In January, McDaniel College began offering the Gifted and Talented Education Specialist (GATES) post-baccalaureate graduate certificate. This program, available entirely online, leads to a Maryland State endorsement in gifted and talented education.
This five-course online program, plus three-credit internship for gifted and talented specialists, is geared towards educators in PK–12 schools who already hold a master’s degree. Course topics focus on social and emotional needs of gifted learners; critical and creative thinking strategies; and differentiated curriculum, instruction, and assessment.
Students can take one or more GATES courses, complete the entire GATES sequence and apply for state endorsement, or apply to earn a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction with GATES certification. GATES is one of four graduate certificate programs at McDaniel offered exclusively online and is among eight graduate programs available 100 percent online.
“Our State’s focus on equity and excellence has made teacher professional development in gifted education a priority in its just-released ‘Every Student Succeeds Act’ plan. The teachers I work with know they have these diverse students in their classrooms, but they don’t feel well-prepared to meet their needs. Our GATES program takes theory into practice with highly relevant course assignments," said Jeanne Paynter, former State specialist for gifted and talented education at the Maryland State Department of Education, who serves as an area coordinator in McDaniel’s graduate and professional studies program.
Along with Paynter, who was one of the GATES program designers, faculty in the curriculum and instruction graduate program at McDaniel and gifted and talented specialists from the Carroll County, Baltimore County, and Prince George’s County public school systems developed the program.