Saturday & Sunday Courses

Why participate in the Weekend Enrichment Programs? The Saturday & Sunday Enrichment Programs:

  • Offer a community of like-minded peers.
  • Provide challenging accelerated courses with admissions score criteria.
  • Present opportunities to delve deeper into a single topic and to develop an advantage in one’s area of strength.
  • Focus on the whole family, offering parent education workshops that address the social-emotional development of gifted learners.

Free Parent Seminars

Come hear from guest speakers on select Saturdays and Sundays during WEP sessions. Fall schedule will be available in September 2018. Check back here for updates at that time.



Application Process & Fees

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

New Applicant
You are a new applicant if you are age 4 through grade 9 and you meet either one of the following criteria:

  • You have never attended any CTD program and you have qualifying test scores that are no more than two years old.
  • You have previously attended a Weekend Enrichment Program, Gifted LearningLinks Program or the Summer Program, but you are now applying for a course in a different subject area and you have qualifying test scores.

Returning Applicant
You are a returning applicant if you are age 4 through grade 9 and you meet both of the following criteria: 

  • You have successfully completed a CTD course through the Weekend Enrichment Program, Summer Program or Gifted LearningLinks Program.
  • You are now applying for a WEP course in the same subject area of the CTD course you previously completed and wish to use your old scores as evidence of your qualifications for the program.

Portfolio Applicant
You are a portfolio applicant if you are in the winter of grade 2 through grade 8 and you meet the following criterion:

  • 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 test score.


  • Fall 2017 8-week session: $430
  • Winter 2018 8-week session: $430
  • Spring 2018 6-week session: $340

Withdrawal Policy

  • Requests for withdrawals and refunds must be made in writing by the Tuesday prior to the course start date. E-mail requests should be sent to
  • Withdrawals are subject to a processing fee of $60.
  • The tuition is nonrefundable after the Tuesday prior to the course start date.
  • Students who withdraw after the start of the program are not eligible for any refund.


Some WEP courses require prerequisites. Please see course descriptions for more information. 

Admission Opportunity for Young Children: Our youngest students (age 4 and 5) may enroll without test scores. See CTD's eligibility page for details. Students who are six years old by the start of or during a course session must apply for K/1 classes, and are not eligible for PreK/K classes.   ear-old kindergarten children with significant school experience should apply for K/1

courses, and should have testing done for the best course placement. Children who will be 6 bythe start of or during the course session for which they are applying are not eligible to takePreK/K courses.

Five-year-old kindergarten children with significant school experience should apply for K/1courses, and should have testing done for the best course placement. Children who will be 6 bythe start of or during the course session for which they are applying are not eligible to takePreK/K courses.

To qualify for the Weekend Enrichment Program (WEP) courses, students must be Kindergarten through grade 8 and must also provide evidence of one of the following criteria:

  • Within the last two years, successful completion of a CTD Weekend Enrichment Program, Gifted LearningLinks (excluding Family Program courses) or Summer Program course in the subject area of the WEP course to which student is applying;
  • Within the last two years, a score at the 90th percentile or above on a nationally normed standardized test (see below) in the subject area of the WEP course to which student is applying;
  • 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).
  • Qualifying academic evaluation (available to students age 5 through grade 3) performed by Center for Talent Development or a similar testing agency; or
  • Submission of an Admission Portfolio (an option only for students beginning in the winter of grade 2 through grade 8).

Admission Portfolio for Enrichment Classes

An Admission Portfolio is accepted once a student is in the winter of grade 2 and includes all the following documents:

  • Required: one teacher recommendation form indicating student is performing 1½ to 2 years above grade level in the subject area of the WEP course to which student is applying; 
  • Required: recent school report card indicating exceptional performance in the subject area of the WEP course to which student is applying; 
  • If available: most recent state testing report (e.g. NWEA/MAP); any results of PSAT™8/9, ACT®, SAT® or other nationally normed test

Acceptable Tests for WEP Eligibility

To prove eligibility for WEP, applicants may submit a nationally normed, standardized achievement test taken within the last two years demonstrating a score in the 90th percentile or above (National Percentile Rank) in math and/or reading. Below are examples of tests we have accepted for admission. (Please note: since achievement tests are preferred, cognitive ability tests, such as the Weschler tests, may require additional documentation.)

  • Center for Talent Development Academic Evaluation 
  • ACT® or SAT® Test
  • Stanford Achievement Test 
  • Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS)
  • Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) 
  • Terra Nova Test 
  • ERB Tests: Comprehensive Testing Program, Independent School Entrance Exam
  • Northwest Evaluation Association Tests (NWEA): Measures of Academic Progress (MAP), MAP for Primary Grades 
  • Otis-Lennon Test
  • Kaufman Test of Education Achievement (KTEA) 
  • Weschler Tests: WPPSI, WISC, WIAT 
  • Woodcock-Johnson Test 
  • Peabody Individual Achievement Test (PIAT) 
  • California Achievement Test 
  • PSAT™8/9
  • School and College Ability Test (SCAT) 
  • Any other achievement test with a National Percentile Rank (NPR %)
  • PARCC Test Update: Because new data is available on the validity and reliability of PARCC tests, CTD will now accept PARCC scores for admission to some programs. PARCC scores in the Exceeds category (Math or English/Language Arts) may be used to qualify for enrichment programming that requires a grade-level achievement score at the 90th percentile or 95th percentile.

Financial Aid Opportunities

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.

  • The deadline to apply for financial aid is approximately 2 weeks prior to the start of the session.
  • Please make sure to complete your FACTS financial aid application as soon as possible after you have applied to the program.
  • If you receive a notice from us regarding a missing or incomplete financial aid application, it must be completed within 10 days or by 5 p.m. on January 12, whichever occurs first.
  • The amount of financial aid awarded varies from partial to full tuition, and awards are based on family income and extenuating circumstances (e.g., loss of job, unforeseen medical expenses, etc.). Most families awarded aid have a total household income of less than $50,000.
  • Financial aid is awarded for one program and one session per child.
  • To be considered for financial aid, families must complete the Financial Aid Application, available once a family has applied through the online application. All supporting materials (tax information, statement of need, etc.) must be included in the financial aid submission in order for an application for financial aid to be considered.

Course Environment

Key Aspects that Make the WEP Environment Unique

  • Extensive time is spent in the classroom studying one subject. 
    • Choosing a course that suits a student's strengths and interests is crucial.
  • WEP courses are dynamic. 
    • Students engage in a variety of activities during each class session.
    • Students work independently, in pairs, and in small groups.
  • Classes are rigorous, designed to be up to 2 years academically advanced, and there is little unstructured time. 
    • This requires significant focus and energy on the part of the students.

Locations & Times

Evanston, IL (EV)
Northwestern University

AM classes: 9am-11:30am
PM classes (Saturday only): Noon-2:30pm

Palatine, IL (PA)
Quest Academy 
500 N. Benton St.

AM classes: 9am-11:30am

Chicago, IL (CH)
The Frances Xavier Warde School
Holy Name Campus 
751 N. State St.

AM classes: 9am-11:30am
PM classes: Noon-2:30pm 

Naperville, IL (NP)
North Central College 
31 N. Loomis St.

AM classes: 9am-11:30am

Safety & Conduct

The Weekend Enrichment Program (WEP) staff takes every reasonable step to ensure the safety and well-being of every WEP student, including the following:

  • Requiring a high standard for student conduct; and
  • Protecting student information.

In order to maintain a safe and inviting learning environment, WEP participants must adhere to the CTD Honor Code. The Honor Code establishes standards and expectations for student behavior and reflects CTD's commitment to fostering character development, integrity and respect for diversity. 

Information for Accepted Students

Families are notified of admission decisions by email. For accepted students, this email includes links to the your family handbook and other relevant information.

Program Orientation

Acceptance notifications are sent via e-mail two to three weeks following receipt of a completed application. Please pay special attention to this notification. It will include information about student course placement and a link to access further information on:

  • Program orientation
  • Program policies
  • Supplies
  • Behavioral expectations


All Weekend Enrichment Program students receive a narrative evaluation that includes comments on the student’s performance in class as well as recommendations for future study. These evaluations are available 6 weeks after the final WEP class of the session.  

Job Opportunities

CTD takes pride in having excellent instructional staff. Courses are designed to be rigorous hands-on experiences for academically advanced students. Visit the Weekend Enrichment Program Job Opportunities pages to learn more.


Visit CTD's Explore Courses page to view current course offerings.

Copyright 2014 Northwestern University Center for Talent Development