The Center for Talented Youth began with a seventh grade boy from Baltimore who had exhausted all the options for math courses he could take at school by the time he was thirteen. Julian Stanley, a professor of psychology at Johns Hopkins University and the founder of the Center for Talented Youth, worked with this boy and his family to arrange access to challenging college math courses so the boy could continue to develop his academic talents and pursue his passion.
Today, CTY is accredited by the Middle States Association of College and Schools Commissions on Elementary and Secondary Schools, and its summer programs serve thousands of students each year. CTY students come from all fifty states and dozens of countries around the world. They come from all walks of life and a variety of educational backgrounds. While the scope of these gifted and talented programs has grown immensely, the goal remains the same: to allow highly able students to immerse themselves in their academic passions, to meet others like themselves, and to grow both intellectually and personally.
Students choose CTY for a number of reasons. Most need a greater or different intellectual challenge from what they get at home. They look forward to the chance to meet other very bright young people who share their interests and abilities. Some may want to study a subject they can’t find anywhere else, while others want to get an edge back at school. Some simply had a great CTY experience last year that they’re eager to repeat.
Students in CTY’s summer programs take one course during a three-week session. These courses meet all day, Monday through Friday, and allow students to immerse themselves in a focused area of study. Each class has an instructor and instructional assistant, allowing each student to receive the individualized attention he or she needs to succeed. Over the course of the three weeks, students cover what is roughly the equivalent of a college semester’s worth of material, or, in the case of the fast-paced science courses, a year’s worth of high school material.
CTY’s summer programs emphasize personal as well as intellectual growth. The structured residential program includes a variety of planned activities and all-campus events. Both in and out of class, students are encouraged to try new things, consider different points of view, and take an active role in forming and maintaining a community that celebrates learning and values bright students for who they are.
Many students who have attended CTY’s summer programs tell us that the experience literally changed their lives. For some, CTY’s inclusive environment gave them a new sense of belonging where they can just be themselves. For others, CTY provided the opportunity to study topics and ideas they never knew existed. For still more, CTY made them better writers, stronger critical thinkers, able scientists, or more inquisitive researchers. Whether the reasons are academic or personal, for forty years, CTY summer programs have had a profound and lasting effect on countless bright young people from across the country and around the world.
We believe that working hard and having fun are not mutually exclusive. CTY strives to create an intellectually engaging environment that energizes its students. The courses we offer are meant to be difficult, and the students work hard. It is this level of rigor that makes the experience so rewarding.
The staff at CTY is a talented and varied group of individuals brought together by their commitment to the education of highly able students. Our faculty is composed of outstanding teachers from public and private schools and universities; graduate students; exceptional undergraduate students; and professionals who excel in their respective fields. Our instructors are well versed in their academic disciplines and have the curricular and pedagogical resources of CTY at their disposal.
A CTY classroom is an active and dynamic place. Because CTY brings together students with a variety of learning styles, the instructors structure their courses to address the needs of each student. Small-group work, short lectures, writing exercises, debates, oral presentations, essays, laboratory investigations, and structured simulations are used to push students to deepen their knowledge, gain facility with new research methods and problem-solving techniques, and develop as independent, critical thinkers. The possibilities of what students can achieve at CTY are limitless.
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