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The Gifted Education Program is designed to enable both preservice students and veteran educators to complete the approved Virginia Add-on K-12 Gifted Education Endorsement which supplements most programs of studies leading to or an existing initial license in education. Students complete four courses and a practicum either via their initial student teaching experience or through a specialized gifted education practicum. Full-time employed educators may alternatively elect to teach for one year in lieu of a gifted education practicum. In order to earn the certificate in K-12 Gifted Education from JMU, students must complete all coursework through JMU. The course sequence is offered in separate sections both to students in initial licensure programs at the College of Education at James Madison University as well as practicing educators. The graduate level coursework is offered entirely online.

The purpose of the program of studies in Gifted Education is to prepare educators who skillfully contribute to the common good of society through competence in teaching and educational leadership in gifted education. All children are entitled to educators who are knowledgeable, enlightened, and competent, including our advanced and gifted learners. Only competent and knowledgeable educators can provide the necessary environment for the realization of the unique potentials of pre-K-grade 12 gifted students in all areas of academic, artistic, creative, and intellectual endeavors. Without educational leaders, counselors, teachers, specialists, and all other support personnel gifted learners do not reach their full potentials nor does the greater global society.

Endorsement Program Course Titles and Descriptions

EXED 560 The Nature & Needs of Gifted Learners (3 credits)

This course is designed to introduce the historical and theoretical foundations of the field of gifted education will be discussed, including varying conceptions of giftedness. One focus of the course is the knowledge of the specific cognitive and socio-emotional developmental nature of gifted learners and the knowledge pertaining to the characteristics and related needs of gifted individuals. A second focus is the course content includes the appropriate educational services available in public and private school, as well as alternative settings.

EXED 565 Instructional Methods in Gifted Education (3 credits)

This course will include an examination of instructional models and strategies currently advocated for use with gifted learners. Course participants should develop an understanding of both the theoretical and practical implementation of the appropriate instructional approaches for gifted learners, including critical thinking, creative thinking, problem-solving, and inquiry. Participants will learn how the specific instructional strategies can contribute to developing learning environments that promote appropriate academic rigor and learner independence.

EXED 660 Curriculum Design in Gifted Education (3 credits)

This content of the course will focus on the design and development of differentiated curriculum for gifted learners. Students willlearn how to adapt and modify existing curricula for gifted learners, as well as how to design new curricular materials for gifted learners through a predetermined process. Lesson and unit development will be highlighted. Students also will learn how to assess and make appropriate decisions about the suitability of curricular materials for gifted learners.

EXED 665 Issues and Trends in the Education of Gifted Learners (3 credits)

This course focuses on the traditional and current special issues related to the recognition and education of giftedness in individuals from birth through the life span. Participants will examine the critical issues facing the field of gifted child education and future directions. The primary purpose of this course is to develop in participants the knowledge, conceptual understandings, and skills to assess, identify accurately and nurture effectively giftedness in all gifted students, including those students who are typically underserved. Specific topics included in the course content are: (a) Collaboration Between Gifted and General Education; (b) The Psycho-Social Adjustment and Guidance of Gifted Learners; (c) The Plight of Underserved Populations of Gifted Learners; (d) Educational Programming Models for Gifted Education; and (e) The approaches to measurement and assessment of high abilities commonly used.

EXED 570 Practicum in Gifted Education (3 credits)*

The practicum experience is designed to provide direct experiences with gifted education programming through participation in related services. A planned and coordinated field experience will consist of a minimum o f 45 instructional hours of successful teaching experiences with gifted students in a heterogeneously grouped (mixed ability) classroom or a homogeneously grouped (single ability) classroom. This course is offered to students who complete required endorsement coursework at JMU.


Tuition costs for this program for Fall 2016/Spring 2017

In-state students: $412/credit hour

Out-of-state students $422/credit hour

Fundamentals of Gifted Education: Considering Multiple Perspectives, Carolyn M. Callahan (editor), Holly L. Herberg-Davis (editor) ISBN-13:978-0415881517 ISBN-10: 041588151X

Contact Information

For more information about applications or registration, please contact:

JMU Professional & Continuing Education


For more information regarding the James Madison University College of Education Programs for Gifted Education, please contact:

Dr. Kris Wiley, Assistant Professor

Middle, Secondary, and Mathmatics Education



K-12 Gifted Education Endorsement

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