DU Connection

Ricks Center for Gifted Children is an integral part of the Morgridge College of Education at the University of Denver. This unique connection to DU provides Ricks Center students with a host of amazing opportunities, including the ability to interact with internationally recognized professors, attend cultural events, and utilize the University's library and athletic facilities. The University community, dedicated to life-long learning, provides a profound focus on implementing best practices.

University Relationship

The University of Denver, which is ranked among the top 100 universities in the United States, provides faculty consultants, fundraising support, technology services, mentorships, and classroom opportunities for Ricks Center students. Moreover, opportunities to collaborate with other leaders in education are ever-present.

The University of Denver and Ricks Center for Gifted Children's relationship is unique. While other elementary schools may have a partnership with a university that allows teachers in training to work with students in the classroom, none have the depth of connection Ricks Center and DU share. The students at Ricks Center for Gifted Children are University of Denver students. They have access to the Anderson Academic Commons and athletic facilities, they can take classes on campus, they interact with University faculty members from many colleges, and they use the grounds for outdoor classes.

Morgridge College of Education

The Morgridge College of Education at the University of Denver offers accredited education degrees that prepare educational leaders to make a difference in the world. The College is committed to preparing educators who think creatively and lead effectively. As part of the Morgridge College of Education, The Institute for the Development of Gifted Education promotes gifted education. The Institute is unique, with programs rooted in each of the four foundational elements of gifted education: school, curriculum development, outreach, and research. Ricks Center for Gifted Children provides a model for gifted education. The Institute, housed in the College's new state-of-the-art facility, offers training in gifted education, develops curriculum for gifted children, conducts research in the gifted field, and publishes professional monographs. Institute staff host an annual conference on issues related to gifted education and present at conferences nationally and internationally.

The Morgridge College of Education (MCE) Curriculum and Instruction program with a specialization in Gifted Education has received approval from the Colorado Department of Education to offer coursework leading to Endorsement in the areas of Gifted Education Core, Gifted Education Specialist, and Gifted Education Director. To read the full story, or to learn more about their Gifted Education Specialization click here.

To read the 2021 Morgridge College of Education Dean's Report, click here.

Overhead shot of campus

DU Campus Environment

The University of Denver's campus provides a unique learning environment for young children. Teachers and students use the breathtaking grounds for nature walks and quiet journaling opportunities. The extensive collections in the Anderson Academic Commons are available for both faculty and students. The state-of-the-art sports facilities at the Ritchie Center provide space for sports practice and games for the Upper School students.

Children on a soccer field


Ricks students share sports facilities built for the demands of NCAA Division 1 athletic teams. Ricks Upper School students practice skills and learn to compete at well-maintained DU facilities, including the soccer field, baseball field, and basketball courts. Classes use the skating rink for class parties, and Enhancement classes take advantage of the two-story climbing wall at the Ritchie Center.



Dramatic interpretation and performance play a large role in the integrated units presented at Ricks Center. Students of all ages sing, dance, and perform dramatic routines as a part of their unit studies. The University of Denver provides access to a myriad of performance venues for Ricks Center students to experience real theater both as an audience member and on stage. The Newman Center for Performing Arts is a state-of-the-art building with multiple theaters. Ricks Center uses Gates Hall, a 977-seat grand opera hall, for all-school plays such as Cinderella and Willy Wonka. Team students use the more intimate Hamilton Hall for their winter productions of intense plays such as Antigone and Inherit the Wind. And students of all ages watch professional productions in the Byron Theatre. Eighth graders graduate from Ricks Center in Sturm Hall’s grand Davis Auditorium.

Display case at Anderson Academic Commons

Anderson Academic Commons

Anderson Academic Commons holds over 3 million items, including books, periodicals, and videos. Ricks students benefit from having this well-funded college library right next door. Teachers use these materials in developing curriculum, and Upper School students visit the library when doing extensive research projects.


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