About The Center for Gifted Studies
Since we began offering a one-day summer workshop for gifted education professionals in 1981, The Center has provided unique opportunities to gifted and talented youth, their educators, and their parents. That initial workshop, which ran for 10 years and featured nationally renowned innovators in the field of gifted education, was followed in 1982 by graduate courses in gifted education at WKU and, in 1983, our first learning opportunity for youth, The Summer Camp, later named The Summer Camp for Academically Talented Middle School Students (SCATS), which is still going strong today. From our first programs to our most recent, such as the National STEM Scholar Program for middle school science teachers and our partnership with the Jefferson County Public Schools to provide the gifted endorsement to elementary school teachers, we have maintained our commitment to the ideals outlined below in our mission and vision statements.
The Mission for The Center
We are committed to encouraging excellence by providing educational opportunities and resources to three populations: gifted and talented students, educators working with gifted students, and parents of gifted students.
The Vision for The Center
An internationally preeminent center, The Center for Gifted Studies envisions expanding services in five areas:
- Offering educational programs for gifted children and youth
- Providing professional development opportunities for educators
- Enhancing communication and advocacy for gifted children
- Conducting research and developing curriculum to remove the learning ceiling
- Building a testing and counseling component for gifted children and their families
Overview of our website:
Educational Opportunities and Resources for Gifted Children and Youth
The Center is dedicated to providing learning opportunities which address the cognitive and social-emotional needs of children and young people who are gifted and talented in any of the five commonly-recognized areas of giftednes: general intellectual ability, specific academic aptitude, creativity, visual/performing arts, and leadership. Educational programming for this group is essential for two reasons. First, children who learn at a faster pace and at a more complex level deserve the opportunity to do so. Second, they also need time to be with other young people who think like they do and who share their interests.
We offer a range of opportunities for children as young as first grade. Visit the Student Programming Overview page for a complete listing, or see the pulldown menu.
Educational Opportunities and Resources for Educators Working with Gifted Students
If they are to remove the learning ceiling for children who are gifted and talented, educators need effective professional learning that is ongoing within a school and district. Just as classroom teachers must differentiate educational opportunities for a wide range of students in their classrooms, professional learning provides options for educators. The one-size-fits-all approach to professional learning works no better than the one-size-fits-all approach to teaching in the classroom.
The Center has been the largest provider of professional learning in gifted education in Kentucky since 1985. See the Educators pull-down menu for a complete list of opportunities. For those interested specifically in graduate work in gifted studies, see the Graduate Programs pull-down menu.
Educational Opportunities and Resources for Parents of Gifted Students
The Center believes parental support for gifted students cannot be adequate unless giftedness is understood. It is our mission to provide resource material to all interested parents. At the beginning of student programs sponsored by The Center, parents are invited to seminars on raising gifted students. We also conduct parent workshops and presentations at the Kentucky Association for Gifted Education conferences and at many regional, state, and national conferences such as the National Center for Gifted Education.
As The Center has grown, it has become the leading sounding board for parents on hundreds of issues concerning gifted students, including state funding and appropriate educational opportunities. We are here to help. See the Educators pull-down menu for a complete list of what we offer.
Resources: Communication, Advocacy, Research, Curriculum, and Partners
The resources on our website include links to all the past issues of our magazine, The Challenge; information on and links to books and articles written or edited by staff members; information and materials created by two grants The Center has received from the Jacob K. Javits Gifted and Talented Students Education Program: Project GEMS (Gifted Education in Math and Science), and Project RAP (Reaching Academic Potential); information on the Nazi Germany and the Holocaust Murals Project; and information on two of our key partners, the Kentucky Association for Gifted Education (KAGE), and the World Council for Gifted and Talented Children.
Since 1983, thousands of young people have participated in our programs and summer camps. Many have stayed connected to The Center since their first summer at VAMPY, while others rediscover The Center later in adulthood. Together, our alumni form a network of individuals with both shared and unique experiences that can benefit current programming and ensure the stability and longevity of The Center.
If you are one of our alumni, we want to stay connected with you. Please see the Alumni pulldown menu for ways you can reach out to us and contribute to The Center.
Support The Center
The Center has always relied on the resources and talents of our friends to do our work. Please see the Support The Center pulldown menu for information on how you can contribute to The Center.