Gifted Educator Professional Preparation

Gifted Education Professional Preparation Standards

Ensuring that highly able learners are recognized and subsequently served through systematic programming is a high priority. All teachers must be able to recognize a high-ability student who needs more depth and complexity in instruction or may need a referral for further assessment and services. Teachers in specialized programs for gifted learners or those who coordinate gifted and talented programs and services should be familiar with the theory, research, curriculum strategies, and educational practices necessary to develop and sustain high quality classroom-based opportunities for advanced student learning.

Announcement of transition of Gifted & Talented Standards national program recognition

For over a decade, the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), The Association for the Gifted (TAG) and the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) have worked collaboratively to develop Standards for the Preparation of Gifted Education Professionals.

CEC is pleased to announce that the CEC Board of Directors has approved a motion to adopt the Teacher Preparation Standards in Gifted and Talented Education and the National Recognition program administration of these standards. As part of this new effort, CEC will establish a partnership with the Council for the Accreditation of Education Preparation (CAEP), similar to the partnership already established for the review and development of the Initial and Advanced Preparation Standards for Special Educators.

Beginning in March 2018, CEC, in collaboration with TAG, will become the Specialized Professional Association (SPA) of record for gifted educator preparation programs, which will allow teacher preparation programs to continue to seek National Recognition through the CAEP accreditation process.

CEC is proud to support the professional standards for both special and gifted educator preparation, the ongoing partnerships with our colleagues at TAG, NAGC and the invaluable work of all professionals serving students with exceptionalities, gifts, and talents.


Initial Gifted Educator Preparation Standards

National standards for gifted education teacher preparation programs reflect what the field of gifted education determines is essential for gifted education specialists to know and be able to do. The Initial Preparation Standards for Gifted Education Professionals define what a candidate must know and be able to do to begin teaching. A high-quality preparation program that prepares candidates to meet these standards must provide, at a minimum, the following:

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Sufficient opportunities to develop and demonstrate appropriate pedagogical skills including extensive field experiences and clinical practice
  • Preparation in core academic subject areas

In addition, CEC expects that professional gifted educators in new positions undergo a systematic and structured discipline-specific period of induction—this is often the responsibility of the state or school district.

Preparation for Advanced Gifted Education Roles

After mastering initial standards for the preparation of teachers of the gifted, many educators in gifted education continue their professional growth toward mastery of advanced professional standards at the post baccalaureate levels. For some this means deepening their understandings and expertise and adding new responsibilities for leadership within the classroom. Some educators in gifted education assume functions outside the classroom, moving into specializations, administering gifted education programs and services, or moving into teacher preparation and research roles. Regardless of the specific role, educators in advanced roles share an array of functions and responsibilities in common. The Advanced Preparation Standards for Gifted Education Professionals lay out the knowledge and skills that teachers in gifted education should master as part of their preparation for advanced professional practice.


Preparation Program Recognition

Beginning in March 2018, CEC, in collaboration with The Association for the Gifted (TAG), will become the Specialized Professional Association (SPA) of record for gifted educator preparation programs, which will allow teacher preparation programs to continue to seek National Recognition through the CAEP accreditation process.

Program Developers

Below are sample rubrics for reference while preparing your program report.

You can download the Initial Preparation Standards for Gifted Education Professionals here.

Program Reviewers

Interested in becoming a reviewer for Gifted & Talented Educator preparation programs? Download the Reviewer Application.


For more information please e-mail prostandards@cec.sped.org or call (703) 620-3660.