Wisconsin Center for Academically Talented Youth (WCATY), a University of Wisconsin–Madison outreach program in the Division of Continuing Studies, is an inclusive community of academically talented youth – supported by educators, UW researchers, and advocates who recognize and cultivate students’ potential. As an expression of the Wisconsin Idea, WCATY extends support to school districts, learning communities, and families throughout the state and beyond. WCATY creates a culture of learning where students can choose a challenge and engage in authentic opportunities.
Academic talent is a manifested propensity, aptitude, or achievement in a given academic discipline or area of study. It exists in children from all cultural groups, across all economic backgrounds, and in all areas of human endeavor. WCATY believes that academic talent development is a lifelong process that needs to be purposely supported at each stage through deliberate practice and ongoing exposure to meaningful learning opportunities.
The WCATY community unites around students’ passion for learning, offering a place to belong and to be proud of who they are. The community invites students from diverse geographic, economic, and cultural backgrounds to share their lived experience, celebrate growth, and support each other in a quest for excellence.
WCATY provides enriched and accelerated learning opportunities that stimulate intellectual, social, and emotional growth. Students experience challenge not only through rigorous coursework, but also through deep questioning, thinking beyond themselves, finding meaningful connections, and growing as lifelong learners. WCATY uses authentic models in curriculum and instruction to personalize learning and develop thinking skills and processes around professional mindsets.