Summer always marks the end of the annual professional development cycle at the Belin-Blank Center. Educators have participated in primarily online coursework during the Fall and Spring semesters. Summer semester is even busier than the academic year for those who are developing their expertise in gifted education and talent development. Table 1 below reflects enrollment over this past academic year.
Table 1. Professional Development Enrollment Figures for 2013 – 2014
|Total Classes||Number of Participants||Number of Semester Hours|
|Fall 2013||8 online classes||78||168|
|Spring 2014||10 online classes||106||191|
|Summer 2014||9 online classes||143||158|
|9 on-campus classes||158*||209|
*Belin-Blank Fellows who did not enroll for credit: 3
*APTTI participants who did not enroll for credit: 144
**Counting those who did not enroll for credit, 632 participants committed their time and often their personal resources to professional development in gifted education and talent development
Professional development, however, is far more than the numbers. Participants from Illinois, Nebraska, Ohio, Wisconsin, Wyoming, and Italy joined educators from multiple towns across Iowa on campus to focus on the nature and needs of gifted children—and how to meet those needs.
Summer 2014 featured a new initiative at the Belin-Blank Center. In addition to 9 online classes over the summer, the Center, in partnership with the College of Education, hosted Chautauqua I and II, with three intensive workshops each week. Just over 100 participants enrolled in the Chautauqua workshops, and 100% who responded to online course evaluations indicated that they would take courses from the Belin-Blank Center again; comments included:
- “I felt that this class was a good use of my time. Thank you for the wonderful knowledge gained and learning opportunity!!”
- “This was a very informative class, and it provided me with a lot of valuable information I can use in the classroom.”
- “You created an amazing class and I wish it was longer. I learned so much and hope to take another class from you!”
- “So helpful. I wish we had the class five years ago! This would have provided some direction at creating a plan regarding the direction of our program. I may suggest our new coordinator take this class online. Thank you.”
- “I’m so glad (after the 2 weeks) that I have 6 credits! I am hoping to do just one week of the Chautauqua next year for more credits so I don’t have to worry about classes during the school year. Thank you for offering this intense 2 weeks! Friendships were made, and once my brain rests for awhile, I’ll have a lot of information to put to use!”
Thank you to everyone who expanded their understanding of high-ability students with us over the past year! Fall classes are up now, and we’re looking forward to another year of good discussions and in-depth study.