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. These parent seminars are free and open to the public. The winter schedule will be updated by mid-December.



Application Process

The Weekend Enrichment Programs welcome 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 age 4 through grade 8 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 a WEP 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 age 4 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 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 CTD 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);

New Portfolio Applicant
You are a portfolio applicant if you are in the winter of grade 2 through grade 8 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 


             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 WEP 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.


A small number of WEP courses have prerequisites. Please read individual course descriptions carefully for more information. 

Admission Opportunity for Young Children: CTD offers multiple course options to accommodate the developmental needs of 4-year-olds:

  • 4-year-old students with limited or no school experience may wish to start in CTD’s 4-year-old only courses.  No testing is required for these Amber tier courses.
  • 4-year-old students ready for CTD's PreK/K Emerald tier courses, must provide qualifying subject area test scores. See CTD's eligibility page for more information, or visit our young student testing page to schedule a testing appointment for your child. 
  • Students with considerable pre-school experience who are performing above age-level expectations are strongly encouraged to apply, with appropriate testing, to PreK/K Emerald tier courses.

To qualify for Emerald tier Weekend Enrichment Program (WEP) courses, students must be 4 years old through grade 8 and must also provide one of the following:

  • Achievement of  a score of 90thpercentile or higher on a nationally normed grade-level assessment in the required qualifying subject area (Verbal or Math) for the desired course; OR
  • Successful 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.

Fees, Withdrawals and Financial Aid


  • Fall 2018 8-week session: $430
  • Winter 2019 8-week session: $430
  • Spring 2019 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.
  • 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 WEP programs is approximately 2 weeks prior to the start of the session.
  • 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.

Course Environment

Key Aspects that Make the WEP Environment Unique

  • Extensive time is spent in-depth with 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 
Northwestern University

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

Palatine, IL
Quest Academy 
500 N. Benton St.

AM classes: 9am-11:30am

Chicago, IL
Frances Xavier Warde School
751 N. State St.

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

Naperville, IL 
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

Acceptance notifications are sent via e-mail two to three weeks following receipt of a completed application. This email contains a link to the enrolled student page, which includes access to the family handbook, health forms, and other important program and site information. 


Enrolled families should send questions and concerns to . For general inquires or questions related to CTD admissions processes, please contact our Admissions & Pathways Advising team at


Student absences: Once the session begins, switching from one section to another (i.e. from a morning section to an afternoon section) of the same course is not permitted. Students must only attend the section into which they are accepted. CTD does not have make-up classes available. If your child will be absent from any class during a session, please report the student’s absence via this form:



All Weekend Enrichment Program students receive a brief 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