WCATY, a University of Wisconsin - Madison outreach program in the School of Education, 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 public school districts, learning communities, and families throughout the state and beyond. WCATY creates a culture of learning where students can choose challenge and engage in authentic opportunities. 

Academic Talent
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. 

Inclusive Community
The WCATY community unites around students’ passion for learning, offering a place to belong and to be proud of who they are. It is a safe environment that invites deep inquiries into social and academic ideas, where colliding perspectives are a norm and mistakes are welcomed. 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.

Authentic Challenge
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.