This information was produced by the staff of the Belin-Blank International Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development (B-BC) at the University of Iowa ( The resources and information listed here are for informational purposes; there is no direct or implied endorsement by the B-BC. Services provided by the B-BC include programs for academically talented K-12 and college students, professional development for teachers, the Assessment and Counseling Clinic, the Acceleration Institute (, and graduate programs and research in gifted education.

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"Acceleration is one of the most curious phenomena in the field of education. I can think of no other issue in which there is such a gulf between what research has revealed and what most practitioners believe. The research on acceleration is so uniformly positive, the benefits of appropriate acceleration so unequivocal, that it is difficult to see how an educator could oppose it."

James H. Borland, Professor, Teachers College, Columbia University, Planning and Implementing Programs for the Gifted, 1989 (p. 185)

The purpose of the Acceleration Institute website is to inform educators, parents, policymakers, and researchers of the research and best practices concerning academic acceleration.

Acceleration is an academic intervention that moves students through an educational program at a rate faster or at an age that is younger than typical. It is about creating a better match between the readiness and motivation of a student and the level and pace of instruction. Academic acceleration can include grade skipping, early entrance to kindergarten or college, moving ahead in just one subject, and other ways of moving a student ahead to more challenging coursework.

Student Programs at the Belin-Blank Center

Enriching experiences for highly motivated students in:

  • Inventiveness
  • Art & Writing
  • Research
  • STEM
  • Leadership
  • Humanties

If you’re new to gifted education or the topic of academic acceleration, this is a good place to start. Here are some highlights of the website that you should investigate:

Online Graduate Course

Academic Acceleration

For teachers, gifted coordinators, administrators, and parents. This 3 credit course is offered once a year through the University of Iowa Belin-Blank Center using an online format. For information about the course schedule and how to register, email

The goal of this course is to provide participants with information about acceleration, including research supporting this educational option, the ability to evaluate students for acceleration, and the skills to practice and implement acceleration effectively. Topics include the forms of acceleration, the process of implementing acceleration, writing and evaluating school acceleration policies, and advice for effecting attitude change through persuasive communication and media outreach. The course content is delivered online through video and PowerPoint presentations as well as readings, including Nation Empowered.