Why You Should Pursue a Gifted Education Endorsement or Certification

Dr. Lamont Moore
Dr. Lamont Moore
Director of Testing, Accountability, Gifted Education, and Title III; Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, Gardner-Webb University, NC
A smart schoolgirl with glasses and a graduate cap stands in front of a whiteboard with a laptop.

In the field of education, receiving the initial certification to teach students is only the beginning. Many skill sets prove to be beneficial to teachers beyond the minimally required certification. Although these certifications are not required to teach in general, they are usually required to teach specific courses or classes. One of these certifications is the endorsement, or certification, for gifted education.

What is a Gifted Education Endorsement and Certification?

Endorsement

An endorsement in gifted education is a distinction added to a teacher’s professional certificate that verifies that they have received a level of instruction that equips them to teach gifted coursework or classes. In most cases, the credit hours teachers receive for an endorsement are graduate-level credits that a college or university provides.

The amount of course work or credit hours needed to obtain an endorsement vary from state to state (State of State Report, NAGC) but in most cases are six hours graduate-level credit or two graduate courses.

Certification

Certification in gifted education is similar to an endorsement, but it usually involves teachers obtaining more graduate-level hours. The certification is typically an add on or extension to the teacher’s certification. The certification usually consists of at least 12 graduate-level credit hours or four graduate courses.

What are the Benefits of Pursuing a Gifted Education Endorsement or Certification?

After acquiring gifted education endorsements or credentials, teachers immediately become eligible to apply to teach gifted coursework to gifted students. Although many school districts allow for teachers to teach gifted classes for one year without an endorsement or certification, for teachers to remain in these positions, an endorsement or certification is required.

Opportunity to Teach Top Talent

Some of the school’s brightest minds and top talent are enrolled in gifted education courses because of the increased academic or artistic rigor for the gifted and talented. Gifted and talented students provide some challenge for teachers regarding maintaining high levels of student engagement and establishing instructional rigor. For this reason, teachers for these courses are selected based on whether they have the gifted education endorsement or certification on their teaching certificate.

Those teachers who desire to have the opportunity to work with these brilliant students, design rigorous lessons for gifted and talented students in the classroom, and dig deep into the content should consider obtaining a gifted education endorsement or certification.

Leadership Development

In terms of leadership development, the gifted education endorsement and certification sets teachers apart from their colleagues. Because they have received training on implementing instructional best practices, these teachers are often chosen to function as lead teachers. They are also pegged to mentor other teachers, lead professional development and help make school or grade-specific instructional decisions.

In many cases, teachers with this endorsement or certification choose to pursue school leadership positions or instructional leadership positions. Over time these teachers find themselves in a position where their leadership skills are honed and in demand.

Why You Should Pursue a Gifted Education Endorsement or Certification

Teaching is not an occupation requiring little to no investment after one begins. In order to become the best, teachers must seek opportunities to grow in knowledge, skill and ability. The gifted education endorsement and certification allows teachers to grow stronger as educators.

The coursework for the endorsement and certification is designed to equip teachers with skills that are effective with gifted learners, identifying gifted and talented students, and for all learners. Because many of these skills are transferrable, teachers not only grow in their knowledge of gifted education teachers they also grow in their knowledge of meeting the needs of all levels in the classroom.

Distinguishment

In most cases, obtaining a gifted education endorsement or certification distinguishes teachers by providing them with a very special skill set. This skill set makes them more competitive for job opportunities. The gifted education endorsement is recognized globally.

Having the endorsement allows you to connect with other teachers across the globe who have also chosen to get endorsed. In many states, the gifted education endorsement or certification is necessary for district office leadership positions.

Financial Benefits

Depending on the state, teachers may be required to pay for graduate coursework that is needed to receive their endorsement or certification. However, because the endorsement allows for teachers to apply for jobs that have more competitive salaries, they usually recoup the funds used to pay for the initial graduate coursework.

Many schools and districts also provide stipends or other incentives to teachers to encourage them to pursue the endorsement and remain in their positions as gifted education teachers. Teachers who use their endorsement or certification to present at educational conferences can also earn money for training other teachers on the best instructional practices.

Adding a new endorsement or credential to your certificate is not the easiest decision. However, it will prove to be beneficial for teachers. By having the opportunities to grow professionally, teachers can serve students better and continue to build their own capacity.

Interested in an endorsement or certification in gifted education? Check out our available programs and take your next step today!

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