All students have gifts, but some have exceptional strengths. However, gifted students aren’t always identified and their abilities understood. As a Gifted Education teacher, you choose to become the person who elevates those strengths and helps these students reach their full potential. At the Curry School, your studies will focus on ways to recognize these students and develop strategies for working productively with them in a variety of settings. Also in this program, you will evaluate existing and new gifted education methodologies and services, as well as analyze and contribute to research in the field.
The Curry Impact
At the Curry School, we believe a strong foundational knowledge of the theories of learning, principles of development (human, child, and adolescent) and concepts from the fields of assessment and research form the basis for understanding exceptional learners. While the majority of our students in Master’s and Doctoral programs pursue a degree full time, many others working full time as teachers, counselors, administrators or specialists pursue their M.Ed. on a part-time basis either online or in-person. Others earn the online Gifted Education endorsement and add it to their teaching licenses.
The Gifted Education program at Curry has four key objectives:
- Help students develop a deep understanding of the field of gifted education and gain competency in the techniques to advance the knowledge base of gifted education.
- Enhance opportunities for students to develop their own strengths and pursue their specific career goals.
- Strengthen and enhance students' leadership abilities in the field of gifted education.
- Strengthen the program for all by admitting and graduating students from all racial, ethnic, gender and cultural backgrounds.
Our current research and service work is making a deep impact in the study of exceptional learners. These efforts focus on a broad spectrum of giftedness and talent, including investigation of specialized programming for gifted students in pull-out programming, as well as identifying and developing potential giftedness and talent in students from underrepresented groups.
Graduates with a degree or endorsement specializing in Gifted Education find meaningful, impactful employment as teachers of gifted students, gifted education coordinators, curriculum developers, textbook contributors and researchers in university-level Gifted Education programs.
Explore Our Degrees
Choosing the right degree within our program is important to ensuring that you achieve an outcome that supports your career goals. Let us help guide you through your choices.
Gifted Education Online Course Series
The non-degree Gifted Education Online Course Series prepares you to better address the characteristics and needs of gifted children. Topics covered in these courses include an overview of issues in the definition of giftedness, identification, curriculum, instructional strategies, program options, special populations, and evaluation. Courses can be used for professional development or applied toward an add-on endorsement in gifted education for licensed teachers in Virginia.
Please note that those seeking the add-on endorsement from VDOE will also need to complete a supervised practicum experience under the mentorship of a teacher who currently holds a valid gifted endorsement. In many cases, a year of full time teaching can fulfill this requirement. Most non-degree students who are practicing teachers coordinate with their schools/divisions to make these arrangements.
Gifted Add-On Endorsement for M.T. Students
Current Curry Master of Teaching students (including B/MT and PGMT students) can choose to pursue their gifted add-on endorsement along with their regular license. Students in this program complete the four endorsement courses and their practicum during their time at Curry. Students may be eligible to complete the gifted practicum during their regular full-time internship, or can opt to complete it through an additional internship with UVA's Saturday and Summer Enrichment Program.
Gifted Learners in PreK-12 Education Certificate
This graduate certificate prepares teachers and administrators to lead the development, implementation, and supervision of gifted education curriculum and programming that equitably serves talented learners. Candidates will build specialized knowledge, from shaping instructional strategies to creating research-based program options, that encourages gifted learners to reach their full potential.
M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction - Online
With an M. Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction – Gifted Education Focus, you will have strong foundational knowledge of curriculum, instruction, and assessment principles, as well as in-depth understanding of gifted, talented, and high-ability learners. Through the courses in the Gifted Education focus area, you will learn about the characteristics, needs, and behaviors of gifted learners, including those who are twice-exceptional, English Learners, culturally diverse, or from historically underrepresented populations; how to assess and identify gifted learners; models and strategies for meeting gifted education needs in a variety of contexts; and specific techniques for aligning curriculum and instruction with the needs of gifted learners.
For M.Ed. students who hold a valid Virginia teaching license, the gifted education courses included in this degree also fulfill partial requirements toward an add-on endorsement in Gifted Education.
Ed.S. in Curriculum & Instruction - Gifted Focus
The Education Specialist (Ed.S.) degree in Curriculum & Instruction is a terminal post-Master's degree designed for the professional educator offered full or part-time in Charlottesville and part-time online. The program offers an area of emphasis in Gifted Education. Graduates of this program often pursue teaching at district or college levels, community college teaching and administration, central district office supervisory positions and administrative positions.
Ed.D. in Curriculum & Instruction - Gifted Education
The Doctorate in Education (Ed.D.) is a terminal graduate degree for devoted practitioners committed to promoting quality and equity in classrooms, school systems, and communities. The program offers an area of emphasis in Gifted Education. Graduates are uniquely prepared for practice-based research and leadership positions in a variety of K-16 settings, including, national nonprofits and philanthropies, as well as state and federal departments of education. We now offer this program part-time and online.
Ph.D. in Education - Gifted Education
The primary purpose of the Ph.D. in Education program is to prepare you to take a variety of positions in higher education settings, where you will produce scholarly works on Gifted Education as a research scholar, policy analyst or faculty member.
Curry Curriculum & Instruction Program by the Numbers
RANKED 19TH CURRICULUM & INSTRUCTION PROGRAM IN THE NATION by U.S. News & World Report
- National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented
- Saturday and Summer Enrichment Program
- Virginia Association for Gifted (VAG)
- National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC)
- American Educational Research Association (AERA)
- AERA/Special Interest Group Research in Giftedness and Talent (SIG #91)
- Council for Exceptional Children (CEC): The Association for the Gifted
- Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development