Keeping youth engaged in fun educational opportunities during summer helps them to retain, develop, and even master critical learning skills in time for school’s return in the Fall. Research has shown time and time again, that the long summer months can cultivate the largest student achievement gaps of the year. Teachers know all too well that they will spend many of their beginning weeks re-teaching old concepts, trying to get their students to recall what happened before summer cobwebs took over the mind.

At the Summer Gifted and Talented Program, offered on the beautiful campus of Dominican University, motivated teachers and students alike gather excitedly on Opening Day for novel and fast-paced classes such as American LiteratureExploring Photojournalism, Logic & Critical Thinking, Fun with Fibonacci, Invention Convention, Chess Puzzlers, Hunger Games: an Introduction to Genetics, and so much more.

With its loyal staff of returning instructors, Summer Gifted at Dominican seems to get bigger and better each summer. Now returning for his fifth summer at Dominican, Mr. Hedden speaks with experience as the Physics & Engineering instructor for 6-8 grades, challenging students each summer in rocket science, bridge building, Newtonian physics, and roller coasters. “Supportive administration, motivated students, and passionate teachers- teaching at Summer Gifted is utopian teaching at its best!” Commuting each morning and afternoon from Indiana to teach at Dominican’s campus, Mr. Hedden travels over 100 miles daily for his utopian teaching experience.

Regardless of distances, this tight-knit learning community is boundless when it comes to our teaching talent. This summer’s instructor for American Literature: Mark Twain is a returning teacher and father of a returning Summer Gifted student, Phoebe, who joined our community as a rising 2nd grader and will be entering 6th grade this Fall. According to Mr. Hopper, “a few years ago, my wife and I were searching for summer programs for our daughter. My wife contacted the Dominican Program and after looking at what was offered, we conferred with our daughter and decided to sign her up. In short, she loved it! Every day she came home with new ideas, experiences, and a smile on her face. When I saw how much fun my daughter was having in this program, the quality of her learning experience here and what the teachers bring to the program, I really wanted to become a part of the program myself. In all my years of teaching, my time spent with the kids in this summer program has been the most rewarding and enjoyable.”

The Summer Gifted and Talented Program at Dominican University recognizes and serves the academic and socio-emotional needs of highly motivated, gifted and talented students entering grades 2-8 in the Fall. Visit for Program details, application materials, Course Closures, and FAQ!