Belin-Blank Fellowship

Forty years of experience have shown that the most effective way to ensure meaningful education for gifted students is to provide a special program for classroom teachers. In this way, teachers develop the skills to work with gifted students as well as the knowledge and skills to provide leadership for other teachers.

Varying approaches to professional development in gifted education exist, but no program provides the incentives for teachers, as well as the intensive individualized approach, offered by this prestigious fellowship program. The Belin-Blank Fellowship Program in Gifted Education makes it possible for a select number of teachers, nominated by their schools, to receive specialized training in gifted education.

About the Program

Belin-Blank Fellowship BrochureThe Belin-Blank Fellowship Program is a unique opportunity for teachers to learn more about the area of gifted education, through a five-day summer residential workshop at the University of Iowa. Its purpose is to help teachers learn better methods for working with gifted children in their classrooms. The program is designed to help teachers provide an appropriate education for gifted students, develop in students a heightened sense of social responsibility in the use of their talents, and provide leadership in gifted education.

The Belin-Blank Fellowship Program will take place in the Blank Honors Center from June 21 - June 26, 2020.

January 27, 2020: Applications open
March 2, 2020: Applications close

Lead instructors are Dr. Laurie Croft, Associate Director for Professional Development at the Belin-Blank Center and Clinical Professor in the Department of Teaching & Learning, and Dr. Randy Lange, Visiting Instructor.

Guest speakers from the Belin-Blank Center, University of Iowa College of Education, include faculty such as:

The specific goals of the Belin-Blank Fellowship Program are to help participants:

  • Learn effective new ways to recognize gifted/talented students and meet their unique affective needs;
  • Enhance their abilities to meet the different academic needs of gifted/talented students;
  • Act as an effective resource in gifted education for other educators in their schools and districts;
  • Review their new knowledge and skills for applications to ALL youngsters in their classes;
  • Nurture the sense of social responsibility in the use and development of talents among gifted students.

Fellowship holders will be expected to:

  • Complete all preliminary writing assignments and readings required by the instructor;
  • Organize and/or support research that is designed to enhance his/her own teaching and further the goals of the Belin-Blank Fellowship Program;
  • Make her/his classroom available to colleagues, administrators, and other educators for observations of new strategies;
  • Plan and implement new ideas and instructional techniques for gifted students in his or her classroom;
  • Lead others in the district to help develop a greater understanding of gifted students;
  • Educate others by providing substantive in-services supporting the needs of gifted learners in the district;
  • Try to keep current on new literature and developments in gifted education;
  • Enjoy the full five days of the Fellowship experience!

This experience will certainly allow me to begin the next step of my career with knowledge and confidence. The Belin-Blank Fellowship is a game changer for me. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Belin Fellow

How to Apply

The application process is straightforward. Here's all the information you'll need to submit your application.

All application materials must be submitted online by March 2, 2020. 

Here's how to apply:

  1. Complete the online application.
  2. Submit a statement of support for your participation from your administrator. 
  3. Share the following expectations with your administrator. Administrators of participating schools should provide the following for Fellowship holders:
    • Higher levels of support for Fellowship teachers to participate in leadership roles in their schools/districts regarding gifted education
    • Encouragement and release time for Fellowship holders to attend the annual state conference for gifted education or the National Association for Gifted Children Conference
    • Letters of support for teachers applying for the Fellowship Program

University of Iowa faculty will evaluate completed applications and letters of support. Preference is given to teachers who are new to gifted education. Accepted Fellows will be notified in April. 

Apply Now

Apply Now

After You're Accepted

Come prepared for the Belin-Blank Fellowship program to energize and excite you about the education of gifted and talented students! Here are all the details you'll need while making your plans to join us.

Before You Arrive

Fellows should complete all preliminary writing assignments and readings required by the instructor. Some of these assignments will be distributed in April and will be due prior to the start of the class.

Cost & Financial Aid


Districts are responsible for payment of $250.00 to cover all materials for the Fellowship Program. A generous endowment covers the remaining costs, which include full room and board in a University of Iowa residence hall and readings, university resources, and presentations from leaders in gifted education.

The program does not provide transportation to and from the University of Iowa, parking, or incidentals. Fellows are responsible for these expenses.

Payment Options

Schools will receive an invoice for the materials fee, payable to the Belin-Blank Center. Payments can be made via credit card, cash, check, or purchase order.

Financial Aid

Fellows who choose to pursue the two semester hours of graduate credit (see Academic Credit Options) receive a 50% tuition scholarship.

Academic Credit Options

Two semester hours of graduate credit are available at an additional fee. For details, contact

Daily Schedule

Orientation begins on Sunday evening. Class is 9am-4pm, Monday through Thursday; 9am-noon on Friday.

A typical day includes:

  • Guest lectures by prominent experts in the field of gifted education
  • Small group discussions
  • Classroom observations of summer programs for gifted students at the Belin-Blank Center
  • Breakfast, lunch, and dinner as a group

Evening activities may include readings and reading reactions as homework, "fireside chats" with program instructors to discuss content/materials, or free time in downtown Iowa City.

Living on Campus

You will be housed in a residence hall located near the Blank Honors Center on the University of Iowa campus. Most program activities will take place within brief walking distance of the residence hall. Male and female participants will be assigned to separate floors, and all participants will have a single room with linen service and a shared bathroom. Meals at the residence hall are included.


Fellows are housed in an on-campus residence hall for the duration of the program. Check-in begins at Currier Hall on Sunday at 4:00 pm; check-out is on Friday by noon.

Class begins Monday at 9:00 am on the 6th floor of the Blank Honors Center, located near the intersection of Clinton Street and Market Street.

The Eastern Iowa Airport (CID) is just 20 minutes north of downtown Iowa City and is served by most major airlines. For more information about the airport and ground transportation, please visit their website.

For driving directions to the Blank Honors Center, click here. A campus map of the University of Iowa can be found on the University of Iowa website


Available spring 2020

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