This is an exciting time to be part of the 2e community. Worldwide, many are catching the 2e wave, and our Center is excited to be a part of the momentum. Just in the last few weeks, we have been communicating with scholars, practitioners, and parents from Sweden, the Netherlands, Germany, and Switzerland. This month we are presenting at a conference in Munster, Germany, dedicated to giftedness and twice-exceptionality. Earlier this summer, 28 participants, made up of teachers, administrators, parents, and therapists from six states, Canada, and Australia, attended a week-long “Study with the Masters” program on the Bridges campus. They came to learn more about how to meet the needs of 2e students and their families.
Further evidence of the desire for knowledge and skill in this area was the popularity of the online Bright and Quirky Summit, organized by Debbie Steinberg Kuntz last spring. [See the previous issue of 2e Newsletter (July, 2018) for information on this event.] Over 16,000 participants from around the world listened to a formidable group of professionals sharing their knowledge, insights, and expertise related to nurturing twice-exceptional students.
Nevertheless, we still frequently hear 2e families voice frustration with the difficulty in locating professionals who truly understand their children. Doctors, therapists, and school personnel often have limited experience with these students and fail to deeply understand dual diagnosis and its implications. Furthermore, opportunities to learn more about 2e students seem scarce.
At the 2e Center, we have seen a positive response from educators who sense that traditional programs are not meeting the needs of 2e students and who are seeking ways to develop more appropriate programs for them. We are also seeing enterprising parents who are taking the initiative by starting their own independent schools designed to address the unique learning profiles of their twice-exceptional youngsters. If these efforts are to succeed, they must be populated by knowledgeable professionals who will provide academic and psychological support and leadership, along with expertise in the field of twice-exceptionality.
In response to this growing need for knowledge and expertise, a new institution has been born: the Bridges Graduate School of Cognitive Diversity in Education. Licensed to operate in the State of California, this graduate school embraces the philosophy of celebrating human cognitive diversity and the belief that education should be strength-based and talent-focused. It will offer two degree programs in cognitive diversity and one certificate program in twice-exceptional education. These programs, described on the next page, are hybrid in nature. The majority of coursework will be online, with required summer residencies on the Bridges Academy campus in Los Angeles.
We plan to start the hybrid online synchronous and asynchronous classes as early as January, 2019, for those who are ready to begin. There will be a more formal official opening for the graduate school in the summer of 2019, with a doctoral residency experience starting in the fall of 2019.
For more information, see https://graduateschool.bridges.edu.