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All About Concordia University Chicago’s Gifted Education Programs

Concordia University Chicago (CUC) has a program in Gifted Education, which leads to a Master of Arts in Gifted Education with an endorsement. The following article will provide an overview of the program, why you should choose this unique CUC’s program, and career opportunities upon graduation.

What do the programs encompass?

Concordia University Chicago is an in-depth university offering more than 100 undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, with more than 5,000 students. The programs are approved by the Higher Learning Commission and align with the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) and the National Association for the Education (NAEYC) standards.

One degree, The Master of Arts degree in Gifted Education, is designed for educators who are interested in developing an understanding of and programs for High Achieving, Gifted and Talented students. The degree aligns with the National Association of Gifted Children (NAGC) program standards. This program supports educators in becoming experts who can meet all learners’ needs through the lens of gifted education. It prepares educators to serve as teacher leaders in planning and implementing programs that address the specific needs of gifted and talented students. The Master’s in Gifted Education offers teachers the opportunity to complete 30 hours of coursework, 24 hours leading to the endorsement.

There is also a Subsequent Teacher Endorsement available to teachers who already hold a professional educator license (PEL) with one or more teaching endorsements. Teachers who wish to add a subsequent content area endorsement can do so with 18 hours of coursework and passage of the applicable content test.

In summary, Concordia offers:

  • Gifted Teacher Subsequent Endorsement: 5 content courses (3 credit hrs. each) and a practicum course (3 credit hrs.) Total: 18 credits.
  • Gifted Teacher Endorsement: 7 content courses (3 credit hrs. each) and a practicum course (3 credit hrs.) Total: 24 credits.
  • Master’s Degree in Gifted Education: 8 content courses, 7 of which are the required endorsement courses (3 credit hrs. each), and one is a practicum course (3 credit hrs.) Total: 30 credits.

NAGC standards have been the guiding framework for designing the master’s program. The standards provide program competency goals that ensure that students are ready to work or continue working with gifted and talented students. The gifted teacher graduate will:

  • Think critically and analytically about gifted education and the role gifted programs play in the development of students identified as gifted and talented.
  • Develop curriculum and utilize instructional strategies that are differentiated and meet the learning needs of all students.
  • Provide leadership in schools with gifted programs through program development and coaching.
  • Promote an understanding of gifted learners and gifted education that leads to effective programming that includes: identification, assessment, technology, social and emotional learning, differentiated instructional practices, and productive learning environments.

Why should a prospective student choose Concordia University Chicago’s (CUC) programs over similar programs offered at other schools?

HB2461 recently passed and is now in effect. What does that mean for educators in Illinois? The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) will require schools to include demographic information regarding gifted services and the number of trained teachers in gifted education. According to the Illinois State Board of Education website, The Accelerated Placement Act requires schools to have a policy for identifying and advancing a student who needs early admission to kindergarten, first grade, grade level, or subject acceleration. The call for action is problematic in that it lacks necessary teacher training. As a result,

in response to numerous students’ testimonies for their need to have skills and resources to reach advanced learners, as well as the passing of HB2461, the Department of Teaching, Learning & Diversity decided to research the idea of offering a program dedicated to gifted education.

On December 5th, 2019, the master’s program in Gifted Education was approved by ISBE. Moreover, at this time, we are the only university in Illinois to offer a master’s degree in gifted education.

Concordia University is famous in the Chicagoland area for providing quality programs and excellent graduates in our master’s degree programs.

The master’s degree in Gifted Education will follow suit. All of the course activities are active, engaging, and grounded in research-based theory and practice. Finally, the program will offer rigor and will be taught by instructors with experience in giftedness.

What career opportunities are available to students who graduate from these programs?

In this master’s program, students hold a teaching license and come back to school to enhance their teaching practices or seek other positions at their school. If students either want to work with gifted and talented learners, training is a must. Many districts require that gifted teachers or specialists hold state certification. Graduates will have an opportunity to work as an interventionist, team leader, and gifted teacher. Then completing a master’s degree is needed. Whichever of the choice of mentioned, CUC’s Master of Arts in Gifted Education will fulfill these requirements.

The program can be offered in three formats: face-to-face, online, and a hybrid number, depending on demand.