In the summer of 2010, the Center for Gifted Education (CFGE) welcomed young educators, counselors, and administrators from King Faisal University, as well as senior administrators and faculty from the company Asaleeb (a Saudi professional development group) for customized professional development programs. During their stay, members of both groups worked closely with the CFGE staff to gain a better understanding of the processes of curriculum development and program planning for gifted and talented students. The groups visited a number of area Governor’s schools to observe different service models for gifted and talented students.
On weekends and in the evenings, both groups were also treated to a variety of experiences, including a tour of Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown and Yorktown as well as other local entertainment and cultural excursions. Attendees commented that the overall experience provided them with “a good impression of the American people… [They] are friendly, always smiling, and very welcoming.” The professional development program was described by attendees as “a wonderful chance to observe the practical application of a gifted program in a classroom setting.”
When asked to comment on the success of the endeavor, Dr. Tracy L. Cross, Executive Director of the Center for Gifted Education, said, “Having these young educators, counselors, and administrators work with us for three weeks has been mutually beneficial and an absolutely delightful experience. Long-term relationships have been started that will go far in benefitting gifted students.”