Opening Doors for Students With Academic Aptitude: Gifted and Talented Education

Students learning.

MSU's Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) programs offer gifted students in Michigan the opportunity to access accelerated learning with programs that run the gamut from a crime scene investigation camp to Future DOcs, which works in collaboration with the College of Osteopathic Medicine to get middle school students excited about careers in the STEM fields.

Several of the GATE programs have been successfully challenging gifted students for decades. The Mathematics-Science-Technology (MST) program, for example, is a two-week summer program for academically talented students who are currently in 7th through 9th grades. The residential or commuter program is conducted on the East Lansing campus of Michigan State and is designed for academically talented students selected from Michigan and across the nation. Referred to as MST@MSU, the program was launched in 1990.

Students learning.

MST@MSU relies on faculty from numerous departments, from the MSU Music School to the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory. Students are able to schedule their own math-, science-, or technology-based classes and an enrichment workshop to create their own experience. When classes are done for the day, the students are supervised by resident advisors who help make the social aspects of the two-week program successful.

Two programs that run throughout the year are CHAMP (Cooperative Highly Accelerated Mathematics Program) and ISHALL (Intensive Study in Humanities, Arts, Language and Literature). Rather than bringing students to Michigan State, these bring Michigan State to students. Through CHAMP and ISHALL, students take just two years to complete the four-year Michigan high school mathematics or English curriculum. The accelerated curricula were developed in collaboration with Michigan State faculty, many of whom continue to teach in the program.

GATE works with Ingham County Intermediate School District as well as other districts in Michigan to offer satellite classes. These have included and continue to include Memphis, Newaygo, Lapeer, and Mason. Most recently the programs have become available to students in southeast Michigan with satellite classes being offered in Novi. The GATE website ( offers a complete listing of the programs for gifted and talented students.

  • Written by Matthew Forster, University Outreach and Engagement

Like this Magazine? Join our mailing list