Tag: NMHU

Spotlight on Gifted Master’s Degree Student

Jessica Koppel, the current Treasurer for NMAG, is obtaining her Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction and Gifted & Talented Education at New Mexico Highlands University. She will also receive NM state teaching licensure.  She attends the graduate program in Curriculum and Instruction at the NMHU Rio Rancho Center. She will be able to utilize evidence-based instruction, and effective educational theory and practice in various content areas.

Jessica Koppel, Master of Arts in Curriculum student at NMHU

Jessica Koppel, Treasurer of NMAG, MA Candidate NMHU

Koppel has already completed and received her BA in Special Education with an emphasis in Gifted Education, completing the 12 hours needed for the endorsement required by the State of New Mexico. These four courses consist of:

  1. Foundations of Gifted Education
  2. Instructional Strategies for Gifted Education
  3. Instructional Planning & Curriculum for Gifted Education
  4. Twice Exceptional  & Special Populations in Gifted Education

Koppel will be completing 12 more hours or gifted coursework for her master’s. These are the program courses.

  1. Learning Environments & Social Interaction for the Gifted
  2. Families of Children with Exceptionalities of the Gifted
  3. Achievement Testing with Children with Disabilities and Gifted
  4. Ethical Practices for Students with Exceptionalities & Giftedness

It should be noted that Koppel would be the first educator in the State of New Mexico to complete 24 hours in Gifted Education. State law does require students who do not have a teaching license to take the entire 24 hours or coursework for the endorsement to teach gifted students. Dr. PJ Sedillo advises Koppel and currently teaches all of the gifted courses at New Mexico Highlands University.

NMHU Offers Gifted Endorsement Courses

Only 3% of colleges and universities across the country offer courses in gifted education and the need for courses are high. (VanTassel-Baska & Stambaugh, 2006)  According to the National Association for Gifted Children  (NAGC), 61% of classroom teachers in the U.S. have no training in gifted and talented, yet gifted and talented students spend over 80% of their time in their regular classroom. Further, with so few opportunities for graduate courses in gifted education, we cannot expect teachers to effectively address the needs of gifted learners. (Ford, Grantham, & Whiting, 2008)

Gifted Programs at NMHU Student Centre

NMHU Student Centre

According to the report, National Excellence: A Case for Developing America’s Talent  (October, 1993), “Teachers must receive better training in how to teach highlevel curricula. They need support for providing instruction that challenges all students sufficiently. This will benefit not only students with outstanding talent but children at every academic level.”  For these reasons State of New Mexico educators who instruct gifted individuals must have an endorsement in Gifted Education.

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