Center for Talented Youth

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
"CTY" redirects here. For other uses, see CTY (disambiguation).
Center For Talented Youth
CTY Activity1.JPG
A CTY afternoon activity at LMU in Los Angeles
School type gifted education
Founded 1979
Founder Julian Stanley
Authority Johns Hopkins University
Director Elaine Tuttle Hansen
Age 6 to 17
Enrollment 10000+
Classes offered Mathematics, Computer Science, Humanities, and Science
Accreditation grades K-12[1]

The Center for Talented Youth (CTY) is a gifted education program for school-age children founded in 1979 by Julian Stanley at Johns Hopkins University. It was initially established as a research study into the rate at which gifted children can learn new material, and became the first program of its kind to identify academically talented youths and provide them with learning opportunities. CTY offers numerous programs around the world and online but is best known for its fast-paced Summer Programs, which are held on many university campuses throughout the United States and the world, serving over 10,000 students each year.[2] CTY is an accredited school for grades K to 12 by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.

Other names[edit]

CTY has held several previous names. Dr. Stanley's research groups, the Study of Mathematically Precocious Youth (SMPY) and the Program for Verbally Gifted Youth (PVGY), were combined in the early 1980s to form the Office of Talent Identification and Development (OTID). OTID was renamed Center for Talented Youth, which was expanded to Center for the Advancement of Academically Talented Youth (CAATY) for a brief period. Later, CTY became the Institute for the Academic Advancement of Youth (IAAY). However, most students, parents, schools, and staff members preferred to call it CTY, and the name was changed back in 1999.[3]

Talent search[edit]

Generally from October to February each year, CTY's Talent Search recruits elementary and middle school students (who have scored at or above the 95th percentile on in-grade standardized tests) to qualify for its academic programs.[4] Qualified applicants then take a standardized test that is above their grade level, beyond the ability of most children their age. Students in 2nd to 3th grades take the School and College Ability Test (SCAT) at the Elementary level, administered by either CTY or Prometric. Students in 4th and 5th grades take the SCAT at the Intermediate level. Previously the PLUS test was used. Students in 6th to 11th grades take the SAT, ACT, or the advanced SCAT.

CTY offers two broad programs: CTY summer programs and CTYOnline.

Summer programs and CTYOnline[edit]

Summer programs are aimed at two age-groups: programs for grades 2 to 6; programs for grades 7 to 12. Younger students must pass somewhat lower thresholds based on grade level; applicants above 7th grade face correspondingly higher cutoffs. Students in 5th grade and above may optionally take CTY's Spatial Test Battery; high scorers on the STB face slightly lower SCAT or SAT requirements. CTY has considered other entrance criteria several times over the years, but found that SAT (et al.) remained the best predictor of student success in CTY courses.

Summer programs for grades 7 to 12 have two eligibility criteria. To qualify for CTY's primary summer program, CTY: Intensive Studies, a 7th grade student must score at roughly the 50th percentile achieved by graduating high school seniors, which put those students approximately among the top 0.3% of their age group.[5] Since students scores on designated standardized tests place them above the median high school senior, the courses offered are equivalent to a semester of a college-level course (or one-year high school course) at an accelerated pace.

CTY has another summer program called CTY: Academic Explorations, formerly the Center for Academic Advancement (CAA), for gifted students in grades 7 to 11 who are in the top 1% of their age group. CTY: Academic Explorations is identical to CTY: Intensive Studies in most respects, aside from its slightly lower standardized test score threshold and less intensive pace of the courses.

CTYOnline offers distance courses to eligible students with test scores similar (but not necessarily identical) to those of the summer program CTY: Academic Expolorations. CTY course eligibility is based on the math and/or verbal subscores, depending on the course's subject matter (e.g. science or math courses mainly require math, writing or humanities courses require verbal). Over 80,000 students are tested each year, more than half of whom qualify for some portion of CTY's course offerings.

CTY Talent Search officially operates in Alaska, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia. Students from other states are officially served by sister programs such as Duke University's Talent Identification Program or Northwestern's Center for Talent Development; however, they do not offer as many programs or sites as CTY, so cross-registrations are allowed. Students from every state, and dozens of countries participate in CTY programs each year.

Summer programs[edit]

The Summer Programs are CTY's hallmark and its most visible public face. Many people use the term "CTY" as a synonym for the 7th to 11th grade Intensive Studies summer program. CTY sites typically host a few hundred students each, divided into a few dozen course sections, for one or two three-week sessions. Separate sites and courses are offered for each level of students (grades 2-4, grades 5-6, older students). Sites for the youngest group are commuter programs that students attend only in the daytime. All of the other sites are residential programs where most students live in college dormitories during the session, but a few in the local area may opt to commute. Classes in CTY are small, usually 12 students, one instructor, and one teaching assistant (TA) per class, making the ratio of students to teachers 6:1.

CTY sites[edit]

A game being played at CTY's Loyola Marymount site

CTY: Intensive Studies programs, for students in 7th grade and above, are held at the following sites: Franklin & Marshall College - Lancaster, Pennsylvania; Johns Hopkins University - Baltimore, Maryland; Dickinson College - Carlisle, Pennsylvania; Loyola Marymount University - Los Angeles, California; Princeton University - Princeton, New Jersey (Students who just completed 10th, 11th, or 12th grade only); Skidmore College - Saratoga Springs, New York; Seattle University - Seattle, Washington (Reopened in 2017) [6]

CTY: Academic Explorations programs, for the same grade range, are held at the following sites: Roger Williams University - Bristol, Rhode Island; Lafayette College - Easton, Pennsylvania; University of California at Santa Cruz - Santa Cruz, California; College of Notre Dame of Maryland - Baltimore, Maryland; Haverford College - Haverford, Pennsylvania (Opened in 2013); Seattle University - Seattle, Washington (Reopened in 2017) [6]

CTY summer programs for young students are available for students in grades 2-4 in the daytime, and for those in 5th and 6th grades as residential or daytime programs. They are held at the following sites: St. Stephens and St. Agnes School - Alexandria, Virginia; Washington College - Chestertown, Maryland; The Speyer Legacy School - New York, New York; New Roads School - Santa Monica, California; The Nueva School - San Mateo, California; Sandy Spring Friends School - Sandy Spring, Maryland; St. Paul's School - Brooklandville, Maryland; La Jolla Country Day School - La Jolla, California

Other summer programs[edit]

CTY has recently begun to hold residential programs for students in 10th to 12th grade. Six advanced courses are offered at Princeton University. This site has the same entry requirements as CTY for 7th to 11th graders; Students who already have qualified for CTY are still eligible for the Princeton Summer Program. Some courses also have prerequisites.[7] In addition, the Civic Leadership Institute (CLI) (grades 10-12) hosts 80 students a year. It is an alliance between Northwestern's Civic Education Project and CTY with the same academic requirements as CTY: Academic Explorations, the CLI service-learning program is offered at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, Maryland and at UC Berkeley in Berkeley, California.

CTY International[edit]

CTY partners with numerous educational institutions around the world. For the most part, their programs and summer sites are hosted independently of CTY.[8]

CTY Bermuda[edit]

CTY Bermuda is operated by Bermuda's Institute for Talented Students in affiliation with CTY.[9] The Center for Talented Youth ("CTY") Bermuda, in affiliation with Johns Hopkins University CTY, offers after-school programs for Bermuda’a academically talented students. CTY Bermuda was founded in 2003 by Ms. Ricquette Bonne-Smith, who is currently its executive director.

Students, aged 8–16 years of age, qualify for acceptance in the program based on written scores achieved on the College Bound SAT and SCAT examinations administered by Johns Hopkins University CTY. Acceleration and enrichment programs include: Mathematics (arithmetic through advanced calculus); Science (Young scientists, marine science, medical science, physics); Language arts; Economics (Microeconomics in the global economy); International relations / global politics; Finance; Art.

Since 2005, CTY Bermuda, in collaboration with the University of Waterloo, Department of Mathematics, has held a Mathematics Olympiad for young mathematicians. Overall winners have included: Matthew Witkowski (2005); Amee Baker (2006); Ceilidh Blood (2007 and 2008); Aanika Rahman (2009); Graydon Kilgour Flatt (2010 and 2011).

Other international CTY sites[edit]

Programs are also being developed in the Czech and Slovak Republics, the Republic of Kazakhstan, and other countries. CTY had sister programs in China (Nanjing), Mexico (Monterrey), and Spain (Navarra), but those sites appear to have closed.

Student life[edit]

During a three-week summer session of CTY (here denoting the two programs for students in the 7th grade and above), students engage in numerous site-sponsored activities. The amount of scheduled time versus free time varies by site, but all sites share the same basic outline for the weekday agenda.[14] Students eat breakfast at roughly 7 to 8 a.m., sometimes with their hall (the group of students living in the same dorm hall, which is supervised by a Residential Assistant). This is followed by class from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., divided into morning and afternoon class sessions by an hour for lunch, and interrupted by short breaks.

CTY puts heavy emphasis on its social aspect, encouraging social interaction over solitary activities,[15] and schedules class time and social time separately to avoid overwhelming students and to promote community and social development.[16] Although there are no classes during weekends, most sites will hold all-site events on Friday evening and Saturday throughout the day, ranging from staff performances to game shows to carnivals. In addition, every site holds at least one dance each weekend, and on the day before session ends. Sundays are generally left open, with the exception of a study hall session in the evening to replace Friday's study hall.

Student evaluations[edit]

In general, CTY students are not given traditional letter grades. Instead, they are given page-long written evaluations composed by the instructor with input from the teaching assistant. The evaluations are signed by the instructor and sometimes by the teaching assistant and must be approved individually by the Site Director. The CTY Instructor's Handbook suggests writing three types of evaluations which correspond roughly to grades of "high pass," "pass," and "low pass."

These specific terms are not used, since they suggest traditional grading, but instructors generally follow the suggestions of the Handbook and write three boilerplate evaluations. Students are ranked into three groups and receive a corresponding evaluation to which personalized remarks specific to the student are added, e.g. "Your story, Motel Saturday Night showed both biting satire and keen understanding of U.S. oil policy." The difference between the three types of evaluations may be subtle.

The specific exception to this rule is in the case of courses designed specifically to enable students to skip classes in their high schools, such as Individually Paced Mathematics Sequence or the three Fast Paced High School science courses. Students in these courses do receive letter grades so that their schools can gauge their performances; however, they also receive individualized comments from their instructors.


CTY also offers distance education courses through CTYOnline, with similar eligibility standards to the Summer Programs. CTY's distance courses began in 1983 with the "Writing Tutorials" through postal mail; this course migrated to email in the 1990s, and now uses Moodle. CTYOnline's course offerings have expanded from math and writing into many subject areas, including economics, foreign language, programming, and the physical sciences. CTYOnline now serves over 8000 students per year, and is expected to surpass the Summer Program's head count in the near future. Additional distance students can be enrolled by adding an instructor and a computer or two, whereas expanding a summer site requires a great deal of staffing and logistics. They also offer Advanced Placement courses such as AP Biology, AP Calculus etc...

Students usually receive assignments through the Internet and turn in their work the same way. The most common examples are by email and through a website, although many also use CD-ROMs and/or downloaded files. Some courses, such as writing, require students to complete an assignment by a deadline before receiving a new assignment. Other courses, such as accelerated math, are individually paced; each student may complete as much material as they can within the given enrollment period.[17]

Other CTY programs[edit]

Family Academic Programs, also known as Conferences, are collections of seminars and hands-on activities in various locations around the world. The Study of Exceptional Talent is a longitudinal study of Talent Search participants who scored 700 or above on the math or verbal section of the SAT before age 13. Imagine is an educational magazine aimed at middle and high school students. Cogito is a website where students recognized by CTY can join a community to discuss a wide variety of topics with other students and leading academic figures.[18]


CTY was featured in a July 2004 article in The New Yorker magazine entitled "Nerd Camp".[19] Nickelodeon is producing a movie about CTY, also entitled "Nerd Camp". The movie is being written by Adam Stzykiel.[20] CTY was shown in an hour-long CNN special on gifted children in 2006.[21]

CTY alumni and students[edit]

Notable members of CTY (current and former) include:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Accreditation Information for Schools and Parents". The Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth. Retrieved March 17, 2015. 
  2. ^ "About CTY". Johns Hopkins University. 2005. 
  3. ^ "Johns Hopkins Magazine". Johns Hopkins University. 2004. 
  4. ^ "Talent Search and Testing". Johns Hopkins University. 2006. Retrieved 2006-09-11. 
  5. ^ Wai, Jonathan, Megan Cacchio, Martha Putallaz and Matthew Makel, Sex differences in the right tail of cognitive abilities: A 30 year examination, Intelligence 38 (2010) pp. 412-423.
  6. ^ a b
  7. ^ CTY Summer Program at Princeton University
  8. ^ "CTY International". 2007. 
  9. ^ CTY Bermuda web page
  10. ^ [1] CTY Hong Kong S.A.R.
  11. ^ "CTY Greece at Anatolia College (Gr)". 
  12. ^ CTY Ireland
  13. ^ "Mawhiba to sign strategic pact with Johns Hopkins University". Arab News. 2014-04-23. 
  14. ^ Student Life at CTY
  15. ^ Information for Parents of CTY Students
  16. ^ CTY Official FAQ
  17. ^ "CTY Distance Education". Johns Hopkins University. 2006. Retrieved 2006-09-11. 
  18. ^ CTY Description of Cogito
  19. ^ Burkhard Bilger, Annals of Childhood, "Nerd Camp," The New Yorker, July 26, 2004, p. 64
  20. ^ McNary, Dave. "'Nerd' herd camps out with a scibe." Variety. 25 Sep. 2005. Variety. 19 Aug. 2008 <>.
  21. ^ "CTY Featured on CNN." JHU Center for Talented Youth. 2006. JHU Center for Talented Youth. 19 Aug. 2008 <>.
  22. ^ "Press Release: Center for Talented Youth Alumni Net Top Academic Honors". 2006. 
  23. ^ "CSP Students are Recognized by JHU". 2012. 
  24. ^ Presenter: Sanjay Gupta (2006-09-17). "Genius: Quest for Extreme Brain Power". CNN.  Missing or empty |series= (help)
  25. ^ Ramakrishnan, Meera (2009-11-19). "Hopkins alumni gather for Center for Talented Youth reunion". The Johns Hopkins News-Letter. Archived from the original on 2012-03-26. 
  26. ^ McGoldrick, Debbie (2009-06-23). "Lynch a Writing Star". IrishCentral. 
  27. ^ "Cogito Interview". 
  28. ^ "Matt Zimmerman - United Kingdom". LinkedIn. Retrieved 2010-07-06. 
  29. ^ Vozzella, Laura (2009-11-04). "Just like Mom (and Sister) didn't used to make". Baltimore Sun. 
  30. ^ "Terence Tao receives 2014 CTY Distinguished Alumni Award". Center for Talented Youth. 
  31. ^ "Studying sensory systems of fruit flies, worms a stroke of genius". UCLA Newsroom. 
  32. ^ "Former CTY student earns MacArthur 'genius grant'". HUB Johns Hopkins University. 
  33. ^ "CTY Annual Report 2013" (PDF). The Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth. 

External links[edit]