TAG Endorsement

The Endorsement Form will help you keep track of the courses and workshops you take in each strand.

Preservice (undergraduate) teachers, please see https://education.uiowa.edu/services/office-student-services/teacher-licensure-procedure for additional information.


Q: I'm already certified to teach; why do I need a separate endorsement to work with gifted students?

A: Certification reflects the license issued by the state allowing graduates to teach. The type of certification defines the kind of responsibility the teacher can have in the classroom. Endorsements identify what an individual can teach as well as the grade level(s).

In 1992, the State of Iowa approved the requirements for a pre-K through 12 Talented and Gifted (TAG) Endorsement for anyone designated as a teacher and/or coordinator of programs for the gifted. The TAG Endorsement allows teachers to work with gifted students of any age even if their certification is for a specific age group.

The TAG Endorsement provides educators with the essential tools to promote the talents and well-being of gifted students. Research has shown that outstanding teachers of the gifted are familiar with different learning styles, understand the developmental nature and needs of gifted children, and understand current theory and knowledge about gifted education.

(e.g. Whitlock & DuCette. 1989: Outstanding and average teachers of the gifted: A comparative study. Gifted Child Quarterly, 33(1), 25-31).

Q: What are the state requirements for the TAG Endorsement?

A: The State of Iowa has mandated: "The holder of this [TAG] endorsement is authorized to serve as a teacher or a coordinator of programs of the gifted and talented from the prekindergarten level through grade twelve. This authorization does not permit general classroom teaching at any level except that level or area for which the holder is eligible or holds the specific endorsement.

Program Requirements--Content [Strands]: Completion of 12 semester hours of coursework in the area of the gifted and talented, to include the following:

  1. Psychology of the gifted
  2. Programming for the gifted
  3. Administration and supervision of gifted programs
  4. Practicum experience in gifted programs

An individual applying for endorsement through The University of Iowa must have taken a minimum of one (1) credit hour through coursework offered by the Belin-Blank Center. We strongly recommend the practicum for the credit hour, but this can be decided on a case-by-case basis.

Keep track of your courses with the Plan for TAG Endorsement.

Q: How long can I take to earn the TAG endorsement?

A: To teach gifted students or to coordinate TAG programs, teachers who have not finished the coursework for their TAG endorsement must have "conditional licenses" from the State Department of Education. Conditional licenses are for two years; a one-time emergency extension of one year is permitted. Teachers should pursue classes in the four required strands to earn their TAG endorsement before the expiration of their conditional licenses.

For endorsement credit, the State of Iowa will consider content-appropriate courses from any accredited institution, even if these credits related to the education of the gifted, talented, and creative were earned before the teacher began seeking endorsement.

Q: Where can I find all of the classes that I need?

A: The Connie Belin & Jacqueline N. Blank International Center in Gifted Education and Talent Development, a part of the College of Education at the University of Iowa, offers an exciting array of coursework to satisfy state requirements in the four strands.

From three-credit-hour, semester-long courses, to intensive one-credit-hour, two-day workshops offered during the summer, to the arranged practicum experience, teachers can match their personal and professional needs and interests with state requirements. Sufficient hours are available via distance learning (online or independently arranged) that the endorsement can be completed without visiting the University of Iowa campus. All classes are offered through Distance and Online Education; most distance-learning opportunities do not require either out-of-state tuition or extra technology fees.

The credits offered through the Belin-Blank Center, in partnership with the College of Education, can be coordinated with hours earned at other institutions and through special programs, for example, the annual conference sponsored by the Iowa Talented and Gifted Association (ITAG).

Review a schedule of workshops here.

Q: What is the practicum?

A: The practicum is an individually arranged experience promoting research, reflection and action on participant-defined goals, and hands-on experience with gifted children. For each hour of practicum, teachers spend approximately 15 hours reading and reacting to new materials, fifteen hours working to achieve their personal goals, and 15 hours in observation and interaction with gifted and talented students. These activities frequently complement a teacher's professional responsibilities.

Q: Who provides the instruction for Belin-Blank Center coursework?

A: Drs. Assouline, Baldus, Colangelo, Croft, and Marron instruct one or more of the courses. Additional instructors selected for the summer courses and workshops have classroom experience with gifted and talented youth and have advanced degrees in educational fields. Each instructor is committed to helping you develop your understanding of highly able youth and their special needs.

Click here for course descriptions.

Q: Whom do I contact for further information?

A: Contact the Belin-Blank Center:

Dr. Susan Assouline, Director
(Professor of School Psychology, Department of Psychological and Quantitative Foundations)

Dr. Laurie Croft, Administrator, Professional Development
(Associate Professor, Teaching and Learning)

Phone: (800) 336-6463 or (319) 335-6148


Following completion of the TAG Added Endorsement Program course requirements, contact Dr. Laurie Croft to initiate application to add the endorsement. For questions about application forms to add the endorsement, contact:

Dave Tingwald
Office of Education Services