangle. In learning such fundamental mathematics, students will develop an appreciation for the beauty and charm that exist in the world around them, wherever they may be!
 

Program
GLL Enrichment
Subject Area
Mathematics
Location
Online

Mysteries of the Deep (3-5)

September 15, 2019 - November 17, 2019
Description

The ocean, the source of life, is still a mystery to us. To begin to understand this biome and its life forms, students employ marine physics, geology, chemistry, biology and meteorology. Young oceanographers discover the diversity of ocean life and the powerful forces at work in the deepest layer of our planet.

Eligibility: http://www.ctd.northwestern.edu/eligibility

Program
GLL Enrichment
Subject Area
Science
Location
Online

Climate Detectives: The Science of Climate Change (3-5)

September 15, 2019 - November 17, 2019
Description

According to NPR, 4 out of 5 parents want climate change to be taught in schools.

Explore how our use of energy affects the earth, especially our climate and the role of greenhouse gases.  Plotting our carbon footprints and tracing the energy used to create and maintain our lifestyles helps us understand our relationship to our environment. Will scientists be able to predict what our future climate will be like by looking at the past? We will investigate how climate scientists study our world.

Eligibility: http://www.ctd.northwestern.edu/eligibility

Program
GLL Enrichment
Subject Area
Science
Location
Online

Puzzle Masters (3-5)

September 15, 2019 - November 17, 2019
Description

How do you decide what strategy will work best in a given problem situation?
Push your math skills to new levels! Discover new ways to strategize. Extend your thinking to approach and solve a variety of math and logic problems 24/7. Math stumpers, tangrams, Sudoku and riddles are just a few of the puzzles participants strategize with as they advance their skills to higher and higher levels.  Final projects for this course will be student choice.

Program
GLL Enrichment
Subject Area
Mathematics
Location
Online

Introduction to Latin I (4-6)

September 15, 2019 - November 17, 2019
Description

How is modern culture influenced by Roman language and culture?

Learn Latin vocabulary and grammar through translations while you explore ancient mythology and society. Deduce the meanings of English words, enhancing your vocabulary in both English and Latin.

Eligibility: http://www.ctd.northwestern.edu/eligibility

Program
GLL Enrichment
Subject Area
English & Language Arts
Location
Online

Online Writing Workshop (6-8)

September 15, 2019 - November 17, 2019
Description

What compels you to read a story all the way to the end?

This workshop immerses students in the writing process by engaging them in the act of writing with an online teacher and peers. Writing done throughout the week will be discussed in real time chats on many of the Wednesday evenings and Saturday mornings during the course. 

Students will complete one story that is from ten to fifteen pages in length, or fifteen pages of Part One of a chapter book. Student work will address many of the elementary through middle school standards through discussions of how characters, plot, and setting are developed, as well as use of grammar, spelling, punctuation, and effective sentence and paragraph development. 

Extensive revision of work is the final step: detailed editing is guided by the teacher, modeling appropriate grammar, word choice, story structure, and logic of plot. Students will have also learned how to participate in a close-knit, collaborative writing community.

Eligibility: http://www.ctd.northwestern.edu/eligibility

Program
GLL Enrichment
Subject Area
English & Language Arts
Location
Online

Stock Market Experiment (6-8)

September 15, 2019 - November 17, 2019
Description

How does money grow over time?

Endowed with $100,000 in your imaginary account, participate in a simulation of financial trading including common stocks and mutual funds from the NYSE and NASDAQ exchanges. Learn about the economics and psychology of the stock market and how to make informed investment decisions, which could affect the rest of your life.

Eligibility: http://www.ctd.northwestern.edu/eligibility

Program
GLL Enrichment
Subject Area
Mathematics
Location
Online

Introduction to the United Nations (5-7)

September 15, 2019 - November 17, 2019
Description

What is the United Nations? How has the United Nations shaped world politics in the past? What role will the United Nations play in the future?

This course will introduce the evolution, actions, and impact of the United Nations in the greater international order. Students will pair this knowledge and analysis as they learn the foundations of Model United Nations. We will conduct a simulation of the United Nations to predict the behavior or possible behavior of individual states within the international organization. 

Program
GLL Enrichment
Subject Area
Arts & Humanities
Location
Online

Python I (6-8)

September 15, 2019 - November 17, 2019
Description

Learn to write programs using a dynamic, object-oriented, open-source language that opens the door to future computer courses.  You'll learn the grammar of the Python programming language, how to plan and organize programs and strategies to debug programs.

NOTE: This program runs on Windows platforms.  Students may use MacOS or Linux.  Examples are done in Windows.

Eligibility: http://www.ctd.northwestern.edu/eligibility

Program
GLL Enrichment
Subject Area
Technology & Engineering
Location
Online

Think Like a Mathematician I: The Real Number System (7-10)

September 15, 2019 - November 17, 2019
Description

In these interactive courses*, you will learn to think like a mathematician. Solve fascinating and challenging problems about number, symmetry, change, and infinity. Develop innovative solution strategies and discuss/debate them with others. Analyze complex mathematical patterns and systems and even create some of your own!

Some tasks may address practical concerns ranging from internet security to long-term loans. Others will be abstract, mind-bending projects such as creating a visualization of a four-dimensional “doughnut.” Throughout the course, you will extend your knowledge of middle-school mathematics while making deep connections to challenging math concepts from high school and beyond.

*Think Like a Mathematician I: The Real Number System will be offered Fall 2019, Winter 2020 and Spring 2020

Think Like a Mathematician II: Geometry & Proportional Reasoning will be offered Winter 2020 and Spring 2020

Think Like a Mathematician III: Topology, Dynamics & Probability will be offered Spring 2020.

 

 

Program
GLL Enrichment
Subject Area
Mathematics
Location
Online

The Trojan War: Myth, Legend, Literature (6-10)

September 15, 2019 - November 17, 2019
Description

Why is ancient history relevant today?

The Trojan War captivated the ancient Greeks and Romans as, to some extent, it still does us today. What is the history of this famous ancient conflict? How did ancient authors portray its heroes, its villains, and its conflicts, both in writing and in the visual arts? What happened to Troy after its legend faded? How do we know about it today? These questions and more will be answered in this four week course that will examine the mythological background to the Trojan War, the literary and artistic sources for the war, and the legacy of the war, including the archaeology and excavation of the site.

Program
GLL Enrichment
Subject Area
Arts & Humanities
Location
Online
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