This certificate program has been designed for credentialed teachers working in the public, private, charter schools or in a pre-school center and builds on the pre-school as well as Common Core State Standards. This program will help you increase the academic rigor for high-ability learners while also providing a spill-over effect to impact all students. The program is taught online and includes asynchronous as well as synchronous or live class time sessions.

This program will help you learn how to:

  • pose and defend the concept of identifying young children as gifted (preschool to third grade)
  • understand the difference between nurturing gifted potential and identifying potential
  • utilize the non-traditional curricular tasks as both a means to identify potential giftedness in young children and as curriculum to nurture potential
  • integrate the non-traditional curricular tasks into academic subject matter and grade level classrooms
  • use observation as a form of data collection and analysis
  • report to students and to colleagues and to parents the outcomes that are derived from using the non-traditional curricular tasks
  • define the meaning of differentiation as it applies to responding to the needs, interests, and abilities of potentially gifted students
  • understand the GATE standards: acceleration, depth, complexity, and novelty and how they can be adjusted for young, potentially gifted students
  • integrate the elements that are defined as differentiated curricular experiences into the core, basic, and rudimentary curriculum
  • identify the relationship between the tenets of differentiation (acceleration, depth, complexity, and novelty) and defined pre-school/kindergarten scope and sequences


Week 1 – Module I

Non-traditional Identification – will focus on the use non-traditional identification learning experiences or tasks to recognize potential in young children. This non-traditional method is a set of curriculum tasks based on critical and creative thinking that are aligned to the Common Core State Standards and the Pre-School Standards. This module within the certificate program has been designed to provide teachers with the knowledge and skills necessary to implement non-traditional forms of identification in the pre-school classroom. Data collection and analysis of the non-traditional task cards will be discussed in this course.

Week 2 – Module II

Differentiated Curriculum –  will introduce and present teachers with curriculum designed to promote critical and creative thinking and problem-solving skills in all young learners. The activity-based curriculum presents the relationship of Common Core State Standards and GATE standards to young learners in lesson plans and units of study. Elements of a GATE curriculum such as the prompts of depth and complexity, universal concepts, big ideas, and Thinking Like a Disciplinarian will be modeled for use in the classroom.

Week 3 – Module III

Differentiated Instruction –  will introduce teachers to curriculum for young learners through learning centers and independent study. These instructional strategies will be modeled and applied across the grade levels and shown in various contexts and disciplines. Participants will discuss the decision-making process needed to create differentiated lesson plans or learning experiences for young learners.

Week 4 – Module IV

Parenting  – will introduce teachers to strategies that parents can use ‘at-home’ that parallel and reinforce the elements of Common Core State Standards and their relationship to the GATE standards. Strategies for communicating with parents via teacher conferences and back-to-school nights will be discussed.

Continuing Education Units

CEU credits are available for this program if you complete all modules and requirements. CEUs are recognized nationwide as a standard measurement of an Individual’s continuing education activity and serve as a permanent documentation of your professional development coursework and are presented in the form of a University transcript.