About Ricks

Key Facts

Ricks Center for Gifted Children at the University of Denver is an exemplary program designed for gifted children. Ricks Center provides nationally recognized gifted education to approximately 250 students ranging from ages three years old through eighth grade who show exceptional, differentiated abilities and learning needs.

Our Mission

The mission of Ricks Center is to provide a dynamic and challenging educational environment that anticipates and responds to the individual intellectual, social, emotional, physical, aesthetic, and cognitive needs of gifted children.

Our Philosophy

Gifted children have the right to an educational environment that meets their unique and challenging needs. When compared with children their age, these students display advanced abilities in general intellectual aptitude, which may be exhibited in specific domains such as creativity, language, mathematics, or science. Gifted children have the ability to learn at faster rates and in greater depth, to find and solve problems more readily, and to understand, manipulate, and connect abstract or seemingly unrelated ideas. These abilities, combined with their intellectual curiosity, emotional intensity, moral sensitivity, playful creativity, and unique learning styles engender the need for a differentiated educational program.

The goals of Ricks Center include the following:

  • Provide an exemplary program for gifted young people, promoting academic excellence and emphasizing individual development.
  • Fill a unique need in the community for differentiated educational programming for gifted young people.
  • Attract and support an ethnically and socio-economically diverse student body and faculty.
  • Offer parents and families ongoing support and education regarding the growth and development of gifted children and adults.
  • Stand as a national model in gifted education.

Why Ricks?

Characteristics that describe gifted individuals include curious, intense, creative, persistent, an acute sense of justice, keen sense of humor, independent, sensitive, and perceptive. Gifted children will often spend long periods of time engaged in a particular activity of interest. They may seem more emotionally intense than other children and will often recognize patterns in the world that others do not see.

A promising mind needs both great care and extraordinary nourishment, especially the developing child's mind. Ricks Center recognizes gifted children's unique needs and provides a home where these children flourish. Ricks Center is designed to address the whole child, including his or her emotional, intellectual, aesthetic, physical and social needs. While many programs offer students personal attention, Ricks Center offers a differentiated education tailored to each student in the context of a community built around an intellectual peer group.

As nationally recognized leaders in the field of gifted education, the faculty at Ricks Center for Gifted Children has a deep and profound understanding of how gifted children learn and the special environment needed to ensure these children meet their potential.  From Preschool through 8th Grade, faculty members guide students along a thoughtfully designed journey created for gifted children.

As an integral part of the University of Denver, children at Ricks Center are surrounded by learners of all ages. Ricks Center students are immersed in a community dedicated to the pursuit of life-long learning. In addition to the remarkable atmosphere present on a higher education campus, students at Ricks Center benefit from a variety of amenities and services, such as a world-class university library, performing arts center, health center, athletic fields and campus security that provide students with safe and easy access to a thriving educational institution. When appropriate, students may also take college level courses.

Ricks Center for Gifted Children is a place where families can be confident their gifted children will be nurtured, respected, and challenged in a unique way that allows them to flourish and reach their remarkable potential.