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Graduate Certificate in Gifted Inclusive Education

The Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota Gifted Inclusive Education (GIE) Graduate Certificate program is designed for the K–12 teacher who wants to take a proactive approach to creating constructive challenges for all students. 

A foundational framework for the program is the belief and understanding that all students have gifts and exceptionalities and are all equal in the K–12 general classroom. Tenets of culturally responsive teaching, ethical and professional practice, and advocacy for all students are embedded throughout the program. Students in the program also learn how to support and coach others, serving as a key resource in their building and school.

GIE Specialization Within the M.A. in Education

After completion of the 15 GIE credits, those wishing to complete the M.A. in Education degree may do so with an additional 18 credits. Courses for degree completion address topics such as educational theory and research, integrating technology into the curriculum, ethics and law, child growth and development, reflection, and resiliency. The culminating activity is an action research project where you will implement practical educational strategies that ensure the success of all learners.

Program Outcomes

Upon completion of the Gifted Inclusive Education Graduate Certificate Program, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  • Identify the giftedness of every learner
  • Demonstrate the ability to promote the academic and cultural diversity within the school and familial communities
  • Apply theory, research, instructional strategies, and emerging best practices of gifted inclusive education
  • Design curriculum that challenges the full continuum of giftedness
  • Demonstrate how teachers can plan and collaborate with fellow educators and families to plan systemic gifted inclusive education

Gainful Employment Information

Effective July 1, 2011, the U.S. Department of Education requires institutions with nondegree programs defined as “Gainful Employment programs” to disclose certain information about these programs. Read the report.

From Start to Finish

  • You can earn your Graduate Certificate in Gifted Inclusive Education in one year.
  • Courses are offered fully online. The cohort-based design consists of courses taught by experienced practitioners. Classes include collaborative discussions, engaging online activities, and an emphasis on teamwork and practical educational strategies that ensure the success of all learners. 

Apply Now

Applicants must submit the following:

  1. Completed application form with the nonrefundable application fee (fee not required for alumni or students seeking readmission or veterans and active military personnel), and
  2. An official transcript issued to Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota from the institution posting the applicant’s completed bachelor degree and other relevant transcripts documenting program prerequisites and potential transfer credits.(An official transcript is one that is sent to the university by the credit-granting institution. Transcripts from countries other than the U.S. must be evaluated by a university accepted evaluation source, such as World Education Services, Educational Credential Evaluators, Educational Perspectives, or One Earth International Credential Evaluators and be deemed equivalent to accredited U.S. university standards).
  3. A reflective essay which includes the following:
    • brief description of the applicant’s background, training, and experience; and
    • statement indicating the career goals of the applicant and his or her reasons for seeking admission to the program; and
    • description of the areas the applicant considers to be his or her strengths and areas in which the applicant wishes to develop greater strengths and abilities; and
    • personal information the applicant wishes to share.
  4. Two letters of recommendation that verify professional and/or volunteer experience and academic ability; and
  5. A current résumé listing educational background and work experience.
  6. Applicants with international transcripts may require an English language proficiency exam (TOEFL, IELTS, PTE or MELAB accepted.)

Please Note: Application materials should be sent to the attention of the Office of Admission on the Twin Cities campus.

Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota
Office of Admission
2500 Park Avenue
Minneapolis, MN  55404


This program is offered online.

Degree Requirements

Required Courses: 15 cr.

GESP600 Foundations of Gifted Inclusive Education (3 cr.)

This course presents philosophical, ethical, and culturally responsive lenses through which to consider the impact of learning differences, culture and language, social economics, and other exceptionalities in the development and recognition of giftedness.


GESP601 Developing Gifted Learners (3 cr.)

In this course, students examine theory, research, and practices to assess and appropriately identify and challenge gifted learners. Twice exceptionalities, multiple intelligences, preferred learning styles, developing gifts and talents in all students, and obstacles to learning are covered.

GESP602 Instructional Design for Gifted Inclusiveness (3 cr.)

In this course, students plan curriculum, select resources, develop activities, and create differentiated instructional strategies for gifted learners. Students evaluate historical and current models of gifted inclusive education to effectively influence future teaching practices.

GESP603 Creative Application of Gifted Inclusive Education (3 cr.)

This course covers curriculum implementation and management of gifted inclusive education, assessment of learning, and interpretation of student data to make appropriate curriculum revisions based on individual student needs.

GESP604 Leadership in Gifted Inclusive Education (3 cr.)

This course explores how to collaborate with and lead others within the school and familial communities in the systemic development of policy, resources, inquiry, and curriculum for gifted inclusive education.

Connect With Us

Michelle Dougherty, M.A.

SGPP Admission - Assistant Director of Admission

LaSalle Hall-TC Campus, LSH112

Campus Box: # 28

(612) 728-5122


Lynn Albee, Ed.D.

School of Education - Assistant Dean and Program Director of M.A. in Education

LaSalle Hall-TC Campus, LSH170

Campus Box: # 28

(612) 728-5128

Lynn Albee Ed.D.
Craig Jensen, M.S.

MA in Education Program - Associate Director

LaSalle Hall-TC Campus, LSH104

Campus Box: # 28

(612) 728-5157

Craig Jensen M.S.
Julie Kirsch

Program Coordinator, Master of Arts in Education

LaSalle Hall-TC Campus, LSH

Campus Box: # 28

(612) 728-5181

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