Important News about the TAGT Awareness Certificate 
and Professional Development Approval
You are receiving this e-mail because you and/or your organization have previously been approved by TAGT to offer Professional Development in Gifted and Talented Education that has counted toward the TAGT Awareness Certificate. The TAGT Board of Directors recently approved a significant change in the Awareness Certificate Program. We are writing to address how these changes will affect you and to invite you to contribute to the discussion that will inform how we move forward.

The Texas Association for the Gifted & Talented (TAGT) connects and empower educators and parents to meet the unique needs of gifted learners and we appreciate your shared commitment to gifted education. Our vision is to provide relevant and innovative programs and services through an engaged, diverse membership. These core principals have guided our recent strategic plan, and as a result we are reviewing all of our programs to ensure they are relevant, innovative and serving our diverse membership in the best way possible.

Background
For more than 20 years, TAGT has offered the Awareness Certificate as a supplemental form of recognition for educators that commit to additional hours of professional development above the minimum required by the state for Gifted & Talented education. Traditionally, these hours have been acquired at TAGT conferences/trainings, through TAGT On Demand, or through education service centers. Additionally, any third-party person or organization outside of TAGT offering quality professional development activities for teachers of gifted and talented students could apply to offer credit toward the TAGT Awareness Certificate by completing an application with TAGT. Many universities, districts, and companies, including yours, have applied and been approved to offer TAGT-approved trainings for Awareness Certificate credit.

TAGT Awareness Certificate Changes
Following three years of study by two different groups - a standing committee and a special task force appointed by the TAGT Board of Directors - data and feedback has revealed that the TAGT Awareness Certificate program is no longer a key association activity widely utilized by TAGT members. As a result of this process, TAGT is phasing out the TAGT Awareness Certificate program over the coming months.

During this review, we have also learned that there are some elements of the Awareness Certificate program process that may have great relevance and value to members, including TAGT approval of G/T training by third-parties. As part of our current strategic initiative efforts, we will begin a process to examine this and other elements more closely to determine how they may stand apart from the Awareness Certificate program. Our direction going forward will come from stakeholder involvement.

Transition Notes - Please Review Carefully
It is, and has always been, entirely the decision of local school districts to determine what is accepted as G/T training. With that said, many school districts do look to the TAGT-approval process as a mark of quality training, and often accept training that has been approved by TAGT for the Awareness Certificate to meet local requirements. In order to create a smooth transition and develop key resources and activities that will be most beneficial to TAGT members, we are announcing the following transition instructions:
  • Programs designated as TAGT-approved for acceptance with the TAGT Awareness Certificate since January 1, 2013, will be considered approved by TAGT through December 31, 2016, as long as no major content changes have been made since the original application was submitted (speakers and title adjustments are not considered significant).
  • If your organization offers a program that falls into this category (approved since January 1, 2013 with no significant changes), you may continue advertising the training as "TAGT-Approved for the TAGT Awareness Certificate." If you need an updated TAGT letter of approval, you may request an updated confirmation letter by completing this form.
  • For a list of third-party training programs currently verified by TAGT for the Awareness Certificated acceptance, please click here. If you have questions, or do not see your program that has been TAGT-approved since January 1, 2013 listed, please contact us.
  • If your organization offers a program that was approved prior to January 1, 2013, we ask that you refrain from advertising the training as "TAGT-Approved for the TAGT Awareness Certificate."
  • When applicable, approved courses must be referenced as "TAGT-Approved for the TAGT Awareness Certificate." All other references, such as "TAGT Certified" or "G/T Certified" are not accurate.
  • During this time, we are not accepting any new or updated applications for TAGT-approval. This will include programs that have been approved in the past, but have made substantial changes to content.
  • TAGT will be seeking stakeholder input to determine the best way to continue to meet school district needs related to determining quality G/T training. To participate in this process, click here.
For clarification or questions about the transition or related issues, please contact Paulina van Eeden Hill, TAGT Director of Events & Professional Development, by email or phone (512.499.8248). For more information about the TAGT Awareness Certificate changes, and what these changes mean to you and other audiences, please click here.

We are thrilled to work together over the coming months to discover a process that more effectively serves our stakeholders and advances our joint mission to meet the needs of gifted learners.

Sincerely,

JJ Colburn, CAE
TAGT Executive Director
Visit txgifted.org to learn more.
Copyright 2015. All Rights Reserved.