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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

Spotlight on Psychology: Human Relationships & Technology

How wired are your relationships today? This course examines relationships and technology. Gain an understanding of how the world of social media has changed how we interact with each other and how we may become more disconnected than ever. Technology allows humans to multi-task but does it also alter your brain? Discover how the study of psychology is changing with life online. Learn about the future of psychology and technology and examine what our lives and relationships may look like in the future.

 New cohorts begin monthly throughout the year.

Video Tutorial | CTD Online Application

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Details

Application Process for Students in Grades 6 through 8

The Online Honors Electives Program at CTD welcomes applications from returning applicants as well as new score and portfolio applicants in grades 6 through 8. For students in grades 6 through 8, Online Honors Electives courses are considered to be part of our Indigo Tier. 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 6 through 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 Indigo Tier, within the previous twenty-four months. 
  • You are now applying for an Online Honors Electives course with the same qualifying subject area (Verbal, Math or Science) you used to qualify for a CTD course you previously completed.

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

  • You have never attended any CTD program and you have qualifying above grade-level test scores in the qualifying subject area (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 Online Program, but you are now applying for a course with a different qualifying subject area (Verbal, Math or Science) and you have qualifying above grade-level test scores. (e.g. NUMATS)

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

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

              1) never taken an 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 (Home-school 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 Honors Electives 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 or above grade-level test.

Application Process for Students in Grades 9 through 12

The Online Honors Electives 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 9 through 12 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, within the previous twenty-four months. 
  • You are now applying for an Online Honors Electives course with the same qualifying subject area (Verbal, Math or Science) you used to qualify for a CTD course you previously completed.

New Scores Applicant
You are a new scores applicant if you are grade 9 through 12 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 Summer Program, or Online Program, but you are now applying for a course with a different qualifying subject area (Verbal, Math or Science) 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 9 through 12 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 Honors Electives 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

Many Online Honors Electives courses have prerequisites. Please read the course description carefully.

Eligiblity requirements differ between students in grades 6 through 8 and students in grades 9 through 12.

To qualify for Magenta Tier Online Honors Electives Courses students must be in grade 9 through 12 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, 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 3, 4, 5, or 6, the ACT® or SAT® test taken in grades 6, 7 or 8 (NUMATS) within the last two years.

To qualify for Inidgo Tier Online Honors Electives 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) 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.

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 

 18 week Online Honors Electives Course

  • 2019 - 20 Academic Year $725

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 Honors Electives program is the last day of the month prior to the start date of the course. (e.g. December 31st for a January 15th start).  If your FACTS application is delayed it may be necessary to either pay the full course fee OR move the start date for your course back by one month.
  • 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 work independently, guided by an instructor providing rigorous coursework, and feedback. Students should be active learners, able to learn without face-to-face interaction, communicate regularly and meet academic and technical challenges.

While courses are designed for flexible pacing, students should plan to spend 5 - 7 hours per week for timely completion. The ability to manage deadlines, stay focused, and persevere will be essential to a successful experience.

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 allowing them to gain access to the learning management system (LMS), Schoology, which houses GLL courses.
  • Course access begins on the official start date.
  • The GLL 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 instructor-supervised online meetings.

Evaluations

Students will receive an evaluation at the conclusion of the course. Students successfully completing the course with a grade of C- or better will receive one high school credit through CTD. Transcripts will be mailed to the home address. Students who wish to have a transcript mailed to their school should choose the “Send Transcript” option on the application.
Unofficial transcripts are available for download in MyCTD. Once logged in to you MyCTD account, click on "Tools" in the menu bar, and then select "Transcript".

As an accredited institution, CTD issues credits to students successfully completing honors and AP® courses. However, acceptance of CTD credits is a local school decision. Students should discuss this option with their academic counselor or school administrator.

For Schools

The CTD Online Program offers special group tuition rates to schools, regional and state education agencies, gifted parent groups, and homeschooling organizations that sign up five or more students.

The Online Program's learning platform allows local teachers, gifted coordinators, or counselors to communicate with their students and monitor their progress and grades in credit-bearing courses, making CTD Online Programs courses easy to integrate with in-school learning.

Schools and groups may apply for a School Group Code, which allows students to bypass the payment section of an application.

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.

Qualifying Test Scores

Requisite scores in the subject area of the course applied for on an above-grade-level test through NUMATS or similar program:

EXPLORE® test taken in grade 5 or 6 (if applying as a student in grade 7 or 8)

  • R: 14, M: 15 &/or S: 16

ACT® or SAT® test taken in grade 6, 7, 8, or 9, or

  • ACT® : R: 19, M: 18 &/or S: 18
  • SAT®:  R: 440, M 460

Successful completion, within the past two years, of a previous CTD credit or credit intensive course with the same qualifying subject area criteria

See CTD Eligibility for more details.

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

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 Elective, 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). 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. (see attached screenshot for more details).

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 II has a prerequisite of Algebra I.

How do I know when my materials have been received?

Materials will not be marked “received” until an Online Program 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.

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 Elective, Online AP®, or Online ASO classes may request up to 3 one month extensions from their instructor.

Extensions are granted on an individual basis. At a minimum, students need to have completed more than half of the course to qualify for an extension. A student must have demonstrated the desire and capacity to complete the course in order for an extension request to be approved. Course extensions must begin on the course end date and are consecutive. Students can’t delay extensions. Course extensions are not available for core essentials or enrichment courses. A $100 fee is assessed for each month of an extension. 

Are there online lectures?

No. Courses are facilitated independent study. That means students login 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 CTD's refund policies, visit our Refunds & Withdrawals 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 Honors Electives courses require approximately 5 - 7 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

History Through Biography

See description for dates and times
Description

This course presents 20th Century American History as shown in historical biographies and literature. Students will choose biographies from four categories (Military/Politics, Science/Industry, Civil Rights, Entertainment/Sports) and one work of period literature for a total of five books. Through the lens of the individuals studied, students will learn about important history and trends of the century and also relate the information to their own lives.

HIGH SCHOOL CREDIT AVAILABLE: 1 Semester

Program
GLL Honors Electives
Subject Area
Arts & Humanities
Location
Online

Java + Math = Visual FX

See description for dates and times
Description

Mathematics and technical programming skills are becoming increasingly important for game development and computer simulations of the physical world. Students in this course are taught to use vectors, coordinate spaces, matrices, transformations, and other mathematical objects and functions to create 2D and 3D visual effects while further developing their technical skill as Java programmers. This application of mathematics to computer graphics affords students the opportunity to develop powerful intuitions about advanced math concepts.

Prerequisite: Algebra I

HIGH SCHOOL CREDIT AVAILABLE: 1 Semester

Sample syllabi available here

Program
GLL Honors Electives
Subject Area
Technology & Engineering
Location
Online

Pre-Med: Psychology & Behavioral Medicine

See description for dates and times
Description

The medical field has become increasingly interdisciplinary in recent years, and this is reflected in the exam content of the MCAT exam for admission to medical school.  One of the four sections of the MCAT exam involves the psychological, social, and biological foundations of behavior that includes a focus on both psychology and sociology. This course focuses on the key psychological, sociological, and biological concepts that are important for success in medical school and other careers related to the health as well as statistical methods and analysis. Each of these exciting disciplines will be explored from the perspective of health professionals.

HIGH SCHOOL CREDIT AVAILABLE: 1 Semester

Sample syllabi available here

Program
GLL Honors Electives
Subject Area
Science
Location
Online

Psychology

See description for dates and times
Description

Examine theories about personality and the biological factors that may affect behavior, learning, memory, psychological disorders, and therapy. Design and conduct experiments, analyze data, and report discoveries about mental and emotional processes.

HIGH SCHOOL CREDIT AVAILABLE: 1 Semester

Sample syllabi available here

Program
GLL Honors Electives
Subject Area
Arts & Humanities
Location
Online

Psychology: Human Relationships & Technology

See description for dates and times
Description

Can society and institutions, and schools in particular, step back from technology use and what are the implications? Discover the influence technology has on the individual and society in general. A fast-growing area in psychology, students will grapple with the impact of today’s “connected” environment on their brains and relationships.

HIGH SCHOOL CREDIT AVAILABLE: 1 Semester

Sample syllabi available here

Program
GLL Honors Electives
Subject Area
Arts & Humanities
Location
Online
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