She’s the girl in your fourth grade math class dabbling in calculus. He’s the boy on your high school field trip explaining nuclear physics to the tour guide. They are gifted and talented children: individuals whose aptitude and ability rank in the top 10 percent nationwide. And with a master’s degree specializing in gifted and talented education, you can learn how to teach them effectively.
Why Teachers Should Consider a Master’s Degree in Gifted and Talented Education
Gifted and talented students need special educational support from exceptional educators. With a master’s degree in gifted and talented education, you’ll be prepared to meet the needs of advanced learners as a teacher, administrator, or instructional designer. This degree is also ideal for those who seek to become advocates for gifted students: most degree programs in this area of study will teach you how to develop gifted programs based on your school’s needs, working within the district and along with school boards and parents.
Common Curriculum in Master’s of Gifted and Talented Education Programs
Gifted students often have unique learning curves, and with this in mind, master’s degree programs in this area of study frequently focus on how you can serve their specific needs. Coursework may cover theories in diagnostic teaching, differentiated instruction and curriculum development. Typical course titles include:
- Gifted Education Testing and Measurement
- Education for Special Populations
- Identification, Development, and Education of the Gifted Learner
- Instruction for Gifted Learners
Look for programs that incorporate a real-world internship or practicum to ensure that you’re getting an education that you can apply to the classroom.
Where You Can Earn a Master’s Degree in Gifted and Talented Education
Thanks to the Equity in Excellence Act of 2010, schools are more committed than ever to reducing the gap between high achieving, low-income students and their wealthier peers. That means that there are a number of online master’s programs available. Here are two to consider:
- The online master of education program focused on gifted education from the University of Cincinnati teaches integrated teaching methods designed specifically for gifted education to engage students in any setting. Along with core courses in research and theory, candidates complete a practicum consisting of 75 hours of field experience.
- Catering to all teaching levels, the University of Houston has developed an online master of education in gifted and talented education. Coursework on curriculum and content development, a mandatory practicum, and an optional thesis are all part of this program.
You may decide to tackle a particular school’s master’s degree program in gifted and talented education after you’ve completed an endorsement (licensure) program at the same university. Be sure to check to see if course credits from an endorsement program can be applied toward a graduate degree further down the road.
Common Questions About a Masters in Gifted and Talented Degree Program
Can this degree allow me to work with students at all grade levels?
Since testing for gifted and talented students begins at grade 3, the majority of students served by this educational program may be this grade level and above. This only applies to the public educational institutions throughout the country, though. There are private schools and programs that can allow you to work with children in lower grade levels.
What is the difference in a standard curriculum design and those created for gifted and talented students?
It may be considered fair educational practices to ensure that gifted and talented students be treated with a curriculum that can enrich their minds. Individual educational program meetings may be conducted to identify areas in which gifted students may thrive and a curriculum be developed around these needs. These programs may be different for each student that enters into the program. Standard curricula may be based on the general needs of the age group without any special consideration for exceptional needs.
Do I require any special skills or attributes to thrive in this degree program?
The Masters in Education – Gifted and Talented program calls upon dedicated teaching professionals that can work in diverse classroom environments. These teachers may be challenged with identifying traits and needs of talented children, so that they can receive the most beneficial instruction throughout their school experience. If you are interested in this aspect of education, you should have a desire to foster the success of students while managing the diverse needs of the students you instruct.
Can I enter into this program without a bachelors-level teaching degree?
There are many schools that can offer this program to students with or without a current teaching degree. If you come from a different acedemic discipline, you should seek out degree programs that include the addition of a teaching certification program. These programs can assist you in becoming a teaching for gifted and talented students.
Estimated Cost and Length of Program
As you can see in the list below, most masters programs within this area of education can be completed in around 1-2 years. Most students might be interested in finding the degree program with the shortest completion time, while still seriously considering the quality of the degree program throughout their search. There are universities available that take both time and quality into consideration just waiting for you to enroll.
Our team of educational experts requests that you review your chosen school thoroughly in order to learn more about the time requirements for your chosen degree. Read more in the list below about the time requirements for some high quality degree programs in giften and talented education.
- The University of Cincinnati: Online Masters in Education – Gifted, Creative and Talented – $11,000 per year – 1-2 years for completion
- The University of Alabama: Online Masters in Education – Gifted and Talented – $375 per credit hour – 1-2 years for completion
- Cleveland State University: Online Masters in Education with Gifted and Talented Degree Endorsement Program – $6,376.80 per semester- 1-2 years for completion
The Masters in Education – Gifted and Talented program may be a great way for you to engage with students that perform well above the benchmark. This type of career can be a very rewarding choice for educators that want to make a difference in the lives of the students they teach.
Students choosing this degree program can involve students in a unique curriculum that can help them to address the needs of gifted learners in different age groups.
However, as an upcoming gifted and talented learner, you may be wondering what type of time and monetary investment may be needed in order to meet this goal. While schools may have some similarities within their curriculum requirements, the costs and length of time required for these programs may differ. Our team of educational experts has reviewed the masters programs offered by some of the top schools to provide you with more information pertaining to these topics. Check out the list of schools, their costs and completion times in the list below this section.
If you are like most other upcoming graduate students in education, you may be interested in finding a degree program that can give you the education you need at the best cost. It is important to be picky about the degree program you choose, since there are so many that can be obtained without having to bury yourself in debt from student loans.
Most degree programs provide information on their degree page about the cost of tuition by semester, year or even for the entire program. By researching educational programs, you can learn more about how the tuition rates and fees at online universities can influence your overall costs of obtaining your degree.
Careers in Gifted and Talented Education
Schools often look favorably upon educators with a master’s degree focused on gifted and talented education. With postgraduate training, gifted and talented teachers have the skill set to work almost anywhere, including pullout settings, self-contained classrooms, and special schools.
A graduate degree may also give you greater career flexibility. Professionals in gifted and talented education often serve as:
- school consultants
- education coordinators
- textbook contributors
- professional development specialists
- curriculum developers
Gifted and talented education professionals typically earn a median annual salary of $53,090, and enjoy a steady job outlook that’s particularly open to those with an advanced degree.