PHILOSOPHY AND OBJECTIVES

Program Mission Statement

The Profoundly Gifted Institute is a non-profit organization established to support and build programs on college campuses for children who work multiple years above age-level. We are a multi-age, intellectual-peer learning-environment that meets individual educational-challenges while fulfilling the social and emotional needs of children performing 5 or more years above age-level.

Philosophy

All children are entitled to a meaningful education. Serving the special needs of our most gifted children is an issue that faces all of us philosophically and morally. Not educating our most gifted children raises issues about civil rights, national and global concerns, and places in danger their contribution to society and themselves. The program is dedicated to breaking the cycle of education based on age alone by providing an educational experience that meets their intellectual, social, and emotional needs.

Rationale

Our program, and the college setting, provides access to college level curriculum that provides acceleration with both learning and age peers for young children, ages 5 through 14.

A critical aspect of PGI is the support services provided to students and their families. In addition to the unique curriculum and setting, we offer counseling, lists of other professionals working in the community, seminars, as well as, an annual conference for parents, professionals and community members interested in the special needs of our most gifted children. Foundation
We are a full 501 C3 foundation. We provide an intervention program to students whose needs are so extreme they can create a disconnect between the traditional in-use theory of education in the private and public school sectors. We support the legal mandates of the state educational systems while we provide access to college level curriculum and real peers.
School Community
The Profoundly Gifted Institute's students perform a minimum of five years above their age-peers. These are special needs children who divide their day between a nurturing in-seat environment with like peers and college students. The students come to our school from all over the world since this program is the first of its kind. Our students learn to live and react in a multi-cultural environment. They add to diversity their own differences to build an expanded concept of diversity. Bibliotherapy An exciting component of PGI's visionary mission is our Bibliotherapy Library, which offers books, articles, DVDs, and more, in order to promote an understanding of the special needs of the Highly, Exceptionally, and Profoundly Gifted. This Library provides literature about other gifted children for the students and in-depth materials for professional. We provide specialized resources to the highly, exceptionally, and profoundly gifted population, as well as, to the community and professionals interested in the special needs of this population. A key component of this program is its specialized library. This library includes books, articles, research, DVDs, and personal stories by our students, their parents, and our staff. These materials discuss and illustrate the experience of being very gifted and the challenges that face these students and their families and the odyssey it can become gaining educational access and similar peers. It is often most critical for very young readers, and children who have had a very difficult time with age-peers in a traditional academic setting, to be able to read about other remarkable children, both fictional and non-fictional. Access We provide access to college level curriculum within a whole child environment. Access to college curriculum is an issue our most gifted children and their families face. Our program bridges access issues to provide a unique educational opportunity for young very gifted learners. Model Program We provide leadership and direction in the field of gifted education. Our innovative programand staff serve as a model for other programs around the world. Parent Support Groups We facilitate parent support groups to address the stress of parenting a child whose development is not in sync physically, mentally, and emotionally. Family members are a driving force behind change, building additional programs, and providing support from their experiences to help new families encountering similar issues from around the world. Curriculum PGI’s curriculum is the first of its kind. It combines the college curriculum with specially designed coursework, our Life Skills/ Personal Development Course, that addresses the unique developmental, educational, social, and emotional needs of children who work multiple years above their age-peers. We have added this unique course as a thread running through the curriculum which helps the children navigate early college enrollment and social responsibility through our volunteer service components. The specialized course framework resources multi-age,intellectual-peer learning-environments that meet individual educational challenges. Each student’s program is designed annually by a Student Study Team comprised of parents, students, and professionals. Faculty and Staff PGI’s innovative staff weave the professors of PGI and the college together to offer students a selection of classes from both programs. All staff members have a full and in-depth understanding of the special needs of the most gifted children and their families. Many of our staff understand the difficulties both the students and their parents face since they, themselves, have successfully parented children like our students which adds an additional personal dimension. While professional development in the field of gifted education is important for our staff, we envision part of our purpose as providing leadership and direction in the field of gifted education. Our program is the first of its kind and our program model is a driving force in the direction of future gifted programs. Our annual conference will help guide others in the field and help provide a forum for issues important to the Highly Gifted community. Our Students Students have access to college level classes based on their individual needs and ability levels. Our most gifted students need their learning environment to be a setting where real learning can take place at many different levels. This includes being with other learners who are working at their intellectual learning levels as well as other children in their age group. Students who work at many varying levels need others who share their intellectual interests. These children also play differently and need to have real-peers available for both intellectual reasons, as well as, for play and social and emotional growth.                                  One of the exemplary components of our program is that we address the needs of the whole child. There is not another program available to bring children together, who are 5 to 14 years old, within a college environment to provide curriculum and similar peers. These children have special needs. Providing the opportunity to develop with others like themselves in this unique setting is leading the standard for educating, both intellectually and emotionally, our most gifted children. Coursework follows the individual college’s course of study. Textbooks are determined by each college’s classes. Our specialized coursework includes Life Skills, Study Support, CHSEE Prep, CHSPE Prep, Homeschooling and Independent Study.

Resources available to Students

Being on and near a college campus opens new worlds to children who are 5 to 14 years of age. Our program provides a college experience that will help build success for these early entrants when they transition to universities.

Students have access to all facilities. Their intellectual curiosity is nurtured by a college library, labs, music rooms, recreation facilities, a well stocked bookstore, an art gallery, and advanced classes in the arts. It also provides opportunities to nurture their higher level thinking skills and include elements that make it easier to examine relevant research, have access to professors, observe exemplary instruction, and benefit from individualized instruction that maximizes their abilities and performance.

Our professional staff is also a resource to facilitate the student’s special needs.

Resources for Professionals and Community PGI provides a centralized data source for services and materials related to the special needs of the highly, exceptionally, and profoundly gifted. There is a need to provide a centralized data source for services and materials related to the special needs of the highly, exceptionally, and profoundly gifted. We have heard hundreds of times how frustrating it is for parents, children, and professionals to access a collection of materials about the highly, exceptionally, and profoundly gifted. The foundation maintains lists of professionals, resources in our Bibliotherapy Library, parent support groups, and a model program structure. Volunteering Families are seen as a valuable resource in advocating for our most gifted children. Their time and volunteer efforts are an important component of our success. Admission Admission is based on demonstration of a minimum of five years discrepancy between ability and achievement above age-peers. Students are placed based on the greatest need as determined by documentation, staff recommendation, and availability of space. Graduation and Transition Services The goal of transitional services is to address the needs students face after they have moved on from PGI and are attending other universities, colleges, or programs. Services continue after graduation or a diploma since services are provided based on age. We see our students as a valuable resource of the gifted community. Their guidance and mentoring of younger students will provide an opportunity to give back morally what they have had the privilege of experiencing educationally, socially, and emotionally. Transitional Services are not only offered to assist our older students, but also are offered to continually reach out to them and bring them home to be members of this unique community.