The Gifted and Talented Education Specialist (GATES) certificate program at McDaniel College prepares teachers with initial certification to meet the curriculum, assessment, and instructional needs of academically talented students. Coursework is aligned with the State of Maryland's Gifted and Talented Education Specialist certification requirements and National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) standards.
Gifted and Talented Education Specialist Certificate Course Catalog »
Earn your Gifted and Talented Education Specialist certification 100% online!
The Gifted and Talented Education Specialist certification at McDaniel is available completely online. The program is designed for practicing PK-12 educators who seek to gain expertise in the field of gifted and talented education. The GATES program consists of five courses and an internship for a total of 18 credit hours. The internship (160 hours) may be completed in the school district in which one works.
Applicants must hold a master’s degree and initial certification to apply and qualify for entrance into the program. Those already enrolled in our Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction program can pursue the certification as a specialization.
GATES courses are taught by experienced professors who provide personalized attention to each student. Classes include:
- Foundations of Gifted Education
- Social and Emotional Needs of Gifted Learners
- Critical and Creative Thinking of Gifted Learners
- Best Practices in Gifted Education I
- Best Practices in Gifted Education II
- Internship for Gifted and Talented Specialist
Students in the GATES program will develop the ability to recognize unique learning characteristics and encourage and promote student creativity and critical thinking while addressing the social and emotional needs of gifted and talented students. The program prepares teachers to meet the needs of “twice-exceptional” students and diverse special populations and know how to develop strategies for communication with staff, family, and community partners.
Applying to the Gifted and Talented Education Specialist Certificate Program
The requirements for admission are a completed application for graduate study, the nonrefundable application fee, and transcripts verifying completion of an undergraduate and master’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university.
Applications are accepted and processed throughout the year, but the college recommends that students submit their applications and supporting materials well in advance of the start of the semester in which they plan to enroll. Courses are available during the fall, spring, and summer semesters. You can learn more about our enrollment dates in the “Important Dates” tab above.
McDaniel College’s Gifted and Talented Education Specialist program offers a convenient way to become certified in teaching gifted and talented students. Interested in finding out more about the certification program? Request more information today!
GFT 501 – Foundations of Gifted Education Credits: 3
Students will examine the historical and theoretical foundations of gifted and talented education, the characteristics of schoolchildren with gifts and talents, and the procedures for identifying these individuals. Topics include common characteristics of individuals with gifts and talents, historical and current sociopolitical factors influencing the field, prominent theorists, and assessment standards.
GFT 502 – Social and Emotional Needs of Gifted Learners Credits: 3
By delving into the social, emotional, and affective characteristics of individuals with gifts and talents, this course will examine psychological and counseling intervention strategies involving school, home, and community. Candidates will complete a case study, class presentation, web-based parent/school resource, and bibliotherapy lesson.
GFT 503 – Critical and Creative Thinking of Gifted Learners Credits: 3
This course will explore perspectives of Critical and Creative Thinking (CCT) through a historical and theoretical lens. Students will used research-based curricula and program models, as well as instructional strategies to develop their own GT lessons/units and assessments that incorporate CCT models.
GFT 504 – Best Practices in Gifted Education I: Instructional Programs and Design Models Credits: 3
Students will dive into curriculum options, in use and available to school systems, which are supported by research in Gifted and Talented education. Students will also explore design model options, program delivery model options, available supporting resources, and specific advocacy opportunities for showcasing the gifts and talents of learners.
GFT 505 – Best Practices in Gifted Education II: Curriculum, Instructional Strategies, and Assessments Credits: 3
As a continuation of Best Practices in Gifted Education I, this course will build upon that foundation and expand to include learning variability and cognition levels, curricular and instructional differentiation strategies, and trends in acceleration practices. Candidates will demonstrate their understanding of theories and models for developing and implementing GT curriculum and instruction through observation of GE teachers and their students.
GFT 552 – GATES Internship Credits: 3
This internship requires specific performance-based experiences congruent with the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) Standards. A plan for satisfying the NAGC standards must be approved and successfully completed under the dual supervision of an on-site mentor/coach and a faculty supervisor. An internship portfolio documenting the NAGC Standards is required for successful completion of the internship.
- Completed application for graduate study
- Submit the non-refundable application fee
- Three official, professional references
- Official transcripts verifying completion of an undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited college or university.
- Initial certification
Applications are accepted and processed throughout the year but the College recommends that students submit their applications and supporting materials well in advance of the start of the semester in which they plan to enroll.
Recommended Application Filing Dates:
Fall Semester – by or before August 1
Spring Semester - by or before December 15
Summer Session - by or before May 1
These filing dates are after the opening of registration for those semesters so students wishing to have the greatest choice of courses should submit their applications earlier.
Am I able to take these courses while earning a master’s degree?
Yes. The M.S. in Curriculum and Instruction offers various specializations including Gifted and Talented. Your coursework will involve both the requirements for the master’s degree as well as the GATES Certification.
If I’ve graduated from McDaniel College with a master’s how do I return to add this certification?
Welcome Back! You will need to apply specifically to the Certificate program and submit three official, professional letters of recommendation, a copy of your initial certification, and official transcripts from your bachelor’s degree if you attended prior to 2010. Your master’s degree is on file with the College so there is no need to make a request for that. Alumni do not pay a second application fee.