University of Iowa’s Professional Diploma Program in Talent Development and Gifted Education
Professional Diploma Program in Talent Development and Gifted Education is designed for educators who seek to not only identify talented and gifted learners, but also nurture their students’ abilities in order to help them discover their true potential.
The course is being offered through the Belin-Blank Center, in partnership with the University of Iowa College of Education which is exclusively associated with the Aditya Birla Education Academy.
Tomorrow's future is in today's classroom.
Be an inspiration, be the change-maker!
Initiated by one of the leading universities, this comprehensive course has been designed to equip educators with the necessary skills required for the holistic development of gifted learners in schools.
Face-to-face workshops
Online interactive classes
Earn academic credits from the University of Iowa
Course Curriculum
Professional Diploma Program in Talent Management and Gifted Education Mumbai

  • Eligibility
    Graduate/Post-Graduate Degree (in any discipline)
    Relevant teaching/training experience preferred
  • Duration
    50-week online session + 60 hours face-to-face workshop
  • Syllabus
      The program module comprises of the following themes:
    • RCE:4125: Counselling & Psychological Needs of Gifted Students
    • EDTL:4025: Differentiated Instruction for the Gifted
    • EDTL:4189: Practicum (application of best practices gained during the Diploma program)
    • Optional Credits (One-semester-hour classes)
    • RCE:4129: Creativity: Issues and Applications in Gifted Education
    • EDTL:4085: Current Readings & Research in Gifted Education
    • EDTL:4022: Math Programming for High Ability Students
    • EDTL:4024: Differentiating Projects with Technology
    • EDTL:4026: Reading for High Ability Students
    • EDTL:4028: Leadership Skills for Gifted & Talented, K – 12
    • EDTL:4065: Social Studies for High Ability Students
    • EDTL:4072: Thinking Skills
    • EDTL:4073: Programming & Curriculum for High Ability Students: Research Projects
    • EDTL:4073: Programming & Curriculum for High Ability Students: Real-World Problem Solving
    • EDTL:4074: Differentiation at the Secondary Level
    • EDTL:4096: Special Topics (Any topic that is of particular interest to the participant)
Faculty Spotlight
Laurie Croft Associate Director International Center in Gifted Education and Talent Development
Laurie Croft
Randy Lange
Susannah M. Wood
  • Profile
    Clinical Professor, Department of Teaching and Learning, UI College of Education
    Associate Director, Professional Development, The Connie Belin & Jacqueline N. Blank International Center in Gifted Education and Talent Development
  • Qualification
    Ph.D. in Educational Leadership, University of Tulsa
  • Experience
    With an emphasis on gifted education, Croft’s research interests include the conceptual foundations of gifted education and professional development for teachers of the gifted. Croft has made presentations at various state, national, and international conferences, and to parent groups, teachers, and school boards. She also has experience in facilitating professional learning in gifted education for educators from around the world. She has been a U.S. delegate to the World Council for Gifted and Talented Children, and has been elected to a three-year term to the Board of Directors for the National Association for Gifted Children.

    Croft is responsible for coordinating the comprehensive program of classes and workshops in gifted education that enable educators to earn an endorsement in gifted education, and she supervises practicum experiences in gifted education. She has developed new courses in curriculum concepts, in program models in gifted education, and in conceptions of talent development. Currently, she is developing a graduate certificate in gifted education and talent development at the University of Iowa. Croft serves as the Honors Advisor for the College of Education Honors Opportunity Program, and she encourages undergraduates in the Teacher Education Program to complete coursework in gifted education, a shortage area in Iowa, as well as other states.
  • Profile
    Developer and coordinator, Talent Development Program, Elementary School District #102, Illinois
    Adjunct Instructor appointment at the University of Iowa
  • Qualification
    Ph.D., University of Iowa
    M. A. in School Administration, University of Iowa
    B. S. in Elementary Education, University of Illinois
  • Experience
    It was at his first state gifted conference many years ago where a session on the “Integrated Curriculum Model” presented by Dr. Joyce Van Tassel-Baska sparked his passion for gifted education, and there has been no looking back since.

    Along with 18 years of experience as a classroom teacher and a gifted resource teacher, Dr Lange has a PhD from the University of Iowa. His doctoral studies focused on curriculum & instruction, gifted education, and educational measurement. Since graduation in 2004, Dr. Lange has remained active with the Belin Blank Center and the Illinois Association for Gifted Children. Additionally, he has presented at a variety of workshops and conferences.
  • Profile
    Associate Professor, Department of Rehabilitation and Counselor Education, University of Iowa
    Faculty partner, Connie Belin and Jacqueline N. Blank International Center for Gifted Education and Talented Development
  • Qualification
    Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision, The College of William and Mary
  • Experience
    An award winning academic, Dr. Wood has received numerous accolades for her teaching, including the University of Iowa’s collegiate teaching award in 2012 and the Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (ACES) award for outstanding teaching in 2015.

    Testament to her rich academic experience, Dr. Wood’s research has been published in peer-reviewed publications including Gifted Child Quarterly, Roeper Review and Journal of the Education of the Gifted among others

    She regularly presents at professional organizations conferences such as the American Counseling Association, the National Association for Gifted Children, and the Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (ACES) and various state conferences related to the topics of school counselling and/or gifted and talented, and counselor education.

    Her research interests encompass preparing school counselors for their practice with a focus on serving the gifted population in collaboration with other educators and professionals.
Here's what they have to say about University of Iowa’s Professional Diploma Program in Talent Development and Gifted Education!
Anitha Nair
Batch: Volt 16
The greatest reward for doing more is the opportunity to do more. – Jonas Salk.

Curiosity is the footstep towards acquisition of any learning and it was the only asset I had, when I stepped in ABEA at Mumbai on 23rd of September, 2018 for a four days workshop.

A teacher often takes pride when her students exhibit talent. She shares joy in their accomplishments and tries to engage them with more responsibilities. She entrusts their capabilities and never has any apprehensions about their calibre. My experience too, wasn’t different. The learning from the session induced a new outlook and a broader perspective of pedagogy under the expertise guidance of Dr. Laurie Croft and Dr. Devasena Desai. This learning enrichment envisaged me for a sensible approach to the gifted learners and nourish them to their optimum level.
Shilpa Rele
Batch: Volt 16
The nature of the sessions kept us guessing about the content that was going to be discussed, at all times. The facilitators had come with a definite content in mind and they created various learning opportunities to learn within that framework.

We got to go through many case studies to gain a better understanding of various characteristics of gifted learners. Impromptu debates added a lot of liveliness to the sessions. Immediate and timely feedback made the learning productive. Both the facilitators had different styles of interaction which made the sessions quite interesting. Citing real life examples helped us to connect to the topic on hand. Most of us could identify with the theories shared as they were coupled with real life examples. Dynamic group of learners coming from different demographic and professional backgrounds made the sessions more fruitful.
Chhaya Kanakia
Batch: Volt 16
“Teaching is only demonstrating that it is possible. Learning is making it possible for yourself.” by Paulo Coelho.

This quote proved to be true for me as I was given an opportunity to learn and be a part of the Belin-Blank Center’s course in gifted education and talent development. This course enables me to learn more about understanding gifted learners and promote talent development in my class. It makes me feel very proud that I am doing something important that would benefit my students.

Our coordinators for the course – Ms Laurie Croft and Ms Devasena Desai are very supportive and have given me extensive support, development, and encouragement for the program. I have been provided with all the material that is required to develop and perfect my profession which will help me meet the needs of my students that I am so passionate about.
Indrajeet Padhye
Batch: Volt 16
When I flew from my latitude to Mumbai to attend the introductory workshop, my mind was crowded with apprehensions. What is this programme all about? Gifted children are already gifted, what else should be done for them? Would I be comfortable with this online course when the internet is offen slow in my area?

To my relief, my all the doubts were cleared, that a lot is to be done for the gifted children as they have their special psychologically and emotional needs. And the online course is a joy when you easily interact with the experts from a different time zone. (regular connectivity is not required)

Now, as I have come back to my realm of performance, my eyes are looking for a gifted child instead of a problematic one. I am sure that with the help of Dr. Laurie Croft and Dr. Devsena I shall finish this certificate course successfully and translate my learning according to Indian situation.
Noshaba Pittalwala
Batch: Volt 16
The Belin-Blank Center’s course in ‘Gifted Education and Talent Development’ is a very useful and relevant program for all educators. In the first few sessions itself Ms Laurie Croft and Ms Devasena Desai enabled us to identify gifted learners in the classroom setting and provided us with numerous strategies for talent development. Reflecting on current practices and brainstorming with colleagues is a very valuable experience for me. Not only does the program provide me with an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of students, but it also provides me the opportunity to grow both professionally and personally. I am looking forward to expand my subject knowledge using the various research articles provided online and using the same in a professional set up. The Aditya Birla Education Academy has truly provided me with a unique platform for professional and personal development.
Sanjoy Bhattacharjee
Batch: Volt 16
Overall it was a stimulating workshop in an encouraging environment.
Batch: Volt 16
“I really have to tell you that this entire program has been one of the most beneficial and truly meaningful experiences I have had in my career as an educator.  I can't tell you how much it means that you ensure that every bit of research and work I have done directly impacts my students.  That is always my top priority and I could not be more grateful to have chosen University of Iowa and this program!”
Batch: Volt 15
“I will continue to work on developing differentiated, challenging curriculum that challenges and engages all my gifted students - including the underperforming ones, and the supremely gifted ones.”
Batch: Volt 15
“Everything we did was very valuable. I learned a lot and appreciate all of the resources you provided us with.”
Frequently Asked Questions
  • Course related
Yes, on completion of the course, project work and evaluations, a certificate will be awarded to the participant
5:30 pm to 7:30 pm IST
Teachers teaching classes K-12 and higher education.
No. Any additional material, if required, will be provided by the academy.
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