History and Background
Hunter College has long been associated with excellence in gifted education. The Hunter Model School was established in 1870 as a laboratory school for teacher education and, for the past 75 years, the Hunter College Campus Schools have focused explicitly on children of high intellectual ability. Hunter built a strong national and international reputation in gifted education with the gifted teacher preparation graduate program and research agenda directed by Dr. Rena Subotnik from 1986 to 1998. In 2003, Hunter College established a Center for Gifted Studies and Education, with the mission of building a vibrant, internationally recognized center of excellence in urban gifted education. Dr. Dona Matthews, its first director, built the foundation of the Center from which it continues to grow.
The Advanced Certificate program constitutes an important part of Hunter's commitment to a reputation for excellence in teacher development in Gifted Education. It focuses on the urban context, incorporating rich cultural, social, political and educational resources. The program develops expertise in educating students from a broad range of backgrounds who are gifted and talented in a variety of ways. Reflecting the conceptual framework of the Hunter College School of Education, the program is infused with a strong commitment to social justice and to understanding giftedness inclusively. To encompass the various conceptions of giftedness in the field, our courses examine several models of and perspectives on giftedness, identification and programming.
On local, state and national levels, communities concerned with education have a heightened awareness that human resources are our most precious assets. Additional pedagogical knowledge, skills and experiences are required for teaching those with exceptionally advanced learning needs. The establishment by New York State of a Gifted Education Extension to its teacher certifications reflects this understanding.