Gifted and Talented Education Program


New students are, temporarily, not being admitted to the GATE program. For additional information, please contact Dr. Dailey at


The 15-hour Graduate Certificate in Gifted and Talented Education prepares candidates to teach students with gifts and talents and to complete their licensure in Gifted and Talented education. The program was developed to meet performance standards of Arkansas Teaching Standards (InTASC) and National Association for Gifted Children-Council for Exceptional Children (NAGC-CEC) Teacher Preparation Standards in Gifted Education.

While we welcome any out of state candidates, completion of any program, other than an initial licensure program, may not lead to licensure or endorsement in Arkansas or in the state in which you reside. It is your responsibility to check with your state’s department of education to determine if the license or endorsement requirements are met through the program of study. If you are a potential out of state candidate, please contact the program coordinator directly. 

Prospective students can apply to the GATE program at any time during the year. As an applicant for admission, students must present evidence of their ability to participate successfully in a graduate-level academic endeavor. To be considered, applicants must meet the general requirements for admission to the Graduate School and complete all necessary files. Admission to the Graduate School is based upon the following requirements:

  1. Online application
  2. Graduate School application fee
  3. Transcripts from all institutions attended
  4. Health Records

For more information, please visit the Graduate School website.

Admission to the GATE program is based upon the following requirements:

  1. Current and Valid Teaching License
  2. Two letters of recommendation from professional supervisors

Important Note: Candidates must pass the state-designated Praxis examination(s) to add the gifted and talented license to existing Arkansas teaching licenses. Out-of-state students should check with their state-issuing teacher licensure agency to determine licensure eligibility and state-specific reciprocity rules and regulations.

Program of Study/ Required Courses (8 Week Courses)

GATE 6353 Introduction to Gifted & Talented — Fall I This course will explore the characteristics of the gifted, talented, and creative child in public schools. Emphasis is placed on (a) historical development of the field; (b) characteristics and identification; (c) programming options and models pertaining to the field of gifted education; and (d) educational programs and interventions.

GATE 6357 Creativity, Innovation, and Trends in Gifted Education — Fall II Current trends and issues in gifted education including meeting the needs of creative students, talent development and innovation, and identifying and serving promising underrepresented groups are explored.

GATE 6355 Curriculum and Instruction for Gifted Learners — Spring I This course teaches candidates how to design differentiated curricula and the strategies necessary to effectively provide appropriate experiences, materials, and environments conducive to optimum learning and development of the gifted and talented.

GATE 6358 Affective Strategies for the Gifted & Talented — Spring II This course examines the strategies necessary to address the psycho-social needs related to personality, maturity, giftedness, and creativity. Concrete strategies for managing students’ emotional needs as well as appropriate experiences, materials, and environments conducive to optimum learning/development of the gifted and talented are provided.

GATE 6391 Advanced Practicum: Educational Practice in Gifted Education — Summer I Learning experiences are provided which incorporate skills in classroom organization, management, planning, and teaching in a field setting. Candidates will complete an advanced practicum experience in one of two ways: (1) face-to-face using an instructor-selected differentiated curriculum to be implemented in an intensive summer field-based experience which requires teaching at the university’s community-based engineering-focused kids camp, or (2) virtually over the course of a semester using differentiated curriculum and instructional strategies developed in the Curriculum and Instruction course. Teachers must have access to identified gifted and talented students in order to select this option (Note: the virtual option by program coordinator approval only). Enrollment restricted to GT teacher candidates. Prerequisites must be completed BEFORE (not simultaneously with) the practicum course. Prerequisites: GATE 6357, 6353, 6355, and 6358 (Summer, Spring).

GT Program Options

Those pursuing GATE as part of ASTL, SPED, Educational Specialist, or PhD in Leadership degrees should see those program webpages for their specific face-to-face requirements.

Graduate Certificate/Licensure Program
Masters Degree – ASTL & SPED
Educational Specialist Degree
PhD in Leadership Studies

All Gifted and Talented Education courses are online, except the summer GATE 6391 Advanced Practicum in Gifted Education  The summer session will meet four days during the STEMulate Academy at UCA.

Those pursuing GATE as part of ASTL, SPED, Educational Specialist, or PhD in Leadership degrees should see those program webpages for their specific face-to-face requirements.

Scholarship Opportunity:

Tommie Sue Anthony Scholarship Application

Program Contact:

Dr. Debbie Dailey
Assistant Professor and Gifted and Talented Program Coordinator
University of Central Arkansas
Department of Teaching and Learning
Mashburn 107B
201 Donaghey Avenue
Conway, AR 72035
Office: (501) 852-0920

International Students:

Ellen M. Lewis
International Admissions Counselor (A-K)
Suite 109 McCastlain Hall
(501) 852-0927