The Summer Enrichment Program provides a unique learning experience that addresses the intellectual and affective needs of learners who are gifted, talented, and/or creative.
The Summer Enrichment Program was founded under the direction of Dr. Robert Sloat in 1978, and grew and thrived under the leadership of Dr. George Betts from 1979-2012, Dr. Stuart Omdal from 2013-2017, and Dr. Jenny Ritchotte and Dr. Amy Graefe in 2018. Dr. Amy Graefe took over as the director in 2019.
Dr. Amy Graefe and Dr. Jenny Ritchotte
Dr. Jenny Ritchotte and Dr. Amy Graefe are professors within the School of Special Education, specializing in Gifted Education.
Dr. Stuart Omdal
Dr. Stuart Omdal was involved in different roles at SEP for 23 years and recently retired as the director of the Summer Enrichment Program.
Dr. George Betts
Dr. George Betts was directly involved in SEP during its first year in 1978 and was named Director of the program in 1979. For over three decades, he helped fulfill SEP's mission of providing a unique learning experience that addresses both the cognitive and affective needs of gifted learners.
2017 National Award Recipient
The SEP received one of two Global Awareness Annemarie Roeper Awards from the National Association for Gifted Children. The program was recognized during the NAGC's annual convention in North Carolina in November 2017.
Meet our Director
Four programs are offered each summer under the umbrella of Summer Enrichment Program.
All four programs nurture the whole gifted child. This is, in part, accomplished through what former SEP Director, Dr. Stuart Omdal, refers to as a “culture of acceptance.” As one former participant shared, “At SEP I was accepted for exactly who I was.” The Summer Enrichment Program will continue this tradition of acceptance under the leadership of Dr. Amy Graefe, Assistant Professor of Gifted Education at UNC.
The Center for Gifted and Talented Education at the University of Northern Colorado offers additional summer programs for children and youth.
Summer Enrichment Program
2021 marks the 44th year of the Summer Enrichment Program (SEP) serving children and youth who are gifted, talented and/or creative in a supportive academic and social setting. Designed for students entering 5th grade through 10th grade, this residential program offers high interest, hands-on, brains-on courses developed by specialists in gifted education and/or in specialized content areas. Participants engage in hands-on, brains-on classes during the day. Each afternoon after morning classes are finished, participants choose a variety of "options" varying from active sports and recreation to craft activities and time to visit with new and old friends. Students come to SEP from approximately 25 states, provinces and foreign countries. Dorm counselors who are college age and older supervise students during all hours that the students are not in class.
Young Child Program
The Young Child Program serves children ages 4 and 5 and those entering grades 1-4. The program addresses the early educational and social needs of children who are gifted, talented and/or creative children. Parents select high-interest courses that meet during four 40-minute periods each day. The specialists in gifted and talented education who teach the courses plan them to help develop and focus the natural curiosity and creativity of these students.
Leadership Enrichment Program
The Leadership Enrichment Program (LEP) accepts 24 high school students who are entering their junior and senior years. The focus is on understanding one's personal, unique gifts and talents, learning about leadership styles and developing traits and characteristics of leadership. They focus on leadership topics during the day and assist SEP counselors with afternoon and evening options and teach mini-courses on the Saturday between the weeks of their session. Special activities, meals, and creative options make LEP unique and memorable.