Get Your Crash Course in Academic Acceleration

The Belin-Blank Center at the University of Iowa is offering a conference focused on academic acceleration. The target audience is gifted education teachers, administrators, and school counselors. Parents are also welcome to attend. The goal is to present attendees with practical information about acceleration, using existing research and tools to help make data-driven decisions.

At the Pre-Institute (Sunday, July 24 from 2-5 p.m., $75), participants will learn specific information about how to use the Iowa Acceleration Scale (3rd edition) a tool designed to help educators and parents make decisions about grade skipping for K-8 students. Individuals may register for only this session, if desired.

The focus of the Two-Day Institute is A Nation Empowered: Research-Based Evidence about Acceleration and Gifted/Talented Students. (July 25, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., plus optional evening activities and July 26, 8:30 a.m. to noon, $250).  Participants will meet the editors and authors of A Nation Empowered; interact with others who have successfully implemented acceleration in their schools; choose from multiple sessions focusing on practical applications of how to implement acceleration in schools; and create their own plan for next steps!

Released last spring, A Nation Empowered: Evidence Trumps the Excuses Holding Back America’s Brightest Students, includes updated information about the best-researched yet most under-utilized educational option for gifted students: academic acceleration. In spite of the strong research base supporting the implementation of the many forms of acceleration, many schools do not routinely utilize any of the options, and educators often express concerns about accelerating students, assuming that doing nothing is better than taking a “risk” with acceleration.

All Institute participants will receive a copy of A Nation Empowered. The Institute will include a strong focus on applying the research in practical settings, and participants will have opportunities to learn from educators who have successfully implemented various forms of acceleration.  Discounts are available for students and groups, and a credit option is also available.  For more information and to register, see

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