Empowering and serving the international gifted community through exemplary leadership in programs, research, and advocacy
This comprehensive University of Iowa Center for Gifted Education, housed in the College of Education, offers myriad student programming for grades 2-12 including Saturday and summer enrichment programs, above-level testing and access to free, online above-level courses for students whose schools do not offer those courses. The STEM Excellence and Leadership program is a grant-funded outreach program serving 10 rural districts. Summer programs for high-school students provide life-changing opportunities for personal and academic growth. These include a behind-the-scenes look at research careers and the ways and places we discover new knowledge on many different topics (Perry Research Scholars Institute); an intensive, highly selective, STEM research experience (Secondary Student Training Program); and art and writing residencies (Summer Art Residency, Summer Writing Residency) here at the University of Iowa, one of the premier arts campuses in the US, also home to the famed Iowa Writers Workshop and located in a UNESCO City of Literature.
Our educator programs enable teachers to make progress toward their Iowa TAG endorsements, maintain their teaching license requirements, or pursue career advancement through a variety of online and on-site courses and workshops or Iowa Licensure Renewal Units. We also have the pleasure of spending time with many educators who join us on campus in the summer. Some attend the Chautauqua program, which carries the benefit of enabling educators to earn half the credits they need for a TAG endorsement in just two weeks. Others become qualified to teach Advanced Placement (AP) courses, increasing the number of subject acceleration opportunities for gifted students across the U.S., at our AP Teacher Training Institute. Still others have been admitted to the prestigious Belin-Blank Fellowship, which aims to help teachers new to gifted education understand the qualities and needs of gifted individuals so they can better teach and develop the potential of those students.
We have also published extensive well-known research and tools in the field of gifted education, including A Nation Deceived, a seminal report highlighting disparities between the research on acceleration and the educational beliefs and practices that often run contrary to the research; its follow-up publication A Nation Empowered; the Iowa Acceleration Scale, which helps schools and families make decisions about whether and/or how to accelerate students; Developing Academic Acceleration Policies: Whole Grade, Early Entrance & Single Subject, which supports schools in creating comprehensive and research-based acceleration policies; and Ideal Solutions, a web-based system that provides student-centered feedback to inform decisions about academic acceleration in STEM subjects.
In short, the Belin-Blank Center:
- Identifies gifted, talented, and artistic learners;
- Offers specialized educational opportunities for students;
- Increases awareness and use of acceleration to enhance learning;
- Provides assessment, counseling, and consultation services;
- Develops curriculum resources and materials;
- Facilitates the professional development of educators;
- Disseminates information through conferences and publications;
- Leads in local, national, and international policy formation;
- Enhances educational opportunities through technology;
- Collaborates with the worldwide gifted community;
- Promotes access, diversity, and equity in developing talent.